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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Monday, 24 June 2013

Appeal for Long-eared Owl records

Long-eared Owl nest (Richard T.Mills)

The Duhallow and North East Kerry Raptor Conservation Projects are seeking ANY records of calling Long-eared Owl chicks, in Co. Kerry and NW Cork.

Few people will ever have seen a Long-eared Owl. Their secretive habits and the subtle call of adult birds can easily go unnoticed. However at this time of year, the young chicks start to call for food at dusk and often continue non-stop, all night. Their call can be extraordinarily loud and can carry for over a kilometre on a calm night. Have a listen to this recording and see how unmistakable it is...

We are just now receiving reports of calling chicks from a few sites around Ireland, 4 to 6 weeks later than in recent years.

If you hear one in the coming weeks, do please let us know.

Contact Michael O'Clery: 
Phone or text: 087 9711519. 

Some video of the ringing of a Long-eared Owl chick last summer can be seen on the Duhallow Raptor blog HERE

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Cuckoo chick evicts the eggs

Cuckoo chick, 22nd June 2013 (Davey Farrar).

We have been following the fortunes of the Meadow Pipit nest in East Kerry, in which a Cuckoo has laid an egg. It hatched within 12 days, just before the Meadow Pipit chicks. Today, at just a couple of days old, blind and featherless, it has instinctively pushed out the Meadow Pipit eggs. Alone in the nest, it has ensured that it will now get all the food. More soon...

...and some video of the chick today, 23rd June (Davey Farrar).

Friday, 21 June 2013

Cuckoo chick hatches

The Cuckoo egg (from an earlier post HERE) has hatched. It won't be long before it tries to eject the Meadow Pipit eggs. More soon... East Kerry, 19th June 2012 (D. Farrar).

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Late news - Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tralee

Late news of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker, Ballyseedy Woods, Tralee, in early November 2012. The third county record. Video from YouTube (John Healy).

Friday, 14 June 2013

Request for Kestrel sightings

Male Kestrel (Shay Connolly)

Michael O'Clery, working with the North and East Kerry Raptor Conservation Project has a special request...

"if you are out and about birding in the next few weeks, I'd be grateful if you could let me know of ANY Kestrel sightings, anywhere in north, central and east Kerry – everywhere in Kerry, north of a line from Killorglin to Farranfore to Rathmore."

"Most chicks are about to hatch, or have already done so, and males in particular are hunting throughout the day, but are generally hunting relatively close to the nest. So, if you do see a Kestrel, between now and early July, could you let me know? Be a huge help, and might help us locate a nest or two. They seem to be having a disastrous year so far with, eg, 21 nests inspected recently and only 8 showing signs of nesting.

"Thanks a million"

Michael O'Clery 
Text: 087 9711519

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Curlew Sandpiper & Little Stint, Black Rock

Curlew Sandpiper & Little Stint, Black Rock, 11th June 2013 (Davey Farrar).

Monday, 10 June 2013

Bit of a mouthful

Kestrel chick, West Kerry, 7th June 2013 (John Lusby).

A Kestrel chick ringed at a nest box site on the DIngle Peninsula... any guesses what the victim might be? Young Song Thrush perhaps? Maybe a juvenile Starling. (For more on recent Kestrel ringing in Kerry see the Duhallow Raptor Conservation Project blog at

Little Stint, Black Rock

Adult Little Stint, Black Rock, 10th June 2013 (David O'Connor).

Saturday, 8 June 2013


Cuckoo egg in Meadow Pipit nest, near Brosna, 8th June 2013 (Davey Farrar).

Meadow Pipits are one of the commonest victims of Cuckoo in Ireland, and the unfortunate birds are now playing host to an alien intruder. Watch this space to see what happens over the next days and weeks...

Monday, 3 June 2013

Turtle Dove present again at Ventry

Adult Turtle Dove, Ballintlea, near Ventry, 29th May 2013 (Nick Massett).

First breeding of Greylag Geese in Kerry

Greylag Geese with goslings, south Kerry, 3rd June 2013 (Video: M.O'Clery).
Although there are feral populations of Greylag Geese scattered throughout Ireland they are scarce winter and autumn migrants in Kerry, with only a handful of May records, and no summer or breeding records. The two adults in the video above were defending 4 goslings from an overly curious lamb at a lake in south Kerry. 3 of the 4 chicks can just be seen walking through the rushes. The adults were unringed, fully winged and very wary. The first confirmed breeding of Greylag Geese in Co. Kerry, though local reports suggest birds may have been present and bred at this site for at least two years.