Monday 16 February 2015

Twite a nice day

The other day there were 4 Twite seen at Kilshanning, and as I had never seen one before I decided to go and look for them. On the way there I stopped off at Castlegregory to do some seawatching. After about 45 mins I had seen, 2 Black guillemot 3 Slavonian grebe's, 4 RBM's, 8 GND's, 2 RTD's, and a mystery Grebe, which was a bit bigger than a Slavonian with a long and very white neck, but I did not think it looked right for a Great crested grebe. After that I headed to Kilshanning to look for Twite, and on the way there I saw a field with a flock of about 70-80 Linnet so i got the scope out and spent 5 min scanning the flock for Twite but no luck there. When we got the where they had been seen we met another birder who was leaving so I asked if he had seen the Twite, he said he had seen them about 15 min ago. so we went into the field and waited, after just a few min 2 small flocks landed in the field, I scanned the first flock and they were all Linnet, then I got the scope onto the other flock and the first thing I saw was that lovely yellow bill of a Twite,  I saw that it was feeding with another 4 Twite, which after watching for a while I tried to get closer to them, and they were a fair bit friendlier than I thought they would be, showing down to about 25-30 foot

after that I ended the day by scanning to beach and finding my first Purple sandpiper of the year.

Wednesday 17 December 2014


Before this year I had never really been interested in moths, but then I went to Suffolk  with Gideon for a week. and there was a pair of very bright spot lights there. On my second night there we were walking past the lights when I saw a nice looking small moth sitting there, when I got closer I saw that there were a fair few other moths landed, as well as about 100-150 very small moths flying around the lights. While looking around at them all, I saw the biggest moth I had ever seen, so I ran back to get my camera. When we got back it was still sitting fairly high up so it was hard to get a good photo of, after a bit of hard work I got an ok photo so we went back in to try and  ID it. It did not take long to get an ID, it was a pine hawk-moth.

 After that we spent every other night of the trip out there. finding some great looking moths such as, White satin, Poplar hawk moth, Sallow kitten, Pretty chalk carpet, Oak hook tip, Dusky sallow, Shuttle shaped dart, Swallow tailed, Magpie moth. As well as, Coxcomb, Pale, Pebble, and Swallow prominent.

After getting back from the trip I had a new found fascination for moths. So the day after I got back home to Kerry in August I started looking for stuff to make some kind of moth trap out of, in the end all I could find was a whitish sheet and a borrowed 500 watt halogen light. On my third night home I put out the light for the first time and sat out with it till 2am in the morning, getting some lovely moths, such as, Small Rufous, the Flame, Flame shoulder, Purple bar, Willow beauty, Brimstone, The Uncertain. as well as Flame, Garden, Common, Dark-barred twin spot,and Oblique carpet. And the highlight of the night, a Pale prominent.

After that I had a very odd nights mothing, I had very few moth species come to the trap, but I had a count of 32 Angle shades on one Buddleia plant as well as another 7 on other plants, which as I had only seen 2 in the last 5 days  I thought it was very odd.

Over the next week I had some great nights mothing. One night there were so many moths that I lost track of time and did not get to bed until 4.30 in the morning. In that week I had same Great moths such as, Silver Y, Early thorn, Lesser swallow prominent, Twin-spot carpet, Yellow barred brindle, Pink barred sallow, The Herald, Ear moth, Lead belle, Small phoenix, Dark spectacle, Feathered thorn, Brown China-mark, LBBY Underwing, Mompha locupletella, Evergestis pallidata and Cydia ulicetana

After that the light stopped working for about a week. When at last I got the light working again I had my best ever nights mothing in Ireland, setting the light up at 10.30pm and staying out until about 3.40 in the morning, In the first half of the night I had some very nice moths including, Pine carpet, Spruce carpets, 3 Red-green carpets, Green carpet, November moth, Pinion-streaked snout, August Thorn. In the second half of the night I saw the real highlights of the night, being. Treble-bar, 5 Black rustics, Green-brindled Crescent, Merveille du Jour, Frosted orange, and a Gem.
It was not until the night after that I found the best Moth of all, a Flounced chesnut which after checking I found out was the first one ever reported in Kerry.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Snow bunting

I had a great trip to England last week, on my last day of the trip I went to Newhaven  Harbour with Gideon. We were up at 5.40 and on site just after sunrise, so we headed to the Pier to look for Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers as they are almost guaranteed there in winter and finding them isn't usually that hard. It only took a few minutes to find them but they were in the shade below the pier so getting photos was not easy, still they are always lovely to watch, As they were not showing very well I thought I would get the scope out and see if I could find anything out at sea, but other than 2 Cormorants some Great crested grebes and a Shag there was nothing other than gulls, so we walked down next to the beach to see if we could find anything nice. We saw a few Stonechat, Reedbunting, and some Skylarks as well as lot's of finch flocks.
Then while watching one of the Finch flocks i saw a larger bird with big wing-bars fly over us, My first thought was Snow bunting but I thought it looked a bit too big, Then Gideon called Snow bunting, and after very excitedly approaching where it had landed I saw it, A lovely winter male Snow bunting just sitting there in the shade, So we moved around and waited, hoping for it to come closer, and thankfully it did, The next four hours were spent watching and photographing it. After crawling on wet shingles and some very sharp rocks, we at times managed to get within 10 foot of him. He seemed to like sitting behind things making it hard to get a good photo, but even with it sometimes hiding it was an amazing bird to see

Wednesday 7 May 2014

My First Post

 Welcome to my blog, where I will be posting my sightings from around Kerry and Cork. I will also be posting about my twitches and birding. My patch is Kenmare pier which has a resident pair of very friendly pied wagtails that I plan to start a wide angle project with.  I have been Birdwatching (Wildlife photographing) for about two years now, I started when I was 14 years old, and have now seen 183 species of bird including Ivory Gull, Ross's Gull, Laughing Gull -I do like Gulls- King Eider, Glossy Ibis and Lesser Scaup.