Saturday, April 28, 2012

Marlfield Lake

I was in the mountains of North Waterford today and on my way home I had to pass through Clonmel, so I called in on one of my favorite sites for Gadwall in the country, Marlfield Lake just outside the town.  There were eight pairs of Gadwall, lots of nesting and newly hatched wildfowl.  Still hoping to find Garganey or Night Heron at this site but unfortunately the winds over the last few weeks have not been favorable as they have been Northerly for ages.

 Baby Little Grebe
 Eurasian Coot
Drake Mallard & baby

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Just as I was finishing up work today at a site in Connemara, I got texts from two of the local Conservation Rangers with the National Parks and Wildlife Service to say that there were three Dotterels out at Ballyconneely, west of Clifden.  As soon as my paperwork was completed I booted out the road and was delighted to find that the trip of three Dotterels were still present.  They allowed my to drive fairly close in my jeep and the shots below are the results.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Green-veined White Butterfly

Green-veined White Butterflies have emerged in great numbers over the past few days along with the hoards of Orange Tip butterflies.  

Green-veined White Butterfly
Green-veined White Butterfly

Willow Warbler

At this time of the year Willow Warblers have now settle in after returning from Africa in late March and females are already sitting on eggs.  They don't waste any time and we still have birds returning from Africa. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


I was back in North Mayo again this week and came upon lots of Crossbills and their young.  The adults were teaching the juveniles how to take seeds from the cones of Lodgepole pines. It was fantastic to observe their behavior and the noise the young birds make when begging to be fed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Song Thrush

The Song Thrushes in my garden are actively collecting food for hungry chicks that are due out of the nest any day now.  I'm sure they will follow the trend of my Blackbirds and go for a second brood of chicks this year due to the early Spring.

Golden Plovers on the move

Many Golden Plovers have been moving through Ireland over the past few weeks.  There are still many more on the move northwards, including this bird that I came upon in west Limerick recently that has not yet change into breeding plumage.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Grey Wagtail

On my way home from Thurles, in Tipperary this afternoon, I made a detour to Abington Bridge on the Mulkear River near Cappamore in Limerick.  I knew that Grey Wagtails were nesting under the five arch bridge there, so I sat on the river bank for about 35 minutes as I watched the parents gather craneflies (Daddylonglegs) and bring them back to the nest for their chicks. It is amazing how many they can hold in their beaks as they keep catching more in mid air and piling them in on top of previously caught flies.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Galway Gulls

I had the opportunity to drop into Galway City and the slipway at Nimmo's Pier on my way home from Connemara this evening, where there were still seven Iceland Gulls and a good selection of other large gulls.  These white-winged gulls are still here due to the cold North west wind that is preventing them from heading home to Greenland and Arctic Canada.  As soon as the winds turn to a more favorable direction I'm sure they will head for the open sea and breeding grounds in the high Arctic.

Lesser Black-backed Gull