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Tipperary/Offaly Birding

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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 20:07   #1
Brosnabirder
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Talking Tipperary/Offaly Birding

Hi all,

This is the start of a thread for Tipperary and Offaly birders and anybody else who would like to contribute.
It will be modelled on the excellent Louth and Galway Local Patch threads on BF.

Comments on anything to do with Tipperary and Offaly birds are most welcome as are;
-Photographs.
-What you've seen today from the scarce to the regular.
-Garden birds.
-Sites to visit.
-Lists.
-News.

The title can be changed to include other adjoining counties if needs be or by popular demand. The title is fluid so don't be shy if you're from just outside the nominal title area. This would be a good place for visiting birders to report on their trips too.
All welcome.

Tom.

Last edited by Brosnabirder : Monday 18th February 2008 at 20:58.
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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 20:29   #2
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Originally Posted by Brosnabirder View Post
Hi all,

This is the start of a thread for Tipperary and Offaly birders and anybody else who would like to contribute.
It will be modelled on the excellent Louth and Offaly Local Patch threads on BF.

Comments on anything to do with Tipperary and Offaly birds are most welcome as are;
-Photographs.
-What you've seen today from the scarce to the regular.
-Garden birds.
-Sites to visit.
-Lists.
-News.

The title can be changed to include other adjoining counties if needs be or by popular demand. The title is fluid so don't be shy if you're from just outside the nominal title area. This would be a good place for visiting birders to report on their trips too.
All welcome.

Tom.
Best of luck with the thread Tom.
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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 20:31   #3
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Great Idea, Brosnabirder, I don't often bird in Tipperary but have done, I'll watch this thread with great interest, as I'm sure many will.
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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 20:43   #4
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Here are a few of my sightings from a whirlwind tour of a few sites I went on last Saturday.

Ashton's/Inch Callow, Little Brosna Callows.

Thousands of Black-tailed Godwit present. Impossible to count as were constantly flushing. Some coming into brick red breeding plumage. Counts of 4000+ are not uncommon here in spring. 11 colour banded birds were seen in a flock of 4000 a few weeks ago by another observer.

Peregrine Falcon soaring. Seen here on most visits. The reason why the Godwits were flushing initially.

Hen Harrier. Juvenile. Hunted the callow edge as most of Ashton's was flooded. Ashton's tends to hold water longer than most of the rest. Also panicked the Godwits. One of at least three individual harriers using the Little Brosna Callows this winter.

Kingfisher flew by the hide on Ashton's. Same bird or another on Inch Callow over a drain.

Good variety and large numbers of ducks present:
Wigeon (most numerous)
Teal
Shoveler
Pintail
Tufted Duck
Gadwall
Mallard

Cormorants.
Curlew, Lapwing
Mute and Whooper Swans. Saw three colour banded Whoopers in a flock of 133 further downstream a few weeks ago but too far away to read.

A few Greenland White-fronts on Inch Callow. About 200 winter here. One is collared. Was collared in Wexford in Jan 2005. Also a pink foot is wintering with the White fronts but I've not seen it for a few weeks.
1000s of jumpy Golden Plover on Inch Callow with a few Dunlin scattered among them. Made an easily audible whoosh sound with their wings as they passed overhead.


Sharragh Bog Cutaway, North Tipp,
42 Whoopers and about a dozen Teal. Anybody could have done an IWEBs count in about 5 seconds flat on Saturday


Firville Lake, North Tipp,
Same mix of ducks as on Ashton's minus the Pintail but in much smaller numbers with a few Curlew and Lapwing. Blue winged Teal showed up here last year.
No real scarcities but stil a decent afternoon out.
Tom



4 Shelduck were also seen at Shannon Harbour, Co. Offaly on Saturday. They're scarce locally.
4 Little Egret seen at Cabragh wetlands, Thurles, Co. Tipp last Wednesday.

Last edited by Brosnabirder : Tuesday 19th February 2008 at 11:23. Reason: Addition
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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 20:46   #5
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Thanks Peter and Sancho. Be sure to post if ye visit
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Old Monday 18th February 2008, 21:24   #6
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Your up and running will be droping in for time to time.
The nearest I will get to go birding in that neck of the woods is Westmeath.
Tom
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 13:33   #7
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Hi all,

This is the start of a thread for Tipperary and Offaly birders and anybody else who would like to contribute.
It will be modelled on the excellent Louth and Galway Local Patch threads on BF.
Great stuff, its fantastic to have an ever increasing variety of Irish threads on the go, great to be able to see whats going on around the country. Best of luck with it!
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 13:37   #8
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Hi all,

This is the start of a thread for Tipperary and Offaly birders and anybody else who would like to contribute.
I This would be a good place for visiting birders to report on their trips too.
All welcome.

