Sunday, 6 December 2015

American Bittern

This American Bittern was found at Castle Freke Lake, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork last Wednesday week (25/11/2015).  Between days of bad weather, including two storms, and work commitments I had to wait until today (6/12/2015) for a chance to travel to Cork to see the bird.  It proved to be a very rewarding trip as the bird came out in the open an hour after I arrived and gave great views for about 30 minutes as it fished along the north western shore of the small lake.  Amazing bird, great twitch!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

American Golden Plover

I took a trip to west Clare last Saturday (19/9/15)  to check out some of the wader sites and ended up on the Loop Head peninsula late in the day.  One of two adult American Golden Plovers that were found at Fodry, Loop Head, Co. Clare earlier in the week (16/9/15) was still in the area, hanging out with a flock of 30 Golden Plovers.  American waders have been very scarce in Ireland this autumn so it was nice to catch up with this bird.

Here is the bird again below with some of the Golden Plovers.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Marsh Harrier

This Marsh Harrier has been visiting the Coonagh Nature Reserve for the past month or more.  It was first seen there on August 2nd last. It has been seen hunting inside the reserve on several occasions and has also travelled across to the Bunlicky Lagoon on the south side of the inner Shannon Estuary. It is the second record of the species at Coonagh and the third for Co. Limerick.

Most views of the bird have been distant so it has been difficult to get any good shots so far. I got these shots this evening as the light was fading.

I initially thought the bird was a probably sub-adult female, however as both adult and sub-adult birds have such variable and overlapping plumage features, it may not be possible to be sure how old the bird is other than to say it is at least in its second year.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

White-tailed Eagle

Its good to see that the Mountshannon eagles are well on the way to completing a third successful breeding season.  They have a single female chick again this year that hopefully will fledge in the next few weeks.  The adult female was on the wing when I stopped in at Mountshannon on Friday.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


An interesting looking Redpoll turned up in my back garden in Monaleen, Limerick last Sunday, 29/3/2015.  It stood out from the usual Redpolls Carduelis flammea cabaret that come in to feed on the niger seed that gets spilt from the feeders by the visiting Goldfinches.  It had a colder cast to it's plumage and was noticeably bigger (approaching Goldfinch size) and bulkier.  It also tended to keep to itself when feeding and coming and going from the garden.

This bird appears to have some of the characteristics of the Mealy Redpoll Carduelis flammea flammea.  As the subspecific identification of Redpoll Carduelis flammea  looks to be fairly challenging any views on this bird would be welcome.