Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Inishbofin Arctic Warbler

Anthony McGeehan found this beauty on Sunday. We initially had in the garden beside Anthony's accommodation but it was extremely elusive and would disappear as soon as it appeared. Thankfully Anthony relocated it up above the Dolphin Hotel. After a bit of a wait it eventually gave outstanding views. It would occasionally come down to feed on the ground adjacent to a small pond hand dug by Anthony. It seem to be feeding on very small white insect pupae here and on large flies in the Alders. It was also seen opening its bill widely (dry retching?) on many occasions which might suggest that all may not be well with it.
This is of course the first record for county Galway. The nearest previous record comes from Loop Head, Co. Clare back in September 1986. There are also two records from Donegal while the remainder of the six accepted records all originate from county Cork (one record currently pending). To date the only other warblers of note for Galway are Blyth's Reed Warbler on Inishbofin, Dusky Warbler on Inishmore and 14 or 15 Barred Warblers between Inishbofin, Slyne Head and Inishmore. Surely a Greenish, Radde's, Subalpine,  Booted or even Icterine or Melodious Warbler should be next up?
We also had at least one if not two Common Rosefinches as we were leaving for the ferry along with an unstreaked Acro which we couldn't nail down.



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