Category Archives: Yearly Bird Reports

2007 Report

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Compiled and edited by John Rattigan and John N Murphy
on behalf of the Clare branch of BirdWatch Ireland.

Introduction

The following report is based mainly on submissions to the scarce and rare birds section of the www.clarebirdwatching.com website during 2007.  A total of 1,313 individual records were submitted to the website during the year covering 288 days, up marginally on 285 days coverage in 2006 and well ahead of the 184 days coverage in 2005.

Other records came from Birdtrack.

Summary
The year will be remembered as being particularly wet, with rain almost daily from New Years Day until about 18th March, and then after a six week dry spell rainfall again almost daily from May until early September; a second dry spell lasted until around late November when the rain returned.  In terms of temperature, the winter months were very mild.

Four species were added to the county list in 2007: a Bufflehead, Ireland’s second record and for many the “Bird of the Year” was found at Lough Atedaun, Corofin when the year was not yet a week old;  October provided two more additions with a Buff-bellied Pipit  (fourth Irish record) at Clahane and Arctic Redpolls at Kilcredaun (fifth Irish record).  The final addition was a Cattle Egret found at Clahane, part of a major influx of the species into Ireland and widely speculated as pioneering colonists.  With these additions, and the inclusion of Alpine Swift  which had been previously overlooked, the county list currently stands at 309 Species.

Seawatching provided many highlights at the Bridges of Ross during the Autumn and included reports of three Fea’s Petrels, four Wilson’s Petrels and over 70 Balaeric Shearwaters, but numbers of Cory’s and Great Shearwaters were lower than usual.  Elsewhere, rare ducks were in evidence with two Green-winged Teals at Bell Harbour and Lough Atadaun, Garganey at Shannon Airport Lagoon, and there was an influx of Ring-necked Ducks mainly in EnnisCorofin area.  A Goshawk was reported following a brief sighting, two Marsh Harriers wintered in the county during the year while two Common Buzzards were also reported but as in 2006, the pick of the raptors were the Ospreys which visited and lingered around the county during the summer months.

Doonbeg has become a magnet to transatlantic vagrant waders in recent years, and this year a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and the third Spotted Sandpiper in three years (and the third county record) continued the trend, while the Long-billed Dowitcher returned to Shannon Airport Lagoon.  There were no less than two Bonaparte’s Gulls during the year (the third and fourth county records), two Water Pipits (third and fourth county records) and a Rose-coloured Starling (seventh county record).  Although Loop Head was relatively quiet when compared to last year’s excitement, nearby Kilcreadaun still produced a Common Rosefinch (sixth county record).  The Common Rosefinch and the Arctic Redpolls highlighted Kilcredaun lighthouse as an area that deserves increased scrutiny in the future.

In the 2006 report, local birders were asked to submit any sightings of Tree Sparrows in the county as it was unclear if the species was being overlooked, in serious decline or even extinct in its former haunts.   Hopefully a fuller picture of Tree Sparrow’s status in the county is apparent in this year’s report.  In the year ahead, observers are asked to continue to note sightings of Tree Sparrows and Yellowhammers as they have done in previously but also to take particular note of Redpoll numbers, as they have been overlooked in recent years.

The Systematic List
The sequence followed is that of Professor K.H. Voous’ List of recent Holarctic Bird Species (1977).  Some records within this report may not yet have been accepted by the Irish Rare Birds Committee (I.R.B.C). For rare species with bracketed numbers e.g. Bufflehead (0,1), the first number stands for record of occurrences with county Clare to date and the second one for the number of occurrences within the year covered by this publication.

Red-throated Diver Gavia Stellata
Regular winter visitor and passage migrant.
Liscannor: 32, 23rd January; 50, 24th January; 23, 6th April; one, 1st May; three, 29th June; one, 3rd July;
two, 15th July; 11, 19th July; two, 25th August; 30, 9th October; 19, 23rd November.
On passage: six, Bridges of Ross, 15th September.

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica
Regular winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: 50, the Rine, 2nd February; 20, 4th February; two, 18th February; 42, 3rd March..
Ballyvaughan to Bishops Quarter: four, 21st January.
Black Head: 16, 25th November.
Liscannor:  one, 18th April; six, 26th November; one, 16th December.
North Clare: 19, 30th December.

Great-Northern Diver Gavia immer
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Black Head: one albino bird, returning individual, 20th February.  14, 25th November.
Ballyvaughan to Bishop’s Quarter: 15, 21st January; 22, 10th April.
Kilkee summer: one, 11th to 20th June.
Lough Murree: 20, 29th November.
North Clare to Flaggy Shore:  21, 12th April.
Quilty: two, Lurga Point, 20th June; possible same individuals off Seafield, 19th July.

Little Grebe Tachybaptus rufficollis
Common resident.
Corofin high count:  80, Lough Inichiquin, 20th September.

Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Common resident.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegna
Rare winter visitor.
Doorus: one in winter plumage off the pier, 3rd March.

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectis diomeda
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one, 15th August; two, 18th August.
A poor year.

Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one, 23rd August; one, 24th August; one 25th August; eight, 2nd September; one, 3rd September; two, 24th September.

Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae
Rare vagrant.
The following unconfirmed reports refer to four birds on typical dates from the Bridges of Ross:  one, 21st August (Richard Taylor); two, 25th August (Andy Clifton); one, 26th August (Allan Conlin).
Since the first county record at the Bridges of Ross in 1995 the majority of the fifteen subsequent recordsreports (including 2006) occurred in August.  Any observers planning to visit the Bridges of Ross to see Fea’s Petrel will find it useful to know that of these sixteen records, two have occurred on 21st of the month four on the 25th and two on the 26th August.

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Regular passage migrant.
High counts
Black Head: 300, 28th May.
Bridges of Ross: 200, 16th May; 60,000, 9th July; 5,000, 2nd September.
Liscannor: 200 were seen off the pier on 20th June; 100, 4th July.

Balaeric Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
Scarce passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: three, 12th August; two, 15th August; five, 18th August; three, 19th August; two, 20th August; eigth, 23rd August; seven, 24th August; 28, 25th August; five, 26th August; four, 27th August; two, 28th August; two, 24th September.
This species has been recorded almost annually since the first in 1983.

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross:  one, 4th July; two, 9th July; 58, 4th August; ten, 5th August; six, 15th August; four, 16th August; eight, 18th August; 18, 19th August; eight, 20th August; 20, 23rd August; 185, 24th August; 600, 25th August; 20, 26th August; one, 27th August; one, 28th August; six, 31st August; 45, 1st September; 145, 2nd September; 12, 3rd September; 180, 16th September; 600, 24th September.

European Storm Petrel Hydrbates pelagicus
Common resident
Bridges of Ross: 120, 4th July; 60, 6th July; 30, 9th July; 25, 4th August; six, 5th August; two, 18th August; eight, 24th August; two, 30th August; three, 31st August; eight, 1st September; 21, 2nd September; three, 15th September; 22, 16th September; 20, 24th September.
Hags Head: 100, 20th June; 10, 28th June; four, 19th July.
Liscannor: one off the pier, 20th June; ten, 4th July; 25, 6th July; 25, 26th July.
Miltown Malbay: 20 were at Green Island on 20th June; 20, 21st June; eight, 29th June; seven, 4th July; three, 5th July; five, 25th July; seven, 28th July; five, 5th August.
Quilty: 20 at Seafield, 20th June; three, 29th June; two, 3rd July; 20, 4th July; ten, 6th July; one, 12th July; eight, 28th July.

Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Rare North Atlantic vagrant.
Bridges of Ross, four: two, 4th July (K. Mullarney); one, 9th July (D. Breen); one, 5th August (D. Breen).
There have been nineteen reports of Wilson’s Storm Petrel off the Clare coast since 2001, all during the months of July (4), August (13), and September (2).  This species is now annual at the Bridges of Ross.

Leach’s Storm Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa
Autumn passage migrant
Bridges of Ross: three, 1st September; eight, 2nd September; two, 15th September; two, 16th September; 15, 24th September.

Gannet Morus bassanus
Common passage migrant.
Winter:
Ballyvaughan: five, Bishop’s Quarter, 21st January.

Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Scarce localised resident.
Ballynacally: one, Ballycorick Bridge, 6th November.
Ballyvaughan: one, The Rine, 2nd to 18th February; one, 30th December.
Carrigaholt: one, 4th to 30th October.
Clarecastle: one, Islandmagrath, 26th December
Doonbeg: one, 5th August; one, 31st August; one, 25th November.
Ennis: one, Doora Bridge, 5th May.
Kildysart: one, 28th January; two, 13th August.
Killimer: one, 17th May.
Lahinch Marsh: one, 5th to 21st January; two, 20th to 24th February; one, 23rd November.
Liscannor: two, 6th to 7th January; one, 22nd January; one, 8th March; one, Kilmacreehy Church, 3rd to 8th December.
Poulnasherry: one, Moyasta, 13th to 19th January; two, 23rd March; ten, 25th August; nine, 9th September; nine, 4th October; seven, 31st October; seven, 27th December; one, Blackweir Bridge, 18th January; two, 19th January; one, 23rd January; one, “Poulnasherry Bay”, 24th March; ten, 29th August; seven, 30th August; 13, 17th October equalled the county record.
Querrin: two, 17th October.
Quilty: one, Lough Donnell, 2nd August.
Shannon: one, Tullyvarraga Marsh, 1st January;  one, Inishcullen Hill, 10th February; one, 8th June; one, Airport Lagoon, 14th April; two, 4th August; one, 11th August to 1st September; three, 9th September; five, 15th September; five, 4th October; three, 17th November; one, Ballycasey, 26th December.
Recorded in every month except July, the county record was equalled during the year.  Although the Little Egrets can now be seen just about anywhere on the coast, they are still rare inland at lakes or on the upper reaches of rivers.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Liscannor: one in a field with cattle, Clahane, 15th to 17th December (J. N. Murphy et al).
This is the first county record and was part of an influx of several Cattle Egrets recorded in the Britain and Ireland in late 2007.  This bird was last seen flying towards the sea on the evening of 17th December and was not seen again (T. Lynch, N. Lynch).

Whooper Swan Cygnus Cygnus
Common winter visitor.
Clarecastle: 14, Islandavanna, 25th February.
Clenagh: 22 in the bay, 27th January.
Corofin: 19, Lough Atadaun, 1st to 7th February; three, 11th August; 77, Lough Inchiquin, 19th November.
Ennis: 26, Ballyallia, 6th January; 26, 15th November. 17, 2nd November; 15, 17th November; 30, 23rd November; 47, 30th December.
Ennistymon: 14, Lough Cullanagh, 7th March.
Flaggy Shore: 34, Lough Murree, 29th November.
Kilfenora: 73 near the village, 12th December.
Kilkee: 20, Tullagher Bog, 18th February; 16, 30th December.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 10, Ballycar Lake, 14th January; 16, 19th January; 14, 29th January; 12, 30th January; 12, 14th February; 14, 18th to 25th February; 16, 28th February; 16, 7th to 8th March.  99, Balligirreen, 27th January; 74, 20th February; 60, 25th February; 46, 27th February; 72, 1st to 3rd March; 62, 9th March; 16, 6th November; 55, 19th December; 60, 21st December.
Quilty: 26, Lough Donnell, 27th December.
Shannon: 87, Airport Lagoon, 17th November.

Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
Winter visitor in small numbers.
Kilkee: 15, Tullagher Bog, 18th February; 12, 17th October
Tubber: 22, Lough Muckanagh, 21st February; 23, 7th February.
These two traditional haunts are well separated, with Tullager Bog located in the south-west of the county and Lough Muckanagh situated in the north-east.  They can be viewed on a distribution map here.

Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
Scarce winter visitor.
Clooney: one, 20th January.
Lahinch Marsh: six, 4th to 21st January.
As these records demonstrate, previous observations of Pink-footed Goose have been well scattered across the county.

Greylag Goose Anser anser
Regular winter visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: five, Ballycar Lake, 1st January; two, 2nd January; 16, 15th January; two, 22nd January;  two, 2nd May; one 7th October; one, 28th December.  Seven, Fenloe Lake, 7th January; four, 24th February; four, 18th December.

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Doonbeg:  90, 13th January; 43, the Long Field, 23rd December.
Kilkee: 120, Mutton Island, 1st March.  83, Illaunanearean, 27th December.
Lahinch Marsh: one, 20th October.
Quilty: six, Lough Donnell, 28th March; 186, 31st March; 110, Mutton Island, 18th November.

Brent Goose Branta bernicla
Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Ballyvaughan: 90, Lough Murree, 6th February; 146, Bishop’s Quarter, 3rd April; 223, The Rine, 30th December; 3rd April.
Flaggy Shore: 79, Lough Murree, 29th November.
Lahinch: 31, Creg Beach, 30th January; 45, Lahinch Marsh, 24th February.
Liscannor: 60, Goleen, 14th March; 70, 19th March.
Poulnasherry Bay: 192, 24th March.
Querrin: 70, 12th December.

Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Resident and common winter visitor.
Shannon: 82, Airport Lagoon, 14th April.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Common resident.

Gadwall Anas platyrhynchos
Scarce winter visitor and rare breeder.
Numbers in Clare seem to be decreasing rapidly.
Corofin: 13, Lough Inchiquin, 1st February; 18, 19th November.
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Gadwall John N Murphy.

Shoveler Anas clypeata
Common winter visitor.
Shannon: five males, Airport Lagoon, 9th June.

Teal Anas crecca
Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
Rare vagrant.
Bell Harbour: the male which first wintered at this site in 2004/2005 (and may also be the bird which was observed at the site in 2002), was seen on 7th January, and had returned for its fourth winter on 30th December.
Corofin: male, Lough Atadaun, 27th January to 25th February.

Garganey Anas querquedula
Rare passage migrant.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, 14th May; female/immature, 18th to 23rd August.
During this decade Garganey has been recorded in every year except 2004.

Pochard Aytha femia
Common winter visitor.

Scaup Aythya marila
Winter visitor.
Carrigaholt: 23, on 27th December.
Flaggy Shore: 15, Lough Murree, 29th November; three, 30th December.
Shannon: female, Airport Lagoon, 25th February.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common resident and winter visitor.

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Rare vagrant.
Corofin: one female, Lough Inchiquin, 6th January (J. N. Murphy, F. Mac Gabhann) ; first winter male, 16th January (M. Meehan, I. Zawadzka) ; female, 23rd January to 25th February (T. Griffin, J. Rattigan); male, 9th November to 30th December (F. Mac Gabhann).
Ennis: first winter male, Ballyallia Lake, 3rd January (D. Mc Namara); first winter male, adult male and female, 4th to 6th January (J. N. Murphy, F. Mac Gabhann); male, 17th January (J. N. Murphy, J. Lyons) first winter male, adult male and female 1st February (F. Mac Gabhann); male, 9th to 15th February (F. Mac Gabhann, S. Nugent); male and female, 22nd February to 22nd March (T. Lynch, F. Mac Gabhann, S. Mc Enry, J. N. Murphy ); nearby on the floodplain at Rosslevan, male, 7th and 8th March; female, 13th March (J. N. Murphy, S. Nugent).
Kilrush: male and female, Tullabrack Lake, 24th April (T. Gittings). It was an excellent year for this species in Clare with about five individuals involved in this influx, and may have involved some returning birds from the previous year. The Ennis and Corofin birds alternated between Ballyallia and Lough Inchiquin which are just a few miles apart and were also obversed at Rosslevan.

Common Eider Somateria mollissima
Scarce winter visitor.
Liscannor: first winter male off the pier, 15th to 17th December.
The most recent records for Eider in Clare came from Kilkee in 2001 and 2004 and Ballyvaughan in 2005.

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Ballyvaughan: 65, The Rine, 2nd February.
Bridges of Ross: six, 19th August; three, 25th August; four, 28th August; four, 29th August; four, 30th August; four, 31st August; 15, 1st September; eight, 2nd September; three, 29th September.
Liscannor: four, 21st June.

Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
Scarce winter visitor.
Doorus: one off the pier, 3rd March.
This was a poor year for the species.

Long-tailed Duck  Clangula hyemalis
Scarce winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: 16, The Rine, 2nd February.
Burren: one, Lough Cullaun, 21st February to 7th March is an inland record.
Liscannor: peak of two, 19th January to 20th April.
North Clare remains the stronghold for this scarce winter visitor.

Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Regular winter visitor.
Summer
Liscannor:  two males, 21st June.

Bufflehead Bucephala albeola (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Corofin: female, Lough Atadaun, 6th January to 4th March (J. N. Murphy, F. Mac Gabhann et al).
This is the first for the county and the second Irish record.  Its lengthy stay provided ample opportunity for many to catch up with this mega-rarity .  The first record was in County Cork in 1998.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
Common winter visitor.

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Rare vagrant.
Corofin: female, 30th January; second winter male, 9th February
Ennis: female, Ballyallia Lake, 3rd January; male, 1st February; probably same male, Lee’s Road Wood, 8th February.
It appears that two birds wintered in the county.

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
Scarce resident and passage migrant.
Ballinruan: male, 29th April.
Bridges of Ross: one, 27th August.
Doolin: two males, Doonagore bog, 25th February; one, 1st male; female, 27th May; female, 19th October; female, 17th November; two females, 19th November.
Doonbeg: one, Killard, 25th September.
Feakle: one, Maghera, 15th May;
Kilkee: male near the town, 13th July; female, 11th November.
Lahinch: one, Bartra, 18th to 21st September; female, Inagh estuary, 4th May.
Lisdoonvarna: female, 15th August.
Liscannor: female, 26th August.
Lissycasey: male, Booleynagleeragh Bog, 9th June and 28th June; female, Booleynagleeragh Bog, 14th July.
Loop Head: juvenile, 31st August; female, 29th September; female, 4th October; female, 14th October.
Quilty: female, Lough Donnell, 29th June; juvenile, 6th August; male, 16th September; male, 7th October.
Tubber:  female, Lough Mucanagh, 7th March; male and female, 29th December.
Whitegate: one, 9th July.
Clare is an important for breeding Hen Harriers and a controversial plan with government backing is afoot to protect Hen Harrier breeding sites in the Sliabh Aughty mountains of east Clare.

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
Rare vagrant.
Ballyvaughan: one, Muckinish East, 30th September.
Connolly: one, 29th March
Loop Head: one, 29th September.
It seems likely that this series of records refer to two individuals.

Goshawk Accipiter gentilis (1,1)
Rare vagrant.
One was seen at Darragh on 22nd February (B.O’Donoghue) and is the second county record.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Scarce passage migrant.
Burren: one, Slieve Elva, 1st May.
Lahinch: one, Inagh estuary, 26th May to 6th July.
Lissycasey: one, Lough Acrow, 28th June.
It is unclear as to how many individuals these records refer.
The individual at Lahinch was seen forty minutes before the bird at Lissycasey suggesting
the involvement of two individuals as a distinct possibility.
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Osprey John N Murphy.

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Common resident.

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common resident.
Migration
Loop Head: six, 29th September; seven, 4th October.

Merlin Falco columbarius
Scarce migrant, rare breeder.
Bridges of Ross: one, 3rd September.
Carrigaholt: one, 27th October.
Clarecastle: one, Islandavanna, 17th September
Doolin: one, Doonagore bog, 25th February; one, 19th October.
Doonbeg: one, White Strand, 23rd April.
Ennis: one, Rosslevan, 7th March.
Fanore: one, 6th January.
Lahinch: one, Inagh estuary, 9th October; male, 17th November.
Liscannor: two, 26th March; two, Clahane, 3rd November; female, 17th November.
Loop Head:  one, 23rd September; three, 4th October; three, 14th October; one, Kilcredaun Marsh, 27th October; two, Kilcreadaun, 30th October with one remaining to 31st October.
Quilty: two, Lough Donnell, 29th March; one, 23rd July; one, 13th October; female, 29th December.

Peregrine Falco peregrines
Scarce resident.
Bridges of Ross: two, 15th September.
Burren: three, Ballybruck North, 28th July.
Corofin:  one, Lough Inchiquin, 19th November.
Doolin: one, 1st March; one, 29th March.
Doonbeg: one, 23rd September.
Dysart: one, 15th March.
Ennis: one, 23rd July.
Flaggy Shore: two, Lough Murree, 29th November.
Lahinch:  one, Inagh estuary, 3rd April; one, 25th May; one, 28th July; one, 9th October; two, near Lahinch, 8th June; two, Bartra, 15th to 26th July; one, 3rd September.
Liscannor: one, 25th February; one, 4th September; one, 7th October.
Loop Head: one, Cloughaun Lough, 10th October; one, 14th October; one, 3rd November.
Miltown Malbay: one, Green Island, 5th August; two, 2nd October.
Newmarket: one, Ing, 7th July; one, Ballycar, 29th April; one, 18th September.
Poulnasherry: one, 30th August.
Quilty: one, Lough Donnell, 22nd May; one, Seafield, 15th August.
This species was under recorded in previous years.

