Sunday, 29 November 2015

Every Rose must fade

Last week a fellow birder was out and about in Howth looking for Little Auk when he stumbled across a first winter Rose Coloured Starling. These birds are normally found down in Turkey but we get 1 to 2 birds every year. These birds are victims of stormy weather and end up making land fall where every they can. I had never seen a Juvenile bird so I headed out the next day to see if it was still around. Sure enough after a bit of looking I located the bird close to where it was first found. it was feeding on its own. A dog put the bird up and I was able to relocated it on the rocky shore at the base of the east pier. Here it was feeding with a small flock of Common Starling.  I took a few shots and left the bird in peace.

The next few days it was spotted several times in around the same area. So at the end of the week I got a call from a friend that he was going to look for the bird on Sunday and asked if i would come along. I thought why not, it would be interesting to see how it was getting on. We check several different spots but couldn't located the bird. We had the Black Redstart I found several weeks earlier and a few Chiffchaffs but the bird wasn`t to be seeing feeding with the other Starlings. The next thing you know, Brian says there it is, I looked at the bird Brian was pointing at and I had to take a second look. The week in Ireland and the cold cold weather had taken its toll on this poor little bird. My heart sank when it staggered towards us. It was unkept looking, a bit hobo like, this bird was on the brink and there was nothing we could do. I took a few shots as a reference to see if the difference was that bad. The bird wasn`t seen after that day so I presume the cold frosty night on Sunday finished him off.

                    This was the last time I saw the bird, It didn`t look well at all.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Howth Black-Redstart

Given the amount of Black Redstarts that were spotted around the coast of Ireland I decided to head out to Howth in County Dublin last Tuesday as I felt one may show up there . It has been a good spot for these little birds in the past and sure enough it payed off this time. I had a Black Redstart within minutes of looking. It was a bit flightly but this was down to the 20 or so Rock Pipits that were squabling over the many flies that were about. Also there were the resident Stonechats, Grey Wagtail and a few Chiffchaff. One Chiffchaffs was a grey brown and its call was different to the rest, but the bird was very sculky so I was unable to get a shot of it to my fustration. This is the second time I have been robbed for a sibs chiff. Oh well maybe the next time.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

100th Post.

I can`t believe this is my 100th post on my blog. I always thought I`d have hit it sooner but life as it is will always throw you a curve ball. My curve ball was my the birth of my first born early last year and the birth of my second born a couple of weeks ago. So with my hands full at home the birding had to take a hit not that I`m complaining.

All is not lost all the same. I have had an hour here or an hour there and with some nice results, such as the next two birds and two nice yearly ticks at that. Thanks to twitter and the eager birders in Ireland you always have a good chance of seeing something rare.

 Recently there was a Male Ring-necked Duck in a man made pond in UCD which is about 40 minutes from me. So I made trip over to see it. To my suprise it seem at home on the lake with a group of Tufted Duck. I watched it swim about for a while and it ducked under to feed on several occasions so all seem fine. However on closer observation its neck look like it was damaged, maybe be it had been attacked or it might of caught it on an overhead cable. In all it was feeding and didn`t seem to be in any difficulty.

Yesterday I got a text to say there was a Great White Egret in Broadmeadows Estuary. I was in work and worried it wouldn`t hang around given the foot traffic and dog walkers in Broadmeadows. So when I finished work I headed home got the gear and headed straight for there. It`s only 15 minutes away but felt longer. Sure enough the bird was still there and give excellent but distant views. I gave it an hour before I had to head home. I would nearly guess this is the bird that was on view up in Northeren Ireland for the last week or so. Still 2 cracking birds in the last couple of weeks, just enough to sooth hunger of birding for me. For a while anyways.

Monday, 30 March 2015


When I was in Rogerstown the other day I spent some time looking for other birds that maybe around. I remembered from last winter that it is a pretty good spot for Yellowhammers (Buíóg in Irish) so I went for a look and sure enough I found 10 birds, mixed males and females. The reason I reckon its a good spot is down to crops and horses in the area. They love to feed on the rolled oats that the horses get to supplement them through the winter months. I also came across a few Tree Sparrows, these little birds are now not so common in Ireland with Clare and Dublin been the only 2 counties I have had them in. So it was nice to get them on my year list for 2015.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Rogerstown Lesser Yellowlegs

There is a lesser Yellowlegs knocking about Rogerstown in Co Dublin since last September 2014. So I eventually made it up there to get to see this bird. It is my second Lesser Yellowlegs in Dublin over the last 3 years and only my second Lesser Yellowlegs ever. So to have it give good but distant views for 2 hours was great. So I managed a few distant shots for this blog.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Back Birding

I was out in Howth recently and managed to get a few shots off of a couple of the usual regulars as well as some winter visitors.

      Female Stonechat

 Male Stonechat

  Black Guillimot

 Purple Sandpipers

        Female and Male Wigeon in Flight