Wednesday, March 30, 2011


After visiting a school on the fringes of the Burren today I ended up at Mullaghmore to search for Yellowhammers.  There were loads of Willow Warblers calling and this one male Yellowhammer arrived to feed on loose grain.  There are less than 40 pairs of Yellowhammers left in the county so to see one nowadays is always a treat.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Orange-tip Butterfly

The first Orange-tip Butterfly Anthocharis cardamines hibernica of the year that I have seen, emerged in my garden this afternoon.  It has been over two weeks since I had my first Tortoiseshell and Brimstones.  So it was a pleasant surprise to come across this little beauty as I was trying to photograph the first Willow Warbler of the year in my garden, along with the singing male Blackcap and Chiffchaff.  Orang-tip butterflies coincide their emergence with the bloom of the Cuckoo Flower.  This is one of their principal sources of nectar and they also lay their eggs on this plant.

Male Orange-tip Butterfly

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Irish Hare

The Irish Hare is one of our oldest mammals with bones found in County Waterford dating back 28,000 years.  I had two Hares today at Dromoland Castle Estate, feeding out in open fields.  Of course this is the time of year that they become mad March Hares when males box in competition for females.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I was at my nearby river to photograph two Kingfishers at a spot that I knew they frequented.  They showed well on and off over a four hour period and I managed to get these shots.

American Mink

I was at a river close to my home today photographing Kingfishers.  While waiting for the Kingfishers return to branches over the riverside, this mangey Mink ran along the river bank, over my wellies and down to the river close by to drink and scratch.  It looked as if he had been through the wars with many bad gashes on his body and fur missing as well as his right eye.


I was coming through Ennis on my way home on two evenings towards the end of this week and had to stop to get photo's of the spectacular sunset over the tower at St. Flannan's College from the bog road.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Chiffchaffs have arrived in large numbers today with male birds singing in Ennis, Clarecastle, Shannon, Newmarket-on-Fergus, and this bird singing in my back garden this afternoon.  I'm sure that by the weekend the Willow Warblers will be here as well. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


At home in the garden this morning two male Wrens were having a sing off in an attempt to hold territory.  They added great life to the garden along with all the other birds during this dawn chorus.

Ring-billed Gull

Monday 21st March 2011, on my way back from Ennis this afternoon I stopped off at Clarecastle Quay which is less than 10km from my home, to try and find my first Sandmartin for the year.  There were two Sandmarrtins flying up the River Fergus off the old Quay and a Chiffchaff singing in a Whitethorn close by.  But the highlights were three Ring-billed Gulls that were mixed in with a flock of Common and Black-headed Gulls along the river edge.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ring-billed Gull

While passing through Tralee in Kerry over the weekend this adult Ring-billed Gull was feeding up and down the main river channel east of the bridge at Blennerville.  He landed in fields near the old dump site and too far for me to get shots of him on the deck.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I was back in the Kingdom over the past few days.  While staying in Kenmare I managed to photograph this male Dipper at the Water Fall at the Sheen Falls Hotel.  Other birds of note over the weekend were an adult Ring-billed Gull at Blennerville, Tralee.  I also saw the White-winged Scoter again at Rossbeigh and the Spoonbill at Cromane.  I did the Ring of Kerry from Kenmare to Killorglin, and the Beara Way from Kenmare over the Caha Mountain and Pass down to Dursey and back the west loop through Aillihies and Eyries.  While in Castletownbere I came across a second year Mediterranean Gull and another Ring-billed Gull.

Sheen Falls at Kenmare where Dippers are nesting

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


On the way back from Kerry we stopped in the west Limerick Hills to look for Grouse. We got two Red Grouse along with one male Hen Harrier and eight Crossbills as seen below.