Red Grouse Lapogus lapogus
Scarce resident.
Miltown Malbay: two, Mount Callan, 27th March and 6th April.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Scarce resident.
Burren: one, Lough Bunny, 29th May.
Ennis: one, Oak Park housing estate, 24th July, was an unexpected find.
Loop Head: one, Kilcredaun Marsh, 25th and 27th August.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, Fenloe Lake, 24th February; one, Ballycar Lake, 28th February;
20th and 25th April; one at Ballycar NS, 4th October.
Shannon: a peak of two heard regularly during the year.
Tubber: one, Lough Muckanagh, 29th December.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Common resident and winter visitor.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, 29th June.

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Common winter visitor.
Clarecastle: 1,200, Islandavanna, 25th February.
Lissycasey: 150, Booleynagleeragh Bog, 10th March.
Loop Head: 45, 4th October
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 350, Ballycar, 10th March.
Shannon: 450, Airport Lagoon, 15th September.

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
Common winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: 20, The Rine, 2nd February.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Common winter visitor and breeder.
Shannon: two, Airport Lagoon, 9th June.

Knot Calidris canutus
Common winter visitor.
Liscannor: seven, 15th June.
Shannon: 15, Airport Lagoon, 14th July; 50, 15th September.

Sanderling Calidris alba
Scarce winter visitor.
Liscannor: 11, 15th June.

Little Stint Calidris minuta
Scarce passage migrant.
Quilty: one, Seafield, 17th August; two, 2nd October; one, 9th to 18th October.

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotus
Scarce winter visitor.
One at Lough Donnell, Quilty on 10th August was the only record received
and is well down on the six birds seen in the county in 2006.
This transatlantic species is almost annual.

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Scarce passage migrant.
Quilty: one, Seafield, 9th October; two, 10th to 13th October.
Shannon: one, 4th August; one, 7th to 9th September.
A poor year for this species.

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritime
Scarce winter visitor.
Liscannor: eight, Clahane, 25th November.
Quilty: 100, Seafield, 13th January; 110, 25th February; 40, 16th May; 70, 3rd December.
Seafield and Lurga Point at Quilty remains the stronghold of this winter visitor in Clare.

Turnstone Arenaris interpres
Common winter visitor.

Dunlin Calidris alpine
Common winter visitor.
Summer: twelve, Shannon Airport Lagoon, 9th June; 50, had returned from their breeding grounds, 14th July.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Tryngites subruficollis
Rare vagrant
One at Doonbeg , 1st to 3rd September was the first for a number of years (D. Mc Namara, L. Benson et al).
This was the first occurrence of this species in Clare for a number of years, and the total number of records is now in the teens.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Scarce passage migrant.
Quilty: three, Lough Donnell, 12th August; one, 22nd September.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, 9th to 15th September.
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Ruff John N Murphy.

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Scarce under-recorded winter visitor.
Doolin: two at Doonagore Bog, 25th February.
Liscannor: one, 22nd January.
Loop Head: two, 3rd January.
Shannon: two in the town, 26th February.

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia (2,1)
Rare vagrant.
Adult in summer plumage at Doonbeg, 4th and 5th August (D. Mc Namara, D. Breen, L. Benson).  Unrecorded in Clare before 2005, this is the third year this North American species has been reported but the first time it has occurred in summer plumage.  The previous records come from Doonbeg (2005) and Kilbaha (2006).
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Summer plumaged Spotted Sandpiper at Doonbeg John N Murphy.

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (9,1)
Rare vagrant.
Shannon: adult, Airport Lagoon, 28th July to 13th October was probably
a returning individual (F. Mc Gabhann, John N Murphy et al) and is the tenth county record.

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Scarce under-recorded resident and winter visitor.
Dysart: a peak count of four at Gortcoirce, between 3rd and 14th November; three, 12th December.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Shannon: 500, Airport Lagoon, 14th April; one, 9th June; 250, 14th July; 1700, 15th September.
Quilty: 19, Lough Donnell, 15th July.

Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica
Regular winter visitor, mainly to coastal regions but can be seen in Shannon and Fergus Estuaries.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Passage migrant.
Spring
Clarecastle: one, Islandavanna, 1st May; two, 13th May.
Ennis: seven, Ballyallia, 2nd May; 16, Knockanean, 2nd May.
Flaggy Shore: 46, 5th May
Kilkishen: fourteen, Ballyblood Bog, 3rd May.
Liscannor: three, 17th April, decreasing to one, 18th April; 40, 23rd April; 20, Clahane, with 150 near the pier at Liscannor, 28th April.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 59, Ballycar, 20th April; 21, 25th April; 87, 30th April; 65, 1st May; two, 2nd May
Quilty: 100, Lough Donnell, 28th April; two, Seafield, 18th and 19th April; 20, 23rd April; 82, 24th April; 35, 28th April. There was a total of 500, between Quilty and Lough Donnell on 4th May.  Twenty, Quilty, 11th June.
Autumn
Bridges of Ross: 42, 4th August; 25, 25th August; ten, 28th August; 17, 2nd September.
Doonbeg: three, 19th July; 100, 4th August; 50, 5th August.
Liscannor: one, Clahane, 25th October.

Curlew Numenius arquata
Resident and common winter visitor.
There was an albino bird at Lough Bunny on 6th February.
Summer
Lahinch Marsh: 170, 21st June; 200, 15th July.
Miltown Malbay: 70, Green Island, 25th July.
Poulnasherry Bay: the leucistic bird which has frequented the bay each winter for a
number of years had returned by 9th September.

Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Regular passage migrant.
Poulnasherry Bay: one, 5th August.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, 3rd to 29th August; two, 1st September; one, 7th September; two, 9th September.

Redshank Tringa totanus
Common winter visitor.
Shannon:  187, Airport Lagoon, 14th April; one, 9th June.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
High count
Poulnasherry Bay: 15, on 30th August.

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Scarce passage migrant, occasionally winters.
Ballynacally: one, Ballycorick Bridge, 1st February; two, 22nd February; three, 9th September; one, 17th September to 6th November.
Clarecastle: two, Manusmore, 22nd October.
Doonbeg: juvenile, 29th June to 19th July; one, 8th to 18th August.
Ennis: one, River Fergus, 3rd February.
Ennistymon: one, The Falls, 2nd April.
Poulnasherry Bay: one, Moyasta, 29th August; one, 9th September; two, 22nd September; one, 25th September to 6th October; two, 17th October.
Quin: one, Rine River, 6th September.
Shannon: one just over the dyke from the Airport Lagoon on the estuary mudflats, 13th August.

Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
Scarce passage migrant.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, 7th September.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Scarce breeder and regular passage migrant.
Winter:
Bunratty: one on the Owengarney River, 10th November.
Clarecastle: one, The Quay, 7th January.
Summer:
Burren: two, Lough Bunny, 26th April;  two with four chicks, 29th May; two, Mullaghmore, 20th May.
Clarecastle: one, 4th September.
Crusheen: one, O’Brien’s Lough, 26th April.
Doonbeg: peak of five between 3rd July and 4th August; one, 8th and 9th August; three others at the mouth of the Skivileen River beside Doonbeg Golf Club, 9th August; one, 18th August; one, 3rd September.
Ennis: one, River Fergus, 16th July.
Lahinch: one, Inagh estuary, 3rd July; four, 9th August; three, 25th to 26th August.
Liscannor: one, 12th July.
Lissycasey: two, Lough Acrow, 28th June.
Loop Head: one, Cloughaun Lough, 12th August.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: two on the Rine River, Latoon, 22nd October.
Poulnasherry Bay: four, 6th August.
Quilty: two, Lough Donnell, 23rd July.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, 15th September.

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Scarce passage migrant.
Passage:
Bridges of Ross: two, Bridges of Ross, 19th August; 80, 24th September.
Winter:
Ballyvaughan: one, Bishop’s Quarter, 21st January.
Liscannor: four, 6th January; two, 8th January; one, 9th to 13th January; two, 16th January; one, 17th and 18th January; three, 19th January.
Westerly storms in December 2006 were responsible for the occurrence of this attractive wader in January.

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarius
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one, 4th August; one, 5th August; two, 27th August; one, 28th August; one, 29th August; four, 2nd September; one, 15th September; seven, 16th September; two, 20th September; two, 24th September; one, 27th October;
Lahinch: two were observed and photographed feeding on a carcass at Cregg Beach, 23rd to 26th May.
Loop Head: one, Kilbaha, 31st August; one, Renville Bay, 4th October; eight, The Fodry, 26th October.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one, 6th July; 16, 4th August; five, 5th August; one, 12th August; four, 15th August; three, 18th August; four, 19th August; seven, 20th August; thirteen, 24th August; four, 26th August; one, 27th August; five, 28th August; two, 29th August; four, 30th August; one, 31st August; five, 1st September; eight, 2nd September; four, 3rd September; two, 15th September; two, 16th September; 22, 24th September;
Lahinch: two were observed feeding on a carcass at Cregg Beach, 23rd May.
Liscannor: one, 24th May; one, 27th May; one, 4th July; one, 26th July; one, 4th September; one, 18th September; one, 20th to 21st September.
Loop Head:  five, Kilbaha, 31st August; three, The Fodry, 26th October; one, off the tip, 29th October.
Quilty: one, Seafield, 25th May; one, 19th July.

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus
Rare passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: four, 24th September (observers unknown).
Loop Head: immature, Renville Bay, 4th October (John N Murphy); immature, The Fodry, 26th October (John N Murphy & Finbarr MacGabhann).

Great Skua Stercorarius skua
Common passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: ten, 4th August; five, 5th August; two, 12th August; one, 15th August; two, 16th August; three, 18th August; five, 29th August; ten, 20th August; three, 24th August; one, 30th August; five, 31st August; one, 1st September; six, 2nd September; two, 15th September; 22, 16th September; 14, 24th September.
Loop Head: two, The Fodry, 26th October; one of the tip and another Kilbaha, 31st October.
Miltown Malbay: one, Green Island, 5th August.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Scarce winter visitor.
Kilkee: adult, 22nd September.
Knock: three adults, one juvenile, 27th August.
Lahinch: second winter, 2nd to 5th January; first winter, 3rd January; adult, 17th January; first winter, 16th April; first winter, 4th September; one, 13th October; adult, Clahane, 25th November to 27th December; second winter, 8th December.
Loop Head: two immatures, 29th September.
New Quay: adult, 3rd March.
Querrin: five first winters, 31st August.
Quilty: one, 28th January; one, 3rd April; first winter wearing a green band on left leg, 16th April; two, 17th August; one, 18th August;  second winter, Lough Donnell, 10th to 15th August.
Recorded during seven months of the year, it was a good year of this species.

Little Gull Larus minutes
Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: second winter, 1st January; two juveniles, 31st August; one, 24th September.
Liscannor: six adults, 1st and 2nd January; 12, 3rd January; 12 adults, first winter, two second winters, 4th and 5th January; ten, 6th January; nine, 7th January; four, 11th January; three, 13th January; second winter, 17th to 21st January; one, 13th October.
Loop Head: two, Kilbaha, 1st January; juvenile, 13th January.
Moneypoint: adult, 3rd January.
Records for this species befitted from the adverse weather conditions during the early part of the year.

Sabine’s Gull Larus sabini
Regular autumn passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: adult, 18th August; one adults, 24th August; two, 25th August; three adults, 2nd September; two adults, 14th September; four, 15th September; four adults, ten juveniles, 16th September; one, 20th September; 39, 24th September;
Carrigaholt: one, 25th September.
Doonbeg: one, 24th September.
Loop Head: one adult was filmed 6km west of Loop Head; one off the tip, 29th October.
Miltown Malbay: juvenile, Green Island, 18th September.
A good year for this species.

Bonaparte’s Gull Larus philadelphia (2,2)
Rare vagrant.
Liscannor: first winter, 7th December (D. Mc Namara).
Shannon: adult, Airport Lagoon, 10th to 22nd August (D. Mc Namara, J. N. Murphy, F. Mac Gabhann et al).
One local observer was responsible for doubling the county records for this species in 2007.
newsletter/barnowlheadjm.jpg
Bonaparte’s Gull at The Shannon Airport Lagoon John N Murphy.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Common and widespread.
Lahinch: one, which was seen on in the Inagh estuary on the 28th April carried a yellow leg ring 283A.
Shannon: 1,500, Airport Lagoon, 10th August.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delewarensis
Rare winter visitor.
Kilkee: first winter, 27th December.
Kilrush: first winter at the Marina, 28th October.
Quilty: adult, Seafield, 2nd March to 19th April; second winter, 13th October; adult, Lough Donnell, 22nd May; adult, 10th August.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Scarce winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: first winter, The Rine, 2nd to 6th February.
Lahinch: first and second winter, Inagh estuary, 2nd January; five, 21st January; two adults and two first winters, 22nd January; two first winter, 10th February; one second winter, 8th March; adult and two first winters, Cregg Beach, 30th January.
Liscannor: first winter, 3rd January; first and second winter, 4th January; first winter, 5th January; first and second winter, 6th January; adult, 17th and 18th January; first winter, 21st January; two first winter, 20th February; first winter, 7th March; adult and first winter, Clahane, 15th to 17th March; three, 18th March; two, 26th March; first winter, 16th April; first winter, 8th December.
Quilty: first winter, Lough Donnell, 19th March; adult and first winter, 26th January; second winter, 22nd to 24th February; first winter, 26th March.

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Scarce winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: second winter, The Rine, 6th and 7th January; one, 3rd March.
Carrigaholt: adult, 13th Janaury.
Doonbeg: one, 28th January.
Kilkee: first winter, 13th April.
Loop Head: one, Kilbaha, 28th January.
Liscannor: adult, Clahane, 19th January; first winter, 17th and 18th March.
Quilty: first winter, Lough Donnell, 13th January to 25th February; adult, 24th February; first winter and two second winter, 7th February; two first winter, 24th to 25th February; first winter, 1st to 8th March; three, 26th March; first winter, 16th April; first winter, 8th December.

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Common resident and passage migrant.
Clarecastle: one, The Quay, 15th January.
Loop Head: 1,700, Renville Bay, 5th October.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.
Carrigaholt: 80, 27th August.
Fanore: 100 off the beach, 21st August.
Liscannor: 30, 24th May; 32, 15th June; 70, 21st June.
Quilty:  one, 3rd April.

Roseate Tern Sterna elegans
Scarce passage migrant.
One, Kilcredaun Marsh, 22nd September.
A good record for Clare.

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Common summer and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: 80, 15th September; 450, 16th September; 1000, 24th September.

Little Tern Sterna albifrons
Scarce passage migrant.
Liscannor: two, 25th and 26th August; one, 27th August; one, 4th September
Quilty: one, Seafield, 30th August.
These are the first records for several years.

Guillemot Uria aalge
Common breeder and passage migrant.

Razorbill Alca torda
Common breeder and passage migrant.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Tradaree Point, 6th September was unusually far up the estuary.

Black Guillemot Cepphus grille
Scarce breeder and winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: 50, The Rine, 3rd March.
Flaggy Shore: 11, Lough Murree, 29th November.
Kilkee: one, 15th November.

Little Auk Alle alle
Rare winter visitor.
Bridges of Ross: two, 15th August; adult summer, 19th August.
Two very early records.

Puffin Fratercula arctica
Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one, Bridges of Ross, 31st August.

Rock Dove Columbia livia
Scarce resident.
Hag’s Head: four, 14th March, 2007.

Stock Dove Columba oenas
Scarce summer visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, Ballycar, 2nd August.

Woodpigeon Columbia palumbus
Common resident.

Turtle Dove Streptropelia turtur
Rare vagrant.
One, Loop Head, 1st October.
There have been three previous records of this species during this decade
with two at Loop Head during 2003 and one a Ballyvaughan in 2006.
newsletter/arcticredpolljmclare1.jpg
Turtle Dove John N Murphy.

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Summer visitor.
The first of the year was one hear calling at Loughaun North near Feakle on 15th April, followed closely by the second at Darragh, 17th April; one was seen on telephone wires near Cranny, 5th May.   Reports were considerably fewer this than last due to Cuckoo survey of 2006.

Barn Owl Tyto alba
Scare resident.
Poulnasherry Bay: one, Moyasta, 25th October.
Sixmilebridge: one was seen near Minister’s Cross on 10th June and 24th November.

Barn Owl John N Murphy.

Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Scarce resident.
One was heard calling near Tubber on 23rd June.

Short-eared Owl Asio flammaeus
Rare winter visitor and passage migrant.
The only report was of one at Tullagher Bog, Kilkee, 4th February.

Swift Apus apus
Summer visitor.
Doora: 80, River Fergus, 15th June.
Ennis: one, 25th April; three, 26th April; four, Ballyallia Lake, 8th May; three, Knockanean, 9th May.

Kingfisher Acedo atthis
Scarce resident.
Individuals were reported from Ballcorick Bridge and Clondegad at Ballynacally; Islandavanna near Clarecastle; Doonbeg; Drochidnagower Bridge and Abbey Street Car Park in Ennis; Kilcredaun Marsh at Loop Head; and Moyasta in Poulnasherry Bay.  Two were at Ballynacorick Bridge on 21st September.

Skylark Alauda arvensis
Common resident.
Migration:
Loop Head: 50, 4th October.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Common summer visitor.
The first of the year was seen in Shannon town on 9th March; there were eight at Ballyallia Lake, Ennis, on 12th March.

Swallow Hirundo rustica
Common breeder in summer.
The first of the year was seen at Hurler’s Cross, Shannon on 24th March; the second was at Ballycar,
Newmarket-on-Fergus on 3rd April.  The highest count received was 300 on 15th June.

House Martin Delichon urbica
Common summer visitor.
The first of the year were a party of seven at Drumcliffe, Ennis 19th March.
The only counts received were 20 on the River Fergus at both Ennis and
Clarecastle respectively on 17th April.

Meadow Pipipt Anthus pratensis
Common resident.

Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
Common resident.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta (2,2)
Rare vagrant.
Liscannor: one at Clahane, 31st October into 2008 (D. Mc Namara).
Flaggy Shore: one, Lough Murree, 29th November (P. Troake).
Clahane possesses a rocky shoreline which is well covered in parts with seaweed in winter and proved to be a huge attraction to pipits this year. This series of records brings the total for Clare to four.

Buff-bellied Pipit Anthus rubescens (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Liscannor: one, Clahane, 7th to 12th October (D. Mc Namara, J. N. Murphy).
This transatlantic vagrant was part of an influx of this species into Britain and Ireland during 2007.
It is the first record for Clare and about the fourth for Ireland.

White Wagtail Moticilla alba alba
Passage migrant, probably under-recorded.
Bridges of Ross: one, 28th August.
Doonbeg: one, 19th August; three, 3rd September; one, 25th September.
Liscannor: one, Clahane, 14th March; one, 18th April; two, 28th April; one, 7th October; one, Cregg Beach, 16th September.
Loop Head: one, Kilbaha, 31st August.
Quilty: one, Seafield, 28th April; two, 30th August; two, 4th September; one, 21st September; one, Lough Donnell, 21st September.
This is a good series of records for a species which is probably overlooked.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinera
Common resident.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Common resident.

Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Scarce localised resident.
Reported during the year from the Owenslieve River, Clondegad; The Falls,
Ennistymon; Claureen River, Kilmaley and the Owengarney River, Sixmilebridge.

Dunnock Prunella modularis
Common resident.

Robin Emithacus rubecula
Common resident

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Rare passage migrant.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochuros
Scarce autumn/winter visitor.
Kilkee: female, Kilkee, 5th February; one, 15th November.
Liscannor: male, Clahane, 30th and 31st December.
Loop Head: one, 24th October; one, 30th October.

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.
The first of the year, a female, was reported from Poulnabrone in the Burren, 24th March.
Loop Head: two, 24th October; three, 30th October.

Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Common resident.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Common resident.

Redwing Turdus iliacus
Common winter visitor.

Mistle Thrush Turdus visivorus
Common resident.

Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
Common winter visitor.

Blackbird Turdus merula
Common resident.

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
Scarce summer visitor.
The first of the year was one near Kilfenora on 20th April.  Three were heard at Ballinruan on 29th April.  One was heard in song at Doonagore Bog, Doolin, on 4th May.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Common summer visitor.
The first of the year was reported from the Roche plant at Clarecastle on 20th April.

Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Scarce passage migrant.
Doonbeg: three, 8th August; one, 9th August; two, 17th August; one, 22nd August.
These birds were undoubtedly moving down the west coast on migration from breeding grounds further north, perhaps on the upper reaches of the Shannon.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one, Kilbaha, 10th to 14th October; one, 24th October.
All previous records during this decade came from this locality in 2001 and 2003.

Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Scarce summer visitor.
The first report of the year was from Clahane, Liscannor on 29th April.  Three were reported from South Commons, Kilnaboy, 12th May.  With thirty as a high count from Cranny on 21st May, it was an excellent year for this species.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Increasingly common winter visitor, regular breeder.
Winter
Barefield: two males, 9th January.
Ennis: male, Ballyallia Lake, 4th January; male, 6th February; male, Our Lady’s Hospital, 5th January; male, Oak Park, 22th January to 20th February;  female, 28th December; male, 30th December; female, Ballymacaula, 30th January;  male, Ballymacahill, 10th to 22nd December.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: male, Ballycar, 11th December; female, 26th December.
Sixmilebridge: male, Oakwood, 30th November; male, 19th December.
Summer
Ballinruan: male, 29th April.
Burren: two males, Mullaghmore, 30th April; three males, 12th May; two, 20th May.
Corofin: male, Annalabba Bridge, 28th July.
Cranny: one, 21st May to 13th June.
Ennis: male, Ballyallia Lake, 17th April to 13th June; two males, 20th June; male, Doora, 26th April; male, Knockanean, 10th May;  male, Drumcliffe, 20th June; male, Lees Road Wood, 16th April to 19th May; two, 20th May;  three males, 22nd to 24th May; two male, 26th May; male, 27th May to 7th July.
Feakle: male, Maghera Mountain, 4th July
Lisdoonvarna: male, 1st May.
Lissycasey: male, Booleygleeragh Bog, 12th June.
Miltown Malbay: male, Mount Callan, 7th June.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: male, Ballycar, 11th April to 2nd July; male, Fenloe, 1st to 19th June; two males, Mooghaun, 4th June; one, 6th to 22nd June
Ruan: three males, Dromore Wood, 20th May; two males, 13th, 20th, 29th May; one male, 31st May; four, 5th June.
Tulla: one, Mc Graths quarry, 3rd May.
Autumn
Loop Head: one, 1st October; two, 24th October.
It was an excellent year again for this species with an obvious spread in the breeding population.
The winter records refer to the German population, which are wintering in increasing numbers in Ireland.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one, 1st October; two, 20th October.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Common resident and autumn passage migrant.

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Common summer visitor.
The first of the year was heard at Darragh on 26th March; the second bird was heard at Ballycar,
Newmarket-on-Fergus on 31st March; one, Lee’s Road Wood, Ennis, 1st April
Winter: one at Liscannor, 5th to 21st June.
Autumn: one Kilcredaun on 30th October.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Common summer visitor.
The first of the year was at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus on 5th April.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicpa striata
Scarce summer visitor.
Ruan: two, Dromore Woods, 13th May.
Inch: two, Inch Bridge, 29th May.

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: two, 1st October (T.Tarpey).

Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
Scarce passage migrant.
Loop Head: three, 1st October.

Great Tit Parus major
Common resident

Coal Tit Parus ater
Common resident

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
Common resident

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos candatus
Common resident.

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
Common resident.

Jay Garrulus glandarius
Scarce localised resident.
Barefield: one, Ballycarroll, 12th February.
Burren: one, Slieve Elva, 1st May.
Corofin: one, Lough Inchiquin, 29th December.
Doora: one, Kilbrechin, 23rd November.
Ennis: recorded every month except August and October at Lees Road Wood which a high count of four on 2nd February; one, Gort Road, 17th June; one, Cahercalla Road, 22nd August; one, Rosslevan, 1st November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, 17th and 18th June; two, 22nd June; one, 4th November.
Ruan: one, Dromore Wood 26th March; one,  13th May; one, 5th June.

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Scarce localised resident.
Cliffs of Moher: eight, Hag’s Head, 14th March; two, 6th August.
Doonbeg: two, 23rd July.
Kilkee: 13, Illaunanearean, 13th April.
Lahinch: two at the Golf Club, 27th May; three, 9th August.
Loop Head high count: 28, 23rd September.
Quilty: two, Lough Donnell, 6th and 19th August.

Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Common resident.
An individual of the northern race was seen at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus,
20th to 22nd November and again on the 18th December (J.N. Murphy).

Rook Corvus frugilegus
Common resident.

Carrion Crow Corvus corone
Scarce winter visitor.
One at Liscannor on 4th January was seen at Lahinch Marsh on 5th January.
One was seen at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus on 14th April.

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
Common resident.

Raven Corvus corax
Scarce resident.
Burren: one, Mullaghmore, 13th April.
Cliffs of Moher: one, Hag’s Head, 14th March.
Corofin: two, Lough Inchiquin, 19th November.
Darragh: two, 25th February.
Doolin: one, Doonagore Bog, 17th October.
Doonbeg: three, 3rd August; one, 3rd September.
Ennis: a pair were seen regularly around Ennis, particularly around the Friary church, from 12th March to 15th May; one, Ballyallia, 22nd March; one, 15th May; one, Lees Road Wood, 7th March; one, 7th June.
Kilkee: two, Illaunanearean, 13th April.
Liscannor: three, 22nd to 25th May;
Loop Head: two, Kilbaha, 19th April; two, Cloughaun Lough, 10th August; two, 4th October.
Miltown Malbay: one, Slieve Elva, 4th November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, Mooghaun, 3rd September; two, Ballycar, 22nd December.
Poulnasherry Bay: two, 24th March.
Quilty: three, Lough Donnell, 6th August.
Ruan: one, Dromore Woods, 29th May.
Sixmilebridge: one, 18th April.

Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Common resident.

Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus (6,1)
Rare vagrant.
One was seen feeding with Starlings on the Limerick Road, Ennis in housing estates near the Halfway House pub, 19th to 25th August (F. MacGabhann, S Nugent et al).  This bird was first found by a group of Swedish birders who had stopped at a filling station across the road from the pub. This is the seventh record for Clare and the first since 2002, which also occurred in Ennis.

According to Ussher and Warren, the first county record came from Roxton, Corofin, “about 1808”. This is the oldest record cited by the authors’ and thus can be claimed as the first Irish record of this species.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Common resident.

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
Scarce localised resident.
Doonbeg:  12, 23rd March; one, 5th August; two, White Strand, 11th November.
Liscannor: one, Kilmacrehy Church, 16th May; two, 17th May; four, 20th May; five, 22nd May; two, 28th May; four, 1st June; eight, 15th June; two on a second brood, 29th June; five, 6th July; one, 28th July.
Loop Head: three, 7th October; one, 10th October; one, 3rd November.
Quilty: one, Seafield, 17th May; two, Lough Donnell, 2nd June.
In the 2006 report, a call for increased submission of Tree Sparrow observations went out to local birders resulting in these series of reports.  Results reveal that at Loop Head (particularly around Kilbaha) numbers have dropped off considerably in recent years, and while the numbers from Liscannor and Quilty are similar to previous record levels the 12 birds at Doonbeg is a higher count than was expected. All records come from coastal locations.

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Common resident and winter visitor.
Ennis: 150, Lees Road Wood, 2nd December; 100, 30th December.
Loop Head: 100, 30th December.

Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Scarce winter visitor.
Kilkishen: one, Fenloe Lake, 1st January.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, 10th February.

Linnet Cardeulis cannabina
Common resident.

Redpoll Cardeulis flammea
Scarce resident and winter visitor.

Arctic Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni exipilies (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Four near Kilcredaun Lighthouse, 29th to 30th October (J N Murphy, F MacGabhann).
This is the first county record and the fifth for Ireland.

Arctic Redpoll at Kilcredaun John N Murphy.

Goldfinch Cardeulis chloris
Common resident and winter visitor.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Common resident and winter visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 100, Fenloe Lake, 1st January.

Siskin Carduelis spinus
Scarce resident and winter visitor.
Feakle: a pair, Meaghera, 4th July.
Loop Head: twenty, 14th October.
Sixmilebridge: ten, Kilnacreagh Wood, 14th April.

Twite Carduelis flavirostris
Scarce winter visitor.
Doonbeg: one, White’s Strand, 16th December.
Liscannor: one, Clahane, 25th October.
Lahinch: one, 7th October; one, 14th October.
An irregular winter visitor these days, the Lahinch/Liscannor records probably refer to the same bird.

Common Crossbill Laxia curvirostra
Scarce breeder and winter visitor.
Kilmaley: eight Letteragh Wood, 25th March.
Lissycasey: one, Booleynagleeragh Bog, 22nd December.
Sixmilebridge:  four, Kilnacreagh Wood, 14th April; two females and a male, 15th April.

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus (6,1)
Rare vagrant.
One near Kilcredaun lighthouse, 29th to 31st October (J N Murphy, J Rattigan et al).  Initially this bird was seen but not identified on 29th October as it rose from a track into brambles.  It was positively identified the next day at the same location where is presented itself briefly on an exposed section of the brambles.  This is the seventh county record.  The first was at Loop Head on 6th October, 1987.

Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniculus
Common resident.

Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
Rare passage migrant.
Loop Head: six, 23rd September; two, 29th September.

Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
Regular passage migrant and scarce winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: four, The Rine, 6th January to 6th February; one, 30th September.
Doolin: six, Doonagore Bog, 22nd December.
Kilkee: six, George’s Head, 14th January; ten, 19th January; ten, 21st December.
Loop Head: one, 14th October.
Quilty: one, 3rd November.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citronella
Scarce resident, declining.
Barefield: a peak of ten frequented gardens in Ballycarroll where they fed on food provided for them from 8th January to 26th March; two had returned by 30th November.
Burren: three, Poulnabrone, 24th March; two, Mullaghmore, 27th March; ten, 12th April; eight, 13th April; six, 28th April; two, 30th April; two, 12th May; eight, 20th May; one, Corcomroe, 3rd April; one, 10th April; one, Commons South, Kilnaboy, 20th May; two, Caherconnell Stone Fort, 30th May; male, Carron, 14th and 15th July.
It seems clear from these records that the Burren is the stronghold for this species in Clare and this is borne out distribution map in the Clare Biological Records Centre database.  Yellowhammer is an unusual garden visitor and the wintering flock at Barefield have exploited food left out for Chaffinches.  The origin of this flock is unclear.

List of Contributors
Paul Archer, Lorraine Benson, Richard Bonser, Hugh Delaney, Simon Berrow, Dermot Breen, Pat Brennan, Gerry Butler, Ed Carty, Andy Clifton, Austin Cooney, John Coveney, Patsy Cronin, Tom Cuffe, Jamie Darrant, Mike Davis, Jim Dowdall, Brian Egan, Brian Finnegan, Donal Foley, Tom Foley, Mick Frosdick, Sineád Garvey, Phil Grosse, Dermot Harney, Brian Haslam , Barry Howell, Marc Hughes, Geoff Hunt, Harry Hussey, Mary Kearns, Aidan Kelly, Noel Keogh, Sean McEnery, Finbarr MacGabhann, Eamonn MacLochlainn, Stephen McAvoy, Phil Mc Inerney, Dave McNamara, Brian Lynch, Tom Lynch, Nuala Lynch, Tony Mee, Andrew Meehan, Christy Meehan, Maeve Meehan, Paul Moore, Nelson Morrison, John N Murphy, Pat Murphy, Killian Mullarney, Kevin Nunan, Stan Nugent, Barry O’Donoghue, Aonghus O’Donnell, Sharon Parr, Geoff Pearson, John Rattigan, Andre Robinson, Sean Ronayne, Tom Tarpey, Bill Ryan, Andy Smith, Danny Smith, Ger Walsh, Stephen Ward, Paul Troake, Mick Woreland, Andy Woods, John Wright, Iza Zawadzka.

Acknowledgements:
Thanks to Olivia Crowe of BirdWatch Ireland for her help in sourcing records, and to Mark Grantham and Iain Downie of the BTO for compiling the BirdTrack records for the county.

References:
Ussher, R. & Warren, R. (1900), The Birds of Ireland. Gurney and Jackson, London.

Websites:
Clarebirdwatching
Clare Biological Research Centre
Irish Birding Images
YouTube

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2006 Report

Clare Bird Report 2006
Compiled by John Rattigan on behalf of the Clare branch of BirdWatch Ireland.
rare/littlestintwithdunlin.jpg
Red-eyed Vireo John N Murphy

Introduction
This report is based on records submitted to www.clarebirdwatching.com during 2006, only the second full year of coverage  since the site went live in 2005. Records were submitted for a total of 285 days during the year, up on 184 days in 2005. Coupled with the increased coverage, greater effort was made to record localised resident species, hopefully presenting a more complete picture of their status within the county and presenting base data from which population changes can be measured in the future.

Other sources consulted include the Galway Birding website, Birding World and the Clare Cuckoo Survey.

Summary
There were three new species added to the county list during the year: a Little Ringed Plover was found at Lough Donnell in September and a Canada Warbler – new to Ireland and only the second western palearctic record – spent several days at Kilbaha during October. The third new addition concerns the 1994 record of a Black Kite at Shannon Airport Lagoon, recently accepted by the Irish Rare Birds Committee. Consequently, the county list currently stands at 305 species.

Other major rarities recorded during the year included Spotted Sandpiper and Purple Heron (both second records), Lesser Yellowlegs and Wilson’s Phalarope (both third), Red-eyed Vireo (fourth), White-rumped Sandpiper and Common Rosefinch (both fifth), American Golden Plover and Long-billed Dowitcher (both ninth).

Along the coast, Black-throated Diver numbers were up on the previous year at their traditional haunts along the north coast of the county and two Red-necked Grebes were found during the year in the same locality. Off the west coast, four Fea’s Petrels, one Little Shearwater and two Wilson’s Petrel’s were reported from the Bridges of Ross during the main seawatching period in the early autumn. A Canada Goose was also found between this seawatching site and Ross Bay – the first record for a number of years, while Green-winged Teal were found at Bell Harbour and Querrin and Garganey at Shannon Airport Lagoon. In recent years Ring-necked Ducks have become a regular feature in the county, and this year was no exception with several at Ballyallia, Inchiquin and Knockalough lakes.

Raptors of note included a Buzzard reported from two different locations in the county in April and the second half of the year saw several Marsh Harrier reports. However, the outstanding raptor of 2006 was an occasionally accommodating Osprey that lingered at Lahinch during the autumn.

A number of memorable Neararctic waders also feature in the report with the aforementioned Spotted Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Long-billed Dowitcher all appearing for the second year in succession. Up to nine Pectoral Sandpipers were recorded at four localities, including one carrying a Brazilian colour ring. The westerly storms which lashed the county in November and December brought Grey Phalaropes to the shoreline at Liscannor, Quilty and Kilkee with many of them staying into 2007.

There was the usual smattering of Mediterranean, Ring-billed, Iceland and Glaucous Gulls from around the coast. Although Sabine’s Gull numbers were down at the Bridges of Ross, an adult that stayed in the Shannon area for almost a week in August at times gave great views, while several Little Gulls were found sheltering along the coast during the bad weather in December.
For many, however, the highlight of the birding year was the Canada Warbler. This tiny transatlantic vagrant, accompanied by a Red-eyed Vireo, sparked an unprecedented international twitch that resulted in coverage in the national broadcast and print media. It was these visiting twitchers who reported the Red-breasted Flycatcher and a Common Rosefinch in the locality; while later in the autumn, two Yellow-browed warblers were also located in Kilbaha.

While good numbers of Blackcaps were recorded throughout the year, there is anecdotal evidence that Willow Warblers and Tits occurred in lower numbers. There were only two records of Tree Sparrow and it is unclear as to whether this was due to their ongoing decline or under recording. Perhaps increased vigilance and submission of records could illuminate the status of this species; an improvement in Yellowhammer reports by local observers during 2006 is reflected in this report.
Thanks to everyone who sent in their sightings during the year, we appreciate your time and efforts.

The Systematic List
The sequence followed is that of Professor K.H. Voous’ "List of recent Holarctic Bird Species" (1977). Some records within this report may not have yet been accepted by the Irish Rare Birds Committee (I.R.B.C.). For rare species with bracketed numbers e.g. Canada Warbler (1,1), the first number stands for record of occurrences within the county Clare to date and the second one for number of occurrences within the year covered by this publication, 2005.

Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
Regular winter visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one passed on 11th August; one on 26th August; two on 19th September; five passed on 6th October.
Liscannor: ten on 27th December.
Loop Head: one on 4th November.
Querrin: a group of 24 were off the point on 4th March.

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica
Regular winter visitor.
North Clare: a total of 15 were seen of Finvarra Point and the Flaggy Shore on 28th January; 17 between Traught beach and Black Head on 4th November.
Ballyvaughan: two along the Rine on 13th December.
Bishop’s Quarter: three, on 18th April.
Bridges of Ross: six passed on 19th September.
Doonbeg: one in the bay on 29th October.
Fanore: two on 3rd November; four on 26th December.
Flaggy Shore: seven present on 18th February; six on 25th February; five on 25th November.
Finvarra Point: three, on 4th March; 15, between Finvarra Point and Aughinish Island on 25th March; six off the point on 5th April.
Kilkee: one was seen in the bay on 31st January.
Kilrush: two were seen between Cappa and Aylevarroo on 1st March.
Kinvarra Point: 13 were present on 6th May.
Liscannor: one was present in the bay and two off the rocky beach at Clahane on 2nd March.
New Quay: ten on 2nd December.

Great Northern Diver Gavia immer
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: two passed on 6th October
North Clare: 50 were seen along the coast on 28th January.
These were the only records received.

Slavonian Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Scarce winter visitor.
One was seen off the coast road near Fanore on 2nd November (Barry O’Donoghue).

Little Grebe Tachybaptus rufficollis
Common resident.

Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Common resident.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena
Rare winter visitor.
Doorus: one off the pier on 25th March (John N Murphy, Brian Finnegan, Finbarr MacGabhann, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan); one on 23rd December and 26th December (Dave Mc Namara).

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectis diomeda
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: five on 28th July; one on 29th July; six on 23rd August; three on 24th August; five on 26th August. one on 27th August; ten on 1st September.

Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one passed on 18th August; 92 on 23rd August; 39 on 25th August; 189 on 26th August; four on 27th August; 227 on 1st September; 25 on 2nd .

Fea’s Petrel Pterodroma feae
Rare vagrant.
Bridges of Ross: an unconfirmed report of a single bird passing on 8th August; another unconfirmed report on of one on 21st August; one on 23rd August (Andy Clifton); one unconfirmed on 29th August.

Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis
Rare vagrant
One was reported from the Bridges of Ross on 28th August.

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Regular passage migrant
Bridges of Ross: 3,000 during a 2 hour seawatch on 7th July; 570 on 17th August;
Quilty: 4,000 off Lurga Point on 1st August; 3,000 there on 2nd August.

Mediterranean Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
Scarce passage migrant
Bridges of Ross: one on 28th July; one on 15th August; one on 18th August; three on 19th August; two on 20th August; two on 21st August; two on 22nd August; five on 23rd August; five on 24th August; five on 25th August; five on 26th August; one on 27th August; one on 29th August; six on 1st September; five on 2nd September; one on 6th October;

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus
Regular passage migrant
Bridges of Ross: three during a 2 hour seawatch on 7th July; 11 on 28th July; twelve on 18th August; 44 on 19th August; five on 20th August; one on 21st August; eight on 22nd August; 120 on 25th August; 22 on 26th August; 160 on 28th August; seven on 29th August; 305 on 1st September; 16 on 2nd September; 16 on 19th September; 18 on 6th October
Quilty: five off Lurga Point on 1st August; five on 2nd August; 62 on 17th August;
Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus
Common passage migrant
Bridges of Ross: one on July 28th; four on 14th August; two on 17th August; 12 on 19th August; six on 20th August; 15 on 22nd August; 12 on 25th August; eight on 28th August; two on 29th August; 5 on 6th October;
Quilty: two off the pier at Lurga Point on 9th June; two off the beach at Lough Donnell on 14th June; 20 off Lurga Point on 1st August; 15 on 2nd August; 15 on 2nd September; 21 on 19th September;

Wilson’s Petrel Oceanites oceanicus
Rare vagrant
Bridges of Ross: an unconfirmed report on one passing on 8th August; one on 28th August;

Leach’s Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa
Regular Autumn passage migrant
Ballyvaughan: one at the Rine on 2nd December
Bridges of Ross: the first of the year was recorded on 19th August; three on 25th August; two on 27th August; six on 28th August; 14 on 1st September; one on 2nd September; one on 19th September; 25 on 6th October; 25 on 6th December
Doorus: four on 2nd December
Liscannor: one 2nd December; one seen flying inland at Clahane Beach on 3rd December;

Gannet Morus bassanus
Common passage migrant
Bridges of Ross: 940 passed on 19th Septemeber.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta
Scarce localised resident
Aughinish: eight on 5th November
Clarecastle: two flew over the bridge on the evening of 12th April
Doonbeg: single birds were seen in the bay on 14th January and 12th February; one on 16th November
Lahinch: one at the marsh in the Inagh estuary on 26th December
Lough Murree: one present on 2nd December
Meelick: one was seen feeding in a drain on the 6th January
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Clenagh Lake on 16th September.
Poulnasherry Bay: one was present on 30th January; two were seen at Blackweir Bridge on 5th February; two in the bay on 28th February and 5th March; five on 14th March; a total of 11 were recorded at Moyasta on 22nd March; four in the bay on 4th April, increasing to seven on 6th April; one at Moyasta on 11th April; two there on 24th August; one on 25th August; one in the bay on 29th August; three on 2nd September; two on 9th September; four on 21st September; one on 23rd September; one at Moyasta on 11th October; four at Blackweir Bridge on 18th October; six on in the bay on 24th October; nine at Moyasta on 4th November.
Shannon: one at Tullvarragha Marsh on 17th January; two were at the Airport Lagoon on 2nd April; one there on 17th May; two on 10th June; two on 21st August and 22nd August; one 23rd August; one on 27th August;
The eight at Aughinish is a high count for North Clare.

