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

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Yellow/Golden Dung Fly

During field survey works throughout the past week, temperatures began to rise into the early teens 13/14℃ . With these rise in temperatures many insect emerged early in the season, as I noted White-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lucorum, Buff-tailed Bumblebee  Bombus terrestris and lots of Yellow Dung Fly Scathophaga stercoraria.  A few of the Yellow Dung flies ended up in Spider webs like the one pictured below. This guy got a lucky escape as he fought his way out of this spiders web for over 40 minutes before escaping.

Golden or Yellow Dung Fly in spiders web © John N Murphy

Monday, February 13, 2023


I was back doing a bit of work at Ballybunnion in Kerry today and came across a large flock of around 22 Chough feeding and sunbathing on one of the fairways on the Cashen Course. They can be so confiding and its great to just sit back and watch the interactions of the different family parties. 

Chough John N Murphy