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County Galway Birding (local patch)

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Old Saturday 25th April 2015, 22:32   #1851
shropshirelad63
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Just heard the first Whimbrel of spring over Renmore
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Old Saturday 2nd May 2015, 19:39   #1852
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At Tawin today, 4 Brent Geese, about 30 Whimbrel, 7 RB Merganser, at Kilcaimin there were 15 Shelduck and 4 RB Merganser and 4 Whimbrel, nothing of note at Rahasane
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Old Monday 4th May 2015, 22:26   #1853
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15 Whimbrel at Rinville harbour today
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Old Monday 11th May 2015, 23:54   #1854
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Nothing to do with Galway birding but felt I just had to tell somebody about my great good birding luck on my Wainwright Coast to Coast walk over past two weeks. I saw eight Ring Ouzels in one day (yes eight, 5 male and 3 female) on the high level route from Keld to Reeth on top of Swaledale.

Six days earlier I met a Coast to Coaster in Ennerdale Bridge B&B (he was doing the route from East to West). He was chuffed that he had seen two Ring Ouzels on top of Swaledale, even got a passable photo of one. He told me where to look. The following day I saw my first ever Ring Ouzel, a solitary male near top of Haystacks on high level route through Ennerdale valley. I also saw Goosanders on Ennerdale lake. Two firsts in the one day - not bad - and I wasn't even birding.

I set out from Keld 5 Days later and climbed up on to the high ridge. I met two birders coming down. I asked about Ring Ouzels. They had seen four. This looked promising as it was not long after 9.00 am. They told me exactly where to look. I saw three at their location and five more further on. It must be a real Ring Ouzel hotspot.

All in all a wonderful trip but I was often conflicted between bird watching and the need to finish very long days walking at a reasonable hour - usually by 7.00 pm.


Firsts seen:
Goosanders 5 or 6 mostly Ennerdale Water
Ring Ouzels 9 1 in Lakeland Fells, 8 on top of Swaledale
Black Grouse 2 on top of Pennines near Nine Standards Rigg

Birds heard: Woodpeckers and Cuckoos. Heard many woodpeckers but couldn't hang about long enough to see one.

Other birds: Buzzards (loads), common sandpipers, Canada geese, Greylags, lapwings (loads doing tumbling displays), Kestrels, Wheatears (loads), Red Grouse (hundreds if not over a thousand).

Couldn't believe the numbers of Red Grouse I saw on Westmoreland heaths, Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Cleveland Hills and North York Moors. Cocks squaring up to each other and fights going on on a regular basis. There were signs along these routes warning walkers to keep dogs on leads and not to walk off track in the heather for fear of disturbing birds during the months of April, May, June and July. I noted the irony that the month of August wasn't mentioned. When the annual slaughter fest begins on the 12th August, this year's fledglings will be slaughtered indiscriminately along with the adults.


About half way down Swaledale I came to Ravenseat Farm, one of the highest working farms in Yorkshire and a place that crops up now and again on BBC outdoors programmes such as Countryside and Spring /Autumn watch. It was full of breeding waders. I could have spent hours there had I not the best part of 10 miles to walk. I saw many tiny waders not much bigger than a robin that looked like miniature Common Sandpipers (white mark around elbow of wing). The nearest match in my pocket bird guide was Temmincks Stint but looking up better books when I got home, I doubt if they were. Any suggestions?
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Old Wednesday 13th May 2015, 23:44   #1855
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I reported my Ring Ouzel sightings to the Ring Ouzel Study Group. I got a reply from Chris Rollie, Area Manager, RSPB. This is his reply:

Brendan,



Many thanks for your report – although ring ouzels breed in that area, I believe, there is a good chance that so many together at this date are Fennoscandian migrants blown over on the strong easterlies of late. Our UK breeders will all have eggs or even young by now and, though they do feed communally at times, your group sounds like migrants. All best wishes and thanks again for the report, which I’ll pass on to enthusiasts there. Cheers,



Chris



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Old Sunday 17th May 2015, 20:34   #1856
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Sparrowhawk over Renmore with 1 at Muckrush, cuckoo at Menlo
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Old Sunday 17th May 2015, 20:36   #1857
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Quote:
Originally Posted by birchall View Post
Nothing to do with Galway birding but felt I just had to tell somebody about my great good birding luck on my Wainwright Coast to Coast walk over past two weeks. I saw eight Ring Ouzels in one day (yes eight, 5 male and 3 female) on the high level route from Keld to Reeth on top of Swaledale.

Six days earlier I met a Coast to Coaster in Ennerdale Bridge B&B (he was doing the route from East to West). He was chuffed that he had seen two Ring Ouzels on top of Swaledale, even got a passable photo of one. He told me where to look. The following day I saw my first ever Ring Ouzel, a solitary male near top of Haystacks on high level route through Ennerdale valley. I also saw Goosanders on Ennerdale lake. Two firsts in the one day - not bad - and I wasn't even birding.

I set out from Keld 5 Days later and climbed up on to the high ridge. I met two birders coming down. I asked about Ring Ouzels. They had seen four. This looked promising as it was not long after 9.00 am. They told me exactly where to look. I saw three at their location and five more further on. It must be a real Ring Ouzel hotspot.

All in all a wonderful trip but I was often conflicted between bird watching and the need to finish very long days walking at a reasonable hour - usually by 7.00 pm.


Firsts seen:
Goosanders 5 or 6 mostly Ennerdale Water
Ring Ouzels 9 1 in Lakeland Fells, 8 on top of Swaledale
Black Grouse 2 on top of Pennines near Nine Standards Rigg

Birds heard: Woodpeckers and Cuckoos. Heard many woodpeckers but couldn't hang about long enough to see one.

