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.