Grey Heron Ardea cinera
Common breeding resident

Purple Heron Ardea purpurea (1,1)
Rare vagrant
Quilty: one at Lough Donnell on 1st – 3rd October (Dave McNamara, John N Murphy et al). It was seen again on 10th October (Dave Mc Namara)
This is the second Clare record. The first was recorded at Doora in October 1996.
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Purple Heron John N Murphy
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Common resident
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
Common winter visitor.
Ballygireen: there were 67 at this regular haunt on 29th January; 93 were present between Ballygireen and Latoon South on 12th March.
Clarecastle: 15 at Islandavanna.
Cullenagh: thirty, on wet meadows along the Cullenagh River south of Cullenagh on 16th March.
Doonbeg: 15 in the bay on 21st October.
Ennis: six at Ballyallia Lake on 6th November.
Kilkee: three at Tullagher Bog on 21st October; two on the beach on 23rd October; four at Moanmore on Tullagher Bog on 4th November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Ballycar Lough on 22nd October; 30 at Ballycar Lough on 27th December.
Quilty: eight at Lough Donnell on 27th December.
Quin: 18 at Keevagh on 30th November.

Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus
Scarce winter visitor.
Corofin: seven at Lough Inchiquin on 12th February; seven on 26th December.

Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
Winter visitor in small numbers.
Kilkee: a total of 15 birds present at Tullagher Bog on 14th January with the same number recorded on 10th March; 20 on 22nd October.

Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
Scarce winter visitor.
Lahinch: one at the marsh in the Inagh estuary on 3rd October; one on 8th October.
Loop Head: one juvenile near Kilbaha on 10th October.
Quin: one in a flooded field at Keevagh on 28th –30th November.

Greylag Goose Anser anser
Regular winter visitor
Clarecastle: two at Islandavanna on 3rd November
Newmarket-on-Fergus: a flock of 17 was seen at Ballycar on 15th January increasing to 35 on 16th January. Ten were seen at Ballycar Lough on 27th January; five were at Finn Lough on 12th March; two flew over Ballycar on 10th May; six at Ballycar Lough on 30th December.
Sixmilebridge: six flew over the village on 19th November

Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one of the race Brants hutchinsii hutchinsii, or Richardson’s Canada Goose, was present in a field adjacent to the Bridges of Ross on 21st October.

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Lahinch: one on 8th October.
Loop Head: nine near the Bridges of Ross on 21st October
Kilkee: there were 125 present on Mutton Island and 50 at. Illaunonauran on 14th January; 80 were at the same site on 22nd December; 50 on Mutton Island on 23rd December; 90 at Illaunonauran on 24th December; 25 on Mutton Island on 27th December.

Brent Goose Branta bernicla
Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Ballyvaughan: 150 along the Rine on 13th December; 27 along the Rine on 31st December
Doonbeg: seven on 23rd September.
North Clare: a flock of 204 were seen in fields adjacent to Lough Murree on 14th January, a high number for North Clare; thirty were present along the north coast on 28th January. A dark bellied bird was observed at Lough Murree on 25th February and on 25th March.
Liscannor: 16 on 27th December.
Loop Head: 12 near Ross Bay on 12th October; three on 4th November.
Poulnasherry: 150 on 4th April.

Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
Resident and common winter visitor.
Shannon: 21 at the Airport Lagoon on 16th May.
This is the only count received. High counts are welcome.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Common resident.

Gadwall Anas strepera
Scarce winter visitor and rare breeder.
Shannon: three were present at the Airport Lagoon on 11th May; two on 16th May; five on 17th May; two on 4th June.

Pintail Anas acuta
Scarse winter visitor.
Ennis: 20 at Ballyallia Lake on 27th November.

Shoveler Spatula clypeata
Common winter visitor.
Shannon: four at the Airport Lagoon on 11th May and 16th May and 17th May; two on 4th June; two on 10th June.

Wigeon Anas penelope
Common winter visitor, occasionally summers.
Ennis: a drake was present at Ballyallia Lake on 9th May.
Shannon: two at the Airport Lagoon on 7th May; one on 11th May; one on 16th May and 17th May.

Teal Anas crecca
Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.
Shannon: 14 at the Airport Lagoon on 3rd July.

Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
Rare vagrant.
Bell Harbour: one present on 28th February was probably a returning bird. It was still present on 22nd April (Tim Griffin); one on 2nd December (Finbarr MacGabhann) was probably the same bird.
Querrin: a drake was located on 22nd February and was still present on 4th March (Maeve Meehan, Christy Meehan).

Garganey Anas querqedula
Rare passage migrant.
Shannon: one male at the Airport Lagoon on 15th May (John Rattigan); two males there on 16th May (John Rattigan). one drake on 17th May and 19th May; two drake’s were reported there again on 16th June (observer unknown).

Pochard Aytha femia
Common winter visitor.

Scaup Aythya marila
Winter visitor.
Bridges of Ross: one drake passed on 25th August.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common resident and winter visitor.
Ennis: 70 at Ballyallia Lake on 9th November.

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Rare vagrant.
Records below refer to about five birds.
Corofin: a drake at Lough Inchiquin on 5th – 12th February (Maeve Meehan et al); one female and an eclipsed drake there on 26th December (Christy Meehan, Maeve Meehan).
Ennis: a male and female were at Ballyallia Lake on 16th – 20th January (John N Murphy, Stan Nugent et al); with the drake alone seen on 22nd January (John N Murphy, Austin Cooney) and 26th January (Finbarr MacGabhann and Kieran Grace) and 29th January (Austin Cooney and Brian Finnegan); a lone drake on 10th March (Stan Nugent), seen again on 15 March (John N Murphy); both drake and duck present on 24th March; drake only on 25th March; both duck and drake on 30th and 31st March (Tim Griffin, John N Murphy); one at Ballyallia Lake on 24th November (Finbarr MacGabhann); a female on 28th November (John N Murphy, Barry O’Donoghue); a male and female present on 1st December (Dave McNamara); a male and female on 10th December (John N Murphy, Tom Lynch & Finbarr MacGabhann); one male on 21st (Finbarr MacGabhann).
Kilmihil: three females were observed at Knockalough on 5th March (John N Murphy et al).

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Aughinish Island: 30 were present on 28th January.
Bridges of Ross: three passed on 22nd August; ten on 26th August;
Doonbeg: a flock of 20 at Doughmore Bay on 25th June
Flaggy Shore: 35 on 25th November.
Loop Head: three on 23rd September.

Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
Scarce winter visitor.
Aughinish Island: one was present with a flock of Common Scoter on 28th January.

Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
Scarce winter visitor.
Durrus: one, on 25th March; three off the pier on 23rd December.
Flaggy Shore: four were present on 18th February increasing to 20 on 25th February; three on 25th November.
North Clare: a total of 32 were observed between Traught Beach and Flaggy Shore on 28th January.

Goldeneye Bucephala glangula
Regular winter visitor.

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
Common winter visitor.

Black Kite Milvus migrans (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
One seen on 8th May 1994 at Shannon Airport Lagoon was recently accepted by the Irish Rare Birds Committee (Kieran Fahy). It is the first county record.

Osprey Pandion haliaetus
Scarce passage migrant.
Lahinch: one at the Inagh estuary marsh on 12th – 14th September (Dave McNamara); one on 15th September (Finbarr MacGabhann); on 16th September (Brian Finnegan, Austin Cooney); one on 17th September (Brian Arthurs, John N Murphy, Dave Mc Namara, Hugh Delaney, Richard Bonser et al).

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Rare vagrant.
The records below refer to about three birds.
Burren: one near Mullaghmore on 7th May (Christian Ostoff)
Doora: one at Bunnow Marsh on 20th November (John N Murphy)
Ennis: two, an adult and a juvenile, were at Ballyallia Lake on 13th September (Tim Griffin); one on 23rd September (Stan Nugent); one there on 25th September (Tom Lynch); one female on 30th October (Myles Carey); one female on 5th November (Dave McNamara); one on 24th November (Finbarr MacGabhann); one female on 27th November (Dave McNamara).

Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
Scarce resident and passage migrant.
Black Head: one flew in off the sea on 4th November
Bridges of Ross: one white-bellied female flew in off the sea on 24th August
Clarecastle: a single female was seen at Islandavanna on 12th February; two females were present there on 23rd July.
Connolly: a male was seen west of the village on 2nd March.
Corofin: two at Lough Inchiquin on 12th February.
Doonbeg: one female was seen near the village on 29th January.
Ennis: one female at Ballyallia Lake on 30th October.
Fishermans Hill: a male was seen near Ballycar North on 13th June.
Lahinch: a male was seen at the marsh in the Inagh estuary on 12th December.
Liscannor: one, near Clahane on 5th April; one male on 27th December.
Lissycasey: a male flew over Boolynegleeragh Bog on 29th June.
Loop Head: one female on 26th August; one female on 22nd September; two on 23rd September; one male on 1st October; one male on 12th October; one on 14th October; one male on 29th October; two on 4th November.
Kilkee: a male was seen at Tullagher Bog on 15th January; three there on 30th September; two females at Farrihy Lough on 11th October.
Kilrush: one male was seen at Moanmore Bog on 26th August.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one female at Ballycar on 29th January.
Poulnasherry Bay: one female, 6th April.
Quilty: one ringtail at Lough Donnell on 24th August; one female on 10th September; one male on 1st October; one on 5th November.

Buzzard Buteo buteo
Rare vagrant.
Burren: one was seen near Mullaghmore on 14th April (Meehan family).
Poulnasherry Bay: one, on 6th April (Meehan family).

Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Common resident.
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common resident.

Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Scarce resident and under recorded in 2005.
Bridges of Ross: one on 6th October.
Cliffs of Moher: two, on 21st July.
Ennis: one at Ballyallia Lake on 24th November.
Kilrush: one at Doughmore on 22nd December.
Lahinch: two at the Inagh Estuary on 17th September; two on 30th September; one on 12th December.
Liscannor: two on 30th December.
Lissycasey: one at Boolynagleeragh Bog on 20th July;
Loop Head: one on 22nd April; one on 23rd September; one on 29th October; one on 4th November
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Lough Gash on 30th September
Quilty: one at Lough Donnell, on 7th April; one at Seafield on 30th September; one at Lough Donnell on 27th December
Quin: one on 23rd April
Shannon: one at the Airport Lagoon on 3rd September; one on 16th September

Merlin Falco columbarius
Scarce passage migrant, rare breeder.
Bridges of Ross: one on 6th October.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: a female was seen at Ballycar on 9th February.
Ennis: a male was seen at Toonagh Cross on 9th February; one at Lee’s Road Wood on 15th December
Kilkee: one at Illaunonearaun on 24th December; one at Tullagher Bog on 29th December.
Kilrush: one was seen 2km east of the town on 21st February.
Lahinch: one on 12th December.
Loop Head: one on 11th October; three near the lighthouse on 14th October; one near the lighthouse on 21st October; one on 29th October; four on 4th November; one on 29th December.
Quilty: one on 23rd March; one at Lough Donnell on 3rd October; one at Seafield on 28th October; one at Lough Donnell on 28th October.
Quin: one at Knockroghan on the Ennis-Quin road on 15th March.

Red Grouse Lagopus lagopus
Scarce resident.
Cratloe: one was seen at Woodcock Hill on 14th February.

Pheasant Phiasianus colchicus
Widespread and common.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Scarce Resident.
Under recorded in 2005.
Ballynacally: one at Ballcorrick Bridge on 13th October.
Kilcredaun: one at the marsh there on 23rd September.
Lough Bunny: one seen with chicks on 27th June.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one was present at Ballycar Lough, 14th February; two were heard there on 5th April and June 24th; one present on 1st –2nd July; two on 10th July and 16th July; three on 28th July; two on 5th August; one on 7th August; one at Ballycar Lough on 24th September; two on 25th September; one on 22nd October; two at Ballycar Lake on 5th November; two on 8th November; one on 20th November.
Shannon: four at the Airport Lagoon on 3rd July; five there on 28th July; two on 30th July; one on 1st August; two on 5th August; one on 10th August; three on 11th August and 23rd; one on 23rd September; one on 8th December; one at Fenloe Lake on 26th December.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Widespread and common.

Coot Fulica atra
Common resident.

Oystercatcher Haematopus osttralegus
Resident and common winter visitor.

Little-ringed Plover Charadrius dubius (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Quilty: one at Lough Donnell on 9th September. (John N Murphy, John Rattigan, Finbarr MacGabhann). It was seen again on 10th September (Brian Finnegan, Austin Cooney, Brian Arthurs).
This is the first Clare record.

Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
Common resident and winter visitor.
High counts:
Quilty: 200 on 21st September.
Shannon: 120 at the Airport Lagoon on 23rd August; 11 on 6th September.

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Common winter visitor.
On passage:
Loop Head: 11 on 19th September; 125 on 4th November.
High count:
Shannon: at Saint’s Island and Tradaree Point there were a total of 2,500 present on 17th January.

American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica (8,1)
Rare Vagrant.
Doonbeg: one frequented the shoreline with a flock of Golden Plover from 11th –16th October (Dave Mc Namara).
This is the ninth county record.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Common winter visitor and breeder.
High count:
Shannon: at Saint’s Island and Tradaree Point there were a total of 2,000 present on 17th January.
Knot Calidris canutus
Common winter visitor.
On passage:
Shannon: 70 at the Airport Lagoon on 4th June; 30 there on 11th August; 12 on 6th September.

Sanderling Crocethia alba
Scarce winter visitor.
Quilty: 30 on 21st September.
Shannon: nine at the Airport Lagoon on 29th August; one on 6th September.

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
Scarce winter visitor.
Quilty: 20 at Seafield on 9th November; 70 on 16th November.

Turnstone Arenaris interpres
Common winter visitor.
Quilty: 150 on 21st September.
Dunlin Calidris alpina
Common winter visitor.
On passage.
Quilty: 60 on 21st September
Shannon: 154 at the Airport Lagoon on 11th May increasing to 1,000 on 13th May; 500 on 16th May; 50 on 17th May; 20 on 10th June; 150 on 10th August; 90 on 11th August; 300 on 29th August; 900 on 6th September;

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Scarce passage migrant.
Carrigaholt: two on 23rd September.
Lahinch: two on 19th September.
Quilty: two were on the beach on 17th August; four at Lurga Point on 9th September; five on 10th September; three between Lurga Point and Lough Donnell on 11th September; two at the same location on 15th September; three at Lurga Point on 15th September; five on 17th September; two juveniles on 21st September; five on 23rd September; three on 26th September; two at Seafield on 30th September.
Shannon: the first of the autumn was a summer plumaged bird seen at the Airport Lagoon on 28th July; two present on 18th August; one on 19th August; two on 21st August; one on 22nd August; one on 23rd August; one on 29th August; two juveniles on 3rd September; one on 6th September; 14 on 16th September; four on 16th September; one on 14th October.

Little Stint Calidris minuta
Scarce passage migrant.
Quilty: four on 2nd September; two between Lurga Point and Lough Donnell on 10th September; three on 23rd September; four on the beach at Seafield on 24th September; 12 on 26th September; four on 30th September; five at Seafield on 1st October; five at Seafield on 3rd October; one at Lough Donnell on 3rd October; two at Lough Donnell on 4th October; two at Seafield on 14th October.

Little Stint with Dunlin John N Murphy

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Scarce passage migrant, occasionally winters.
Ballynacally: two at Ballycorick Bridge on 4th October; three there on 9th and 10th October.
Clarecastle: on was present at the quay on 29th January.
Doonbeg: one on 5th – 6th September; one on 9th November.
Ennistymon: one at the falls on 14th – 17th October; one there on 25th December.
Moyasta: two on 19th August; one on 25th August; two on 19th September; one on 11th October.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one on the Rine River at Dromoland on 24th December.

Common Sandpiper Tringa hypoleucos
Scarce breeder and regular passage migrant.
Bunratty: one was seen on the Owengarney River on 22nd January.
Burren: one near Mullaghmore on 15th May.
Clarecastle: one at the quay on several dates between, 4th – 29th January; two present on 30th January; one on 8th March; two on 22nd March; one 4th April; two at Islandavanna on 8th August; one at the quay on 15th August; two on the pier on 11th October.
Doonbeg: one on 7th September; one on 9th September; one on 2nd October.
East Clare: two pairs were at Lough Graney on 25th May.
Ennis: two, Ballyallia Lake on 6th July.
Loop Head: one at Kilbaha 13th August.
Lough Bunny: two on 27th June and again on 30th June.
O’Brien’s Bridge: two on 25th December.
Quilty: one at Lough Donnell on 9th September.

Redshank Tringa totanus
Common winter visitor.
Shannon: 30 at the Airport Lagoon on 3rd July; 500 on 6th September.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
Regular passage migrant.
Liscannor: two on 17th December.
Shannon: one adult summer was at the Airport Lagoon on 3rd – 4th July; two on 6th September; one on 16th September.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
A high count was ten at Doonbeg on 5th September, increasing to 22 there on 7th September.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Shannon: 180 were at the Airport Lagoon on 11th May; 300 on 16th May; 350 on 17th May; 300 on 4th June; 400 on 10th June; 600 on 30th July; 400 on 10th August; 320 on 11th August; up to 600 on 23rd August; 1,000 on 6th September.

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Common winter visitor.
Shannon: 50 were at the Airport Lagoon on 4th June; five on 11th August.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Passage migrant.
Kilkee: 50 at the Golf course on 5th May with 60 there on 9th May.
Liscannor: 20 were seen at Clahane on 1st May.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 55 flew over Ballycar heading North West in the evening of 23rd April; 28 there on 26th April and 63 on 30th April; 48 on 4th May; a total of 52 birds flying north west during the day at Ballycar on 7th May; 30 flew over on 8th May; 112 flew over on 9th May; 62 on 10th May; 14 on 13th May .
Poulnasherry Bay: a flock of 54 were in the bay on 25th April; three at Moyasta on 11th October.
Quilty: six near Seafield on 19th April were the first recorded for the year; one at Seafield on 9th August was the first of the Autumn; 30 on 26th September.
Shannon: 15 at the Airport Lagoon on 7th May; 94 were seen there on 10th May; 31 on 11th May; six on 16th May.

Curlew Numenius arquata
Resident and common winter visitor.
The albino bird that has frequented Poulnasherry bay over the last number of years was again seen on 5th March and 15th August and 29th August and 9th September.
Summer:
Clarecastle: 46 at Islandavanna on 23rd July.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: a flock of 40 were at Ballycar on 19th July.
Sixmilebridge: a pair were seen in bogland near Oatfields on 30th May.

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Scarce under-recorded resident and winter visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Ballycar on 13th February.
This was the only record received

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
Scarce under-recorded winter visitor.
Ardnacrusha: one was seen at Ballycar North, 13th February.
Bunratty: one was seen on the Owengarney River on 22nd January.
Ennis: one was flushed at Ballyallia Lake on 2nd March.
Loop Head: one on 4th November.

Snipe Gallinego gallinego
Common resident.

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius

Scarce passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one on 25th August; 12 on 6th October; three on 6th December.
Kilkee: two on 30th December.
Liscannor: two were seen in the bay on 12th December; one off the pier on 13th December.
Quilty: one on 2nd December.

Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor (2,1)
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one stayed just long enough to be photographed in a flooded field at Ross Bay on 23rd September (John N Murphy). This is the third county record and the first away from Shannon Airport Lagoon where it was recorded in August 1981 and August 1984.

Wilsons Phalarope in flooded field at Loop Head John N Murphy

 

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Scarce passage migrant.
Doonbeg: one on 17th September; two on 4th October.
Shannon: one juvenile at the Airport Lagoon on 11th August; still there on 19th August; one 22nd August; two on 23rd August; two on 28th August; two on 6th September; two on 17th September.
Quilty: three at Lough Donnell on 17th August; two on 18th August; two on 24th August; one on 9th September; one on 11th September.

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
Rare Nearctic vagrant.
Shannon: one juvenile at the Airport Lagoon on 7th September (John N Murphy)
This is the fifth county record. There are three previous records from this site dating from 1969, 1990 and 2003, with one from Poulnasherry Bay in 2005 and another from Quilty of the same year.

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one on 23rd September.
Poulnasherry Bay: one on 2nd September; one on 16th September.
Quilty: four at Lough Donnell on 9th September; two there on 10th September; two on 11th September; one on 15th September; one on 22nd September.
Shannon: one at the Airport Lagoon on 22nd August – 6th September.
One of the four birds observed at Lough Donnell was colour-ringed and traced to Brazil.

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes (2,1)
Rare vagrant.
Doonbeg: one was on 3rd September (Maeve Meehan, Christy Meehan)
This is the third county record. The last was in 2005 also at this site.

