Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Nipped over to the Emerald Isle on Saturday with the 'A' Star team (Gregs and Sooty) for a Euro Twitch.
With reports of the 'White-winged Scoter' being relocated/sussed out/positively re-ID'd etc by some English upstarts, news soon spread of the bird in question being a full blown Scoter with white wings of the sub species.. STEJNEGER'S SCOTER...soon to be (or is in some taxa lists) a tick in its own right.
With a name like that and the fact its a world tick no umms and ahs just get that ruddy flight booked...so we did.

So off we set on our Paddy Tour (no photoshop required, its a real bus...priceless)

the team arrive at Rossbeigh on the West coast of Ireland where the 'Ring of Kerry' starts

the truth is out there (as they say in the X-files)...

What follows is true honest. We arrived at the beach theres two Irish birders watching the Stejneger's Scoter and we get distant but very tickable views through a selection of top optical hardware, thanks to their precise directions. Cheers fellas.
Realizing the 'A' Star team have scored said mega joins up with three Common Scoters and flies further out into the bay (bloody miles away actually)...queue the Bagnall bus and his lordship aka the IQ40 club overlord himself, fresh off the plane from Stansted to Kerry...
'' wheres the Scoter ''?
'' gone out to sea 2 minutes ago, good luck chaps''...we depart and head up the coast grinning like the Cheshire Cats we are.

Five miles along 'Kerry's Ring' and theres a view point looking over Castlemaine Bay with its scattered flock
of 2000+ Common Scoter, 50+ Great Northern Divers, 25+ Red Throats and loads of auks but no Stejneger's to be seen. Ignoring the look for the Yanky duck I do a bit of  mammal spotting and find a cracking Otter swimming just below where we are viewing...

 actually it could be the Castlemaine Bay monster!!
With nothing else to see we head off in the direction of Cobh near Cork for the House Crow picking up a chatty Yorkshire birder who's next door neighbour to Ian Botham no less.
At Cobh pier...

rats wrong flavour...

oh bugger! wrong flavour again...
We wander round this very European town in search of the ship assisted House Crow but its done one for the day. Never mind no doubt we'll be back in the Autumn.
The pier or whats left of it where the Lusitania tied up the day before it was torpedoed. On it sat this beast of a Great black-backed Gull...

Down the road we got some hot local gen and soon were watching yet more gulls of a predictable Irish nature at Cuskinny Local Nature Reserve.

2nd winter Iceland Gull and ad.winter Ring-billed Gull (ad Common Gull on the left)

same Iceland Gull with an ad.winter Med Gull.

Job done what better way to end the day than some Irish Black Gold


No comments: