Click on any of the main images for a closer view

Monday, 24 February 2014

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Black Rock

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, Black Rock, 24th February 2014 (David O'Connor).

A light lunch on Ballinskelligs beach

This adult Glaucous Gull has claimed a dead (Pilot?) Whale for itself, Ballinskelligs, 23rd February (Pat McDaid).

Friday, 21 February 2014

Kumlien's Reenard

Adult Kumlien's Gull, Reenard, 20th February 2014 (Pat Mc Daid).All Kumlien's Gulls that have turned up in Kerry this season have had record shots taken,all but one has evaded a snapshot,cameras are invaluable in not to duplicate sightings.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

New Kumlien's Gull at Dingle

Adult Kumlien's Gull, Dingle, 18th February 2014 (Richard Bonser).

A new bird to Dingle. The two first-winter Kumlien's were still present.

Short-eared Owl, Barna Bog

Short-eared Owl, Barna Bog, 17th February 2014 (Fred O'Sullivan).

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Black Redstart & Nordic Jackdaw

Black Redstart, Cashen, 17th Febuary 2014.

Nordic Jackdaw, Cashen, 17th Febuary 2014 (Kerry Birding).

Kumlien's Gull, Rossbeigh

First-winter (second calendar year) Kumlien's Gull, Rossbeigh, 16th February 2014 (Seamus Enright).

Kumlien's Gull, near Kells

First-winter Kumlien's Gull, between Kells and Rossbeigh, 15th February 2013 (M.O'Clery).

Kumlien's Gulls

Kumlien's Gulls, Iveragh, 17th Febaury 2014 (Richard Bonser).

Thursday, 13 February 2014

It's raining Glaucous Gulls

The recent series of storms has driven large numbers of Glaucous Gulls ashore, including eleven at Ferriter's Cove today, with others scattered around the county. Eleven in one spot is the most since 13 were seen at Dingle in the early months of 1983.

Adult Glaucous Gull, Dingle, 13th February 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Test yourself! How many Glaucous Gulls can you see here?, Ferriter's Cove, 13th February 2014 (M.O'Clery). Click on the image for a closer look...

First-winter Kumlien's Gull, Dingle, 13th February 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Meanwhile, the total number of Kumlien's Gulls seen around the county this winter is 14 - a new record - far exceeding the previous best year of five in 2012.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Ivory Gull video

Some close-up HD video of the Ivory Gull from last week, as it roosted on an earth bank just behind the fish factory. Hit the 'four arrows' symbol on bottom right to see the full HD.

Video (M.O'Clery)

Black Redstart and Spoonbill

Black Redstart, Cashen, 8th February 2014 (D.Farrar).

Spoonbill, Cromane, 8th February 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Friday, 7 February 2014

Geese at Carrahane

Three Greylags, three Pink-footed Geese and the Snow Goose were all present at Carrahane today (All photos, David O'Connor).

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Five Glaucs on one small beach

Five Glaucous gulls were seen today on one small beach at Ferriter's Cove, two adults, a third year and two first-winters. 

This winter is proving to be an extraordinary one for 'northern gulls' such as Glaucous, Iceland and Kumlien's Gull (and of course the recent Ivory Gull at Cromane). With the storms set to continue for the foreseeable perhaps we will see even more?

Third year Glaucous Gull, Ferriter's Cove, 6th February 2014 (M. O'Clery).

This bird was fiercely territorial on this one small area of beach where a dead Conger Eel had washed up, defending it even from a surrounding gallery of a dozen Great Black-backed Gulls.

Adult and first-winter Glaucous Gulls, Ferriter's Cove, 6th February 2014 (M. O'Clery).

The two Kumlien's Gulls were still at Dingle Harbour, but I think we've seen enough photos of those.

Kumlien's Gull, Kilmoyley

Kumlien's Gull, Kilmoyley (just inland from Black Rock), 5th February 2014 (David O'Connor).

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Northern Gulls at Cromane

Adult Iceland Gull, Cromane, 4th February 2014 (Ed Carty).

Adult Glaucous Gull, Cromane, 4th February 2014 (Ed Carty).

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Mediterranean Gull, Tarbert

Adult Mediterranean Gull, Tarbert, 2nd February 2014 (Geoff Hunt).

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Close Encounters with an Ivory Gull

Juvenile Ivory Gull and me,"God I'm getting bald." 31st January 2014.
(Photo taken by Michael O'Clery).

A spectacular rarity, but not without its' troubles


Juvenile Ivory Gull, Cromane, 31st January 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Kerry birders have waited a long time to see this high-Arctic rarity, a species normally associated with feeding on Walrus or seal carcasses on ice floes, or trailing Polar Bears to scavenge from their kills.

Juvenile Ivory Gull, Cromane, 31st January 2014 (M.O'Clery).

This individual has suffered some sort of injury on its' right inner underwing (click the image for a closer view), though it is flying strongly. Could it have been this injury that drove it inshore to find some easy pickings in the form of discarded fish on the beach at Cromane?

Juvenile Ivory Gull, Cromane, 31st January 2014 (M.O'Clery).

Using unique plumage patterns to differentiate between individuals is now a regular feature of high resolution digital photography these days and has been used in a number of cases to detect individuals at differing locations (see the posts below about the recent influx of Kumlien's Gulls for example). However, using the exact pattern of black on the face of this Ivory Gull would be misleading – the black spots would move over time! 

The small black spots above and around the eye on the left side of the Ivory Gull's head at Cromane are actually feather lice. The profusion of lice on this individual might also indicate a bird in less than full health, but it is commonly seen on other vagrant Ivory gulls as well as, eg, some Glaucous Gulls.

Juvenile Ivory Gull, Cromane, 31st January 2014, having a good scratch around the head (Ed Carty).