Tom.
Great to see the number of threads in Ireland increasing, it will be very useful for anyone visiting those areas. Best of luck with this thread.
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 13:37   #9
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Best of luck Brosnabirder, look forward to the reports
Maybe you can confirm rumours of breeding GSW in woodland on a certain big estate in Tipp for us
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 18:11   #10
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[quote=Brosnabirder;1131950]
Sharragh Bog Cutaway, North Tipp,
42 Whoopers and about a dozen Teal. Anybody could have done an IWEBs count in about 5 seconds flat on Saturday
QUOTE]

Do you ever check those cutaway bogs for breeding waders?
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 20:01   #11
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Thanks for the good wishes ardnasx1, MargaretM and RKell1.
Re. Great Spotted Woodpecker, I'll do my best.

Westmeath sightings wouldn't be unwelcome Tom, its close enough. Anything to bump the post count Loughs Ennell and Owel doing well at the moment. Ring necked Duck, Lesser Scaup and BT Diver between the two.
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 20:21   #12
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[quote=Peter Phillips;1132680]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brosnabirder View Post
Sharragh Bog Cutaway, North Tipp,
42 Whoopers and about a dozen Teal. Anybody could have done an IWEBs count in about 5 seconds flat on Saturday
QUOTE]

Do you ever check those cutaway bogs for breeding waders?

You probably know of Lough Boora Parklands (Offaly) It holds breeding Redshank, Common Sand, Snipe, Ringed Plover and Lapwing. Bird Reports have more info on numbers etc. Good series of paths around the place too. Its a particularly good place to see Lapwing in breeding season. Well worth a visit if just for the Partridge. Had a twitchable Red necked Phalarope last year found by Joe Doolan. That one was a stunner.

Sharragh occasionally has Redshank in summer but I've never known them to breed there. The callows seem to be the best place for them overall.
There are thousands of acres of cutaway so you never know what might be out there. Coverage is a problem. More cutaway being created all the time. Could all be good habitat.

Stephen Heery's series of bird reports are good background reading matter on the area. The reports can be gotten from Stephen directly and I think they are still available from BWI. A new one is due soon.

Last edited by Brosnabirder : Tuesday 19th February 2008 at 22:47.
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Old Tuesday 19th February 2008, 20:33   #13
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Pat Brennan saw 5 Little Egrets today at Cabragh Wetlands (Thurles, Co. Tipp). The invasion continues apace. Inland records seem to be increasing. Two stayed a few days at Lough Ourna (Nenagh, Co.Tipp) last May too.
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Old Wednesday 20th February 2008, 18:21   #14
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Some sightings from today from Pat Brennan,


Shannon Harbour (Co. Offaly)
Two Shelduck, down from four on Saturday.
One Greenshank, they are a regular but very scarce wintering bird along the Shannon with 1 or 2 reported most winters.

Lough Ennell, Ladestown, Co. Westmeath. (bit of poetic licence here with the patch boundary)
One female Ring-necked Duck.
29 Scaup.
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 17:39   #15
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Tagged Hen Harrier

Yesterday afternoon I saw a wing tagged Hen Harrier at Redwood Bog in North Tipperary. The tag indicated that it was born in 2007 at a site in Co. Kerry. It was tagged as part of a research project into the wintering areas used by the birds and to establish whether or not the birds return to their natal sites to breed subsquently. Its the first tagged bird I've seen this winter although one was reported in the same area this autumn. That bird was also tagged in Kerry so it may even be the same bird. Its interesting because I had always assumed that the wintering birds locally came from the nearest breeding sites in the Slieve Aughty, Silvermines or Slieve Bloom Mts. Unfortunately the bird was too far away to read the lettering on the right wing tag which would have pinpointed a more exact natal area.
That now means that at least four Hen Harriers are using or have used the Little Brosna Callows area this winter. So far I've seen the tagged bird, an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile male there.
Also present yesterday was a Peregrine (most likely a female due to its relatively large size) plucking some distance away on the high bog. At one point the Harrier flew a bit too close to the Peregrine prompting it to swoop up from the ground and fly close to the Harrier to shepherd it away. Peregrine apparently can sometimes predate Harriers which was news to me but the Harrier today simply flew away. The Peregrine then returned to the ground and continued eating.
Also present were at least three Ravens.
I could see the usual large flocks of waders distantly out on the Callows. They flush constantly in respose to raptors here.
A few Snipe, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks on the bog too.
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 18:23   #16
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Yesterday afternoon I saw a wing tagged Hen Harrier at Redwood Bog in North Tipperary. The tag indicated that it was born in 2007 at a site in Co. Kerry. It was tagged as part of a research project into the wintering areas used by the birds and to establish whether or not the birds return to their natal sites to breed subsquently. Its the first tagged bird I've seen this winter although one was reported in the same area this autumn. That bird was also tagged in Kerry so it may even be the same bird. Its interesting because I had always assumed that the wintering birds locally came from the nearest breeding sites in the Slieve Aughty, Silvermines or Slieve Bloom Mts. Unfortunately the bird was too far away to read the lettering on the right wing tag which would have pinpointed a more exact natal area.
That now means that at least four Hen Harriers are using or have used the Little Brosna Callows area this winter. So far I've seen the tagged bird, an adult male, an adult female and a juvenile male there.
Also present yesterday was a Peregrine (most likely a female due to its relatively large size) plucking some distance away on the high bog. At one point the Harrier flew a bit too close to the Peregrine prompting it to swoop up from the ground and fly close to the Harrier to shepherd it away. Peregrine apparently can sometimes predate Harriers which was news to me but the Harrier today simply flew away. The Peregrine then returned to the ground and continued eating.
Also present were at least three Ravens.
I could see the usual large flocks of waders distantly out on the Callows. They flush constantly in respose to raptors here.
A few Snipe, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks on the bog too.
Yes there is some very interesting Hen harrier research work going on at the moment. Along with the winter roost project. It should give a good insight into Irish Hen Harriers wintering habits.

