Friday 20 October 2023

Common Rosefinch

 The visit to Inishbofin Island on 16/10/23 also provided an opportunity to catch up with some other interesting birds including a Common Rosefinch and an American Wigeon.

Thursday 19 October 2023

Black and White Warbler

I was delighted to catch up last Monday (16/10/23) with the Black and White Warbler found by Jim Dowdall on Inishbofin Island, Co. Galway.  The bird was as spectacular as I had imagined and looked somewhat larger than I had anticipated.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

Cape May Warbler

 Here are a few shots of the spectacular Cape May Warbler found by Miche├íl O'Briain at Corrymore,  Achill Island, Co. Mayo on 29/9/23.  It's a first Irtish record of this American warbler. The shots were taken on 2/10/23.

Thursday 22 December 2022

Greater Yellowlegs


This very elegant neartic wader was found on the bank of the Bride River beside Tallow Bridge in Co. Waterford on December 15th, 2022.  It's the 16th record of the species in Ireland and is a much rarer vagrant than its smaller relative, the Lesser Yellowlegs.  It's also closely related to our more familiar Greenshank and has a very similar call.

The bird was found during a period extremely cold weather and I eventually got a chance to catch up with it on December 20th in the company of two other birders, Sean Cronin and Tom Murphy.  We were watching the bird feeding in a flooded depression on the river floodplain when it took off, and to out great surprise, flew towards us and landed in another pool only 20m away from us.  It then relocated to another of it's favoured spots neared the town of Tallow, where it remained feeding, more or less oblivious of our presence,  until we eventually departed. It's behaviour was consistent with many other neartic waders I have seen, showing little fear of human presence, in strong contrast to the extremely nervous or skitish behaviour of our European sandpipers and shanks.

A few Green Sandpipers were also frequenting the area.  This one below was at the river's edge just downstream of  the bridge.  

Saturday 26 November 2022

Isabelline Wheatear

This long awaited 2nd Irish record of Isabelline Wheatear was found at Toe Head, Co. Cork on 24th October 2022 by a local birder, Chris O'Sullivan.  I got to see it two days later (26/10/22) on a very windy day, at what turned out to be a very exposed location.  As it turned out the bird seemed to be quite at home there and was still present at the site a month later.


Monday 11 April 2022


Crossbills are one of the few species that have prospered in commercial coniferous plantations.  Lodgepole Pine and Sitka Spruce seem to be attractive to the species.  The following are a few shots taken recently in west Clare.

2nd year Female

Adult Male

Sunday 2 January 2022

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis has been recorded overwintering in Limerick for the first time this winter (2021/22).  A bird found by Gerry Murphy at Cooperhill, Mungret on 24/10/21 was the third record for the County.  It was seen in the area on a number of occasions until 9/1/22, when it was joined by a second bird.  

Meanwhile a pair found by John Hewson on his farm 20km to the west, at Courtbrown, Askeaton on 23/12/21 was the fourth County record.  These birds continued to be seen in that locality up to 4/1/22 with one remaining up to 6/1/22.

Finally a single bird was seen at King's Island marsh in Limerick between 6/3/22 and 16/3/22.  

With no overlapping dates between the Askeaton and Mungret birds, it is possible the records relate to the same two birds in each case.  The King's Island record comes two months after the last Mungret record and could be a considered a fifth County record, possibly a fresh Spring migrant. 

The first Cooperhill bird proved to be relatively confiding, unlike the pair seen at Courtbrown.

Glossy Ibis at Cooperhill, Mungret on 29/10/21.

Glossy Ibis at Courtbrown, Askeaton on 2/1/22

Glossy Ibis pair at Courtbrown, Askeaton on 2/1/22