August 28, 2016

Curlew Sandpipers on the Clare coast

Early morning I headed along the Clare coast in search of migrating shorebirds.
As I past through a quiet Lahinch ,4 Female  Common Dolphins with calfs were showing well and playing in a glassy Lahinch bay ,
` I just woke up to baby Dolphins`.
 Lough Donnel showed 2 Ruff , 30 Dunlin and 30 Black tailed Godwits, but not the bird I was looking for.
At the bottom end of Dugmore beach, Doonbeg a pod of large Bottlenose Dolphins were close to the reef giving fantastic views in the scope.
At Seafield ,Quilty ,a pair of Curlew Sandpipers and a few Dunlin were in the corner near the boats and gave me a chance for some camera practice.



August 25, 2016

Royal Tern - Rinavella Bay , Clare, Ireland

Late evening bird news said that the Royal Tern (2nd Irish record, 1st for Clare) that is frequenting Beale Strand in Kerry had left the roost and headed across the Shannon to Clare.
I had a hunch that the bird would turn up at Rinevella bay on the reef that Sandwich, Arctic and Common Terns use to roost.
I was walking the shoreline of the bay toward the reefs with my daughter Grace when sure enough at 9:15 this monster of a Royal Tern showed up.
` Got ya`
The Tern did the rounds in and out of the bay not settling on the reef for long (maybe due to a knackered right leg)  until 10:50 it moved on
I relocated the bird feeding offshore just around the coast at Carrigaholt bay around 3pm 
To get home and find that my Image Stabilizer was off  and with Shaky exited hands and my photos  were not the best ,,,,,,
Never Mind aye!

August 24, 2016

Little Gull and Med Gull at the Gull roost. Lahinch Marsh

 At this time of year Gulls of all ages are around the coasts,
The sandbanks at the west end of Lahinch Marsh offer a safe place for Gulls and waders to roost up from the busy beach and dog walkers.
While checking out the roost today , 1 juvenile Little Gull, 1 Juvenile Med Gull which was ringed ,10 Lesser Black backed Gulls , 40 Black headed and 15Common Gull and a Little Egret,a Ruff flew over head and a few Curlew were in the area.

Little Gull (juv) a bird that tends to breed far up in Northern Europe through to russia and Asia

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull ringed at Ladys Island Lake in Wexford on the south eastern tip of Ireland this summer. The breeding colony there is the largest in Ireland and expanded to over 70 pairs this year.
 It is the first sighting of any of the juveniles any distance away from Wexford and it is the first sighting of a UK/Irish ringed Med that I have had from the West of Ireland.
Little Egrets are a regular now on the marsh

August 16, 2016

Solitary Sandpiper

Late afternoon and we heading off to Loop Head in hope of seeing the Solitary Sandpiper that had been found on Cloghaun Lough earlier. A rare American wader and a 1st County record of the species.
The bird showed well out on the mud banks with a Least Sandpiper ,Common Sandpiper a few Snipe, Curlew, Mallards and Wagtails

Cloghaun Lough

August 15, 2016

Least Sandpiper - Cloghaun Lough

We were heading to Cloghhaun Lough just outside Kilbaha near Loop Head in hope of seeing the Solitary Sandpiper (1st county record ) that had been found earlier on in the day , when the phone went to say that a Least Sandpiper (2nd county record)  was also present.
The smallest shorebird in the world about the size of a sparrow that should be on route towards south America.
The bird showed well in the scope with the evening light, but proved difficult to photo due to size, light, distance and smelly soft mud, 

Least Sandpiper showing size compared to a Wagtail
Least Sandpiper and Solitary Sanpiper on the mudbank , Crap photo , but the two birds together

August 8, 2016

Start the day at the Bridges

For several months Ive been unable to find the time for the outdoors.
This morning at 7;30 -12 Myself, Murf and Geoff were the only birders on the headland.
Wind WSW 20/30 mph.4m WSW wind swell. 8;30 high tide
116 Cory’s Shearwaters, six Great Shearwaters, four Sooty Shearwaters, one Long-tailed Skua, four Leach’s Petrels, 14 Storm Petrels and 64 Whimbrel. 3 Common Tern plus thousands of Manx Shearwater, Fulmars and Gannets.

Thats one way to spend the morning.

Corys Shearwater