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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Golden Plovers, near summit of Beenoskee

This flock of eleven birds in breeding plumage, at 750m near the summit of Beenoskee on the Dingle Peninsula, are most likely migrants. Even though they are in suitable tundra-like breeding habitat, there have been no confirmed breeding records in Kerry for many years. The nearest breeding Golden Plovers to Kerry are now in Connemara. Overgrazing, the increase in generalist predators such as crows, and global warming have all been suggested as possible causes of the retreat away from more southerly breeding areas in Ireland and Britain.

Part of the flock of 11 Golden Plovers on Beenoskee, 28th April 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Summer-plumaged Golden Plover on Beenoskee, 28th April 2014 (M.O'Clery).

The Arctic tundra-like habitat of rock and mosses near the summit of Beenoskee, 28th April 2014 (M.O'Clery).