Spotted Sandpiper Tringa macularia (1,1)
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one in the harbour at Kilbaha on 7th October (John N Murphy, Killian Mullarney, Tom Tarpey, Finbarr MacGabhann, Dave Mc Namara). This is the second Clare record. The first was at Doonbeg in 2005.

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (8,1)
Rare vagrant.
Shannon: one in summer plumage was found at the Airport Lagoon on 28th July (Arne Holgensson, Stefan Magnusson, John N Murphy) and was seen subsequently on 30th July (John N Murphy, Austin Cooney, Brian Arthurs), on 1st August and 5th August (Finbar MacGabhann), on 7th August (Eric Dempsey), on 10th August (Finbarr acGabhann), on 11th August (Gerry Butler, Lorraine Benson, John N Murphy); on 18th August; on 19th August; one on 21st August; one on 22nd August; one on 24th August; one on 26th August; one on 27th August; one on 28th August; one on 29th August; relocated on 11th September (John Wright); one on 16th September; one on 17th September (Richard Bonser et al).
This is the ninth county record.

Great Skua Stercorarius skua
Common passage migrant.
Ballyvaughan: two at the Rine on 22nd October.
Bridges of Ross: three on 28th July; two adults on 3rd August; one on 14th August; three on 15th August; four 16th August; one on 17th August; twelve on 18th August; four on 19th August; four on 20th August; three on 21st August; five on 22nd August; two on 26th August; seven on 28th August; two on 29th August; 11 on 1st September; 8 on 2nd September; eight on 19th September; 74 on 6th October; two on 14th October; seven on 6th December; three on 8th December; one on 29th December.
Loop Head: three on 24th September

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: three on 28th July; one adult on 3rd August; one adult on 11th August; two on 19th August; one on 20th August; two on 23rd August; two on 24th August; two on 25th August; one on 26th August; two on 27th August; two on 28th August; 14 on 1st September; four on 2nd September; two on 19th September; eight on 6th October.
Quilty: one off Lurga Point on 2nd August; one on 18th August.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasititus
Regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one on 29th July; two on 11th August; two on 14th August; three on 15th August; ten on 16th August; four on 19th August; ten on 20th August; ten on 22nd August; three on 24th August; two on 25th August; ten on 26th August; two on 28th August; for on 29th August; 40 on 1st September; 22 on 2nd September; two on 19th September; 45 on 6th October.
Doonbeg: two flew in off the sea on 25th August.
Loop Head: ten on 24th September; one off Kilbaha 14th October.
Quilty: one light phase bird off Lurga Point on 1st August, with three on 2nd August; one off the pier at Seafield on 17th August; two on 27th August; one dark phase on 26th September.
Shannon: one was seen at the Airport Lagoon on 23rd July; four identified with 14 skuas probably of this species on 28th July.

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudis
Rare passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one second year on 29th July; one on 20th August; one juvenile on 23rd August; one juvenile on 19th September (John N Murphy); one juvenile on 6th October (Killian Mullarney, John N Murphy).

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Common and widespread.
Shannon: 400 were counted at the Airport Lagoon on 6th September.

Common Gull Larus canus
Common winter visitor, small breeding numbers.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Rare winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: an adult bird was present on 18th February.
Clarecastle: a second winter at the quay on 22nd March.
Quilty: one adult on the beach between Lurga Point and Lough Donnell on 17th August; a second winter on 19th –25th August; a second winter on 27th December.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Scarce winter visitor.
Doorus: one off the pier adult on 23rd December.
Doonbeg: one juvenile at the Golf Course on 24th -25th August; a first summer at the mouth of the Skivileen River near the Golf Course on 26th August; one in the same location on 11th October.
Kilkee: one adult with a yellow leg ring was seen on 2nd September; one adult also on the beach on 6th October; one first winter on 29th December.
Lahinch: one second winter on 19th September; one first winter on 30th September; two on 8th October.
Liscannor: one adult on 4th October; one on 30th December.
Loop Head: one adult at Cloghaun Lough on 20th October; one first winter at Kilbaha on 29th December.
Quilty: a second winter on 19th – 20th August; two on 21st September; two first winters on 29th October.

Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Resident.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Common summer visitor, breeding in small numbers.
There was noticeable migration throughout the county on 20th April.

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Common resident.
High count:
Quilty: 450 at Lough Donnell on 27th October.

Little Gull Larus minutus
Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one adult passed on 19th August; one on 6th October.
Liscannor: one on 9th December; one first winter on 27th December; two on 29th December; one adult on 31st December.
Loop Head: four first winter, at Kilbaha harbour on 24th December.
Lough Bunny: one first summer on 3rd August.
Quilty: one adult on 30th December.
Westerly storms in December brought several birds to the coast for shelter for a number of weeks.

Kittiwake Rissa tridactyle
Common resident and passage migrant.

Sabine’s Gull Larus sabini
Regular Autumn passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: three on 19th August; one 22nd August; one 23rd August; two on 28th August; 15 on 1st September; three on 6th October.
Kilkee: one at Bishop’s Island on 29th August.
Shannon: one adult present at the Airport Lagoon and surrounding area from 21st –27nd August.

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Scarce winter visitor.
Kilkee: one second winter was on the beach on 9th May.
Kilrush: one second winter at Doughmore on 22nd December.
Lahinch: one Glaucous Gull.
Loop Head: one second winter on 22nd April; one at Kilbaha on 29th December.
Quilty: one on 26th October; one at Seafield on 28th October; one at Seafield on 16th November.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Scarce winter visitor.
Bridges of Ross: one second winter on 8th December.
Kilkee: one second winter at Illaunearaun on 22nd December; a first winter near Castle Point on 27th December and 29th December.
Liscannor: one second winter bird at Clahane, 2nd January; another was present on 5th February; one near the pier on 18th December.
Loop Head: one second winter at Ross Bay on 12th March.
Quilty: one first winter, 2nd January – 12th February; a first winter was reported from Lough Donnell on 2nd March; one on 2nd December.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Common summer and passage migrant.

Little Tern Sterna albifrons
Scarce passage migrant.
Quilty: one on 9th July.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.
Early date:
Durrus: one, on 25th March.
High count:
Liscannor: a flock of 60 on the beach on 18th August.

Black Tern Chilidonias niger
Scarce passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: one juvenile on 21st August; one on 25th August; one on 1st September; one on 2nd September; one juvenile in the bay at Kilbaha on 24th –25th September.

Little Auk Plantus alle
Rare winter visitor.
Bridges of Ross: four on 6th October; one on 8th December.

Puffin Fratercula arctica
Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: 25 on 6th October.
Cliff of Moher: over 400 seen below the cliffs from a boat, 24th June. All had departed the cliffs on 21st July.

Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle
Scarce breeder and winter visitor.
North Clare: there were 90 seen between these Traught Beach and Flaggy Shore on 28th January. 17 off the flaggy shore on 25th November.

Guillemot Uria aalge
Common breeder and passage migrant.

Razorbill  Alca torda
Common breeder and passage migrant.
Rock Dove Columbia livia
Scarce resident.
Loop Head: 28 on 23rd September.

Stock Dove Columbia aenas
Scarce summer visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Ballycar on 14th July, increasing to two on 16th July; two again on 27th July and 14th August.

Woodpigeon Columbia palumbus
Common resident.
High counts:
Ennis: 200 in the beech trees at Ballyallia Lake.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 60 on 25th November.

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaoto
Common resident.
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
Rare vagrant.
Ballyvaughan: one in a garden on 10th June.

Cuckoo Cueulus canorus
Common resident.
Burren: one heard at Mullaghmore and another near Kilnaboy, both on 15th May.
Lissycasey: one heard at Darragh on 16th April.
In addition to these reports to the website a total of 960 reports were received by the Clare Biodiversity Office for the Clare Cuckoo Survey 2006 (aPDF file is on view in our Publications section of this web sie).
The first singing males were reported from Oatfield, Sixmilebridge and Kilmaley on 9th April and the last report was received from Knockliscrane, Miltown Malbay on 13th June. The survey indicated a widespread distribution, though there was a notable absence of records from the LabasheedaKilmurry Mc Mahon area of south Clare.

Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Scarce resident.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: wing claps heard at Ballycar in the early hours of 23rd June; a juvenile seen there on 1st July.

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Rare winter visitor and passage migrant.
Cliffs of Moher: one was seen hunting near the cliffs on 17th November, was the only record received.

Barn Owl Tyto alba
Scarce resident.
Clarecastle: one on 7th October.
Shannon: one was seen at Ballycasey on the night of 6th February.
Sixmilebridge: one at Springfield on 22nd May.
Kilkee: one was reported hunting late on the nights of 2nd – 4th March inclusive; one on 23rd September.
Loop Head: one at Cross village on 23rd August.

Common Swift Apus apus
Summer visitor.
The first of the year were reported from Knockhogan on the QuinEnnis road where three were seen on the evening of 22nd April. They were considered to be about one week early.
Ennis: six were seen over the town on 29th April; 25 were hawking over Ballyallia Lake on the evening of 2nd May, increasing to 100 by 23rd May.
Sixmilebridge: all had departed from the village on 10th August.

Hoopoe Upupa epops
Rare vagrant.
Poulnasherry Bay: one frequented a residential garden at Moyasta on several dates between 14th – 23rd October, eluding most birders.

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Scarce resident.
Ballynacally: one at Ballycorrick Bridge, on 13th October.
Clarecastle: one at the Roche (Ireland) plant on 8th September.
Doonbeg: one on 6th – 7th September.
Lahinch: one on 17th September.
Moyasta: one on 26th August.
O’Brien’s Bridge: one on 20th May.
Parteen: one was seen near Parteen on 31st January.

Skylark Alauda arvensis
Common resident.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Common summer visitor.
Clarecastle: one at the quay on 4th April
Ennis: several near a quarry on 29th March were the first recorded for the year; two were seen over the Fergus River on 5th April; 20 at Ballyallia Lake on 23rd May.

Swallow Hirundo rustica
Common summer visitor.
Bodyke: one, on 5th April.
Cratloe: one was seen at Ballymorris on 2nd April.
Ennis: three were observed at Ballyallia Lake on 31st March; another was seen on the Kilrush Road on 4th April; one, town centre, 5th April; 100 seen hawking over Ballyallia Lake on 23rd May.
Loop Head: one on 14th October.
Quin: one, 3rd April.
Sixmilebridge: about 300 on wires in the village on 10 September. Most had departed next day.

House Martin Deliclon urbica
Common summer visitor.
Ennis: 100 seen hawking over Ballyallia Lake on 23rd May.
Quin: the first of the year was seen in the village on 27th April.
Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
Common resident.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratenis
Common resident.

Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba
Common resident.

White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba
Regular passage migrant.
Carrigaholt: one on 23rd September.
Liscannor: two were seen at Clahane on 1st May.
Loop Head: one on 23rd September; four on 24th September; one on 12th October.
Quilty: two White Wagtails were on the beach at Seafield on 23rd September.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinera
Common resident.

Wren Troglodytes trogladytes
Common resident.

Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Localised resident.
Kilmaley: one on the Claureen River, 10th April, 21st April, 29th April; 2nd May; 28th October; two on 31st October; one on 21st December; one on 24th December.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: two on the Rine River at Dromoland on 24th December.
Quin: one was seen on the Rine River on 9th February.
Sixmilebridge: one seen near the bridge on the Owengarney River on 2nd February and again on 26th May.

Dunnock Prunella modularis
Common resident.

Robin Emithacus rubecula
Common resident.

Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Rare passage migrant.
Loop Head: a female was seen between Anvil farm and the Bridge of Ross on 19th August.

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Scarce winter visitor.
Kilrush: a male was seen near Cappa Pier on 30th January and was still present on 4th March.
Liscannor: one on 25th February.
Quilty: a female was present at the pier at Seafield on 10th Febuary.

Wheatear Oenauthe oenauthe
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.
Cross: five, near Tullig on 22nd March.
Kilkee: 18 were at the west end of the town on 21st September.
Loop Head: eight on 19th September; four on 23rd September.
Poulnasherry: one on 4th April.
Shannon: one female at the Airport Lagoon on 6th September.

Stonechat Saxicola torquata
Common resident.

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Common resident.

Redwing Turdus iliacus
Common winter visitor.
Extensive migration into Clare was evident on 19th October.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: two at Ballycar on 15th October.

Mistle Thrush Turdus visivorus
Common resident.

Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
Common winter visitor.
Clarecastle: 60 at Islandmcgrath on 3rd November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 26 at Ballycar on 3rd November.

Blackbird Turdus merula
Common resident.

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Increasingly common winter visitor, scarce breeder.
Winter:
Ennis: one female in a garden near the Tulla Road at Ballymacahill on several dates between 5th-19th January; a male and female were present at Oak Park on 7th January and 23rd, 24th and 26th February; with one male there on 15th , 16th, 24th January; One at Hermitage on 1st March; one male at Ballymacahill on 6th November; one at Knockhogan on 9th November.
Loop Head: five on 4th November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one female on 17th December.
Parteen: one male, 31st January.
Quin: a single male was seen just outside the village on 6th February.
Shannon: one female, 15th January.
Sixmilebridge: a male was present north of the village on 22nd January.
Summer:
Burren: two in song near Mullaghmore, 20th April and 15th May; one at the Ailwee Caves on 26th July.
East Clare: one heard in song at Annacarriga between Killaloe and Ogonnelloe on 11th May.
Ennis: two in song at Ballyallia Lake, and another male was heard at Ballymacguiggan Lake near the Lees Road Wood both on 23rd April; one was in song at Ballyallia Lake on 24th April; one in song at Lee’s Road Wood on 26th April; one in song at Ballyallia Lake 27th April and 2nd May; one in song at the Ballymacguiggan end of Lees Road Wood on 5th May; two in song at Ballyallia Lake on 9th May; one on 10th May; four at Fountain Cross on 12th May; one at Lee’s Road Wood on 16th May; one in song at Cahercalla More on the Kilrush Road on 25th May; one at Lee’s Road Wood on 1st June; one there on 8th June; one 1st and 2nd July.
Lissycasey: a male was in song at Darragh on 22nd April.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one in song at Ballycar, 8th April – 5th August.
Ruan: six in song at Dromore Wood Nature Reserve on 8th May; four were heard there on 27th May.
Sixmilebridge: one at Springfield on 22nd May; two heard at Castle Lake on 1st June; two were in song at Kilnacreagh Wood on 15th July.

Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Scarce summer visitor.
Burren: four were in song near Mullaghmore on 15th May.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one was heard at Ballycar on 10th May.
Sixmilebridge: four in song at Kilnacreagh Wood on 15th July.

Sedge Warbler Acropcephalus scheonobaenus
Common summer visitor.
Doora: two were heard in song at the bridge on the Fergus River on 23rd April, the first record for the year.

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
Scarce winter visitor.
Lissycasey: the first of the year was heard in song at Darragh on 27th April.
Shannon: one in song deep in the reeds at the Airport Lagoon on 10th May; one there on 28th July.

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Common summer visitor.
Ennis: one was heard on the Kilrush Road on 5th April.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one was heard at Ballycar on 5th April.

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybitta
Common summer visitor.
Ennis: one at Pine Grove on 12th March.
Loop Head: two in Kilbaha on 21st October; two on 4th November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one in song at Ballycar on 24th September.

Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one at Kilbaha on 21st October (John N Murphy, John Rattigan, Finbarr McGabhann); one on 8th November.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Common resident and autumn passage migrant.

Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one at Kilbaha on 9th and 11th October.

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Common summer visitor.
Clarecastle: a pair were found nesting in a shed at the Roche factory on 14th June.
Cloghera: one was seen at the church on 13th June.
Ennis: one at Fountain Cross on 12th May.
Kilmaley: two were seen feeding over the Claureen River near the waterfalls on 11th May; a pair were seen at the same location on 25th May.
Loop Head: one was seen on 27th August; two on 11th October.

Great Tit Parus major
Common resident.

Coal Tit Parus ater
Common resident.

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
Common resident.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos candatus
Common resident.

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
Common resident.

Magpie Pica pica
Common resident.

Jay Garrolus glandarius
Scarce resident, decreasing.
Ardnacrusha: two were seen north of the village on 17th February.
Cratloe: one near the village on 3rd February.
Ennis: three at Lee’s Wood Road, 6th January; one there on 9th April; two on 13th April; one on 3rd and 4th May; three on 8th May; one on 20th May; one on 24th May; one on 30th June and 1st July; three on 4th July; one on 21st July; one on 15th August; one on 10th September; one at Lees Wood Road on 20th November and 21st November; two in territorial battle along the Lees Wood Road on 27th November; two on 6th December; two on 15th December
Kilrush: one at Kilrush Woods on 5th January.
Lissycasey: one at Darragh on 11th June.
Carrion Crow Corvus corax
Meelick: one at Moneennagloggin South on 8th February.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Ballycar School, Finn Lough, 20th February.
Parteen: one at Cappateemore East, north of the village on 12th February.
Sixmilebridge: one was seen there on 16th January; one near Glenwood on 7th February.

Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Resident.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one from the Scandanavian race was seen at Ballycar on 6th January.

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Localised resident.
Cliffs of Moher: eight on 21st July.
Kilkee: three at Illaunonearaun on 24th August.
Lahinch: fourteen on 16th September; seven there on 17th September.
Loop Head: four were present on 22 April; 22 were seen on 29th July; 26 on 19th September; 24 on 14th October; 16 on 21st October.

Rook Corvus frugilegus
Common resident.

Carrion Crow Corvus corone
Rare vagrant.
Cratloe: one near the village on 3rd February.

Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
Common resident.

Raven Corvus corax
Scarce resident.
Under recorded in 2005.
Clarecastle: one at the quay on 4th April, was an unusual record.
Cliffs of Moher: six on 21st July.
Ennis: one at Ballyallia Lake, 3rd May and again in 16th May.
Kilrush: one near Taylor’s Hill, 6th April.
Lissycasey: one at Darragh on 16th April; another was seen feeding on a sheep carcass at Darragh on 5th May; one at Boolynagleeragh Bog on 15th July.
Loop Head: four on 29th July; two at Kilbaha on 13th August.
Lough Bunny: three on 27th June.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: two at Ballycar Lough on 7th August; one there on 8th November.
Quilty: three at Seafield on 9th August.
Quin: one was seen on 23rd April.
Sixmilebridge: four were at Kilnacreagh Wood on 11th February; two there on 15th July.

Starling Sturnnus vulgaris
Common resident and winter visitor.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Common resident.

Tree Sparrow Passer monatus
Scarce resident, declining and probably under recorded.
Loop Head: one was seen in Kilbaha on 22nd April.
Quilty: two near the village on 23rd December.

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Common resident and winter visitor.

Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Scarce winter visitor.
Loop Head: one in Kilbaha on 28th October.

Linnet Cardeulis caunabina
Common resident.

Redpoll Cardeulis flammea
Scarce resident and winter visitor.

Goldfinch Cardeulis carduelios
Scarce resident and winter visitor.

Greenfinch Cardeulis chloris
Common resident and winter visitor.

Siskin Cardeulis spinus
Scarce resident and winter visitor.
Ennis: a flock of fifty was present on the Kilrush road on 5th January.
Sixmilebridge: 35 at Kilnacreagh Wood on 5th February; four there on 15th July.

Bullfinch Pyrrula pyrrula
Common and widespread resident.

Crossbill Loxia curvirosta
Scarce breeder and winter visitor.
Broadford: four near Kylemore, Sallybank on 11th February.
Flagmount: ten were seen in a coniferous wood near Lough Graney on 7th January.
Gallowshill: four were present on 10th February, with one pair observed building a nest.
Lissycasey: one at Boolynagleragh Bog on 5th March.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one calling in flight over Ballycar on 2nd October.
Sixmilebridge: three were present at Kilnacreagh Wood on 17th January increasing to 11 on 27th January; 15 at Kilnacreagh Wood on 5th February; a single female was observed near a wood near Castlecrine on 2nd February; one at Kilnacreagh Wood on 11th February.

Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus (3,1)
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one at Kilbaha on 7th –14th October (John N Murphy, Finbarr MacGabhann, Austin Cooney, Tom Tarpey and Killian Mullarney). This is the fourth county record.

Canada Warbler Wilsonia canadensis (0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one at Kilbaha on 8th – 14th October (Maurice Hanafin et al).
This is a new addition to county and Irish lists and is the second western Palearctic record. The first was recorded in Iceland in 1973.

Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one on 9th October.
This is the fifth county record.

Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Common resident.
A flock of sixty were seen going to roost in a recently felled coniferous wood just north of Flagmount on the evening of 7th January.

Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
Rare passage migrant.
Loop Head: one on 21st October.

