Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Radde's Warbler

I spent several hours last Monday (10/9/2016) waiting for a glimpse of the Radde's Warbler that was found at Brownstown Head the previous day.  My reward was a two second glimpse of the bird when it briefly poped up from the brambles in the densely wooded garden where it was residing.  A new tick, but not entirely satisfactory due to the very brief sighting.  So when three new birds turned up elsewhere, including two at Barry's Head in Cork later in the week, I got another opportunity to try again for a better view.

The two birds at Barry's Head were favouring bramble patches in the yard of a derelict farmhouse and were showing reasonably well at times after they were found on Saturday.  I paid a visit to the site, very conveniently close to the Eastern Stonechat site, on Sunday and got to see both species.  It was great to get some good views of the Radde's.  One of the birds, which had been trapped and ringed elsewhere, showed quite well of a few occasions allowing me to get the following shots.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Eastern Stonechat

This first winter male Eastern Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus maurus or stejnegeri) was found at Barry's Head, Nohoval, Co. Cork last Tuesday (11/9/2016), one of several eastern migrants to make it to Ireland this month.  It stuck around all week so I go a chance to catch up with it on Sunday.  It is quite spectacular bird in the field and stands out very well from the local Stonechats (Saxicola rubicola), with which it was loosely associating.  It was somewhat reminiscent of Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) in certain views, expecially when the pale supercillium was evident.

The local male Stonechats, including this one below, did not appear to be overly concerned about the visitor on their patch.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Today (2/9/2016) was my first opportunity to make the long trip down to west Cork for the Rose-breasted Grosbeak found at Garinish last Thursday by Tony Lancaster.  I was a bit concerned setting out that the bird might have departed into Staurday night's clear sky and the absence of any updates on the bird while I travelling wasn't helping matters. However the first birders I encountered on arrival at the site were already on the bird so my concerns were immediately dispelled. The bird was a little distant at first but it eventually moved back to the garden where it was originally found and gave us some very good views while it fed on honeysuckle berries.