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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Ring Ouzels and Yellow-browed Warblers

 Highlights from today at the Bolus Head/Finian's Bay area of the Iveragh Peninsula.

Totals were: 3 Ring Ouzels, 3 Yellow-browed Warblers, 1 Garden Warbler, 5 Blackcaps, Spotted Flycatcher, Jack Snipe, Merlin, Hen Harrier and 5 Redwing.

Ring Ouzel, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Ring Ouzel, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Yellow-browed Warbler, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Yellow-browed Warbler, Finian's Bay area, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Chiffchaff, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

This bird still retains extensive juvenile markings which give rise to its' name.

Male Blackcap, Finian's Bay, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Female Blackcap, Bolus Head, 15th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Monday, 13 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Recent migrants on the Ivearagh Peninsula


Siberian Chiffchaff, near Bolus Head, 12th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Persistent calling (a slightly down-turned double note) allowed for a relatively easy identification of this individual. The lack of yellow tones to the head, mantle and breast, and bright green edges to the flight feathers were readily apparent, as was a faint pale wingbar. The sixth 'tristris' type Chiffchaff for Kerry. 

Garden Warbler, near Bolus Head, 11th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

One of the more unexpected migrants seen in the area this weekend was this Jay (below) which appeared near the tip of Bous Head, and departed shortly after, heading south west. There was another seen about 5km to the north, flying over open moorland by the coast. Jays don't migrate as such, and there are no records of Irish Jays being recorded in Britain or elsewhere (or vice versa) so these are most likely young Irish birds dispersing. Whether they continued on out to sea is unknown but their generally weak flight wouldn't inspire confidence in a successful flight to Britain or France from Kerry.

Jay, Bolus Head, 12th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Jay, Bolus Head, 12th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Redpoll, near Finian's Bay, 12th October 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Plenty of finches have been on the move in the past few days, with small flocks of Redpolls, Chaffinches and Siskin appearing on headlands.

Little Gulls, Dingle

Juvenile Little Gull, 9th October 2014 (Gordon Kirk).

One of three present.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Seabirds off the coast of Kerry

Adult Pomarine Skua, off Co. Kerry, 8th October 2014 (Niall Keogh).

Sightings from the R.V. Celtic Explorer today off the coast of Co. Kerry, between Outer Dingle Bay and Outer Kenmare River (Niall T. Keogh, Ciaran Cronin, Stephen McAvoy, Katharine Keogan & William Hunt): c.500 Sooty Shearwaters, c.40 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 European Storm-petrels, 1 Grey Phalarope, 5 Great Skua, 4 Pomarine Skua (3 adult & a juvenile), 3 Arctic Skua, 1 juv Arctic Tern and 4 Puffin.

Also seen were 2 Minke Whales, 100+ Common Dolphin and 1 Leatherback Turtle.

Sooty Shearwater, off Co. Kerry, 8th October 2014 (Niall Keogh).

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Not a Med. Gull but Arctic Skua

Arctic Skua, Carrahane, 7th October 2014 (D.Farrar).

A new Med. Gull record count

Mediterranean Gull (M.O'Clery).

Rare birds have been thin on the ground this autumn, with hardly any Nearctic waders to hold the attention of birders, so instead of beautiful full-frame photos of Western Sandpipers, Franklin's Gulls and Blackpoll Warblers we must make do with watching the basic 'bread-and-butter' species. 

Many Kerry birders* enjoy seeing Mediterranean Gulls as they have at least a little flavour of the exotic about them, but numbers at Black Rock have risen from 41 on 2nd October, to an all time county record number of 55 today. So even the slight air of rarity about Mediterranean Gulls is rapidly diminishing. 

* Except for Davey Farrar, who barely tolerates them, and doesn't believe in counting them. "Heap of shite" he is often heard to mutter.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Monday, 29 September 2014

Wryneck, Great Blasket

Wryneck, Great Blasket Island, 21st September 2014 (Jimmy McDonnell).

Arctic Skua and juvenile Kittiwake, off Great Blasket Island, 21st September 2014 (Jimmy McDonnell).

Great Skua and Gannet, off Great Blasket Island, 21st September 2014 (Jimmy McDonnell).

Sooty Shearwater, off Great Blasket Island, 21st September 2014 (Jimmy McDonnell).