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Monday, 15 December 2014

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Glaucous Gulls at Reenard

2 Glaucous Gulls were at Reenard today.

First-winter Glaucous Gull, Reenard, 14th December 2014 (Michael O'Clery).

First-winter Glaucous Gull, Reenard, 14th December 2014 (Michael O'Clery).

Hybrid Glaucous Gulls X Herring Gulls make occasional appearances in Kerry most years, e.g., the one HERE, and are commonly referred to as 'Viking Gulls'. Another in Reenard today is quite coarsely marked.

First-winter Glaucous Gull X presumed Herring Gull hybrid, Reenard, 14th December 2014 (Michael O'Clery).

First-winter Glaucous Gull X presumed Herring Gull hybrid, Reenard, 14th December 2014 (Michael O'Clery).

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Greylag Goose, Lough Gill

Greylag Goose, Lough Gill, 10th December 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Greylag Goose with Whooper Swan, Lough Gill, 10th December 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Although overshadowed by the two quality rarities at Lough Gill at the moment (American Coot and Lesser Scaup), this Greylag Goose at Lough Gill today, present since 6th November, is a pretty scarce bird in Kerry. Sightings of this species also have to overcome the shadow of suspicion of having escaped from wildfowl collections, or having straggled from a nearby feral population from e.g., Limerick or central Cork.

However, this individual, and most others which occur in Kerry in winter - such as the occasional small flock at the Cashen and individuals elsewhere - are often very wary and would, superficially at least, seem to be of wild stock.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Up close with a Common Scoter

Scoter in Kerry are often viewed at distance through a telescope. Below, photos of an adult male Common Scoter which succumbed last night, after being found moribund at a beach near Camp, on the Dingle Peninsula.

Adult male Common Scoter, Camp, 4th December 2014 (M.O'Clery, with thanks to Cate Mulcahy and Kilian Kelly).

The deep orange and yellow on the bill is particularly striking up close.

Adult male Common Scoter, Camp, 4th December 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Adult male Common Scoter, Camp, 4th December 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Declaring National Water Pipit Day

Water Pipit, Black Rock, 3rd December 2014 (Davey Farrar).

Following one found yesterday - (see post below) - this is the fourth record for Kerry and the third to be found on the 3rd December. The coincidence continues with the discovery of another at Kilshannig this afternoon. 

What are the chances of four of the five Kerry records occurring on 3rd December? Today should now be nominated 'National Water Pipit Day'.

Water Pipit, Black Rock, 3rd December 2014 (Davey Farrar).

American Coot (with Whooper Swans), Lough Gill, 3rd December (M.O'Clery).

Meanwhile, the American Coot and Lesser Scaup continue their stay at Lough Gill.

American Coot (with Coots), Lough Gill, 3rd December (M.O'Clery).

Water Pipit, Carrahane

Water Pipit, Carrahane, 2nd December (David O'Connor).

Only the third record for Kerry, following two at Black Rock, both coincidentally found on 3rd December 1995 and 3rd December 2010.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Ring-necked Ducks, Ross castle

Male & Female Ring-necked Duck, Ross castle, 2nd December 2014 (Davey Farrar).

Monday, 1 December 2014

Grebes and Geese

Slavonian Grebes, Rough Point, 30th November 2014 (M.O'Clery).

A total of 16 Slavonian Grebes were present from Rough Point, SE to near Aughacasla, equalling the county record set in the same area in November 2013.

Barnacle Geese, Magharees, 30th November 2014 (M.O'Clery).

 Barnacle Geese used to frequent the Blasket islands in winter, but the regular flock of up to 200 birds stopped using the site in the late 80s, and thereafter they were only occasionally seen on the Magharees, sometimes feeding around Lough Gill. In each of the past four winters, the Barnacle flock has once again become a regular sight on the Magharees. The above photo shows 102 individuals, the second highest count in recent years, since the peak of 105 birds in January 2014.

During last years' national census, a total of 31 sites in the Republic held 17,500 Barnacle Geese, just under a quarter of the Greenland-breeding population, and an increase of 43% compared with the previous survey in 2008. The combined Scottish, Welsh and Irish total of 80,670 Barnacle Geese is the highest ever recorded.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Black Brant, Barrow Harbour

Adult Black Brant, Barrow Harbour, 27th November 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

American Coot and Lesser Scaup, Lough Gill

 
American Coot (right), Lough Gill, 18th November (M.O'Clery).
(Click on any of the images for a closer view)

American Coot (right), Lough Gill, 18th November (M.O'Clery).

American Coot (left), Lough Gill, 18th November (M.O'Clery).

Male Lesser Scaup (centre), Lough Gill, 18th November (M.O'Clery).

Male Lesser Scaup, Lough Gill, 18th November (M.O'Clery).

Male Lesser Scaup, Lough Gill, 18th November (M.O'Clery).