Monday, January 31, 2011

Water Pipit

I was in the Liscannor area today so I made a quick run out to Clahane to see the Water Pipit.  It was showing well at about lunchtime as the tide was rising, forcing the pipits and waders high onto the beach.  Also at Clahane there were two Chough, 90 Curlew a large flock of mixed gulls and a good selection of waders.  Two of the Redshank were wearing rings.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


During the summer I have a lot of Hedgehogs visiting my garden. At this time of the year Hedgehogs should be hibernating.  But recently this young Hedgehog obviously emerged to early from hibernation and appeared in my garden.  He was being harassed by Magpies who were trying to pick at his soft parts as he rolled up into a spiky ball.  Some damage was done but thankfully he is now making a full recovery.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Whooper Swan

This family party of Whooper Swans were in a small turlough North of Lough Bunny in the east Burren Lakes this afternoon.  This year due to the lakes and turloughs freezing over with about 7 inches of ice, many of the wildfowl like these Whoopers have be forced to feed in non traditional sites.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reed Bunting

I took a quick look at Ballyallia Lake just North of Ennis today on my way to Galway.  There were lots of ducks as usual on the lake and the three White-fronted geese were still hanging out with the Greylag flock on the southern shore.  On the slipway one Water Rail was giving fantastically close views.  Also at this spot there was a small party of Reed Buntings feeding on washed up seeds on the edge of the lakeshore where the water had receded.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Went to the North Clare coast today to search for the Pacific Diver off Finvarra Point, but had no luck in relocating this elusive bird.  There were plenty of divers on the Bay and the highlights were 12 Black-throated Divers, two Velvet Scoter and 21 Long-tailed Duck.  The drake Green-winged Teal was at Bell Harbour.  One Sandwich Tern was off Aughinish Island.  These Skylarks were found feeding on washed up seeds along the seashore at Bishop's Quarter, Ballyvaughan.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Brent Geese

On what was a dull, wet, overcast day, I decided to skip back to Clahane in Liscannor Bay to have a search for the Water pipit that was located there a few days earlier.  The tide was fully out so the pipits were well dispersed and no sign of the Water pipit.  The highlights were 16 pale-bellied Brent Geese as seen in the photos below and three Chough.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Green Sandpiper

This Green Sandpiper was at Ballycorrick Bridge near Ballynacally.  Green Sandpipers turn up at Ballycorrick on a regular basis, especially during Autumn migration. They originate from Scandinavia and eastern Europe into Russia, nesting in old trees in swampy taiga forests.  They should be in Africa for our winter but I have seen Green Sandpipers during winter throughout many parts of the Fergus estuary since the early 1980's.  At that time they were not thought to overwinter here and since the 80's they have become much more regular in winter.  Other good places to see them around the county are the new attenuation ponds off the new motor way near Ennis, and some of the mid Clare lakes that had grassy , shallow verges like Lough Atedaun, Corofin.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I had a few Redpolls visit the garden today.  At this time of the year they arrive with Siskins and take advantage of the peanuts and wild bird seed that I put on the bird table.  

Friday, January 21, 2011


These Cormorants were at Kilkee Beach today.  In the first photograph of two birds side by side, the left hand side bird is just coming into courtship plumage but the bird on the right has already reach full breeding plumage and is well defined.

Adult Great Cormorants with their white breeding path
Great Cormorant take off
Adult Great Cormorant displays its white breeding thigh patch
This Immature Great Cormorant will not get a white breeding patch till next year


Was in Kilkee this lunchtime and did a small bit of birding on the beach.  There were eight Purple Sandpipers, a good mix of other waders, one Peregrine and the Shags seen below.

Adult Shag
Immature Shag born last summer
Adult Shag getting its shaggy crest
First year Shag close up
Adult & immature Shag sun bathing

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ring-billed Gull

Had to go to Carraroe in Connemara today, so I stopped off at Nimmo's Pier in Galway city to clock up Ring-billed Gull for the year.  See shots below.

Adult Ring-billed Gull
Adult Ring-billed Gull (middle right) with mixed flock feeding gulls
Adult Ring-billed Gull takes it easy