The Coonagh Nature Reserve has been hosting County Limerick's first Glossy Ibis in the past few weeks. The bird is quite wary and generally can only be seen when it is flushed from its feeding area in and around the small pond located between the two large lagoons. I could only manage a few distant flight shots on Sunday morning last (23/3/14) to add to the few distant shots from the previous week. It was first found on 7/3/14 and has only been seen there twice since. The third shot below was taken on 14/3/14 while the bird was roosting on the southern shore of the Shannon at low tide, having just left the reserve.
It's a quite time at Coonagh now that the visiting winter wildfowl have departed but evidence of spring is present in the arrival of small numbers of Sand Martins and a Wheatear. Most of the remaining wildfowl have paired up and hopefully will stay on to breed. There are at least three pairs of Gadwall, three pairs of Pochard and three pairs of Great-crested Grebes along with larger numbers of Tufted Duck, Coot, Little Grebe, Mute Swans and a few pairs of Mallard, Teal and non migrant Greylag Geese.
One of three pairs of Great-crested Grebes
Apart from the the spring migrants of the past week the site was also visited briefly by a female Hen Harrier, always a nice sight to see on any birding trip. A Jack Snipe has also been seen there on a few occasions recently.