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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Eastern Jackdaw, Rough Pt.

Eastern Jackdaw (right), Rough Point, 30th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Eastern Jackdaw, Rough Point, 30th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Eastern Jackdaw, Rough Point, 30th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Thursday, 28 January 2016

More photos of the Franklin's Gull

Franklin's Gull, Cashen Estuary, 28th January 2016 (David O'Connor).

Franklin's Gull, Cashen Estuary, 28th January 2016 (David O'Connor).

Franklin's Gull, Cashen Estuary, 28th January 2016 (David O'Connor).

Video of Glaucous Gull

First-winter Glaucous Gull at Inch beach, 27th January 2016, pecking at some unsavoury remains (Michael O'Clery).

(you can click the 'four arrows' symbol for a closer view)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Franklin's Gull - second Kerry record

Second winter Franklin's Gull, The Cashen, 26th January 2016 (Davey Farrar).

The second record for Kerry, after the first Irish record at Black Rock on 7th May 1993.

An adult Atlantic Gull, two Iceland Gulls and two Ring-billed Gulls were also present in and around the Cashen today.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Thank heaven for Little Gulls

Surely one of the prettiest of gulls, Little Gulls are scarce in Kerry, with usually fewer than 10 records a year. Most of these are seen on sea watches from headlands in autumn, but ones and twos are also occasionally seen at coastal sites in winter.

First-winter Little Gull, Rough Point, 25th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

 
First-winter Little Gull, Rough Point, 25th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

First-winter Little Gull, Rough Point, 25th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Second winter Iceland Gull, Cashen Estuary, 25th January 2015 (Davey Farrar).

Second winter Iceland Gull, Cashen Estuary, 25th January 2015 (Davey Farrar).

Glaucous Gull, Inch beach, 25th January 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Anyone who spends time watching gulls will realise sooner or later that there are some individuals which don't quite 'fit the mould', and here's one such Common Gull, present for several weeks now around Rough Point/Fahamore. At a distance, on the water (eg., bottom pic), it looks almost like a Sabine's Gull... close up, it looks like, well, a hooded Common Gull. The mantle colour is similar to the local Common Gulls, so it's not an eastern type. Perhaps just at the extreme dark end of the head markings. Mind you, the eye crescents look a little more prominent... hmmm... Anyone any thoughts on this?

Common Gull, Rough Point, 25th January 2016 (Michael O'Clery).

Common Gull, Rough Point, 25th January 2016 (Michael O'Clery).

Common Gull, Rough Point, 25th January 2016 (Michael O'Clery).

One such bird was flagged by Lee Evans in 2010 - see HERE, and another was on a Norwegian website from 2008 - see HERE

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Glaucous Gull, Inch

First-winter Glaucous Gull, Inch beach, 24th January 2015 (Sean O'Callaghan).

Origins of a ringed Dunlin

This Dunlin was photographed by David O'Connor at Black Rock on 15th December 2015. Turns out, it was ringed in Poland last year...


Dunlin, Black Rock, 15th December 2015 (David O'Connor).

Stop the Slash and Burn

The mild and windy weather this winter has resulted in record rainfall. You can be sure however, that when a high pressure system finally settles over us, and there are a few bright, dry days, that there will be many a hill farmer setting off up the hills with a box of matches in hand.

Many visitors to Kerry will think of our hills and mountains as wild and untamed, but the truth is that centuries of burning and over-grazing in many areas has led to a denuded, biologically impoverished upland landscape. Just look for an intact stand of lush heather anywhere in the Kerry mountains and you'll soon see what damage is being done to biodiversity.

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, rather than protecting out natural heritage, is bowing to pressure from farming groups and has proposed changes to the Wildlife Act that will allow for the burning of vegetation in March and the cutting of hedgerows in August - extending the seasons of both into bird nesting seasons.

This is the aftermath of a huge wildfire on the Dingle Peninsula, set illegally in the third week of April 2015, long after the legal date of up to 1st March. The implications for nesting birds and other wildlife is obvious (M.O'Clery).

The Irish Wildlife Trust have an online petition to get this decision reversed. Take a moment, and add your voice. You just have to go to the page, and add your name and email address. You'll find it HERE.

Let's say enough is enough. Next dry day, when the Kerry hillsides are alight once more and the smoke plumes are stretching miles into the air, say that at least you added your name to a campaign to try to reign in the torching of our uplands.

More from BirdWatch Ireland - see HERE.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Yellow-legged Gull, Black Rock

Yellow-legged Gull, Black Rock, 22nd January 2015 (David O'Connor).

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Black-necked Grebe still at Reen Pier

 Black-necked Grebe, Reen Pier, 18th January 2015 (David O'Connor).

Iceland Gull, Reenard Point 19th January 2015 (David O'Connor).