Saturday, 28 September 2013

25th-28th September

The weather looked good, so I took a chance on a late september visit to cape this year. Gerard Murray made the trip down with me this year.

The wind was mainly easterly but Wilsons Warbler had made it to Dursey a  few days earlier so anything was possible.

The few days were warm enough but low cloud and some drizzle set the scene for the four day stay.

On arrival the bird obs was locked and they were not taking in guests. It was sad to see the place locked up during peak autumn migration.

It was quiet enough on monday. A brisk north easterly kept most birds down and out of view. The best bird a very elusive Reed Warbler in Cotters and a Spotted Flycatcher. We could here a couple of Chiffchaff calling but did not see one...

Spotted Flycatcher

Day two saw the wind drop and with some rain overnight we were hopefull. There were lots of migrants around with at least 4 Pied Flycatchers and 10 Spotted Flys. 4 Whitethroat were a bit of a surprise. A promising start but still nothing rare.

One of four Reed Warblers present

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher (Gerard Murray)

The following day the sun eventually shone and day tripper Julian Whylie found a Wryneck in the bog. Most of the other birds were still around as low cloud at night was preventing anything leaving the island.

Wryneck (Gerard Murray)

On the last full day more new birds. Starting with a Common Rosefinch on the low road and in the waist. Followed by two Wryneck in the bogs and a late evening rush with the light fading Redstart and Wood Warbler on the hill behind cotters. The day finished off nicely with an excellent meal in Cotters (Thai night) served up by ex bird obs warden Steve Wing.

Redstart (Gerard Murray)

We left early the following morning and managed to twitch the Red-backed Shrike at Galley Head. A successful if not spectacular few days....

Great Skua

Red-backed Shrike (Gerard Murray)
Red-backed Shrike

Monday, 8 October 2012

6th-8th October

Well I got the weekend right but the american birds stopped short in Galway. 4 on Inishmore- Eastern Kingbird, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers and a Blackpoll Warbler.  and a long over due Belted Kingfisher on the mainland.Unprecedented on the western seaboard? I think so.

Dawn at the harbour

There was plenty of expectation on cape as the news rolled in but it was to be a pleasent if not spectacular couple of days.

Bird Obs

Early morning in Cotters

Coal Tits dominated with about 400-500 roaming in packs around the island.There were few warblers around with small numbers of phyllocs, Blackcaps and up to 4-5 Yellow browed Warblers including this showy bird in Michael Vincents

Yellow-browed Warbler

The Lake

Central Bog

Saturday was warm and sunny before rain on sunday
Paul Kelly got the ball rolling on saturday with an elusive Barred Warbler in Central Bog.


Paddy O'Keefe "The bird man of Cape"

Tame jackdaw
Sunday improved slightly with an elusive Common Rosefinch found by Mary Cadagin on her feeders. Eamonn O'Donnell found another elusive bird, this time a Hobby at the lake and later seen over the waist.

Still despite a few good birds I could'nt help leaving feeling a little disappointed. I left early on moday morning.

EOD says goodbye.
I stopped off at Rosscarbary to twitch the Bairds Sandpiper which showed ok in the mist

Baird's Sandpiper with Dunlin
On my way through the Curragh I spotted a large flock of Golden Plover and managed to pick out an American Golden Plover among them. Honest!

Left of middle at the back, head up!
Until next year...............

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

2008 all over again?

Jet Stream prediction for the first weekend in October
See you all on Cape?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Becky and Lornas golden moments

Becky and Lorna were on Cape in early May. Apart from organising the Pelagic, they were keen birders and phographers (Beckys brothers  pioneered birding on Foula in Scotland)

Golden Oriole in West Bog

Sedge Warbler

Lorna in Cotter's Bar for evening bird log

Bluebells over South harbour

Seawatching; "The sea is behind you!"

Becky and Lorna in West Bog

Youth Hostel in South Harbour

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hermit Thrush

 On 19th October 2006 Ciaran Cronin found a Hermit Thrush near the Post Office. It was feeding in a small paddock and had damage to its right side possibly caused by a run in with a predator. This was Irelands second record of Hermit Thrush and was also twitched the next day by Birders from the UK. As the last 3 photos show the damage to its side had almost disappeared on 20th October and the bird looked fit and healthy. It was observed feeding right up to dusk and no doubt left the island that evening as it wasnt seen on 21st October