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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.