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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Snow Bunting and Curlew Sandpiper

Adult male Snow Bunting. Mt Brandon Nature Reserve, 26th May 2014 (Kilian Kelly).

Only the fourth May record for Kerry. The first county record was on the Tearaght in May 1887, with only two in May since, on Great Blasket in 2004 and on Mt. Eagle in 2009 (with thanks to Ed carty).

Curlew Sandpiper, Black Rock, 26th May 2014 (David O'Connor).

The first May record for Co. Kerry.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Breeding Greylag Geese


Greylay Geese with five young, south Kerry, 25th May 2014 (M.O'Clery).

These Greylag Geese have nested at exactly the same spot as last year, at a lake site in south Kerry. It is the only known site for nesting Greylags in Kerry, and there is a small flock of adults in the general area which commute between two wetland sites throughout the year, but whether these are derived from wild stock, or are of domestic origin, is not yet known. Either way, it seems this breeding site has hosted several nesting pairs for the past 3 to 4 years.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The rarest of rare birds - Bermuda Petrel, off Kerry


Bermuda Petrel, 170 nautical miles West-Northwest of Slea Head, Co. Kerry (Ryan Wilson-Parr).

A Bermuda Petrel (also known as 'Cahow') was seen from the R.V. Celtic Voyager at 17:56pm today (Monday 19/05/2014) approximately 170 nautical miles west northwest of Slea Head, Co. Kerry during a survey for cetaceans and seabirds. It was picked up at c.250m range, over a water depth of 1,030m, at the head of a canyon on the western slope/shelf edge of the Porcupine Bank. It was on view for a maximum of 1 minute before heading off in a south east direction.

Observers: Niall T. Keogh, Ryan Wilson-Parr, Simon Berrow & Rossa Meade.

Also seen were 160+ Long-tailed Skuas migrating North through the area today including a single flock of c.90 birds.

With thanks to Niall Keogh

Bermuda Petrel was long thought to be extinct in the wild in the early 20th Century until 13–14 pairs were found breeding on three islets in Castle Harbour, Bermuda, in 1951. SInce then careful management of the breeding colonies, including the provision of underground burrow nest boxes and the translocation of chicks to predator-free islets off Bermuda, has lead to a gradual increase. Despite these concerted conservation efforts it remains one of the rarest birds in the world with the most recent estimated world population of just 250 adult individuals in 2005. For one to be seen in Irish territorial waters surely ranks as one of the rarest birds ever to be seen here in modern times.

Monday, 19 May 2014

The harsh reality of marine pollution

Brent Goose, entangled in nylon monofilament netting, Black Rock, 16th May 2014 (David O'Connor).

Although still able to fly, this unfortunate Brent Goose has been left behind by the other Brent flocks in the area, presumably unable to feed and fly sufficiently well to take on an arduous migration. Attempts have been made to catch it to remove the nylon fishing line which has been caught around its neck, but as yet, it is flying too strongly to allow capture. 

Anyone walking the many beautiful beaches in Co. Kerry will have noticed that much of the rubbish and debris washed up on our shores derives from the fishing industry, in particular, netting, rope, fish boxes, plastic floats and long line lures, all of which can cause potential problems with wildlife. This is one of the few instances where the effect on the victim is so highly visible.

Free talk on Barn Owls at TBWC, Tuesday 20th

The Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.

John Lusby, Raptor Officer for BirdWatch Ireland, will be giving a talk on The Barn Owls of Kerry
On Tuesday 20th May 2014, 7.30pm.
Free and open to all.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Request for sightings: Kestrel

With the Kerry Raptor Conservation Project ongoing this year, we are requesting any sightings of Kestrels during May and June this year, particularly if they relate to possible nesting - two birds calling excitedly, birds repeatedly visiting a cliff or tree, or a Kestrel carrying food. If you see any, anywhere in Co. Kerry, please contact with the details. 

Don't underestimate the value of your sightings! By mapping occurrences we can gauge how well they are doing and may be able to locate breeding sites which we can then monitor, all of which provides valuable information in the study of this species which has been in steady decline in Ireland in recent years.

Male Kestrel (Mark Carmody).

Kestrel nest box high in a Sitka Spruce, now occupied by nesting Kestrels, near Camp, Co. Kerry, May 2014 (M.O'Clery).

With a number of Kestrel nest boxes in Kerry now occupied, we hope to continue and expand on the provision and monitoring of nest boxes this year. They are proving to be very attractive to nesting Kestrels. See how to make them and where to put them HERE.

May selection

Great Northern Diver, Sandy Bay, Castlegregory, 9th May 2014 (David O'Connor).

Little Terns, near Rough Point, 9th May 2014 (David O'Connor).

Purple Sandpipers, Rough Point, 9th May 2014 (David O'Connor).

Sedge Warbler, Lough Gill, 9th May 2014 (David O'Connor).

Friday, 2 May 2014

New Dingle Peninsula Bird Report available now

 New Dingle Peninsula Bird Report 2011-13 
by Michael O’Clery is now available.
108 pages, full colour throughout. Contains a detailed list of all notable bird sightings and counts, articles on Brent Geese, White-tailed Sea Eagles, Little Egrets and Cuckoos, and more.

Promotional offer only while stocks last. Receive this 2011-2013 Report for only €14, plus any one previous report FREE! Includes post and packaging.
All four reports available for €20.

Copies available from:
Jill Crosher, Ballineanig, Ballyferriter, Tralee, Kerry, ROI. 
087 9822104.

State your address and your report preference when ordering two or more. 
Cheques payable to: “West Kerry Branch BWI".

The 2011-2013 Report is also available to purchase in Ventry Post Office and the Dingle Bookshop, Green Street Dingle. Distributed by Maps n Charts

Previous Reports

• 2005-2007
• 2008-2011
• 2003-2006