I have been working in South Kerry for the last few days. While traveling home this evening with my colleague Jon Kearney, we came across this Glossy Ibis, feeding in the surf at St. Finian's Bay, a small beach near the Skellig Chocolate Factory, on the coast road half way between Portmagee and Ballinskellig. The light and weather conditions were fairly rough due to strong southerly gales. It is my first time seeing Glossy Ibis feed on a seashore beach within a flock of Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls. A strange sight for the south west of Ireland, (if only it was a White-faced Ibis, wouldn't that be good).
I got a text from an old friend Chris Meehan last week to say that there were three Canada Geese with the flock of Barnacles at Killard near Doonbeg. So last Saturday 7th December, Finbarr MacGabhainn and myself stopped off briefly at Doonbeg, on a whistle stop tour of west Clare to try and relocate these birds to see what race they belonged to. There were two small birds that were certainly Cackling Geese (Branta h. hutchinsii). The third bird was a little larger and we were not sure if it was of the race (Branta c. canadensis or Branta c. parvipes) found in central Canada and the North-west. Phone conversations with Dermot Breen about the bird in the right of the picture below does point towards parvipes but I need to dig out additional photos to show the full size, structure and shape of this bird before we can be sure. (more photos to follow later).
These two Common Eiders were feeding at the inner harbour of Liscannor Harbour last Sunday morning. We only get three to four birds in Clare every winter and rarely do they come this close to shore. This immature female and first winter drake seemed to be feeding on seaweed.
This Snow Goose at Barrow Bay in Kerry looks ike it will spend the winter there with the pale-bellied Brent Geese. This is the second bird that I have seen in Ireland this year as late last winter I traveled to Sheskinmore in Donegal to see a bird that was hanging out with Greenland White-fronted Geese. This bird I photographed in Kerry during early November. It was on show again today at Carrahane Strand just North of Barrow Bay.