Saturday, 16 September 2017

Black Tern

The Coonagh Nature Reserve hosted two juvenile Black Terns this week following the stormy weather last weekend.  A single bird was found there on Monday evening (11/9/17).  It was joined by a second bird on Tuesday morning and both birds remained at the site until Friday (15/9/17) at least.

Black Terns are scarce passage migrants in Limerick and Coonagh has proved to be most reliable location for them in the County in recent years.   They have been recorded previously at the site on autumn migration, with one in Sept. 2010, four together in Sept. 2011 and one in Aug. 2012.  The site has also atteacted the much rarer White-winged Black Tern once previously in August 2014.

Two juvenile Arctic Terns also spent most of the week at the site.  Arctic Terns are occasional passage migrants at the site, with notable influxes of 63 birds in April 2013 and 13 birds the following September.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Night Heron

Limerick's first live recorded Night Heron and second verified record in all was found last Friday (21/4/17) by a Mick Madden on a series of small duck ponds at the rear of his home near Adare.  News of the bird broke on Monday morning and the sighting was confirmed John N Murphy and I by early afternoon.  As the site is private access has necessarily been very much limited.

Work committments meant that I did not get an opportunity to photograph the bird until this evening (26/4), but it was worth the wait as the bird proved to be quite tolerant of observers much of the time.

The previous record for the County relates to a dead bird found near Bruree in November 1957.  It was suspected of having died from a collision with overhead lines. Another possible record relates to a bird reported in the Abbeyfeale area in November 2011 on the Kerry side of the River Feale. It's not known if this bird ever visited the Limerick side of the river.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Cattle Egret

A local birdwatcher, Trevor Browne, came across a small group of Cattle Egrets near Mungret on the outskirts of Limerick City last week (28/3/17).  At least two birds were present initially, rising to four by the weekend.  I got out to see them on Saturday (1/4/2017) and managed to get a few photos.

This is the fourth record for Limerick, following on from a single bird at Castletroy in January 2016, a flock of five near Bruff in February 2013 and two birds at Loghill in January 2008.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Yellow-legged Gull

The Caspian Gull attracted lots of birders to Limerick in the past two weeks.  The extra coverage unearthed some interesting new birds, including two new Yellow-legged Gulls following on from the third winter bird that I found at Corbally on 27/12/16.

First up was a fine looking adult bird at Thomond Weir on 17/1/17 found by Dermot Breen, the sixth record for the County (see shots on Dermot's blog site).

This was followed by a first winter bird found by Harry Hussey et al. at O'Callaghan's Strand on 22/1/17.  This bird, the seventh record for the County, has been by far the most approacable so far, allowing some good photo opportunities.

Standing in centre with similarly aged Herring Gulls
A few shots of the Corbally bird, the fifth County record, are included below.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Caspian Gull

Life ticks don't come along too often, especially out of the migration season, so it's a nice surprise when one turns up on your doorstep.  So it was with the second winter Caspian Gull that Geoff Hunt came across at O'Callaghan's Strand on 15/1/2017.  I had previously seen what was initially thought to be a second winter Caspian Gull in Tallaght in March 2014, however this bird is now considered to be a hybrid of some form.

This bird is a first record for Limerick and with 13 previously accepted records in Ireland it is potentially the 14th for the Country.  It also seems to be the first record of this plumage phase in Ireland as well.