Saturday, September 27, 2014

Red-eyed Vireo

This morning at Loop Head my buddy Finbarr and I managed to locate a Red-eyed Vireo.  It was skulking around in a ditch not far from the lighthouse.  This was the fifth record for the county.  There were three in 1995, one in 2006 and this bird make it five to date.  The bird was fairly approachable and looked tired as if it just arrived on the headland that morning,  It stayed up to about 15.30 and was not seen later in the evening, after a fairly widespread search.







Red-eyed Vireo near Loop Head Lighthouse John N Murphy

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Loop the Loop

Back on Loop Head over the past two weeks trying to find a first Irish (in my dreams).  Not too much evident migration other than one Pied Flycatcher, a Whinchat, a Wryneck that I did not see, a handful of Spotted Flycatchers and lots of Wheatears.  Hoping that October brings better birds form across the Atlantic.  For now a few shots of one of the Spot Flies and Wheatears.




 Spotted Flycatcher in Gibson's Garden, Kilbaha, Loop Head John N Murphy


Wheatear at the tip of Loop Head John N Murphy

Monday, September 22, 2014

Little Egret in early morning

Now that the Loop season is in full swing I have been making early morning excursions back and forth to the Loop.  On the way I regularly stop off at Moyasta Creek at Poulnasherry Bay to search for waders.  One morning in the last week this Little Egret was so busy feeding she allowed me to drive up close and get the following series of shots.
 



Little Egret at Moyasta John N Murphy
 

White Pelican on my Irish List

I was down in Cork a couple of weeks ago and got a call to say that there was a White Pelican listed on bird guides or the British rare Birds Alert for Cork Harbour.  After a few calls I was told it was in Lough Beg near Ringaskiddy, the spot where I just so happened to be looking for rare North American waders.  I located the bird on the tern island in the middle of the bay and got the following series of shots.  I wanted to show these to some of the Irish and visiting birders just to prove that the bird had escaped from Fota or some collection, and was not a wild vagrant.  If you look at the photo with the outstretched wing, you can clearly see on the left wing where the primaries had been cut but some had grown back.  It was capable of flight and did so on a few occasions as I watch it.  VICTOR it is on my Irish List.





 Escaped White Pelican at Lough Beg, Cork Harbour © John N Murphy

Cape Verdes Shearwater

It feels like a lifetime ago since I added anything to this blog and I have almost forgotten how to update the pages. Late last year I made a trip to The Cape Verdes Island in November.  These Cape Verdes Shearwaters I got off a deep sea fishing trip for 7 hours one day during my stay on Boa Vista Island. During the trip the only seabirds or birds seen at sea were 8 Cape Verde Shearwaters, two Boyd's Shearwaters, a couple of Brown Boobies and two Cattle Egrets.  Very strange not to see any auks, terns gulls or other seabirds.








 

Cape Verde Shearwater off Boa Vista November 2013 © John N Murphy
 

Monday, February 3, 2014

American Wigeon

Passing though Tullaghans in County Leitrim today just south of Bundoran in Donegal, I stopped on the main road to check the flooded fields for the American Wigeon that has been present here since last Autumn. Within seconds the bird appeared within a small flock of Eurasian Wigeons as they roosted in vegetation in flooded fields along the riverside.

Drake American Wigeon in Leitrim © John N Murphy

Kumlien's in Killybegs

On my way north last week to work in Limavady I got an hour late Monday afternoon to check out the gulls in Killybegs.  Most of the fishing fleet were gone to sea and there were few gulls in the  harbour.  There were about 300 gulls in the area and with them were; two adult Kumlien's Gulls, three first-winter Iceland Gulls, one second-winter Iceland Gull, three first-winter and one second-winter Glaucous Gulls.

 Adult Kumlien's Iceland Gull © John N Murphy
 First-winter Glaucous Gull © John N Murphy
 Adult-winter Kittiwake © John N Murphy
Juvenile Great Northern Diver © John N Murphy
Winter plumage Black Guillemot at Killybegs © John N Murphy