Thursday, 14 March 2013

Dark-bellied Brent

Over the last couple of months I've being going through the Pale-bellied Brent flocks I've come across in search of either a Dark-bellied of even a rare Black Brant. As the weeks rolled by I searched in vain and with Spring now here I thought to myself I might not be so lucky. But just as I thought it wasn`t going to happen..... Bingo!, I found one distant but definite Dark-bellied Brent. Photo wise I wasn't great but a record shot all the same. So happy out I birded away over the last few days and once again another flock and another Dark-bellied Brent, but this time closer so to hell with a record shot.....Snap,snap,snap. Have a gander at these goosey shots.

 Dark-bellied Brent at Bull Island.

The Light-bellied Brent we see in Ireland nest in Arctic Canada and approximately 40,000+ of them spend the winter here. Dark-bellied Brent nest in Arctic Russia and spend the winter in Europe & the UK with the odd few finding their way here. Light-bellied on the Right and Dark-bellied on the Left.
 They can be difficult enough to pick out from the crowd as they are always on the move.
 The flock this bird was with was quite happy to have me snapping away, but they were joined by another flighty flock which didn't hang around and both flocks took off to a different location further down.
 This was the record shot of the Dark-bellied Brent I was happy with until I got the ones above.

Sunday, 10 March 2013


I was in Skerries today in search of the Bonaparte`s Gull that had been seen on two occasions recently but with no joy today. While there I got news of a Spoonbill on the Bull Island. This is only the second record of a Spoonbill on Bull Island since Nov 1995 which was a juvenile bird. So it was in the Jeep and a 30 minute drive down the M1 and out to the Bull. When I got there it was just after 5 o clock and there was a couple of fellow birders there watching this bird. It was quite flighty and the weather wasn`t helping with gale force winds the bird was finding it hard to keep itself from blowing over. This is my 4th Irish county record of Spoonbill with the other records being in Cork, Clare and Kerry.