Good Work!
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Old Sunday 24th February 2008, 18:44   #17
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Thanks Peter,
I see Harriers a fair bit but its always a thrill. I hadn't seen the Peregrine before it left the ground. I was surprised to say the least. Lowland bogs can be frustrating places often being relatively birdless. Grouse for example seem to be virtually extinct on lowland bogs in Tipperary and Offaly though there are good densities on some of the uplands. Got lucky yesterday. The proximity of that particular one to the Little Brosna helps greatly though I have made visits there and seen virtually nothing.

P.S. I see that ye have a regularly seen harrier up in Louth too. That bird surely travelled a fair distance from the nearest breeding ground too

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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 20:12   #18
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Here are some pics I digiscoped a few weeks ago on the Little Brosna callows. Digiscoping is not something I'm very good at so you'll have to imagine how good the Merlin looked through the scope. I've posted them before in another forum so apologies if you've seen them before. I also include a pic of a raptor kill I took last weekend. Any ideas on what the prey species might be are gratefully received. As indeed are some better photos!
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 21:02   #19
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Here are some pics I digiscoped a few weeks ago on the Little Brosna callows. Digiscoping is not something I'm very good at so you'll have to imagine how good the Merlin looked through the scope. I've posted them before in another forum so apologies if you've seen them before. I also include a pic of a raptor kill I took last weekend. Any ideas on what the prey species might be are gratefully received. As indeed are some better photos!
Nice shots.

I think its a Song Thrush. Warm Brown no other colour I can see. No barring on the feathers? Can it be anything else. How big were those feathers?
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 22:02   #20
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Nice shots.

I think its a Song Thrush. Warm Brown no other colour I can see. No barring on the feathers? Can it be anything else. How big were those feathers?


Thanks but I can only imagine what some people on this forum could produce with a subject like that. Was only about 60 yards away.
You may well be right with Song Thrush. Feathers were quite small as were the bone remains. Must remember to put something in for scale next time.
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2008, 19:18   #21
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Pat Brennan had a first winter Little Gull at Clonmacnoise (Offaly) today. An excellent inland record.

Continuing the theme of birds usually found by the sea being seen inland, he also had a Little Egret at Ashton's Callow (Tipperary) on the Little Brosna. They are becoming regular in winter, this is the third winter in a row one has been seen there.
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 08:12   #22
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Pat Brennan had a first winter Little Gull at Clonmacnoise (Offaly) today. An excellent inland record.

Continuing the theme of birds usually found by the sea being seen inland, he also had a Little Egret at Ashton's Callow (Tipperary) on the Little Brosna. They are becoming regular in winter, this is the third winter in a row one has been seen there.
Nice record. You will have to start keeping an eye on the local Heron nesting sites. Does anybody know if they have started breeding inland yet?
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Old Thursday 28th February 2008, 19:10   #23
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Nice record. You will have to start keeping an eye on the local Heron nesting sites. Does anybody know if they have started breeding inland yet?

I don't know if they have bred inland yet Peter. Might be better feeding for them in coastal areas. Its must be a possibility though. The heronries deserve more than a cursory glance from now on thats for sure.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 17:39   #24
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Yesterday on Ashton's callow the Little Egret was still present.

Also I saw three banded Black-tailed Godwits in a flock of 4-5000 birds. I got as much info as I could on the bands and hopefully it'll be enough to identify the birds. I'll post it if they can be identified. The Godwits will soon be heading back to Iceland. Looking great just now as many of them are in breeding plumage. Yesterday was the first time this year I've seen them anywhere near the hide too.

The usual ducks were present yesterday too.
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Old Sunday 2nd March 2008, 21:36   #25
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Here is couple of pics of a lone Godwit from yesterday
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