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Old Wednesday 13th December 2006, 17:29   #501
breffni
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Out on Monday had a female velvet scoter off salterstown, along with at least a dozen great northern divers (can anyone identify the fish pictured below?) In the strong clear light one or two looked like possible white billed divers but not to be...(a good possible was seen over the weekend from hermitage). Also a dead grey seal pup with white spotted fur at salterstown - seal was emaciated.

I'll be out in Dundalk a few times over the christmas - an alternative to teh spiritstore is McManus' but will be no less packed - dont really know other bars in Dundalk but could say one or the other on the 28th?
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 08:46   #502
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Hiya,

Just though I'd say hello to some of my Irish friends.. I'm an Aussie living in Co Clare - been here for nearly 18 months now. I'm not 100% up on my birds over here.. but I'm trying my best to learn! Where are all the woodland birds at this time of the year.. the woods are so bare...?

I've just got myself a snazzy new camera (Lumix FZ7) & have tried my lunck at some of the nearby woods... I came home with a few nice shots of some deer?!

Cheers,

Dan
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 10:12   #503
breffni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpj
I'm an Aussie living in Co Clare
Howya mate! Many of the woodland birds have departed for the south but there are many great birding sites in Clare (black throated diver, grey phalarope, ring necked duck, american gulls etc) and you're only a stonesthrow from Galway (Nimmo's Pier consistently turns up good rarities at this time of the year - and at Nimmos you can get very close to the birds for point and shoot with that Lumix). The best sites in Clare right now will be on the shore or on lakes and, i guess, the burren for raptors. There is an excellent local web site: http://www.clarebirdwatching.com/index.php.
Good birding!
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 10:34   #504
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Breffni,

Thanks for that... I'll check that website out now! I love the Burren & Galway Bay etc.. so I'll get myself a decent field guide from the Library and head-out there again soon!

I remember in the summer I saw birds on the water (medium sized.. black/brown in groups of about 5 or 6)... ducking-and-diving in Galway Bay.. they were even shooting from underwater into the sky a few inches and back down again (much like you see penguins do).. I assume they were feeding on something?

I didnt have my bino's with me.. any idea? They would then just floast on the surface in small groups before going under again..!

Dan
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 12:27   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpj
Breffni,

Thanks for that... I'll check that website out now! I love the Burren & Galway Bay etc.. so I'll get myself a decent field guide from the Library and head-out there again soon!

I remember in the summer I saw birds on the water (medium sized.. black/brown in groups of about 5 or 6)... ducking-and-diving in Galway Bay.. they were even shooting from underwater into the sky a few inches and back down again (much like you see penguins do).. I assume they were feeding on something?

I didnt have my bino's with me.. any idea? They would then just floast on the surface in small groups before going under again..!

Dan
Could be sea ducks such as scaup or comon scoter but i would guess black guillemots given that you didn't need bins and they look a bit like penguins...they cavort like that in april/may as part of their display.
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Old Thursday 14th December 2006, 19:55   #506
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpj
Thanks for that... I'll check that website out now! I love the Burren & Galway Bay etc.. so I'll get myself a decent field guide from the Library and head-out there again soon!

Dan
Hi Dan, a good field guide would be the Collins Bird Guide by Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterstrom and Peter J Grant,
ISBN number 0 00 711332 3. Good luck with your birding.

Last edited by MargaretM : Friday 15th December 2006 at 08:45.
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Old Friday 15th December 2006, 16:17   #507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
I'll be out in Dundalk a few times over the christmas - an alternative to teh spiritstore is McManus' but will be no less packed - dont really know other bars in Dundalk but could say one or the other on the 28th?
28th is fine with me. I've no preference on which pub, I don't really know the pubs in Dundalk these days so I'll leave that up to the rest of you.

Blackcaps arrived in my garden this week like clockwork, same week in December 3 years in a row.

Hi Dan, hope you're enjoying life in Ireland. Won't be long now till the woodlands come to life again.
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Old Saturday 16th December 2006, 17:07   #508
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Scoters in close to the beach at Termonfeckin yesterday as you will see from the photo below. Good birding weather today but didn't see anything unusual. No divers seen today which makes a change as there have been quite a few around over the past few weeks. 6 Little Egrets flew in to Lurgangreen together this afternoon and a seventh then joined them, will be interesting to watch them in the Spring to see if they nest in that area. I wonder where they are roosting at the moment ... where is the nearest heronry?
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Old Monday 18th December 2006, 08:47   #509
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Breffni - Thanks very much for your help with the ID... I'll check that guide out and have a closer look (thanks margarettM).

I'm loving Ireland life Sandra... plenty of pints and good craic!

Dan
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Old Monday 18th December 2006, 09:19   #510
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Goosander female at Giles quay yesterday - bird was about half waydown the shingle beach on the east side with about 20 red breasted mergansers, who were displaying madly at it. Another long awaited Irish tick! Also a flock of redwing and a flash of a possible brambling near the ballymascanlon hotel.
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Old Thursday 21st December 2006, 11:21   #511
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Our next talk and slide show will be entitled "The Wildlife of South Africa" and will be given by Billy Clarke. It will cover a cicuit through Northern South Africa,
Namibia and then back through the east side of Botswana. Billy is a renouned wildlife and bird photographer - you may have seen one of his shots on the cover of Wings magazine recently.

Prior to Billy's talk a review of rare and scarce birds seen in County Louth during 2006 will be given by myself.

The event will take place at the Spirit Store, Dundalk Quay starting at 8pm on the Monday the 29th of January 2007.

