Monday, 16 October 2017

Lesser Whitethroat & Yellowlegs

Alex Ash found this juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs in the small turlough at Kilmurvey on 5th October. Still a finds tick for me and I drove past the site twice just beforehand. The water levels were extremely low and the favoured pool couldn't even be seen from the road. The pool was no more than ten metres in diameter. This turlough very rarely has any birds in it even when fully flooded. Despite this it was the site of the 2015 Hudsonian Godwit and previously has had a brief Blue-winged Teal in 2008, both found by the Punkbirders (Rich Moores & Dan Brown). The yellowlegs was the only island tick for me during the week and another great American wader for the island list making it the tenth Yank Wader for Inishmore. The Nearctic wader list for the island now includes - American Golden Plover (just one surprisingly), Semipalmated Sandpiper (2 both on Kilmurvey beach), White-rumped Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper (2), Pectoral Sandpiper (2), Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Hudsonian Godwit and Spotted Sandpiper. Can't be too many offshore islands with a comparable list, Inishbofin has only two for example. Anyone know what the Cape Clear Island Yank wader list stands at?
The Lesser Yellowlegs went missing the following day and wasn't relocated again until 8th October at Loch Dearg. It was later seen flying into another small turlough between the Seven Churches and Creig an Cheirín. It was a particularly difficult spot to access due to the maze of small fields with high stone walls and large patches of brambles. Cathal Forkan managed to find a way in and was treated to point blank views.

222Z Common Gull, ringed as a chick on Lough Mask, Co. Mayo, 3rd June 2006. First seen by myself on Inishmore on 7th October 2007. Has been seen on Inishmore several times since and also back on the breeding colony on Lough Mask. 
Harbour Seal, looked nice and fat, no need for "rescue".

Blackpoll Ridge, Seven Churches with Niall Keogh and Joao de Brito.

Loch Dearg, Seven Churches where the Lesser Yellowlegs spent its time later in its stay.

Bun Gabhla Willow patch where my Red-eyed Vireo resided. The water levels rose from nothing to two or three foot in depth overnight on the last day.

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