Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wild Atlantic Way

I was back at Loop Head today on the Wild Atlantic way and boy was it wild.  Mid afternoon and winds picked up to gale force strong westerlies. I noticed that the seabirds had returned already to nesting ledges in their hundreds. Below are a few shots of Guillemots and Razorbills taking up prime nest sites along the area we refer to as the apartment blocks.  There were at least four bridled Guillemots on the shelves today sporting a strong while eye bridle.

 Loop Head with the Lighthouse in the background John N Murphy


Seabirds taking up nesting positions at Loop Head John N Murphy 

North American Ducks

While in California last year I encounter lot of great North American Ducks.. There was a large movement of Surf Scoters all the way along the Californian coastline.  Lesser Scaup were plentiful near Point Reyes and Buffleheads were almost in every bay and seafront along with Ruddy Duck and Mergansers.  Here are a small selection of some of the ducks I encountered.
 
 Surf Scoters John N Murphy
 Lesser Scaups John N Murphy
Buffleheads John N Murphy

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Black-necked Stilt

I photographed these Black-necked Stilts at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge on the south side of Santa Barbara, California last November. I have seen many in my past visits to the US, but never got close enough for decent shots.  The American Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus, used to be treated as a race of Black-winged Stilt but is now usually regarded as a separate species. They are so similar to European Black-winged Stilts?
 
Black-necked Stilts, Santa Barbara, California John N Murphy

Iceland Gulls

Passing back through Dingle this afternoon on my way back from a job at Dunquin, I had a quick look off the harbour to see if there were any gulls about. There were two first-winter Iceland Gulls loafing around the pier in misty wet rain and very dull conditions.  This pale bird spent some time flying up and down the pier while a darker first-winter bird made a brief appearance and disappeared just as fast.
 
 Iceland Gull, Dingle Harbour John N Murphy
 

 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Waterbirds California

Here are a selection of water birds from California in November 2104.

American Wigeon, Salmon Creek, Bodega John N Murphy
Pied-billed Grebe Point Reyes John N Murphy
 Western Grebe, Bodega Bay John N Murphy
 American Coot Santa Barabara John N Murphy
 Red-breasted Merganser, Bodega Bay John N Murphy
 White Pelicans at Bodega Bay John N Murphy

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Royal & Elegant Terns

Most of the beaches I visited in California had Royal and Elegant Terns.

Royal Tern John N Murphy
Royal & Elegant Terns John N Murphy
Elegant Terns John N Murphy
Royal & Elegant Terns John N Murphy
 

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird was one of the 16 new species I saw on my trip to California last November.  I was amazed how striking they were and how plentiful from lowlands along the west coast to high pine trees in Yosemite National park.  These shots are no great and but more record images rather than decent photos.  Also below are a selection of other passerines I saw during the trip.
 
 Western Bluebirds near Point Reyes John N Murphy
 Song Sparrow John N Murphy
 
 Orange-crowned Sparrow John N Murphy
Pacific Dark-eyed Junco John N Murphy
 Red-winged Blackbirds John N Murphy
American Robin John N Murphy