I took a trip to Loop Head, Co. Clare last Saturday (4/10/14) along with Tony Mee and Gerry Butler to look for migrants. It turned out to be a good day as we found a Dotterel. We first picked up the bird with a flock of about 40 Golden Plover just after they took off from a re-seeded field about 1.2km east of the lighthouse, on the south side of the peninsula. At that point we were looking at a small unidentified wader that looked about half the size of the Goldies in flight. The flock split up and all eventually headed westwards towards the lighthouse. Later in the morning we came across what looked like a small party of Goldies on the heather just east of the lighthouse. Having worked our way around to the south of the group to get a better view it became clear that there was a lot more birds in the group including one brightly coloured first winter Dotterel.
The Goldie flock took to the air again and headed back eastwards. We relocated them again on the 'Plover' field just to the north of the lighthouse road. This Dotterel was keen to stick with the Goldies who in turn were more flightly than normal, probably because of the Peregrine Falcon, Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Merlin and Ravens that were hanging around the area. As a result photo opportunities were reduced to distant records shots.