Other birds: Buzzards (loads), common sandpipers, Canada geese, Greylags, lapwings (loads doing tumbling displays), Kestrels, Wheatears (loads), Red Grouse (hundreds if not over a thousand).

Couldn't believe the numbers of Red Grouse I saw on Westmoreland heaths, Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Cleveland Hills and North York Moors. Cocks squaring up to each other and fights going on on a regular basis. There were signs along these routes warning walkers to keep dogs on leads and not to walk off track in the heather for fear of disturbing birds during the months of April, May, June and July. I noted the irony that the month of August wasn't mentioned. When the annual slaughter fest begins on the 12th August, this year's fledglings will be slaughtered indiscriminately along with the adults.


About half way down Swaledale I came to Ravenseat Farm, one of the highest working farms in Yorkshire and a place that crops up now and again on BBC outdoors programmes such as Countryside and Spring /Autumn watch. It was full of breeding waders. I could have spent hours there had I not the best part of 10 miles to walk. I saw many tiny waders not much bigger than a robin that looked like miniature Common Sandpipers (white mark around elbow of wing). The nearest match in my pocket bird guide was Temmincks Stint but looking up better books when I got home, I doubt if they were. Any suggestions?
Sounds like a good trip, no idea what the waders could have been
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Old Thursday 21st May 2015, 21:41   #1858
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otter at mount ross
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Old Wednesday 15th July 2015, 20:15   #1859
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pr of Shelduck with 8 young at kilcaimin, sparrowhawk at tawin and spotted fly at killeeneen
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Old Sunday 19th July 2015, 20:17   #1860
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Dont know whats going on at Cloosh....place looks like a building site! was hoping to see a crossbill and this used to be a good spot, will try to find out more
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Old Saturday 21st November 2015, 21:18   #1861
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What do local birders think of the plans for a cruiser port and marina just east of Nimmo's Pier? I saw the plans in the window of a building just off the Galway Dock the other day. It looks as if the third phase will bring work very close to the end of Nimmo's Pier.

Despite the wet and stormy weather I saw quite a few good birds when I was in Galway (12th to 17th), including a ring-billed gull on the 13th and 14th and a great northern diver just off the end of Nimmo's Pier on the 16th. Does the ring-billed gull need a description for an Irish rarities committee?

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Old Friday 27th November 2015, 18:29   #1862
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Hi Allen

Ring-billed Gull hasn't been a description bird for a long time now in Ireland. Nimmo's Pier isn't a patch on what it once was unfortunately.

The new port will be a colossal build which will run straight out into Galway Bay for at least one kilometre! See attached.
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Old Friday 27th November 2015, 19:49   #1863
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Originally Posted by Dermot Breen View Post
Hi Allen

Ring-billed Gull hasn't been a description bird for a long time now in Ireland. Nimmo's Pier isn't a patch on what it once was unfortunately.

The new port will be a colossal build which will run straight out into Galway Bay for at least one kilometre! See attached.
Thanks, Dermot,

I was curious about what the local ornithological opinion was. A barman in the city told me that the scheme was a "no brainer", the "growth" mentality, I suppose. I couldn't help thinking that next there will be plans for wider roads through the Burren to take all those extra visitors to see the sights. Cheerful feller, aren't I?

Yes, I found fewer birds at Nimmo's Pier than when I visited in October 2014. I wondered if it was just because the river was in flood because of all that rain (has it stopped yet?). For example, I only saw 10-12 Mute Swans compared with 77 in October 2014, or do they go up into Lough Corrib for November? There were more birds of a bigger range of species on the shoreline to Mutton Island causeway and just beyond. I didn't get beyond that!

BTW, what you say saves me a job writing a Ring-billed Gull description!

Allen
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Old Friday 27th November 2015, 20:51   #1864
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Hi Allen

I had nine Ring-bills together on the main slipway back in 1999. Also had a few days with 12 gull species there on occasion but not for several years now. The swan numbers have generally decreased in recent years also but they do move around between different sites such as Lough Corrib.
The new harbour will be extending in Galway Bay which is a Special Area of Conservation but the plan is to apply to the EU for an "IROPI" - Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest derogation under the Habitats Directive which allows development in protected areas if it's for the greater good of people. This would be the first time that such an exemption would given in Ireland if granted. Anything that promises more jobs is always going to be seen as a positive thing with the majority of the population.
We had an airstrip built near Cleggan and another on Inishbofin about 8 or 9 years ago at the cost of a few million. We were told that tourists would be lining up to fly into Connemara and Inishbofin (btw Galway CITY airport has closed in recent years as it was financially unviable). Both airstrips have never had a single airplane land on either one as they ran out of money to finish them off although both of the runways are complete. Go figure!
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Old Friday 27th November 2015, 21:20   #1865
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Dermot,

So it is not just Spain that has ghost airports?

Seriously, though, I hope that the application to the EU for an "IROPI" is rejected, not just for Galway Bay (and with all those who believe it will help the local economy - belief's a great thing!) but because it will set yet another precedent. That's made my night!

Allen
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Old Sunday 3rd July 2016, 13:53   #1866
Allen S. Moore
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Dermot,

I hope that the application to the EU for an "IROPI" is rejected, not just for Galway Bay (and with all those who believe it will help the local economy - belief's a great thing!) but because it will set yet another precedent.

Allen
Dermot and fellow Galway birders,

What happened over the "IROPI"? Is the scheme going ahead? I have not been to Ireland for more than 7 months, so it is time to think about another trip!

Allen
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