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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

More Black-necked Grebe photos

Black-necked Grebe, Ballylongford, 29th December 2013 (Kerry Birding).

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Black-necked Grebe, Ballylongford

Black-necked Grebe, Ballylongford, 29th December 2013 (Davey Farrar).

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Iceland Gull, Reenard

First-winter Iceland Gull, Reenard, 17th December 2013 (Davey Farrar).

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Glossy Ibis, Akeragh lough

Glossy Ibis, Akeragh lough, 19th December 2013 (David O'Connor).

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Black Brant, Scraggane

Adult Black Brant, Scraggane, 17th December 2013 (Michael O'Clery).

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Iceland Gulls, Reenard

Adult Iceland Gull, Reenard Pier, 15th December 2013 (M.O'Clery).

First-winter Iceland Gull, Reenard Pier, 15th December 2013 (M.O'Clery).

(Click image for a closer view)
First-winter Iceland Gull, Reenard Pier, 15th December 2013 (M.O'Clery).
The same individual as above. The pale brown wash on the primaries might hint at the possibility of it being a Kumlien's Gull, but the fine dark markings towards the tips of the primaries would seem to rule that out.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Glaucous Gull

First-winter Glaucous Gull, Cashen, 13th December 2013.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Glossy Ibis and Snow Goose, Carrahane

Glossy Ibis, Carrahane, 12th December 2013 (David O'Connor).

Snow Goose, Carrahane, 12th December 2013 (David O'Connor).

A second winter Ring-billed Gull was also at this site.

Glossy Ibis, Finian's Bay

Glossy Ibis, Finian's Bay, 11th December 2013 (John Murphy).

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Talk on Merlin, Newmarket, 18th Dec.

Merlin (Photo: John Fox).

John Lusby, Raptor Officer with BirdWatch Ireland, will be giving a talk on Ireland's smallest falcon, the Merlin. It is to be held on Wednesday 18th December 2013 at the James O'Keeffe Building, Newmarket, NW Cork, at 19:00. Admission is free.

For information on the James O'Keeffe Building, and how to get there, visit this website HERE (opens a new window).

John has been conducting a ground-breaking survey on this elusive species, one of the rarest breeding raptors in Ireland.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Siberian Chiffchaff, near Tralee

Siberian Chiffchaff, Kerries, near Tralee, 6th December 2013 (David O'Connor).

Any Chiffchaff seen in winter is worth a second look, as Siberian Chiffchaffs have been increasingly identified throughout Ireland, though whether this is because they are occurring more frequently or have been previously overlooked is open to debate. They are usually treated as a distinct subspecies of Chiffchaff (Tristris), but have been treated as a full species by some.

Several have been seen in Kerry in late autumn and winter recently, including two individuals together at Ross Castle in January 2012. See photos of those birds in this post HERE and HERE, and one from 2009 HERE (also at Ross Castle), and compare them with the above individual. Although very similar to Chiffchaff, the generally 'cold' tones to the plumage, slight pale wingbar and pale tertials are all indicative of a 'Sibe Chiffer', as well as the different call.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Ring-billed Gulls, Tralee

Adult Ring-billed Gull, Tralee Bay Wetlands  Centre, Tralee, 6th December (Ed Carty).

Second winter Ring-billed Gull, Tralee Bay Wetlands  Centre, Tralee, 6th December (Ed Carty).

Monday, 2 December 2013

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

female Lesser Scaup, Ross Castle

First-winter female Lesser Scaup, Ross Castle, 28th November 2013 (D.Farrar).

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sunday, 24 November 2013

More Gyr Falcon

Gyr Falcon, Ferriter's Cove, 24th November 2013 (Michael Manning).

Gyr Falcon, with Hooded Crows and Magpie, Ferriter's Cove, 24th November 2013 (Michael Manning).

Gyr Falcon, Ferriter's Cove

Gyr Falcon, Ferriter's Cove, 24th November 2013 (Jill Crosher).

Another was reported (though not confirmed) from Ballinskelligs on 19th November.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013

Raptor Talk, Tralee, Thursday 21st November

Irish Wildlife Trust
Raptor Talk - Barn Owls, Kestrels and Long-eared Owls
Thursday 21st November, 7.30pm
Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre, Tralee

Michael O'Clery is a renowned wildlife artist and a tireless conservation activist working with Birdwatch Ireland and other conservation groups on various local and national projects. He has co-authored and illustrated numerous 'birding' reference and guide books which are regarded as essential resources to most bird enthusiasts in the country.

Michael's talk will cover his recent work with a number of Owl and Kestrel projects in Kerry and NW Cork. All are welcome.

A €5 (individual/family) donation to the IWT Branch is requested for non-IWT members.

Iceland and Ring-billed Gulls

First-winter Iceland Gull, Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre, 17th November 2013 (Ed Carty).

Second winter Ring-billed Gull, Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre, 17th November 2013 (Ed Carty).

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Canada Geese

Part of a flock of 19 Canada Geese, Trabeg, 14th November 2013 (Michael O'Clery).

Although seemingly genuine Canada Geese have been seen in Kerry, they normally appear as singletons attached to wild geese flocks, such as the Barnacle Goose flock at Lough Gill or among the Whooper Swans and other geese at the Cashen (see eg, this post HERE). However there is always the spectre of some or all having 'escaped' from captivity and reverting to a wild state. Canada Geese are commonly kept in waterfowl collections throughout Europe and are often unpinioned, ie, perfectly capable of flying. Visit pretty much any park in London with a lake and you will see dozens flying about.

There are 11 races of Canada Goose currently recognised, ranging from the larger southern races such as maxima, which weighs in at an almost swan-sized 5030g, while the smallest minima, averaging a mere 1310 g, has almost duck-like proportions. Each race also has differently proportioned bills and wings, and some are overall much darker. It is usually the larger, paler breasted birds which are kept in captivity, so any small, dark races of the species are more likely to be the real thing.

This flock of 19 birds was in the field directly opposite the Seal and Wildlife Sanctuary at Trabeg, just outside Dingle. They are almost certainly derived from escaped birds from that centre when it was the 'Freshwater Experience' in 2004.

Four 'escapees' first appeared at Trabeg Estuary in autumn 2004, but by September 2006, nine birds were present with nine seen again in 2008. They were not always present around Trabeg however but were also found to be frequenting the estuary near Reenard, on the Ivearagh Peninsula, 25km to the south, and continue to move between those sites today. They are a lot more elusive in the spring and summer, but are surely breeding somewhere in Kerry.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Lesser Scaup

Lesser Scaup, lough Gill, 15th November 2013 (Davey Farrar).

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Nordic Jackdaw

Jackdaw showing characteristics of Scandinavian race monedula, Cashen estuary, 14th November 2013 (Davey Farrar).

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Black Brant, Snow Goose and Buzzard

Snow Goose, Carrahane, 12th November 2013 (David O'Connor).

Black Brant, Barrow Harbour, 12th November 2013 (David O'Connor).

Buzzard, Carrahane, 12th November 2013 (David O'Connor).