July 3, 2020

Long eared Owls Part 5 . Off they go!

After last nights visit and observations in Part 4.
I wondered if they moved on through the night.
I pulled up at my usual spot at 10pm to silence, they were gone.
 I drove the road for 1/2 mile until I heard a call from down a field, there they were! I listened from a from a farm gate to all 3 juveniles calling , then one showed.
I followed the Owls by calls for a short time as they kept moving through the fields hedgerows, I knew this was to be the last time Id see/hear them and it felt emotional.
Its a great success story to see these Long eared Owls rear 3 juveniles to flight
`Good Luck`.


July 2, 2020

Long eared Owls. part 4 . Roaming juveniles


Three juvenile Long eared Owls have now left the nest site and are roaming throughout the trees and Shrubs.
One fledged earlier than the other two which are always together seen in the daylight roosting across the road in a in Ash tree.
Later in the evening I returned to a noisy episode of all 3 young feeding,1st flights and screeching, there was no other sound but Owls in the darknessand it was relentless. 
Just another amazing moment.
Over the time Ive learned that my Camera shoots video in the dark better photo






June 30, 2020

Pacific Golden Plover at Doonbeg

Got a call yesterday afternoon from my old mate Geoff Pearson saying he had a Golden Plover type bird at Doonbeg that looks good for a rare and was I about, Nope... I was plumbing a bathroom.
I was out early and headed down the coast, I came to Doonbeg, Murf was on the corner and had the bird across the small mudflat at distance and drizzly poor light, after a small while the bird made its way a bit closer toward the inlet but not for long as it was shy of the Hooded Crows.
Wow a Pacific Golden Plover and a 1st county record, so well done Geoff.
 A very rare bird and vagrant that would normally be found breeding at this time around Alaska to Siberia..











June 27, 2020

Adult Mediterranean Gull at Clahane

An Adult Med Gull brightens up a Dull cloudy onshore day at Clahane.
The Gull was 1st seen roosting alone out on the 1st reef away from the gathering of Great Black backed and Herring Gulls that were pruning in the wind , it made its way toward the 80-100 Herring and Black headed Gulls that were feeding during high tide but never entered crowd always sitting a little further out alone. a Kittiwake was also among the feeding Gulls











June 25, 2020

Long eared Owl. Part3 .The other Owl


As the weeks go by Ive learned so much from these Owls, Ive seen 3 Owlets successfully leave the nest and crawl along branches up in the Copse ,Calling especially at night, Ive seen 1st flights, hunting and feeding behavior (mostly after dark), flyovers, calls and Claps...But...there is one thing i am not certain with , the sexes of the Owls.
The larger Older looking `Oranger`one that roosts openly at the north end of the copse nearer the nest site, we believe to be the female.
This Owl in the photos roosts at the south end of the copse which is more dense and is seen less during the day, it seems a touch smaller and duller in colour with larger ears and has a bit more of a savage attitude, we believe this to be the Male.
But It could be the other way....







June 19, 2020

A Tree Sparrows colony


To see my local Tree Sparrow colony thriving yesterday was good, possibly 7-8 pairs of birds were busy back and forth nests with insects possibly feeding a 2nd brood. 
A few juvenile birds were around surrounding hedgerows and walls 







June 17, 2020

Ballyea Forestry, Clare - Spring birds

Ballyea Forestry is walking distance from home and over Lockdown period became somewhere I now visit weekly. Frankly its hoping with Birds and is producing some nice habitat . Pine Marten and Red Squirrel have been seen, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel have been seen to hunt.
Handfuls of Cuckoos could be seen regular through spring. 
Whitethroat, Blackcap, Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warbler ,Stonchat and Meadow Pipit all busy with young , Redpoll and Siskin are always seen in good numbers as are Coal Tit, Great Tit and Song Thrush







June 14, 2020

Long eared Owl . part 2 .Watching over the gardens

I had a text from my neighbour`s saying that the Owl was seen during the afternoon in the garden.
We have only seen activity at dusk and night which has been exceptional and I was hoping to see  one during the day.
With no Crows bothering them and only one regular Magpie that she keeps an eye on daily, they are very used to the families and children playing during the day and seem to be content.
It took a while to find ,even though this stunning Long eared Owl and it was sitting in plain view snoozing and silently watching over the garden.

 




June 12, 2020

Great crested Grebe and Yellow Lily

With water levels low at Lough Atedaun the Yellow water Lilies and a Great crested Grebe that was attending to a nest or day raft over at the reeds.
 Good looking bird always looking clumsy when out of the water.were making for a fresh colorful setting  in a area that has been submerged for several years





June 11, 2020

Long eared Owl . Part 1 . Starting to show

Back in April during a Lockdown walk a neighbour gladly invited me to come and see the Owls that had taken up residency in their garden and within 2km
Wow! ...This is going to be good, Ill call over . 
During April and May the Long eared Owls were strictly nocturnal and only seen after dark with flights out of the cut Pines and in and over the gardens
I was not surprised to find one on show during the afternoon in June roosting, fast asleep in the cut Pine copse.





Settling down in the early hours of the morning

June 2, 2020

Rose coloured Starling - Hags Head


A Rosy Starling was associating with the small Starling flocks that were following the Cows in a field near Hags Head.
Nice evening on the headland but quite exiting when a Bull charges at you while taking photos of the bird.










April 25, 2020

Grasshopper Warbler on Lockdown

Another beautiful morning on Lockdown.
A morning stroll through the lanes around my home to an open felled area where a few Grasshopper Warblers were Trilling away.
One of my favorite Warblers to follow find and photograph