Saturday 27 September 2014

Cross Baird's Sandpiper

Took a spin up to Louisburgh today to see the Baird's Sandpiper that Paul Troake found on Friday. It's feeding along a stretch of shoreline between Cross and Roonah Lough. I initially flushed it from the uppermost shore which consisted of boulders with some seaweed. This is a typical location for this species and they are often not afraid to feed completely by themselves. This individual wasn't particularly easy to approach as all the waders on the shoreline were very flighty for some reason. I later had it roosting beside Roonah Lough. This will be tenth county record if accepted. The majority of the records come from the Mullet peninsula and this is a new addition to the growing American wader list for this section of South West Mayo.

I also had a female and cub Otter along the shoreline here also.





Ringed Plover, Baird's Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper










 

Friday 26 September 2014

Inishmore Sept 2014 part 3

A selection of some of the rest of birds I had out on Inishmore last weekend, mostly passerines. A fairly quite trip on the passerine front with only around half a dozen Chiffchaffs, ten Goldcrests, Spotted and Pied Flycatchers seen. I was a little surprised to see a covey of eight Red-legged Partridge on the island. Some shooter or group of shooters obviously has brought the birds out onto the island probably in notion of improving the avifauna of the island. It's about as beneficial to conservation as introducing giraffes onto the island!

Wheatear

Wheatear

Chiffchaff

Goldcrest

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher
 
Starling
Red-legged Partridge

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Short-toed Lark

I was down at Truska again yesterday for a quick look as I was down that way with work. There've been higher than usual numbers of Meadow Pipits moving through during the last two or three weeks. I came across a flock of about 50 or so pipits and had a quick look through them for a Lapland Bunting or something. I had a Buff-bellied Pipit accompanying a migrant pipit flock in this same general area back in October 2010, it was only seen by myself even though a few others did look afterwards. Anyway back to yesterday while going through the flock I came across a very low slung, pale sandy bird with a good supercillium on it with the bins - Galway's first Short-toed Lark! This is only the second lark on the county list after Sky Lark. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting in West Galway but it looks like that high pressure system wasn't a complete waste of time. There have been four Mayo, six Donegal, one unsubmitted Clare and surprisingly no Kerry records to date.
Short-toed Lark was one was of the top ten species that should be on the county list given the number of total Irish records (76). The new ten most likely species missing from the Galway list are in order of highest likelihood - Icterine Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Richard's Pipit, White-winged Black Tern, Wilson's Phalarope, Bearded Tit, Alpine Swift, Subalpine Warbler, Temminck's Stint and Little Bunting. Bearded Tit is probably unlikely as there are a lot of East coast records but none at all from the West coast.

I'm a little bit unhappy with the colour tones of some of the shots I took of the lark. I shot most of these in JPEG. I normally shoot in RAW. There was a reddish colour tone the JPEG shots (last five shots here in particular) which took a lot of messing around to try and sort out but they still aren't great. I might stick to RAW..










Sky Lark from yesterday
 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Inishmore Waders

A selection of shots of some of the waders from out on Inishmore over the (long) weekend.

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper with Sanderling.

Juvenile Sanderling

Adult winter Sanderling

Adult winter Sanderling

Adult winter Sanderling

Adult winter Sanderling

Juvenile Sanderling

Curlew

Lapwing



 

Monday 22 September 2014

Inishmore Sea Mammals

A few shots from Inishmore over the last few days. The group of four Bottle-nosed Dolphins were just off the main pier at Kilronan when I arrived on Friday morning. According to a few local they had been there a while. A little odd to see them this close in but not quite close enough to get enough detail on the fins to identify individuals. It was a particularly gloomy day so it wasn't ideal for good shots.

The Grey Seal pup was on the shoreline at Loch Phort Chorrúch. I'd classify it as a Stage II pup i.e. 3 -7 days old. This is the first time I've seen a Grey Seal pup here and it's usually Harbour Seals that haul out here at low tide. Greys have been recorded breeding on Rock, Brannock and Straw Islands which are small islands just of the West and East side of Inishmore however. Hopefully if it's left alone by people and dogs it will be fine. The biggest problem it probably faces is being "rescued" by some well intentioned but ill-informed persons who think the poor thing has been abandoned. There were numerous adult seals just offshore, one of which was certainly its mother.







Having a good stretch.