Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Wingers and Ringers. Irish Birding Part 3 (still raining)

Saturday morning dawned bright and still, but we were still in Ireland and surely the weather would return to normal soon!!! A mega breakfast ensued followed by a brief but good view of 'Irish Dipper' plus a few Siskin overhead and then off to the Mullet to explore this vast wilderness. Richard and James navigated us around the local sites and 'dumps' from previous trips whilst Gary and myself enjoyed the sedate drive and views that couldn't be seen due to the rain!!
Fortunately though we still saw some god birds with some stonking Whooper Swans at close range, no heated hide or comfy chairs here just wild birds in a great wild setting. Try as we may we failed to find any Twite though did see more Barnacle Geese, Redwing, Fieldfare and a flock of Skylark.
James was ready for action though all barrels firing when he spotted an Iceland Gull offshore which kindly gave us a fly past later on. All the typically 'Irish' regulars, rare in Kent was enjoyed over and over gain with Hooded Crows, Black Guillemot and Great Northern Divers all showing well.
GND at close range in a harbour with a Black Guillemot for company.
Hooded Crow, common but a superb Corvid much nicer than Carrion Crow.
Close views of Black Guillemot
It had been a long day with some good birds but sadly no Snowy Owl or 'killer' rarity to our name, yet Gary was still keen to enjoy the sunny weather and deserted beaches!!As the day neared to an end we had one more card up our sleeve, Doogan Lough near Newport and finally the rarity 'ish'was found with not 1 but 3 Ring necked Ducks, one of which was a male, just rewards for the long day in the field, shame about the appalling photo!!

And so ended another wet day in Ireland finsihed off nicely in Galway at a great B&B ready for the highlight on Sunday, the Gull fest!