Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lesser Yellowlegs

I got back to Moyasta Creek early this morning to try and see and get a few shots of the Lesser Yellowlegs that has been present at the creek for the last week.  This is only the fifth Clare record of this rare North American vagrant.  There have been two at Doonbeg, two at Moyasta, Poulnasherry Bay and one Spring record from Loop Head. shots. This is my first for Clare and below area few that I got under horrific light and rain this morning.
 
 



 Lesser Yellowlegs at Moyasta John N Murphy
 

Pomarine Skua on Loop

The first bird record of note from Loop Head was a Pomarine Skua shot near the Lighthouse in 1884.  This specimen is stuffed and sitting in a case within the National History Museum in Dublin, as part of the Barrington collection.  Today while I was having my lunch in the car park of Loop Head Lighthouse, a Pomarine Skua flew in off the sea tired and bedraggled from trying to head south against a strong southerly wind. As it landed in front of me in the heather, my mind rambled back to the bird from the 1800's that I have visited and seen in the museum.  But today this bird was shot in a different way, with a camera and not a gun.  Oh how times have changed.
 
 



 Pomarine Skua taking a break on nice soft heather in front of Loop Head Lighthouse John N Murphy

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Red-flanked Bluetail Lifer

I took today off work to go to Bellmullet to see the Red-flanked Bluetail that Dave Suddaby found there yesterday in his back garden.   After missing the last three in Ireland, I promised myself that I would try to make it for the next one and as I did not see a pair that were nesting in Finland during a visit there to the Finnish/Russian border in 2010, I was anxious to get this on my Life List.  Here are the results of todays trip to Mayo. 





Red-flanked Bluetail, Bellmullet, Mayo John N Murphy

Monday, October 13, 2014

Brambling

Last Saturday 11th October 2014, I was back at Loop Head.  There were good numbers of migrants passing through the headland with three Turtle Dove, one Lesser Whitethroat, two Lapland Buntings, one Snow Bunting, one Willow Warbler, Chiffchaffs and at least 7 Bramblings.  Below are some of the shots of Bramblings in Kilbaha since last Saturday.








 Bramblings in Lillis's Garden Kilbaha, Loop Head John N Murphy
 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Barnacle Geese

I was back west at Loop Head again today, there were a few migrants about, 16 Crossbills over the lighthouse, two Lapland and one Snow Bunting around the headland and lighthouse, 7 Chiffchaffs, one Bonxie and these six Barnacle Geese flew over the headland around lunchtime.  These are the first birds recorded in the county this year and it was lovely to watch them fly overhead as they made their way towards Kerry.
 
 
 



Barnacle Geese migrating over Loop Head John N Murphy

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Solitary Sandpiper

I had today booked off work, so I decided to make the run to Wexford to try and catch up with the Solitary Sandpiper.  Killian Mullarney's fantastic photos of the bird spurred me, on as I was green with envy. I got to Mattie Maddock's house after 9.00 and immediately met Mattie who told me the bird did not arrive at his pond this morning.  With that he gave me directions to John Lamberts farm where the bird was originally found by John himself.  I got there met John and spent over one hour waiting for the bird to arrive back to his pool, but it never happened.  John arrived back and brought me off on his quad to a small wet corner of a field that remains wet most of the year round.. When we got there we immediately saw the Solitary Sandpiper and two Green Sandpipers (both of these flew off calling).  Here are the shots I managed to shoot before the bird flew off without either of us seeing it leave the field.  Thanks to John and the lads for all their help.  I was delighted to eventually get this bird on my Irish List.





Solitary Sandpiper near Duncormick, Wexford John N Murphy

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Poms away

Got back west to Loop Head this morning as I had to lead a local Birdwatch Ireland walk in Kilbaha. In the late afternoon I got a couple of hours sea watching in where there was a decent passage of Pomarine Skuas.  Here are a selection of some of the birds that flew over the watching Point.
 









Pomarine Skuas off the Bridges of Ross John N Murphy