Friday, June 7, 2024

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Ireland's first Yellow-crowned Night Heron a rare North American vagrant was found in Belcarre Mayo on 26th May 2024. I didn't make it up to Mayo that evening as I was heading out to Iceland early the following morning for a weeks work. One week later when I returned home I was delighted to see that the bird had hung around in the Manulla River, behind the Community Hall at Belcarre. So on Tuesday 4th June I shot up and got great views with a few shots attached. It's a long time since I've seen this heron species in the southern states. Great bird and brilliant find.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron in Mayo © John N Murphy

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Ring-necked Ducks

I recently found five Ring-necked Ducks in Klikee Reservoir. This is the largest gathering we have had of this rare North American Duck in the county. Prior to this there were claims of four at the one time in Ardclooney at the Parteen basin in the east of the county but not confirmed. There were three young birds some years back at Knockalough not far inland from this coastal pond.

Ring-necked Ducks with Tufted Ducks at Kilkee Reservoir © John N Murphy

Friday, March 3, 2023

Little Egret

 Little Egrets are quickly developing their breeding plumage as the spring shoots by. This bird was taking it easy at a small pool near Cappagh Pier in Kilrush.

Little Egret in breeding plumage © John N Murphy

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Peregrine sense an early spring

During my travels throughout the country over the past week, I have noticed that there seems to be an early spring arriving with many birds well into their nesting season so early. Peregrines are sitting around old buildings awaiting to start laying eggs and getting their breeding season into full swing.

Peregrines © John N Murphy

Friday, February 24, 2023

Greater Yellowlegs

I was back during the week at Tallow Bridge in Waterford to see the long staying American Greater Yellowlegs.  Fantastic bird.

Greater Yellowlegs at Tallow Bridge in Waterford © John N Murphy


These Skylarks have to be one on my most favourite passerines. When growing up they were extremely plentiful but now the Irish population has decreased by about 60% or more due to habitat loss. It was great to come across a small flock of five birds recently feeding out in a sand dune.

Skylarks © John N Murphy

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Dipper nest building

Dippers have almost completed the building of their nests. While in Tallowbridge Waterford yesterday morning to see the Greater Yellowlegs once more, I observed two pairs of Dippers hectically gathering nest material along the rivers banks and under the bridges. 

Dippers gathering moss to build nests © John N Murphy