All are welcome!
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Old Saturday 23rd December 2006, 14:29   #512
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Sounds good.

Stopped by Mell quarry today. Access is more or less impossible now. I could see most of the lake through the fence though and there was very little there, around 5 tufted ducks (no sign of last year's ring necked), some coots, a few mallard, 2 little grebes and a cormorant. I wonder has all the work going on there driven most of the birds out.
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Old Sunday 24th December 2006, 15:30   #513
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Had a hen harrier in Dunany today near the church and two slav grebes off Hermitage. Anyone see the red throated pipit in Rogerstown?
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Old Sunday 24th December 2006, 18:57   #514
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardnasx1
Had a hen harrier in Dunany today near the church and two slav grebes off Hermitage. Anyone see the red throated pipit in Rogerstown?
Didnt see it on the ground,but had it on call and in flight a number of times
(very distinctive call in comparision to the meadow pips it was with) when the birds landed in the stubble they just disappeared.
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Old Monday 25th December 2006, 15:00   #515
breffni
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enda
Didnt see it on the ground,but had it on call and in flight a number of times
(very distinctive call in comparision to the meadow pips it was with) when the birds landed in the stubble they just disappeared.
There are some shots of it here: http://www.irishbirdimages.com/

BTW for those interested in a Christmas drink we are meeting in McManus's pub Seatown, Dundalk (042-9331632)on 28th Dec at about 7:30 (in the hope of grabbing some seats at the front...)

Last edited by breffni : Monday 25th December 2006 at 15:02.
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Old Tuesday 26th December 2006, 20:03   #516
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red throated pipit from rogerstown today very elusive bird to see (apart from in flight) and in 5 hrs today this was the only time we saw it this well when it flew into a tree for a short time
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Old Wednesday 27th December 2006, 07:50   #517
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enda
red throated pipit from rogerstown today very elusive bird to see (apart from in flight) and in 5 hrs today this was the only time we saw it this well when it flew into a tree for a short time
Well you certainly managed to get a good photo Enda .... worth the wait, I hope.
Saw a flock of fieldfares in Dunany, in a field down the road where the yellow wagtail was seen last year. Also saw a merlin near Port.
Checking out the hedgerows at home, Sandra counted 34 Yellow hammers at the bottom of the field beside our house, they seemed to be flocking with reed buntings, sparrows and green finches.
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Old Wednesday 27th December 2006, 12:59   #518
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MargaretM
Well you certainly managed to get a good photo Enda .... worth the wait, I hope.
Saw a flock of fieldfares in Dunany, in a field down the road where the yellow wagtail was seen last year. Also saw a merlin near Port.
Checking out the hedgerows at home, Sandra counted 34 Yellow hammers at the bottom of the field beside our house, they seemed to be flocking with reed buntings, sparrows and green finches.

See you all there on the 28th
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Old Wednesday 27th December 2006, 16:35   #519
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See you all there on the 28th
Sandra, Tommy and myself should get there before 8 pm, so if anybody is there earlier maybe they can hold on to some seats.
Saw the red throated pipit at Rogerstown today, there was also a flock of tree sparrows there.
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Old Saturday 30th December 2006, 11:53   #520
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Counted 103 great northern divers sheltering at the mouth of carlingford lough yesterday. Also noticed the kingfisher has returned to shities lough, hopefully will overwinter (shilties lough is a tiny inlet 100 metres square near carlingford that regularly supports amazing biodiversity when not being used for dumping - you just park on the hard shoulder to view) - yesterday a little egret, a pair of little grebe, several moorhen, a pair of teal, at least one snipe, a mallard, reed buntings and a few black headed gulls...
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Old Saturday 30th December 2006, 18:08   #521
ardnasx1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
Counted 103 great northern divers sheltering at the mouth of carlingford lough yesterday.
At Hermitage and Salterstown yesterday I counted 32 GN divers so that certainly makes a high number for the county.

Went to Lurgangreen this afternoon and checked out the geese, counted 130 greylags. Waited there till 5pm until it was practically dark and no more flew in. 3 hunters arrived just at dusk, anybody know what they would be shooting after dark?
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Old Sunday 31st December 2006, 08:06   #522
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Those hunters at Lurgangreen yesterday evening went out to the area where we would expect to see the geese so I'm wondering if this sort of disturbance could be responsible for the lack of geese roosting there??? They were only starting their hunting at dusk.
Saw a hen harrier flying across Lurgangreen also a peregrine at Seabank.
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Old Sunday 31st December 2006, 09:44   #523
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Those hunters at Lurgangreen yesterday evening went out to the area where we would expect to see the geese so I'm wondering if this sort of disturbance could be responsible for the lack of geese roosting there??? They were only starting their hunting at dusk.
Saw a hen harrier flying across Lurgangreen also a peregrine at Seabank.
I would'nt have thought it would be legal to shoot so close to Blackrock -a built up residential area.
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Old Sunday 31st December 2006, 11:30   #524
breffni
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I would'nt have thought it would be legal to shoot so close to Blackrock -a built up residential area.
Hunting is permitted from Lurgangreen to Annagassan - the only rule is that you must be more than 50 yards from a road or dwelling to shoot. It could be that an increase in hunting is having an adverse effect...(hunters would argue that they have been hunting the area for years anyway).

One point about the hunting community though: hunters are one of the few other consitituencies that are interested in the conservation of wild places, albiet for different reasons...

Last edited by breffni : Sunday 31st December 2006 at 11:39.
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Old Sunday 31st December 2006, 17:10   #525
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Happy New Year Louth Local patch!
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