Snow Bunting Plectorphenax nivalis
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor.
Aughinish Island: ten were seen near the Martello Tower on 14th January.
Ballyvaughan: three along the Rine on 13th December; five there on 31st December.
Doolin: one on 31st October.
Loop Head: a flock of 13 were seen on 5th March.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Scarce resident.
Under recorded in 2005.
Burren: a male was seen at Carran on 14th April; three pairs were present near Mullaghmore and another male was found along the Green Road on 20th April; two seen near Craggy House on 15th May; two pairs were seen at Mullaghmore on 23rd May.
Ennis: one female was seen at Lees Wood Road on 30th June.
Contributors to this report were:

Joe Adamson Brian Arthurs, Julia Baer, Chris Bell, Lorraine Benson, Robert Benson, Phil Brennan, Dermot Breen, Richard Bonser, Gerry Butler, Victor Cashera, Andy Clifton, Austin Cooney, John Couzens, John Coveney, Michael Davis, Hugh Delaney, Marc Darlaston, Eric Dempsey, Joe Doolan, Jim F Dowdall, Paul Eele, Rachel Eele, Stuart Elsom, Shane Farrell, Kieran Fahy, Brian Finnegan, Paul Flint, Owen Foley, Kieran Forster, Kieran Grace, Charles Glynn, Tim Griffin, Paul Hackett, Nic Hallam, Dave Halliday, Maurice Hanafin, Stewart Hinley, Arne Holgensson, Stewart Holohan, Josh Jones, Aidan Kelly, Mark Lawrence, Pat Lonergan, Tom Lowe, Tom Lynch, Nuala Lynch, Brian Madden, Stefan Magnusson, Finbarr Mac Gabhann, David Lyons, Eamonn McLochlainn, Colin McNamee, Dave McNamara, Tony Mee, Andy Meehan, Christy Meehan, Maeve Meehan, Killian Mullarney, Cillian Murphy, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, Barry O’ Donaghue, Lars Ogtove, Christian Osthoff, Geoff Pearson, Brian Porter, Paudric Quinn, John Rattigan, John Regan, Adele Rennells, Bill Ryan, Frank Sadlier, Tom Shevlin, Richard Stephenson, Tom Tarpey, Richard Taylor, Freek Verdonckt, Noel Walsh, Stephen Ward, David Weir, Faith Wilson, John Wright, Andy Woods, Iza Zawadzka
The Greater Peterborough Ornithologist Group.

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2005 Report

County Clare Bird Report 2005

Compiled by John Rattigan on behalf of the Clare Branch of BirdWatch Ireland.

Introduction

This report is based mostly on observations recorded on the Scarce and Rare Birds  page of www.clarebirdwatching.ie, the web site of the Clare Branch of BirdWatch Ireland.  It covers a total of 184 days out of a possible 365, with most of the records coming from the second half of the year. This imbalance can be explained by the increased number of observers  in Clare during the Autumn, though there is no doubt that the launch of the web site in mid-summer  raised awareness of the daily recording of observations which in turn led to increased submissions.
Other data included here come from observers personal records that were not submitted to the web site. The report lists species of special interest recorded in the county during the year. A full list of contributors can be found in the appendix to this report and includes birders from Clare and other parts of Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Poland, Sweden, Finland and USA who made observations in the
county during 2005.
Summary
It was a very good year for rarities in Clare with no less than four species, Spotted Sandpiper, Citrine Wagtail, Red-necked Phalarope and an American-race Rough-legged Hawk added to the county list which now stands at 302. In an extraordinary co-incidence, the second record of Red-necked Phalarope followed hot on heals of the first, while Lesser Yellowlegs and Arctic Warbler  were also recorded for the second time. Other major rarities included Firecrest (fourth record), Baird’s Sandpiper, (fourth), White-rumped Sandpiper (fourth), Semipalmated Sandpiper (fifth), and Long-billed Dowitcher (eighth record) and an American Golden Plover (eigth record). The year was notable for the unprecedented number of Neararctic waders that were found at Doonbeg.
Offshore, a Little Shearwater, four Fea’s Petrels and twelve Wilson’s Storm Petrels added some spice to birding off the Bridges of Ross in the Autumn, while other lucky observers had another Little Shearwater and a Wilson’s Storm Petrel at sea, 22 nautical miles north-west of Loop Head. Off the north coast of Clare, Black-throated Divers were observed in Galway Bay as usual, though numbers were not high, while an Eider was seen off Finvarra Point. Other rare ducks found in the county included several Ring-necked Ducks during the Winter months and early Spring, while a Garganey was a nice find in the Autumn. Little Egrets continue to grow in numbers  in the county with a record thirteen found together at Shannon Airport Lagoon. Gulls are always well watched in Clare, though there were no major rarities found during the year. The only Neararctic gulls reported were Ring-billed Gulls, several Iceland, Glaucous and Sabine’s Gulls put in appearances between Quilty and Loop Head. Several Mediterranean Gulls were also seen. Apart from the Rough-legged Hawk, the only other rare raptor species found in the county a was Marsh Harrier. There were four records in the county in August and September, though they probably all refer to the same bird. It was an excellent year for Nearactic waders with a Semipalmated Sandpiper, a Baird’s Sandpiper and up to three Pectoral Sandpipers all found at Shannon Airport Lagoon, while White-rumped Sandpiper’s were observed at Poulnasherry Bay and Quilty. Four Long-billed Dowitcher’s were recorded, two at Shannon Airport Lagoon and two at Doonbeg. Lesser Yellowlegs was also found at Doonbeg. While for some the well-watched Citrine Wagtail and the briefly-seen Arctic Warbler were the show stopping passerines of the year due to their extreme rarity, for many others the year will be remembered for the irruption of Waxwings that took place during the Winter of 20042005. A flock of up to 30 birds was seen regularly around Ennis and brightened up many a dark winter day until they returned north in April.

Systematic List
The sequence followed is that of Professor K.H. Voous’ "(1977). Some records within this report may not have yet been accepted by the Irish Rare Birds Committee (I.R.B.C.). For rare species with bracketed numbers e.g. Red-necked Phalarope (1,1), the first number stands for record of occurrences within the county Clare to date and the second one for number of occurrences within the year covered by this publication, 2005.

Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata

Regular winter visitor and passage migrant.

Autumn Migration Bridges of Ross:
September singles on 1st, 3rd, and 7th, three on 15th, 19th and 20th, six on 23rd, two on 25th,
12 on 27th, and six on 28th.
October: six on 1st.
Winter
Ballyvaughan to Black Head:  three on 5th April and seven on 30th
Lahinch Bay:  ten were seen on the 26th January, with six there on 22nd November and
three on 5th April and seven on 30th December: ten were seen on the 26th January, with six
there on 22nd  November and 28 on 17th December.
Querrin: three on 13th  February.
three on 5th April and seven on 30th December: Ten were seen on the 26th January,
with six there on 22 November and three on 13th February.

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica

Regular winter visitor.
Aughinish Island: two on 21st January

Aughinish Island to Flaggy Shore:  twelve on 22nd January
Aughinish to Finavarra Point:  a total 42 were seen between these two locations on the
two on 21th January: twelve on 22nd January a total 42 were seen between these two locations
on then 20th November and was the highest daily tally recorded during the year.
Ballyvaughan:  three at Bishops Quarter on 14th January. Two were present off the pier on 22nd January.
Ballyvaughan to Black Head:  30 were seen on 12th February, 50 on 5th April and five on 30th December.

Black Head:  one, summer plumage on 4th April.

North Clare:  eight birds were present on 30th December.

Lahinch Bay:  eight on 22nd November.

Quilty:  one, Seafield on 16th November.

Traught Beach:  one on 30th December, three at Bishops Quarter on 14th January.
Two were present off the pier on 22nd January. 30 were seen on 12th February,
50 on 5th April and five on 30th December. one, summer plumage on 4th April.
Eight birds were present on 30th December. eight on 22nd November.
One, Seafield on 16th November. One on 30th December

 

Great Northern Diver Gavia immer
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
: two on 21st January: twelve on 22nd January: a total 42 were seen between these two locations on the: three at Bishops Quarter on 14th January. Two were present off the pier on 22nd January.: 30 were seen on 12th February, 50 on 5th April and five on 30th December.: one, summer plumage on 4th April.: eight birds were present on 30th December.: eight on 22nd November.: one, Seafield on 16th November.: one on 30th December

Aughinish to Finavarra Point: a total of 128 were seen between these two locations on

a total of 128 were seen between these two locations on

20th November the most recorded on a single day during the year.
Ballyvaughan to Black Head:  only three on 12th February, increasing to 28 on 5th April.
There were eight on 30th December.
Black Head:  a pure albino bird was recorded on 12th and 13th February; 50 were seen there on 4th April.

Bridges of Ross: one in summer plumage on 23rd September. A single bird was seen there on 1st October.

Kilkee: : two were present in the bay on 26th December.

Liscannor: : three on 14th November.

Traught Beach: : two on 30th December.

a pure albino bird was recorded on 12th and 13th February; 50 were seen there on 4th April.one in summer plumage on 23rd September. A single bird was seen there on 1 October.: two were present in the bay on 26th December. three on 14th November.: two on 30th December.

 

Little Grebe Tachybaptus rufficollis
Common resident.

Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Common resident.
11 on 13th February.

Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena

Rare winter visitor.
Poulnasherry Bay:  one was seen on 23rd January (Maeve & Christy Meehan).
 
Fulmar Fulmaris glacialis
Localised resident and regular passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross:  one blue phase bird on 19th September.

Cory’s Shearwater Calonectis diomedea

one blue phase bird on 19th September.

Rare vagrant.
At least 840 were recorded during the Autumn passage on seventeen dates between
19th July and 23rd September.
The highest counts were all from The Bridges of Ross where 600 were seen on 5th August,
50 on the 18th August and 41 on 4th of the month.
At Sea: several seen from a boat 22 miles N of Loop Head, 23rd August.

Bridges of Ross:

July:  one on 19th, two on 23rd.

August:  one on 31st, three on 24th, seven on 19th, 11 on 21st, 15 on 29th, 30 on 17th, 41 on 4th, 50 on 18th, 71 on 3rd, 600 on 5th.

September:  singles on 3rd, 4th, and 23rd, two on 10th, three on 7th.

Great Shearwater Puffinus gravis

Rare passage migrant.
It was a good year for this species with a total of 2,480 birds were counted on 16 dates
between 19th July and 2nd October. High counts were 1,700 on 2nd October, 330 on 29th August
and 322 on 23rd August.
At Sea:  300, seen from a boat 22 nautical miles N of Loop Head, 23rd August.
Bridges of Ross:
July: a single bird on 19th.

August: Two on 19th, 21st, and 24th, three on 13th, seven on 18th, eight on 4th, ten on 3rd, 22 on 23rd, 45 on 5th, 330 on 29th.

September:  one on 15th, eight on 23rd and 23 on 7th.

October: : 1,700 on 2nd.
Kilkee: six at Illaunonearaun on 11th August.
 

Soft-plumaged Petrel (5,4)
Rare vagrant.
Four birds were the most recorded in a single year in the county.
Four birds were seen on from the Bridges of Ross with singles on 13th August (Nicolas Selosse),
14th August (Christophe Gruwier), 24th August (John N Murphy), and 25th August (Aidan Kelly).

Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis
Rare vagrant.
One was seen from a boat 22 miles N of Loop Head (Kieran Cronin, et al) on 23rd August,
while another was observed from the Bridges of Ross on 31st August (Noel Keogh, Niall Keogh).

Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus
Common passage migrant.
Spring: A large raft of several thousand birds was seen off the tip of Loop Head on 16th April.
Several thousand were also seen from the Bridges of Ross, 24th May.Autumn:
Bridges of Ross: 8,000 on 31 August; 15,000 on 24 August; 27,000 on 13 August.

Doonbeg:  1,500, 2 September.

8,000 on 31 August; 15,000 on 24 August; 27,000 on 13 August. 1,500, 2 September.
 
Mediterranean Shearwater Puffinus yelkouan
Regular passage migrant.

A total of 83 birds were recorded on 18 dates between 12th August and 25th September with
high counts of seventeen on 23rd August, fifteen on 24th and nine on 21st of the month.
Bridges of Ross:
August: one on 12 and 25, two on 29 and 30, four on 18, five on 14, seven 19,
eight 13th, nine on 21st, fifteen on 24th, seventeen on 23rd.
September:  singles on 1, 19 and 20, two on 3, 23 and 25.

Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus

singles on 1, 19 and 20, two on 3, 23 and 25.

Regular passage migrant.Bridges of Ross:
Between 19th July and 2nd October of total of 4,080 were recorded on 31 dates.
High counts were 1,000 on 23rd August, 500 on 24th August and 450 on 23rd September.July: three on 30 July

August: one on 6, three on 3, 12 on 4, 35 on 18 and 25, 44 on 12, 60 on 30, 70 on 29
and 31st, 100 on 19th, 110 on 5th, 296 on 13th, 300 on 21st, 500 on 24th and 1000 on 23rd.September: one on 28, three on 2 and 22, four on 5, 9 on 4, thirteen on 7, 170 on 20,
150 on 1st, 220 on 27th, 450 on 23rd.
Kilkee: 20, Illaunaneareann, on 11 August.

Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicusCommon passage migrant
.
A total of 675 birds were recorded on 14 dates between 19th July and 2nd October.
High counts were 173 on 13th August and 100 on both 21st August and 23rd September.
Bridges of Ross:
July: 25 on 19 July.

August: ten on 31, 20 on 5, 35 on 18, 37 on 29, 40 on 6 and 12, 45 on 30,
70 on 23rd, 80 on 4th, 100 on 21st, 173 on 13th.
September:  100 on 23.

October:  45 on 2. 100 on 23. 45 on 2.

 

Wilson’s Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicusRare vagrant.
A total 16 birds were reported on eleven dates from 23rd July to 5th September.
At Sea:  one, 22 miles N of Loop Head, 23 August (Kieran Cronin ).

Bridges of Ross:
July: one on 30 (Colum Flynn, Owen Foley). Three were feeding with Storm Petrels,

one, 22 miles N of Loop Head, 23 August (Kieran Cronin ).one on 30 (Colum Flynn, Owen Foley).
Three were feeding with Storm Petrels,  on 23rd (Stan Nugent, Paul Milne, John N Murphy, John Rattigan).
August: single birds on 12 (John N Murphy), on 18 (John N Murphy), on 20 (Owen Foley, Harry Hussey),

on 22nd (Jim F Dowdall), on 23rd (Michael Hoit, Niall Keogh), and 29th (Jim F Dowdall).
Two were seen on 4th (Hugh Delaney) with another two birds (one in the morning and the other in the afternoon)
on 13th (Aidan Duggan, Brian Finnegan, Raphael Lebraun, Noel Lenihan, Killian Mullarney).
September: one on 5 September (Carol Inskipp, Tom Inskipp). one on 5 September (Carol Inskipp, Tom Inskipp).

Leach’s Storm Petrel Oceanadroma leucorhoa
Regular Autumn passage migrant.
A total of 186 birds were recorded during the year.
Spring
Bridges of Ross:  two were seen on 28 May and another two passed on 23 June.

Autumn:
A total of 177 birds were recorded on sixteen dates between 24th August and 2nd October.
High counts were 110 birds on 1st October, thirteen on 27th September and twelve on 28th September.
Bridges of Ross
August: two were seen on 26, five on 1, nine on 23, 12 on 28 and 13 on 27.

September: singles on 2, 20, 24 and 25, five on 1, nine on 23 and 12 on 28.

October: 110 on 1 with two on 2.

Kilkee: five at Illaunaneareann on 11 August. two were seen on 26, five on 1, nine on 23, 12 on 28 and 13 on 27.singles on 2nd, 20th, 24th and 25th, five on 1st, nine on 23rd and 12 on 28th.110 on 1st with two on 2nd.
 

Cormormant Phalacrocorax carbo
Localised resident.
 
Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
Localised resident.
Little Egret Egretta carzetta
Scarce localised resident.
Little Egret © John N Murphy

The species was recorded in every month except May and June, the height of the breeding season.
The majority of records come from locations in or adjacent to, the Shannon estuary in the south of the
county with only one record from the west and two from the north coast of the Clare. The observations
from Corofin and Newmarket-on-Fergus are the only inland records. The 13 seen together at Shannon
Airport Lagoon on 19th is a county record.
Ballyvaughan: one, Bishop’s Quarter from 27th November – 3rd December.
Corofin: three flying over Kilnaboy towards Kilfenora on 12th April.
Doonbeg: one in the bay on 17th December.
Kildysart: one on 5th March; two there on 17th March.
Kilkee: two at Blackweir Bridge on 13th February.
Labasheeda: one was present on 30th January, with two there on 2nd September.
Lahinch: one near the bridge in the Inagh estuary on 17th December.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, Lough Gash on 16th October.
North Clare: one at Corranaroo on the ClareGalway border on 25th November.
Poulnasherry Bay: one on 30th January; three on 22nd March, six on 30th March; A single bird was seen
there on 13thAugust, 15th August, and 17th August; A total of ten on 17th December and three on 26th December.
At Moyasta there were seven on 8th February, with two there on 19th March and 7th November.
Querrin: one on 30th January.
Shannon: at the Airport Lagoon there were four on 23rd March and four 30th July.
In August four on 1st, six on 2nd, eight on 3rd, 12 on 5th, 7 on 9th, 10 on 13th, 13 on 19th, six on 21st,
eight on 31st.
During September three, Shannon Airport Lagoon, on 2nd, two on 5th, two on 7th, three on 8th,
four on 14th, six on 15th, five on 16th, four on 17th, two on 23rd. At Drumgeely Point there
were four on 16th September.
In October there was one at Inishcullen Hill on 16th.

 

Grey Heron Ardea cinera
Common resident.
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Common resident.
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
Regular winter visitor.
Ballygireen: three were observed on 18th April; 81, west of the Dromoland Roundabout
three were observed on 18 April; 81, west of the Dromoland Roundabout
near Ballygireen, 26th November. The following counts were taken around the radio mast:
81 on 27th November, 70 on 4th December, 19 on 11th, 79 on 18th and five on 25th.
Corofin: two, Lough Atedaun on 4th September.
Ennis: 29 at Ballyallia on 13th November.
Kilkee: 17 were present at Tullagher Bog on 29th January.
Kilrush: six, in a field outside the town on 2nd November. Nine, at Farrihy on 28th October.
Shannon: one, at the Airport Lagoon from 30th July – 5th September, joined by a second on 2nd August.
There were five there on 16th October.

 

Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus
Scarse winter visitor.

 

Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
Winter visitor in small numbers.
During the winter of 1997 there was a maximum of 72 in the Tullagher Bog flock and numbers have
declined steadily since then.
Ennis: one, Ballyallia Lake on 18th April.
Kilkee: at Tullagher Bog there were 17 seen on 29th January and 13th February, 14 on 19th March,
15 on 6th October. The highest number recorded during the year was 24 on 26th December.

Barnacle Goose Branta leucopis
Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Small numbers were observed at Carrowmore Point and Doonbeg during the winter.
Doonbeg:  300 in a field near the bay on 29th January.
Illaunaneareann:  46 on 20th February

Kilkee:  156 at Goleen on 16th January.

Quilty:  a flock of fifty was observed on Mutton Island on 19th March.
 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla
Winter visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross:  a flock of nine flew south, 3rd September. Two were seen on 28th.

Doorus:  108 on 6th March was a high number for North Clare.
 

Shelduck Tadorna tadora
Resident and common winter visitor.
Bridges of Ross: a flock of nine flew south, 3rd September.
Two were seen on 28th September.
108 on 6th March was a high number for North Clare. 
Knock:  71, off the pier on 30th January.

Poulnasherry Bay:  a total of 127 were present on 17th December.
 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Common resident.

Gadwall Anas strepera
Scarce winter visitor, rare breeder.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: 38, Lough Gash on 30th March. This was the high count of the year.
Shannon:  14, Airport Lagoon on 16th October.
38, Lough Gash on 30th March. This was the high count of the year. 14, Airport Lagoon on 16th October.

 

Pintail Anas acuta
Scarce winter visitor.
Common resident.
Bridges of Ross: three passed on 30th August.
Moyasta: three on 7th November.
Poulnasherry Bay: a total of 50 were recorded on 17th December.

Shoveler Anas clypeata
Common winter visitor.

Wigeon Anas penelope
Common winter visitor, occasionally summers.
Corofin: about 3,000 were at Lough Atedaun on 30th January.
Poulnasherry Bay: 600, was a highest winter count from this site on 17th December.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon on 13th August.

Teal Anas crecca
Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.
Shannon: 300, Airport Lagoon on 8th September.

Green-winged Teal Anas creca carolinensis
Rare vagrant.
Bell Harbour: a drake was seen at the same location were a Green-winged Teal over-wintered
during 20042005 and this could be a returning individual. It was recorded on 18th, 20th,
and 25th November (Tim Griffin).
Garganey 
Rare vagrant.
A female was present at Kilcredaun Marsh on 16th –17th September.

Pochard Aythya ferina
Common winter visitor.

Scaup Aythya marila
Winter visitor.
Numbers have declined in recent years.
Knock: 21 birds were present feeding off the pier on 30th January.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Common resident and winter visitor.

