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Friday, 22 September 2017

Great White still present

Great White Egret, with Little Egrets and Grey Heron, Maine River, 21st September 2017 (Ian Jones).

A second day for the Great White Egret, on the Maine river bank near the pier at Caherfealane, near Boolteens. It's all looking a bit exotic there, with up to 60 Little Egrets in the area.

Great White Egret, Maine River, 21st September 2017 (Ian Jones).

White-rumped Sandpiper at Black Rock

White-rumped Sandpiper, Black Rock, 22nd September 2017 (David O'Connor).

Possibly the same bird that was at Carrahane a few days ago.

Curlew Sandpiper, Black Rock, 20th September 2017 (David O'Connor).

Curlew Sandpipers are scarce this autumn and though numbers are highly variable each year, this does not look likely to be a vintage year.

Little Stints, Black Rock, 22nd September 2017 (David O'Connor).

Curlew Sandpiper, Black Rock, 21st September 2017 (David O'Connor).

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Great White Egret on River Maine - 7th Kerry record

Great White Egret, Maine River, 20th September 2017 (all photos: Michael O'Clery).

This stupidly-lanky-yet-hypnotically-elegant heron was present at high tide along the Maine river bank just to the east of the pier at Caherfealane. At one point, harassed by a local Grey Heron it took an indecisive and leisurely flight upriver for about a kilometre before eventually circling back and landing once more in the original spot. Then the Hooded Crows started having a go, though they barely came up to its knee, and even I wouldn't fancy my chances against a swift stab from that long yellow dagger of a bill.

The seventh county record.

Great White Egret, Maine River, 20th September 2017.

Great White Egret, Maine River, 20th September 2017.

Here, with three of its smaller counterparts, Little Egrets. Next to this fella they do indeed look 'little'.

Great White Egret, Maine River, 20th September 2017.

Great White Egret, Maine River, 20th September 2017.

Numbers in Britain and Europe are on the increase and breeding has taken place annually in England since they first bred there, in Somerset in 2012. Surely we will be seeing more of this majestic bird in the Kingdom and, from the Kerry records (below) kept by Ed Carty, the pace of occurrences is quickening.

2009 (1) Ballyseedy, 30th Jan.
         (1) Akearagh Lough, 1st-13th Oct. 
2012 (1) Castlemaine, 21st-29th Oct.
2015 (1) Smerwick-Ventry, 31st Oct.-12th Nov., presumed same at Ventry, 14th Nov.
2016 (1) near Portmagee, 27th-30th Sept.
2017 (1) near Kenmare, 12th April.
2017 (1) Caherfealane, 20th Sept.
(with thanks to Ed Carty).

Monday, 18 September 2017

Little Stint trio, Derrymore

Three juvenile Little Stints, Derrymore, 18th September 2017 (Michael O'Clery).

Three juvenile Little Stints, Derrymore, 18th September 2017 (Michael O'Clery).

Buff-b. Sand. at unpronounceable spot on Valentia Island.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Valentia Island, 17th September (Pat McDaid).

This bird has been present for several days now and is frequenting the wild, open grassy areas at the tip of Beenakryrakka Head.

You know the spot... just north of Coosnaraka and Coosnalarabaunia... No? ah, for goodness sake. Right by the bay at Coosheennagruhage and the fields at Knockaunadagrean!

Ok then, how about. "NW tip of Valentia Island, near the weather station"?

'Benna... what? 
Ok then, "1km west of Coosgorm Rocks". See HERE for info on that spot.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Valentia Island, 17th September (Pat McDaid).

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

White-rumped Sandpiper, Carrahane

White-rumped Sandpiper, Carrahane, 13th September 2017 (David O'Connor).

White-rumped Sandpiper, Carrahane, 13th September 2017 (David O'Connor).

White-rumped Sandpiper, Carrahane, 13th September 2017 (David O'Connor).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Sabine's Gulls at Rough Point

Juvenile Sabine's Gull, Rough Point, 12th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

During a violent gale force wind, there were upwards of 400 Arctic Terns taking shelter in the lee of the headland. This juvenile Sabine's Gull made a brief appearance among them for just five minutes or so, before heading south into Sandy Bay. A second bird - also a juvenile - rounded the headland a short time later and headed west into the ferocious headwind.

Juvenile Sabine's Gull, Rough Point, 12th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

Juvenile Sabine's Gull, Rough Point, 12th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

Arctic Terns, Rough Point, 12th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lesser Yellowlegs, tame but elusive

The Lesser Yellowlegs has been absent for long periods from the usual spot on Cappagh Beach, but showed there today in the morning and again in the late evening. Despite much searching, it's not known where it goes when it's not at the tiny patch of beach at Cappagh.

Lesser Yellowlegs, Cappagh Beach, 10th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

Lesser Yellowlegs, Cappagh Beach, 10th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

Lesser Yellowlegs, Cappagh Beach, 10th September 2017 (M.O'Clery).

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Lesser Yellowlegs and Sabine's Gull



Lesser Yellowlegs, Cappagh Beach, 9th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

A great find by Ian Jones today (though strictly speaking, it was his mum that pointed it out initially), on a beach that rarely warrants much attention from birders. The most you can expect there normally is very distant views of scoter in the winter and occasional distant views of skuas in the autumn. 

Lesser Yellowlegs, Cappagh Beach, 9th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

Lesser Yellowlegs, Cappagh Beach, 9th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

Cappagh Beach, 9th September 2017.

The small rainwater rivulet on Cappagh Beach where the Yellowlegs chose to visit. Not only the first rarity to be found on this beach but one of the few actual birds to ever have landed on it.

Sabine's Gull, Brandon Pier, 9th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

Meanwhile, on another nearby beach, a juvenile Sabine's Gull made an appearance.

Sabine's Gull, Brandon Pier, 9th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

Sabine's Gull, Kilcummin, Brandon Bay, 9th September 2017 (David O'Connor).

Another (or possibly the same? Head and side-of-breast markings look very similar) Sabine's Gull was found by David O'Connor on nearby Kilcummin Beach, a few km to the east.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Semipalmated Sandpiper at Smerwick Harbour

Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper, Smerwick Harbour, 7th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

Another of these pint-sized Nearctic wonders to gladden the eye...

Westerlies are going to dominate the weather in the coming week. There may well be more of these and other Nearctic goodies to be found.

Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper, Smerwick Harbour, 7th September 2017 (Ian Jones).

Juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper with Sanderling, Smerwick Harbour, 7th September 2017 (Ian Jones).