Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Iceland Gulls

I was working in east Cork Harbour today and ended up at the end of the survey at Ballycotton Harbour.  There were two Iceland Gulls off the Pier along with one winter plumaged Guillemot in the harbour.
Two Iceland Gulls and one Guillemot at Ballycotton © John N Murphy

Monday, February 27, 2017

Waxwings still here

These Waxwings were at Cahercalla in Ennis on Sunday found by Barry Howell.  I had to go to see them and get more shots of these colourful birds.  Attached are a series of shots taken of the 12 birds present at Woodlands Estate.
Waxwings in Ennis © John N Murphy

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Greater White-toothed Shrew

I met up with Tom Tarpey to head down to the Curraghchase in Limerick to try and relocate the Great Spotted Woodpecker that was heard there recently.  We also searched for Hawfinch, but the woodland was fairly empty with few birds of note except some thrushes. We did see one Red Squirrel and this Greater White-toothed Shrew that was very confiding and even walked under Tom's feet at one stage.

Greater White-toothed Shrew © John N Murphy

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sri Lanka 2017 (Day 1)

This year my annual family holiday was an early one, due to the large summer workload ahead. We got good fairs for flights to Sri Lanka from Dublin in February with Emirates Airlines, with a stopover in Dubui before completing our 15 hour track to Colombo in Sri Lanka. We arrived at the airport at 6.00pm Sri Lanka time, where we were met by our driver Agith and our Guide Ashan (supplied by our tour company BLUE LANKA TOURS) and transferred to our Hotel (Jetwing Blue Negoma) in the small town on the coast, half an hour drive north of the Airport.   The only bird three birds noted on our transfer to the hotel were Common Myna, Cattle Egrets and Whimbrel.  After a short overnight stay we departed early the following morning for Kandy taking in en route the Pinnawwala Elephant Orphanage.  The orphanage was not really our thing but at least we managed to start birding.  On the way we made a roadside stop and clocked up Black Bittern, Common Kingfisher, Asian Open and lots of White-throated Kingfishers, waders, Egrets and swallows. Here are a small selection of birds photographed on our first day in Sri Lanka. Later that afternoon we were transferred to the fantastic Amaya Hills Hotel overlooking the City of Kandy.

Black Bittern © John N Murphy
Black-hooded Oriole © John N Murphy
Common Myna © John N Murphy
Red-wattled Plover © John N Murphy
 Asian Openbill © John N Murphy
Common Kingfisher © John N Murphy
Brahminy Kite adult © John N Murphy

Asian Elephant © John N Murphy
Little Cormorant © John N Murphy

Friday, February 3, 2017


I had to go to Limerick City this morning and got the chance to research for the three Goosanders near Shannon Banks on the Clare/Limerick border.  I eventually got views of the two eclipsed drakes and the one female.  It was hard to get shots but I managed a few record ones through the bankside vegetation.

 Goosanders at Shannon Banks & Corbally, Limerick City © John N Murphy

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Common Sandpiper

The Quay at Clarecastle on the Fergus river is a regular wintering ground for Common Sandpipers. Most winters there are two birds at this stretch of the river Fergus. I dropped in today on high tide and this bird was feeding along the grassy edge on top of the pier.
Common Sandpiper at Clarecastle Quay © John N Murphy