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Friday, 27 February 2015

Ring-billed Gull, Carrahane

Adult Ring-billed Gull, Carrahane, 27th February 2015 (David O'Connor).

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Dark-bellied Brent, Blennerville

Dark-bellied Brent Goose (with Brent Geese), Blennerville, 24th February 2015 (David O'Connor).

Monday, 23 February 2015

More Ice

It's not been a particularly good winter for 'white-winged' gulls, though there has been a small increase in Iceland gulls of late...

One of two first-winter Iceland Gulls, Dingle Harbour, 23rd February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

First-winter Iceland Gull, Baile an Reannaigh, 23rd February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Saturday, 21 February 2015

White-fronted Goose & Iceland Gull

Greenland White-fronted Geese,Cashen, 21st February 2015 

first winter Iceland Gull, 21st February 2015 (Davey Farrar).

Friday, 20 February 2015

Ring-necked Duck, Ross Castle

Ring-necked Duck, Ross Castle, 20th February 2015 (Davey Farrar).

Friday, 13 February 2015

Fateful death of two Barn Owls on Tralee Bypass

In an extraordinary twist of fate, two Barn Owls chicks, ringed at different nest sites in Kerry on the same day last August, were both found dead yesterday within 5km of each other on the Tralee Bypass.

Three Barn Owls and a Long-eared Owl were found dead along the 14km route shortly after the road opened in October 2013. Since then, two more Barn Owl casualties were found during weekly survey visits, and another was found dead by the roadside two weeks ago just 300m south of the Bypass. Though central Kerry is a stronghold of the species, seven Barn Owl deaths (that we know about) along this short stretch of road must surely be having a seriously detrimental impact on the local population.

A beautiful male Barn Owl, Tralee Bypass, 13th February 2015. He was fledged from a nest near Castleisland in August 2014, about 15 km away (Michael O'Clery).

This male featured on nest box footage from last summer. See this post for more. Here's a short video clip with the male and his three siblings last July.

Four Barn Owl chicks at a nest box in near Castleisland, one of which - the bird on the left - is the male above (Filmed under licence from NPWS: M.O'Clery & J. Lusby).

A second bird, a female, centre foreground. She was the only fledgling from a nest near Milltown last summer, about 18km distant. The rough, ungrazed grassy embankment is ideal for small mammals and probably attracted the Barn Owl to hunt. Kestrels are also seen regularly hunting along this stretch (Michael O'Clery).

More photos and information can be seen on the Irish Raptors website HERE.

If you find a dead Barn Owl or other raptor on the Tralee Bypass, or anywhere in Kerry, please contact us at the above numbers/email.

You can also download a free Barn Owl booklet HERE. Lots of info about Barn Owls in Ireland.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Glaucous Gull and Twite

 Adult Glaucous Gull, Fahamore, 12th February 2015 (David O'Connor).

Twite, Kilshannig, 12th February 2015 (David O'Connor).

There were five Twite present today.

3 more Siberian Chiffchaffs

Siberian Chiffchaff, Ross Castle, 12th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

One of the four 'Sibes' ringed by the end of January/early February.

Another, unringed Siberian Chiffchaff, Ross Castle, 12th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Three birds were present without rings.

Ringed Chiffchaff, Ross Castle, 12th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Thirteen Chiffchaffs out of an estimated 25+ present at Ross Castle in late January 2015 were ringed. Today another 20+ were present, but only about one in five were ringed. The true number present in the area over the past weeks may be 40 or more, perhaps a lot more?

Goldcrests are also benefitting from the insect activity at Ross Castle (Michael O'Clery).

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

A bad-tempered Canadian

Black Brant, with Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Sandy Bay, 10th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

This Black Brant seems particularly bad-tempered, spending a fair bit of its' time giving out to flock members. It not only snaps at Brent which invade its' personal space', but will also swim over to apparently innocent birds to give them a good ticking off.

Black Brant (left), with Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Sandy Bay, 10th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Black Brant (front), with Pale-bellied Brent Goose, Sandy Bay, 10th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

The prominent white 'necklace' almost meets on the hindneck.

Black Brant, Sandy Bay, 10th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Monday, 9 February 2015

Four Twite still present

Twite (with Linnet in background), Kilshannig, 9th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Four were again present today, frequenting the short grassy area just above the tideline, near the flooded grassland area at Kilshannig.

Twite, Kilshannig, 9th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).

Twite, Kilshannig, 9th February 2015 (Michael O'Clery).