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Rare vagrant.
Corofin: one, female, Lough Inchiquin on 4th April (John N Murphy).
Ennis: one, female, Ballyallia Lake on 13th February (Tim Griffin); one drake there on
one drake there on 30th March – April 1st (Stan Nugent, John Rattigan). There were two drakes and one
female at Ballyallia Lake on 9th April (Dermot Breen). It looked as if one of the males
had paired with one of the females at Ballyallia on 9th April. One female present at
Ballyallia on 29th November was seen again on 10th and also on 13th December
(Stan Nugent, John N Murphy).
Kilmihil: a bird in eclipse plumage was seen at Knockalough on 24th November (John N Murphy).
A drake and hen Ring-necked duck (not the pair from Ballyallia Lake in April) © John N Murphy

Eider Somateria mollissima
Scarce winter visitor.
One was seen off Finvarra Point on 25th February.

Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Recorded on passage at the Bridges of Ross on nine dates from 19th July – 19th September.
The numbers wintering in Liscannor Bay have declined significantly in recent years.
Bridges of Ross:
July: ten, on 19th July, five on 23rd.
August: three, 4th, 33 on 30th, 32, on 31st.
September: 39 on 3rd, five on 7th, 17 on 10th, five on 19th.
Winter:
Ballyvaughan to Black Head: 12 were seen on 12th February, with 15 on 5th April.
Liscannor Bay: Numbers have declined sharply at this traditional wintering site in recent years. Only 45 were seen on 26th January, 40 on 22nd November and 50 were present on 17th December.

 

Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
Scarce winter visitor.
Single birds passed the Bridges of Ross on 5th (Graham Catley et al) and on 24th September (John N Murphy & John Rattigan). These were the only records received.

Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
Scarce winter visitor.
A total of 14 were seen between Aughinish Island and Finavarra Point on 20th November.
Goldeneye Bucephala glangula
Regular winter visitor

 

Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
Common winter visitor.

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Rare vagrant.
The following three records probably refer to the same bird.
Quilty: one, Lough Donnell, on 9th August (Frank O’Duffy).
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, from 15th –16th September (Tom Lowe, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent),
; one, on 27th November (Phil Brennan).
Loop Head: one, Rinvella Bay, on 18th September (Christy Meehan and John Wright).

Hen Harrier Circus cyancus
Scarce resident and passage migrant.
Recorded in every month except February, April, June and July.
Loop Head: one female, Kilbaha on 23rd January. Single birds recorded on 5th October and 9th October. One was seen at Kilbaha on 2nd November.
Kilrush: one, 22nd March, one, four miles east of Kilrush on 28th September
Mount Callan: one, male, near The Hand, on 23rd May.
Poulnasherry Bay: one, juvenile, on 2nd August. A male was seen there on 26th December.
Maghera Mountain: one, on 11th August.
Lissycasey: one on 13th November.
Cratloe: a female was seen near Woodcock Hill on 20th December.
Labasheeda: one, female, Slievedooley on 4th December with another female in the area on 28th.
Clonderlaw Bay: a female ring-tailed bird was seen on December 27th.
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Common resident.
Rough-legged Hawk Buteo sanctijohannis (0,1)
Rare North American vagrant.
A juvenile Rough-legged Hawk was found in a weak condition and taken into care on 11th October (Alan Donovan). After Alan’s dedicated hours of nursing this bird back to health it was decided to re-release the bird back to nature. A decision was made to release the bird in an area where other Buzzards were commonly found with the hope that the Rough-legged Hawk would join them and socially hunt giving it a better chance of survival back in the wild. The most suitable place in the country seemed to be the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve an area similar to that of the natural hunting grounds where these birds are commonly found in the US. It was subsequently released back into the wild at Wexford Wildfowl Reserve on 2nd November. This is the first Clare record this species.
Rough-legged Hawk at Tulla © John N Murphy
Hobby Falco subbuteo
Rare vagrant.
One juvenile, Loop Head on 15th October (Simon Berrow).
 
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common resident.

Peregrine Falco pereginus
Scarce resident.
Recorded singly at several sites during the year with two at The Fodry, Loop Head on 7th November.

 

Merlin Falco columbarius
Scarce passage migrant, rare breeder.
Labasheeda: one on 23rd January.
Loop Head: one near the Lighthouse on 18th September, one on 2nd November,
one The Fodry on 7th November.
Moyasta: one on 7th November.
Liscannor: one at Clahane on 22nd November.

Gyr Falcon Falco rusticolus (3,2)
Rare vagrant.
Poulnasherry Bay: a dark phased bird was seen on 17th February (Maeve & Christy Meehan).
Doonbeg: a dark phased bird was seen on 26th December. (Maeve and Christy Meehan).
Red Grouse: Lagopus lagopus scoticus
Scarce resident.
Mount Callan: a flock of up to 16 were seen around mid January.

Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Widespread and common.
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
Scarce resident.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Widespread and common resident.
Coot Fulica atra
Common resident.
Oystercatcher Haematopus osttralegus

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula

Common resident and winter visitor.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola

Common winter visitor.
The highest count was of 100 on 17th December at Poulnasherry Bay.
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Common winter visitor.
Loop Head: 21 on 30th October; a total of 100 at The Fodry and near the Lighthouse on 2nd November.
21 on 30 October; a total of 100 at The Fodry and near the Lighthouse on 2 November.
Poulnasherry Bay: 3,000 were present on 17th December.
Shannon: 4,000 on the mudflats near the airport on 17th November. 2,500 were observed at Tullyvarragh Marsh on 25th December.
American Golden Plover Pluvialis dominica (6,1)
Rare North American vagrant.
Loop Head: one juvenile near the Lighthouse on 30th October (Christy Meehan); seen again, 4th November (Tom Tarpey).

 

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Common winter visitor and breeder.
High Counts:
Kilkee: 400 on 22nd January.
400 on 22 January.
Poulnasherry Bay: 3,000 were seen on 17th December.
3,000 were seen on 17 December.
Ennis: 100, Ballyallia Lake, on 7th November
100, Ballyallia Lake, on 7 November
Shannon: 2,000 on the mudflats near the airport, on 17th November
: 2,000 on the mudflats near the airport, on 17 November

 

Knot Calidris canutus
Common winter visitor.
Poulnasherry Bay: a high count of 200 on 17th December.
a high count of 200 on 17 December.
Shannon: 40, Airport Lagoon, on 7th September; 400 on the mudflats near the airport, on 17th November.
40, Airport Lagoon, on 7 September; 400 on the mudflats near the airport, on 17 November.

 

Sanderling Calidris alba
Scarce winter visitor.
The two main sites are Lurga Point, Quilty and Kilkee Beach with smaller numbers at Liscannor Bay and Ballyvaughan.

 

Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant.
This species is found at one main site on the beach at Lurga Point/Seafield just outside Quilty. Here the flock is of international importance with numbers, with few records from other sites around the county emphasising the importance of this site for this species.
Quilty: twenty, Seafield, on 16th November; thirty on 22nd November.
: twenty, Seafield, on 16 November; thirty on 22 November.

 

Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Common winter visitor.

 

Dunlin Calidris alpina
Common winter species.
High counts:
Poulnasherry Bay: 200 were seen on 23rd July. 2,000 were observed on 17th December
: 200 were seen on 23 July. 2,000 were observed on 17 December
Shannon: 400, Airport Lagoon on 8th September; 8,000-10,000 on the mudflats near the airport, 17th November.
: 400, Airport Lagoon on 8 September; 8,000-10,000 on the mudflats near the airport, 17 November.

 

Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
Scarse passage migrant.
Doonbeg: single birds on 15th and 23rd September.
: single birds on 15 and 23 September.
Kilkee: three on the beach on 7th September.
three on the beach on 7 September.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: two, Lough Gash on 25th September.
: two, Lough Gash on 25 September.
Quilty: 31, Seafield, on 4th September; five at Seafield and three at Lurga Point on 19th September; six on 20th September, six, at Seafield on 23rd and 24th September, five on 20th October. There were six at Lurga Point on 28th October.
31, Seafield, on 4 September; five at Seafield and three at Lurga Point on 19 September; six on 20 September, six, at Seafield on 23 and 24 September, five on 20 October. There were six at Lurga Point on 28 October.
Shannon: at the Airport Lagoon there was one on 21st August and two on 31st August. In September there were 40 on 2nd, one on 3rd, 30 daily from 5th – 7th September, ten on 12th, fourteen on 15th and 16th, 8 on 18th, two on 19th, 8 on 22nd, one on 24th.
: at the Airport Lagoon there was one on 21 August and two on 31 August. In September there were 40 on 2, one on 3, 30 daily from 5 – 7 September, ten on 12, fourteen on 15 and 16, 8 on 18, two on 19, 8 on 22, one on 24.

 

Little Stint Calidris minuta
Scarce autumn passage migrant.
Kilkee: four, on 10th September.
: four, on 10 September.
Quilty: singles, on 4th and 12th September, increasing to 25 at Lurga Point from 15th-17th. There were only five at Lurga Point on 19th September.
singles, on 4 and 12 September, increasing to 25 at Lurga Point from 15-17th. There were only five at Lurga Point on 19 September.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, on 5th September, two on 8th, and four on 12th.
: one, Airport Lagoon, on 5 September, two on 8, and four on 12.

 

Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
Scarse passage migrant, occasionally winters.
Ballynacally: one, Ballycorick Bridge on 13th September
: one, Ballycorick Bridge on 13 September
Loop Head: one, Kilbaha on 4th November
: one, Kilbaha on 4 November
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one, Lough Gash, from 3rd–11th September, one on 30th September. It was still there on 16th October.
one, Lough Gash, from 3–11September, one on 30 September. It was still there on 16 October.

 

Page 13
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Rare North American vagrant.
Non breeding birds were as follows.
Ballynacally: six at Ballycorick Bridge on 27th July.
six at Ballycorick Bridge on 27 July.
Clarecastle: three, at the pier, on 14th February and a single bird on 8th November.
: three, at the pier, on 14 February and a single bird on 8 November.
Labasheeda: one on 23rd January.
one on 23 January.
Loop Head: three, Cloghaun Lough, Kilbaha on 23rd July, one on 15th-18th September, and two on 18th October.
: three, Cloghaun Lough, Kilbaha on 23 July, one on 15-18 September, and two on 18 October.

 

 

Greenshank
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
High count:
Poulnasherry Bay: 43 were present at this location on 17th December.
: 43 were present at this location on 17 December.

 

 

Redshank Tringa totanus
Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.
Poulnasherry Bay: a total of 400 were observed on 17th December. This was the highest count received.
a total of 400 were observed on 17 December. This was the highest count received.
Shannon: one luecistic bird at the Airport Lagoon on 31st July.
one luecistic bird at the Airport Lagoon on 31 July.

 

 

Spotted Redshank Tringa nebularia
Regular passage migrant.
Ballyvaughan: one on 12th February and 5th April.
: one on 12 February and 5 April.
Shannon: one at the Airport Lagoon on 13th August. Singles were also recorded on 14th, 15th 16th and 24th September. There were two there on 17th September.
one at the Airport Lagoon on 13 August. Singles were also recorded on 14, 15 16 and 24 September. There were two there on 17 September.

 

Bar-tailed Godwit, Limosa limosa
,
Common winter visitor.

 

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
Ennis: 100, Ballyallia Lake
: 100, Ballyallia Lake
Shannon: about 2,000 were seen on the mudflats near the airport on 17th November.
: about 2,000 were seen on the mudflats near the airport on 17 November.

 

Curlew Numenius arquata
Resident and common winter visitor.
Poulnasherry Bay: an albino bird returned for the fifth season and was seen on 23rd July, 2nd and 13th August.
: an albino bird returned for the fifth season and was seen on 23 July, 2 and 13 August.

 

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Passage migrant.
Spring:
Clarecastle: eight at Islandavanna on 22nd April.
eight at Islandavanna on 22 April.
Autumn:
Bridges of Ross: 1,100 passed on 4th August, and 75 were noted on 21st August and were the highest counts.
: 1,100 passed on 4 August, and 75 were noted on 21 August and were the highest counts.
Doonbeg: two were seen in the bay on 15th September.
: two were seen in the bay on 15 September.

 

 

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Scarce under-recorded resident and winter visitor.
Corofin: six, near Dysart O’Dea Castle on 15th February.
six, near Dysart O’Dea Castle on 15 February.
Lissycasey: one on 27th November.
: one on 27 November.

 

 

 

 

 

Page 14
Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Common resident and winter visitor.
High Counts:
Loop Head: twenty, The Fodry, on 7th November.
: twenty, The Fodry, on 7 November.
Poulnasherry Bay: sixty, on 17th December.
: sixty, on 17 December.

 

 

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
Regular autumn passage migrant.
It was a good year for this species with a total of 190 birds were observed on autumn passage seventeen dates between 11th August and 1st October. The highest counts were fifty on 1st October, forty-five on 23rd September and nineteen on 27th of September. In addition to the records below, one of this species was seen flying along a wet road near Quilty on 26th September.
Bridges of Ross:
August: one, on 18th, two on 13th, three on 26th, six on 24th and 25th, three on both 26th and 29th.
one, on 18, two on 13, three on 26, six on 24 and 25, three on both 26 and 29.
September: nine on 1st, one on 2nd, seven on 3rd, 45 on 23rd, two on 24th, 19 on 27th, two on 28th.
nine on 1, one on 2, seven on 3, 45 on 23, two on 24, 19 on 27, two on 28.
October: 50 on 1st and thirteen on 13th.
50 on 1 and thirteen on 13.
Illaunaneareann: 20 on 11th August.
: 20 on 11 August.
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (0,2)
Rare passage migrant.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon, from 15th –17th September (Tom Lowe, John N Murphy, John Rattigan).
one, Airport Lagoon, from 15 –17 September (Tom Lowe, John N Murphy, John Rattigan).
Cross: one was found freshly dead in a field at Tullig on 23rd September (D. Keane, Bill Ryan).
: one was found freshly dead in a field at Tullig on 23 September (D. Keane, Bill Ryan).

 

These are the first and second records for Clare. The Shannon bird proved very elusive, appearing for short periods at high tide. The second record was found by a very observant farmer after a period of stormy weather and was most unexpected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 15
Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii (3,1)
(3,1)
Rare North American vagrant.
Shannon: one, juvenile, Airport Lagoon on 12th September (Tom Lowe). This is the fourth county record.
: one, juvenile, Airport Lagoon on 12 September (Tom Lowe). This is the fourth county record.

 

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis (2,2)
Rare North American vagrant.
The records listed below take the total for Clare to four.
Poulnasherry Bay: one on 16th August (Mattias Gierdan, Matti Eriksson, Mans Grundster).
: one on 16 August (Mattias Gierdan, Matti Eriksson, Mans Grundster).
Quilty: one from 12th –20th October (Gerry Bilbao, John N Murphy).
: one from 12 –20 October (Gerry Bilbao, John N Murphy).

 

White-rumped Sandpiper at Quilty © John N Murphy

 

Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla (4,1)
Rare North American vagrant.
This is the fifth county record.
Shannon: a juvenile was present at the Airport Lagoon from 14th –18th September (Brian Finnegan, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan).
a juvenile was present at the Airport Lagoon from 14 –18 September (Brian Finnegan, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan).

 

Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Scarce passage migrant.
Doonbeg: one was present on 16th August.
one was present on 16 August.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one was seen at Lough Gash on 30th September.
: one was seen at Lough Gash on 30 September.
Quilty: four at Lough Donnell on 16th August.
: four at Lough Donnell on 16 August.
Shannon: one from 30th July – 8th August. A single bird was also present 2nd September, increasing to three on 8th and four on 22nd September, five, 13th August, 31st August and seven, 21st August.
: one from 30 July – 8 August. A single bird was also present 2 September, increasing to three on 8 and four on 22 September, five, 13 August, 31 August and seven, 21 August.

 

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
Rare North American migrant.
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon on 18th –19th August, one on 5th September, three on 14th –15th September, and one on 17th September.
one, Airport Lagoon on 18 –19 August, one on 5 September, three on 14 –15 September, and one on 17 September.
Page 16
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes(1,1)
(1,1)
Rare North American vagrant.
Doonbeg: one adult at the Doonbeg River estuary from 15th –20th August (Brian Finnegan, Jacques-A Leclerq, Nicolas Selosse)
one adult at the Doonbeg River estuary from 15 –20 August (Brian Finnegan, Jacques-A Leclerq, Nicolas Selosse)

 

This is the second county record. The last was in 1996.

 

 

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia (0,1)
Rare North American vagrant.
Doonbeg: one, juvenile, near Golf Course Club House from 27th –30th August (Nick Hallam, Ian Lewington, Tom & Nuala Lynch, John N Murphy).
: one, juvenile, near Golf Course Club House from 27 –30 August (Nick Hallam, Ian Lewington, Tom & Nuala Lynch, John N Murphy).

 

Spotted Sandpiper at Doonbeg © John N Murphy
There has been an increase in the number of Spotted Sandpipers found in the country over the couple of years and this first county record was eagerly anticipated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Page 17
Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus (4,4)(4,4)
Rare North American vagrant.
It was an exceptional year for this species with four records, doubling the total for the county.
Doonbeg: two juveniles, Doonbeg River estuary from 22nd –23rd September (John Wright).
: two juveniles, Doonbeg River estuary from 22–23 September (John Wright).
Shannon: one, Airport Lagoon on 30th July (Owen Foley, Harry Hussey). It was joined by a second individual in summer plumage from 5th – 6th August (John N Murphy), with one remaining until at least 16th September (Finbarr Mac Gabhainn, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan).
: one, Airport Lagoon on 30 July (Owen Foley, Harry Hussey). It was joined by a second individual in summer plumage from 5 – 6 August (John N Murphy), with one remaining until at least 16 September (Finbarr Mac Gabhainn, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan).

 

 

Great Skua Stercorarius skua
Common Autumn passage migrant.
A total of 121 Bonxie’s were recorded on 26 dates between 23rd July and 8th October. High counts were of twelve on 27th September and twenty-six on 26th August.
Bridges of Ross:
July: one on 23rd.
one on 23.
August: one on 4th, three on 5th, one on 12th, six on 13th, single birds on 15th and 18th, five on 20th, seven on 23rd, ten on both 24th and 25th, 26 on 26th, ten on 29th,
one on 4, three on 5, one on 12, six on 13, single birds on 15 and 18, five on 20, seven on 23, ten on both 24 and 25, 26 on 26, ten on 29,
September: one on 1st, two on both 3rd and 7th and again on 10th, singles on 15th, 20th, 24th, and 25th, 12 on 27th, four on 28th.
: one on 1, two on both 3 and 7 and again on 10, singles on 15, 20, 24, and 25, 12 on 27, four on 28.
October: nine on 1st and one on 8th.
nine on 1 and one on 8.
Illaunaneareann: two, 11th August
: two, 11 August

 

 

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
Regular Autumn passage migrant.
It was a below average year, with a total of 73 birds observed on 13 dates between 6th August and 1st October. The highest daily count was 46 on 1st October.
Bridges of Ross:
August: singles on 6th, 13th, and 21st, two on 23rd and 29th and two juveniles on 31st.
singles on 6, 13, and 21, two on 23 and 29 and two juveniles on 31.
September: two adults on 1st, one on 19th, six on 23rd, one on 25th, seven on 27th,
: two adults on 1, one on 19, six on 23, one on 25, seven on 27,
October: 46 on 1st, one on 8th.
: 46 on 1, one on 8.

 

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
Regular Autumn passage migrant.
It was a below average year for this species with a total of 306 birds observed on 37 dates from 19th July to 1st October. A peak count of twenty-five was made on 1st October.
Bridges of Ross:
July: one on 19th with five on 23rd.
one on 19 with five on 23.
August: one on 4th, six on 5th, four on 6th, six on 7th, four on 12th, six on 13th, five on both 15th and 18th, one on 20th, nine on 21st, four on 23rd, 15 on 24th, 20 on 25th, two on 26th, 23 on 29th, 22 on 30th and 23 on 31st.
one on 4, six on 5, four on 6, six on 7, four on 12, six on 13, five on both 15 and 18, one on 20, nine on 21, four on 23, 15 on 24, 20 on 25, two on 26, 23 on 29, 22 on 30 and 23 on 31.
September: 17 on 1st, three on 3rd, five on both 4th, four on 5th, five on 7th, three on 10th, one on 15th, one on 19th, six on 20th, one on 22nd, 19 on 23rd, one on 24th, two on 25th, 24 on 27th, 14 on 28th, and five on 29th.
17 on 1, three on 3, five on both 4, four on 5, five on 7, three on 10, one on 15, one on 19, six on 20, one on 22, 19 on 23, one on 24, two on 25, 24 on 27, 14 on 28, and five on 29.
October: 25 on 1st.
25 on 1.
Kilkee: eight at Illaunaneareann on 11th August.
eight at Illaunaneareann on 11 August.

