Thursday, 11 July 2013

Back in action

My camera and lens finally arrived back on Tuesday six weeks after being with Image Supply Systems/Canon UK. I was told they would be fixed within ten working days when I dropped them in, didn't quite live up to their promise...

I didn't miss a huge amount on the bird front here anyway unlike the UK. We just finished up doing the Golden Plover survey in Roundstone Bog (got roughly 16 pairs between 12 one kilometre random squares) and ringing Kestrel chicks (eight clutches I think). Just one Merlin nest with young chicks still in it. We had a clutch fledging nearly two weeks back and we were being to believe this late clutch may never have hatched). We managed to find four Merlin nests this year, up from three from the last year. There could easily be another four or even more nests that we missed due to their incredibly secretive nature and the nature and size of the blanket bog out here. In Roundstone Bog alone I estimate there are at least 136 suitable lough islands for Merlin which could keep one occupied for some time to say the least!

While the camera body and the 400mm lens was away I picked up a Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro lens and yesterday was the first opportunity I had to try it out down around the Mannin Beg and Truska area. I've had to fall back on insects and flowers as it's pretty much dead for birds at the moment especially with this oppressive heat we've been experiencing lately. A few question marks to the id of some the species below, any corrections appreciated.

Volucella bombylans (hoverfly species that mimics red-tailed Bumblebees).

Eristalis arbustorum?

Bombus hortorum above and below, note the tongue in the bottom right shot.

Six-spot Burnets

Male Keeled Skimmer showing black blotching to the tail tip!

Common Field Grasshopper

Thistle aphids?

Traditional meadow, a far cry from the "green deserts" found in most parts of modern rural Ireland.

The heat was getting to everyone!

Fragrant Orchid, of which sub/species I'm not 100% sure.

Pyramidal Orchid only just starting to appear now.

A late Early Marsh Orchid (forget which subspecies).

Common spotted Orchid

Common Twayblade, just "gone over".

Marsh Helleborine

Frog Orchid


  1. Watch yourself out there on Roundstone Bog. I did a geology survey there in the 90's and was never so scared in my life until I realised the whole bog was rippling under me and the nearest rock a 100m away. If I had gone through, nobody would have known. Nice photos! Mike at Oretani Wildlife

  2. Hi Mike, yeah it can be a really dodgy spot for the inexperienced "bog trotter". Still large areas of quaking bog there which are usually completely destroyed by turf cutting. Thanks.