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Post Info TOPIC: Southern Ireland


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Southern Ireland


After last year's successful trip I've just had a few days over there end of Feb/early March.When we arrived we were gutted to see less than 10 large gulls in the bay,apparently most of the fishing boats were out and when this happens the gulls disappear.Luckily for us storm Freya was on it's way and all the fishing boats returned to harbour before the storm arrived.This brought in all the gulls and once again we weren't disappointed.Although not as many whitewingers as last year(the same really as over here)we still managed to see up to 20 different whitewingers in the day and following morning ,mainly Iceland Gulls of all age groups and at least 5 juvenile Glaucous Gulls plus a single adult.
Elsewhere we saw good numbers of Great Northern and Red Throated Divers,plenty of Common Scoter ,a single Velvet Scoter and plenty of common sea duck.We also had a nice flock of Crossbills and a few Chough
At Inch Marshes we had several hundred Whopper Swans and Greylag Geese,a few Whitefronts as well as 4 Barnacle Geese
As usual the Guinness was superb and worth the cost of the trip without the birds.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 5th of March 2019 12:53:24 PM

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Killybegs in Co.Donegal has been on my bucket list for a few years,and having just got back from there I wasn't disapointed,with masses of gulls everywhere as its Irelands 2nd biggest fishing port.It's impossible to say how many "whitewingers" over the 3 days we saw as they were everywhere around the town and harbour but probably our best count in about 20 mins of birding,checking out two smallish gathering of gulls not exceeding 300 birds in total was:-
16 Iceland Gulls(a mix of all ages from juv to adult)
6 Glaucous Gulls(all juvs-we didn't se any other age group at all)
1 juv Kumliens Gull

We also caught up with the Bonepartes Gull,but probably the rarest gull we saw was a sigle Lesser Blacked Back Gull!!,the only one we saw there.
Elsewhere we saw numbers of Great Northern and Black Throated Divers,Gannets,a few early Manx Shearwaters,Fulmars,a few Chough,good numbers of Barnacle,Greylag and Pale Bellied Brent Geese and several hundred Whooper Swans,and most areas with a small gathering of gulls held either a Glauc or Iceland.
With return flights to Derry from about 50 and some superb Guinness(why does it never taste as good at home??) its a trip well worth doingsmile





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Just had a week in the south around Kerry and Cork,main hope was for a bit of sea-watching (and a few scoops of Guinnesswink) Although the winds weren't what we'd hoped for, a couple of mornings in only 20 mph N.W. winds at Brandon Point(the next site south of Bridges of Ross) was pretty good with small flocks of Sabines Gulls going through,the best was a flock of 5 so close in you could age them in the bins,no scope needed!! Also seen there were Pomarine ,Arctic and Great Skuas,Leachs and Storm Petrels plus all the usual stuff,Manx Shearwaters, Fulmars Kittiwakes etc.
A couple of hour seawatch at Mizen Head a few days later in less than ideal conditions still produced a few distant Great Shearwaters,plus all the usuals.
We called in for the Azores Gull,and got good views of this potential split.We also found an adult Yellow-legged Gull and adult Ring Billed Gull in the same general area.
Other rarities which were about when we were there but didn't see(mainly because we didn't bother to look for them/or put very little effort into looking for them) were Lesser Yellowlegs,Bonaparte's Gull,a couple of Baird Sandpipers,couple of Semipalmated Sandpipers,and a couple of White-rumped Sandpipers.
All in all a very enjoyable week,with flights for only 19.99 each way from Liverpool to Cork,great people,great Guinness ,some good birding,what is there not to like?



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Off to Southern Ireland over Easter and although it's not a birding trip (off to see Christy Moore) I'm hoping to get a few hours in. We will be based around Killarney so any suggestions as to possible sites would be gratefully received.
Thanks

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Pete Hines and myself got back last night from a 48hr trip to the west coast of southern Ireland.The bird of the trip was undoubtedly the 1st winter Thayers Gull at Ross Beach,Connermara which we spent most of Weds. watching before we retired to the nearest pub to down a couple of pints of Genius to celebrate Pete's 500th tick.
Plenty of Great Northern Divers about,a Red Throated Diver,Tysties,Greenshank,lots of Red Breasted Mergansers and a nice Otter to round off the day.
Thurs we headed off to Nimmos Pier,a place I've always wanted to visit,and I wasn't disapointed.At least 3 adult Ring Billed Gulls(could have been 4 or 5),adult Forsters Tern,and loads of padders including Sandwich Tern,22 Pale Bellied Brents,lots of Barwits,Knot,Ringed Plover etc.What a place,pity we couldn't move it to Grt.M/c!!
Expect Ian will put some piccies of the birds on the site in the near future.smile.gif

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