December 27, 2014

Cascades and The North Clare Local

Karl the editor of The North Clare Local newspaper approached me to use one of my photos of Ennistmon Cascades in an article and I was  delighted to see it compared with a photo taken 100 years ago.

November 26, 2014

The swell keeps on rolling in

After a wave drought throughout the summer, a feast has been on offer right through the month of november.
Consistant west swells and south to east winds have produced a full month of  glorious waves on the west coast and it aint over yet.
Here are just a few photos from Lahinch

Return of the Purps

The Purple Sandpipers have arrived back to the shoreline of Seafield , nice to see a few of the ringed birds that winter here every year

November 20, 2014

November 12, 2014

Morning to the evening

An uncrowded morning of a new swell , surfers watch , deciding on tides and if the swell will be better as the tide drops.
After my surf at low tide I hung out on the reef filming the action of the evening session.

Check out my short film

November 3, 2014

Moyasta Creek

The old West Clare Railway, part museum, part train yard built around the The triangular platform  of Moyasta junction
The creek joins onto Poulnasherry bay under the bridge.

 Over this week I have had a few visits to Moyasta ,mainly to get views of the Lesser Yellowlegs that was found late the weekend before.

The west clare railyway
 Quite a nice spread out wetland area  ,not the easiest of places to observe the wildfowl but views of 100s of Widgeon,Teal and Pintail are on the water, while Greenshank,Redshank,Snipes and Little Egret feed along the banks
Moyasta creek
The weather forcast of quite a stiff south winds and showers was never truer.

Over next the following days birders came and didnt see it,some said the bird was tame and approachable with some nice photos to be got.
 I so wanted a photo or two that I headed back down , the Yellowlegs was still present on the far bank , but high water and rain storms ended the day.
Poulnasherry bay
I never did get my photo

October 26, 2014

The Great Black-backed Gull

There seems to be good numbers of Great black-backed Gulls along our coastline.
I counted 72 between Lurga point/ Seafield and the end of Quilty beach.
Ive noticed many around the Liscannor area also...maybe ill try a count on them sometime this week.

October 15, 2014


A took a quick visit to Loop Head again this morning.
The weather wasnt the best, with strong East winds and rain.
I was lucky just to get these distance shots of a Merlin in the bad light.
I always enjoy seeing Merlins they`re magic.

October 14, 2014

Shorebirds at Seafield

The tide was dropping from high ,and the exposed shoreline was being exploited by the small waders. One Little Stint was feeding with the Dunlin and Sanderling.
They were to busy to take much interest in me.

Little Stint
Sanderling vs Dunlin
Sanderling vs Dunlin
Little Stint
Rock Pipit

October 10, 2014

Back at the Loop

On arrival in Kilbaha village a bunch of Chiffchaffs and a Willow warbler were feeding and singing in the gardens.
I made my way to the headland where  6 Barnacle Geese past over, and a Brambling has seen  and chased off by the Pipits
The usual gathering of Robins and Pipits scattered the headland , There were plenty of Choughs about and the Raven as usual harassed the peregrine.
Back down to the harbour a Brambling was with Chaffinchs in the trees above The Pandas Cottage
Willow warbler

Barnacle Geese

October 4, 2014

Swainsons Thrush -Loop Head

4-10-2014    Swainsons Thrush -  Loop Head, Clare, Ireland

I had arrived at Loop Head at 16:30 pm in hope of seeing the Dotterel that had been found earlier in the day.I met up with Dave Mcnamara who had seen the bird earlier with Golden Plover
The weather was warm and dry ,the wind was approx 10- 15 mph out of the west with clouds building.
We searched the heather hill with no luck, we decide to walk the north side of the headland to the pond below the fodry , there were not many birds to be seen ,One Peregrine ,Two Raven ,five Teal ,Two Wheatear a few Chough and Pipits.We moved to search a few fields on the south side but still no sign of The Dotterel or the Golden Plovers..
At 18:15 we parted and I returned back to the lighthouse carpark.
A Raven had landed on the heather hill and I could hear the calls Of The Golden Plover. I knew I did not have much time before I would run out of daylight and a clouded sky full of colour filled the air.  I walked over to the hill to the sounds of the Plovers ,18:40 I set my scope and found the Dotterel with them . It began to rain heavy and  the wind increased. I packed up and headed for the car.
The rain past as I left the car park , I drove slowly down the road in hope of seeing a late Merlin or something.
Original uncropped photo
19:00. A small bird came off the sea and out of the clouds ,It passed across the front of my view and hit the bank on my right ,it fluttered around and then flew low and direct for 30 metres down the road before landing on the low bank to my left. I rolled the car forward.
The bird was  facing me.
I scrambled for the binoculars not knowing what I was looking at. I knew I needed an ID shot. I grabbed the camera, set the ISO to 3200 because of the lack of light and took a photograph through the car  windscreen. It was the only photograph I got as the bird flew into a nearby thicket just off the road.
I got out of the car and searched around but it was just to dark.

That evening it was confirmed as a Swainsons Thrush.
A North American species, a 5th Irish record and a 1st for the county.

In the words of Eminem
Look if you had one shot ,one opportunity
To seize everything you ever in one wantdone moment
Would you capture it or let it slip?
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
Opportunity comes once in a lifetime.

September 29, 2014

Little Stint

I was back at Seafield again this morning to see the waders .
A single Little Stint was feeding along  the shoreline with Dunlin and Turnstone.


September 28, 2014

Curlew Sandpipers -Quilty

A few Curlew sandpipers are still to be seen on the shorelines of Quilty and Seafield

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Plenty of Speckled Wood Butterflys can be seen at The Glebe woodland walk, Ennistymon