 

 

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus
Rare autumn passage migrant.
A total of 14 birds were recorded passing the Bridges of Ross between 19th July and 1st October. Most were single birds though four were seen on 1st October and two passed on both 18th and 25th August.
Bridges of Ross:
July: one on 19th.
one on 19.
August: singles on 13th and 14th, two on 18th and 25th, one on 29th.
: singles on 13 and 14, two on 18 and 25, one on 29.
September: one on 10th, one on 23rd.
one on 10, one on 23.
October: four on 1st.
four on 1.

 

 

Page 18
Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Common and widespread.

 

 

Common Gull Larus canus
Common winter visitor, small breeding numbers.

 

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Rare winter visitor.
Quilty: one second year was seen from 14th –24th May, two were there on 28th July, one on 9th August and two on 12th August.
one second year was seen from 14 –24 May, two were there on 28 July, one on 9 August and two on 12 August.

 

 

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Scarce winter visitor.
A total of thirteen birds recorded made it a good year for this species. All records fell between 12th August and 25th November and came mostly from the west and north coasts of the county. There was one record from the Shannon estuary and one inland sighting.
Bridges of Ross: two juveniles on 14th August
: two juveniles on 14 August
Kilkee: one first winter and a second winter at the GAA pitch on 5th October
one first winter and a second winter at the GAA pitch on 5 October
Killimer: one first winter and two adult winter on 30th September
one first winter and two adult winter on 30 September
Kilmihil: one second year bird, Knockalough on 20th September;
one second year bird, Knockalough on 20 September;
Loop Head: one, juvenile, Kilbaha on 12th August, and one juvenile on 27th August
: one, juvenile, Kilbaha on 12 August, and one juvenile on 27 August
Moneypoint: two juveniles and one adult on 17th August
: two juveniles and one adult on 17 August
New Quay: one adult on 25th November
: one adult on 25 November
Quilty: one adult at the beach at the village from 19th –21st September, one adult, on 13th October.
: one adult at the beach at the village from 19 –21 September, one adult, on 13 October.
Treacht Beach: two adults were seen feeding with a large party of gulls on the shore on 30th December.
: two adults were seen feeding with a large party of gulls on the shore on 30 December.
Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Resident.

 

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Common summer visitor, breeding in small numbers.
Cross: 40, near the village on 16th April.
40, near the village on 16 April.

 

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
40, near the village on 16 April.
Common resident.

 

 

Little Gull Larus minutus
Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant.
A total of eighteen birds were seen during the year with only one of those observed during the in spring.
Bridges of Ross: one juvenile on 22nd September; another juvenile on 25th September; two on 29th September, seven on 1st October, and one on 8th October
: one juvenile on 22 September; another juvenile on 25 September; two on 29 September, seven on 1 October, and one on 8 October
Ennis: one at Ballyallia Lake from 9th –16th April (Dermot Breen)
: one at Ballyallia Lake from 9 –16 April (Dermot Breen)
Shannon: one juvenile at the Airport Lagoon on 16th September with two juveniles and one adult on 22nd September. Two juveniles were seen there on 23rd September.
one juvenile at the Airport Lagoon on 16 September with two juveniles and one adult on 22 September. Two juveniles were seen there on 23 September.
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
Common resident and passage migrant.

 

 

 

 

 

Page 19
Sabines’ Gull Larus sabini
Regular autumn passage migrant.
A total of 41 were observed from the Bridges of Ross on 13 dates between 5th August and 1st October. High counts were ten on 25th August and seven on 1st October.
August: one on 5th, six on both 23rd and 24th, ten on 25th, two on 29th, one on 30th.
: one on 5, six on both 23 and 24, ten on 25, two on 29, one on 30.
September: one on 1st, 23rd and 25th, two on 27th and 28th.
: one on 1, 23 and 25, two on 27 and 28.
October: seven on 1st October.
: seven on 1 October.
Kilkee: one off llaunaneareann on 11th August.
one off llaunaneareann on 11 August.

 

 

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
Scarce winter visitor.
A total of 27 birds were observed on 11 dates during the year.
Bridges of Ross: one on 19th September.
: one on 19 September.
Kilkee: three 2nd winter birds on the beach on 21st January with another 12 (all 2nd winter) birds in a field at Dunlickey Road on the same date. One, Castle Point, on 24th September.
: three 2 winter birds on the beach on 21 January with another 12 (all 2 winter) birds in a field at Dunlickey Road on the same date. One, Castle Point, on 24 September.
Liscannor: one adult and three 2nd winter birds, Clahane, 26th January.
one adult and three 2 winter birds, Clahane, 26 January.
Loop Head: one 2nd winter at Ross Bay on 6th April; one on 16th April. one first year on 24th May, and one near Kilbaha on 28th September.
: one 2 winter at Ross Bay on 6 April; one on 16 April. one first year on 24 May, and one near Kilbaha on 28 September.
Quilty: one 2nd winter, on 6th January. One at Lurga Point, on 11th April.
: one 2 winter, on 6 January. One at Lurga Point, on 11 April.

 

 

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
Scarce winter visitor.
A total of 24 birds were seen during the year.
Ballyvaughan: a 2nd winter on 12th February.
: a 2 winter on 12 February.
Illaunaneareann: one in flight on 16th April.
: one in flight on 16 April.
Kilkee: one 2nd winter on the beach on 10th January with eleven there on 21st.
one 2 winter on the beach on 10 January with eleven there on 21.
Liscannor: six at Clahane on 26th January.
: six at Clahane on 26 January.
Loop Head: two, 2nd winter birds were seen feeding in a field near Kilbaha on 6th April. One there on 16th April. A first year was present on, 24th May.
: two, 2 winter birds were seen feeding in a field near Kilbaha on 6 April. One there on 16 April. A first year was present on, 24 May.
Quilty: one adult, 13rd January.
: one adult, 13 January.
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.
Ballyvaughan: one on 22nd January.
one on 22 January.
Bridges of Ross: sixty on 31st August.
: sixty on 31 August.
Loop Head: one flew across the headland near the lighthouse on 7th November.
: one flew across the headland near the lighthouse on 7 November.
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

 

 

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.
Bridges of Ross: 84, on 1st September, 43 on 3rd, 32 on 5th, 143 on 27th, 80 on 28th.
84, on 1 September, 43 on 3, 32 on 5, 143 on 27, 80 on 28.

 

 

Black Tern Chlidonias niger
Scarce passage migrant.
It was an average year for this species. All records came from the Bridges of Ross and corresponded with a period of easterly winds.
Bridges of Ross: five, on 3rd September; four on 4th, three on 5th, six on 7th.
: five, on 3 September; four on 4, three on 5, six on 7.

 

 

 

 

Page 20
Little Auk Alle alle
Rare winter visitor.
Bridges of Ross: one on 27th September.
: one on 27 September.

 

 

Puffin Fratercula arctica
Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant.
Breeds at the Cliffs of Moher. Autumn passage was light however.
Bridges of Ross: four on 31st August and 11 on 23rd September
four on 31 August and 11 on 23 September

 

 

Black Guillemot cepphus grylle
Scarce breeder and winter visitor.
AughinishFinvarra Point: 112, all seen between these two locations on 19th November. This was the highest count received during the year.
112, all seen between these two locations on 19 November. This was the highest count received during the year.

 

 

Guillemot Uria aalge
Common breeder and passage migrant.
Razorbill Alca torda
Common breeder and passage migrant.
Aughinish Island to Finavarra Point: 200 were seen between these two locations on 20th November.
200 were seen between these two locations on 20 November.

 

 

Rock Dove Columba livia
Scarce resident.
Loop Head: 65, in a freshly sown field near Kilbaha on 27th July was the highest count received.
65, in a freshly sown field near Kilbaha on 27 July was the highest count received.

 

 

Stock Dove
Scarce summer visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one was observed at Ballycar on 25th July.
one was observed at Ballycar on 25 July.

 

 

Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
Common resident.
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Common resident.

 

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Summer visitor.
Ennis: one was heard calling on the Gort Road on 24th April. This was the first record of the year and corresponded with a period of southerly winds.
one was heard calling on the Gort Road on 24 April. This was the first record of the year and corresponded with a period of southerly winds.

 

Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Scarce resident.
Ennis: one heard calling from the grounds of Newpark House, Cappahard on 16th October.
one heard calling from the grounds of Newpark House, Cappahard on 16 October.
Lissycasey: one juvenile at Darragh on 12th August.
one juvenile at Darragh on 12 August.
Loop Head: one, Kilbaha on 8th October.
one, Kilbaha on 8 October.
Newmarket on Fergus: one, Ballycar on 5th April, two chicks were heard calling there on 24th July.
one, Ballycar on 5 April, two chicks were heard calling there on 24 July.
Shannon: one, Inishcullen Hill on 13th April and again on 22nd April.
one, Inishcullen Hill on 13 April and again on 22 April.

 

 

Page 21
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Rare winter visitor or passage migrant.
Kilkee: one was seen flying over a bog during the first week of November.
: one was seen flying over a bog during the first week of November.
Lisseycasey: one at Boolynagleragh Bog on 20th November.
: one at Boolynagleragh Bog on 20 November.
Quilty: one was seen flying over the sea on 18th November.
: one was seen flying over the sea on 18 November.
Shannon: one was present at the Airport Lagoon on 29th March with another was seen on the evening of the 17th December at the same location.
one was present at the Airport Lagoon on 29 March with another was seen on the evening of the 17 December at the same location.

 

 

Barn Owl Tyto alba
Scarce resident.
Ennis: one was present on the Watery Road on 17th February and another at Newpark House on 23rd November.
one was present on the Watery Road on 17 February and another at Newpark House on 23 November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one heard calling in the early evening at Ballycar on 8th October. One was found injured in the Main Street of the village and taken into care on 26th November.
: one heard calling in the early evening at Ballycar on 8 October. One was found injured in the Main Street of the village and taken into care on 26 November.
Swift Apus apus
Summer visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: three at Dromoland Castle on 22nd April were the first recorded for the year. These arrived following a period of southerly winds.
: three at Dromoland Castle on 22 April were the first recorded for the year. These arrived following a period of southerly winds.

 

 

Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
Scarce resident.
None was seen at the Moyasta site, where up to two birds were seen together on several occasions in 2004.
Ballynacally: one at Ballycorick Bridge on 13th September.
one at Ballycorick Bridge on 13 September.
Doonbeg: one on 15th August and again on 29th August in the river estuary.
: one on 15 August and again on 29 August in the river estuary.
Ennis: one at Drehednagowan on 3rd February.
one at Drehednagowan on 3 February.

 

 

Skylark Alauda arvensis
Common resident.

 

 

Sand Martin Riparia riparia
Common summer visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one seen at Ballycar on 21st March was the first of the spring.
one seen at Ballycar on 21 March was the first of the spring.
Swallow Hirundo rusticata
Common summer visitor.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: two, Ballycar, on 4th April.
: two, Ballycar, on 4 April.
Quilty: a pair was still feeding young still at the nest near the pier in late September.
a pair was still feeding young still at the nest near the pier in late September.
Spanish Point: four on 31st March. These were the first for the year.
four on 31 March. These were the first for the year.

 

 

House Martin Delichon urbica
Common summer visitor.
Loop Head: one flew in off the sea at the point on 19th March and was the first of the Spring.
: one flew in off the sea at the point on 19 March and was the first of the Spring.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: the breeding colony at Dromoland Castle had returned in good numbers by 19th April.
the breeding colony at Dromoland Castle had returned in good numbers by 19 April.

 

 

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratenis
Common resident.
Inch: a flock of 70 were seen at Gortmore in late September.
a flock of 70 were seen at Gortmore in late September.

 

 

 

Page 22
Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrellialba
Common resident.
Loop Head: one of a. alba race was seen at Cloghaun Lough on 16th April, and two were there on 18th August.
one of race was seen at Cloghaun Lough on 16 April, and two were there on 18 August.

 

 

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Common resident.
Loop Head: one was seen in and around the pond in Kilbaha from 29th July to 30th August. A different bird was present nearby at Cloghaun Lough from 17th –20th September.
one was seen in and around the pond in Kilbaha from 29 July to 30 August. A different bird was present nearby at Cloghaun Lough from 17 –20 September.

 

 

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola (0,1)
(0,1)
Rare vagrant.
Shannon: a juvenile bird moved between the Airport Lagoon and the greens around the Golf Clubhouse from 15th to 19th September, and was seen by many observers. (Brian Finnegan, Tom Lowe, Finbarr Mac Gabhainn, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan).
: a juvenile bird moved between the Airport Lagoon and the greens around the Golf Clubhouse from 15 to 19 September, and was seen by many observers. (Brian Finnegan, Tom Lowe, Finbarr Mac Gabhainn, John N Murphy, Stan Nugent, John Rattigan).

 

Citrine Wagtail at the Shannon Airport Lagoon © John N Murphy

 

 

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Scarce resident.
Page 23
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Common resident.

 

 

Dipper Cinclus cinclus
Localised resident.
Birds seen regularly throughout the year at the Falls in Ennistymon, Doolin, Broadford and Sixmilebridge.
Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
Rare vagrant.
The irruption of Waxwings reached Clare in force in early February. The highest numbers recorded together were 34 on 26th February and 30 on 21st February. The last birds were seen on 22nd March.
Cratloe: 16, one mile south of village, on 22nd March.
16, one mile south of village, on 22 March.
Ennis: six, Gort Road on 5th –6th February, 30, The Hermitage, on 21st February with 10 there, on 22nd February. This number increased to 30 again on 26th February. There were 26 on ClonroadGlór Car Park on 22nd –23rd March, six on the Lahinch Road on 29th –30th March, with 5 there on 5th March. One at Cahercalla on 10th December.
six, Gort Road on 5 –6 February, 30, The Hermitage, on 21 February with 10 there, on 22 February. This number increased to 30 again on 26 February. There were 26 on ClonroadGlór Car Park on 22 –23 March, six on the Lahinch Road on 29 –30 March, with 5 there on 5 March. One at Cahercalla on 10 December.
Shannon: 34 were seen in the Industrial Estate on 26th February.
34 were seen in the Industrial Estate on 26 February.

 

Waxwing in Ennis © John N Murphy
Page 24
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Common resident.

 

Robin Erithacus rubecula
Common resident.

 

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor.
Aughinish Island: one on 21st January.
: one on 21 January.
Kilrush: one was seen at the Marina on 5th February.
: one was seen at the Marina on 5 February.
Quilty: two females were seen on the pier at Seafield on 26th December.
: two females were seen on the pier at Seafield on 26 December.

 

 

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Common summer visitor and summer migrant.
The earliest date was 19th March for the Spring migrants and 18th October was the latest for the Autumn passage.
Quilty: four, Seafield on 19th March.
: four, Seafield on 19 March.
Loop Head: one, 19th March. 60 were present on 4th September, 25 on 7th and six on 16th. One was present on 18th October.
: one, 19 March. 60 were present on 4 September, 25 on 7 and six on 16. One was present on 18 October.

 

 

Whinchat Saxicola torquata
Scarce passage migrant.

 

 

Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
Common resident and winter visitor.
Flaggy Shore: up to 80 birds, a notable increase, seen on the road-sides in this area in December.
up to 80 birds, a notable increase, seen on the road-sides in this area in December.
Redwing Turdus iliacus
Common winter visitor.
Clooney: a flock of 250 were seen feeding in a field between Clooney and Quin on 31st December.
a flock of 250 were seen feeding in a field between Clooney and Quin on 31 December.
Ennis: migration noted with a bird heard calling in Cappahard, Tulla Road, on the night of 14th October.
: migration noted with a bird heard calling in Cappahard, Tulla Road, on the night of 14 October.
Loop Head: 30 on 2nd November.
: 30 on 2 November.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: a large number noted passing through on migration in the morning of 14th October.
: a large number noted passing through on migration in the morning of 14 October.

 

 

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
Common Resident
Ennis: a flock of 22 was seen at Cappahard, Tulla Road on 20th December.
a flock of 22 was seen at Cappahard, Tulla Road on 20 December.
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
Common winter visitor.

 

 

Blackbird Turdus merula
Common resident and winter visitor.

 

 

Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Increasingly common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

 

Winter:
Clarecastle: a male was seen on 2nd December.
a male was seen on 2 December.
Ennis: a male seen at Cappahard, Tulla Road, on 3rd November was seen again on 28th November; a female was seen regularly in a garden at Ballymacahill from 23rd November to 15th December and on into 2006. Another female was seen at Pine Grove on 10th December.
: a male seen at Tulla Road, on 3 November was seen again on 28 November; a female was seen regularly in a garden at from 23 November to 15 December and on into 2006. Another female was seen at on 10 December.
Loop Head: One at Kilbaha on 2nd November.
: One at Kilbaha on 2 November.
Spring:
Ennis: a single bird was seen at Ballyallia on 19th and 24th March.
: a single bird was seen at Ballyallia on 19 and 24 March.
Loop Head: one male on 5th October.
one male on 5 October.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: a singing male was heard in the grounds of Dromoland Castle on 27th –28th March and again on 31st March, 3rd and 20th April. Two were heard singing there on 19th and 22nd April. One was present at Granaghan Castle on 4th April. A singing male was also heard at Ballycar on 10th, 16th, and 18th April. This bird was joined by a second on the 19th and 22nd April. Three singing males were recorded at Fenloe Lake on 22nd April.
: a singing male was heard in the grounds of on 27 –28 March and again on 31 March, 3 and 20 April. Two were heard singing there on 19 and 22 April. One was present at on 4 April. A singing male was also heard at on 10, 16, and 18 April. This bird was joined by a second on the 19 and 22 April. Three singing males were recorded at on 22 April.
Ruan: four singing males at Dromore Wood on 16th April.
: four singing males at Dromore Wood on 16 April.

 

 

Whitethroat Sylvia communis
Scarce summer visitor.
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

 

 

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
Scarce summer visitor.
Newmarket on Fergus: two birds seen at Fenloe Lake on 22nd April were the first of the year and arrived on southerly winds.
: two birds seen at Fenloe Lake on 22 April were the first of the year and arrived on southerly winds.

 

 

Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Common summer visitor.
Newmarket on Fergus: one at Ballycar on 26th March was the first spring record.
: one at Ballycar on 26 March was the first spring record.
Loop Head: one on 2nd October with a later bird trapped at Kilbaha on 15th October. These were the latest records received.
: one on 2 October with a later bird trapped at Kilbaha on 15 October. These were the latest records received.

 

 

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybitta
Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally winters.
Spring:
Clarecastle: one on 21st March.
one on 21 March.
Winter:
Ennis: one at Oak Park, 28th – 29th January, with another or the same bird seen there on 29th March. A single bird was also observed at Ballyallia on 29th January.
one at Oak Park, 28 – 29 January, with another or the same bird seen there on 29 March. A single bird was also observed at Ballyallia on 29 January.
Newmarket on Fergus: one at Ballycar on 15th February.
one at Ballycar on 15 February.
Autumn
Loop Head: Three at Kilbaha on 8th October. Seven were seen there on 11th, and four on 18th. Two were observed in Kilbaha on 2nd November.
Three at Kilbaha on 8 October. Seven were seen there on 11, and four on 18. Two were observed in Kilbaha on 2 November.

 

 

Arctic Warbler Phylloscopus borealis (1,1)
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one was watched in a farmyard between Kilbaha and the Lighthouse on 16th September (Christy Meehan, Maeve Meehan). This is the second county record and the first since 1986.
one was watched in a farmyard between Kilbaha and the Lighthouse on 16 September (Christy Meehan, Maeve Meehan). This is the second county record and the first since 1986.

 

 

 

Firecrest: Regulus ignicapullus (3,1)
Rare vagrant.
This is only the fourth county record.
Loop Head: one in the garden in Kilbaha, from 28th –29th September (Killian Mullarney, John N Murphy).
: one in the garden in Kilbaha, from 28 –29 September (Killian Mullarney, John N Murphy).

 

 

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Common resident and passage migrant.
Loop Head: twelve was the highest count recorded in the Autumn on 11th October.
: twelve was the highest count recorded in the Autumn on 11 October.

 

 

Red-breasted Flycatcher
Rare vagrant.
Loop Head: one immature Red-breasted Flycatcher was found across the road from Keating’s Pub in Kilbaha from 2nd –4th October (Aidan Kelly).
: one immature Red-breasted Flycatcher was found across the road from Keating’s Pub in Kilbaha from 2 –4 October (Aidan Kelly).
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Summer visitor.
Loop Head: one near the Lighthouse on 7th September was the only bird recorded on Autumn migration.
: one near the Lighthouse on 7 September was the only bird recorded on Autumn migration.
Great Tit Parus major
Common and widespread resident.

 

 

Coal Tit Parus ater
Common and widespread resident.

 

 

Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
Common and widespread resident.

 

 

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Common resident.

 

 

Magpie Pica pica
Common and widespread resident.

 

 

Jay Garrulus glandarius
Scarce resident, in decline.
Cratloe: one was seen at Woodcock Hill, 16th December and again on 20th December.
: one was seen at Woodcock Hill, 16 December and again on 20 December.
Labbasheeda: one was seen in woodland near the village on 4th December.
: one was seen in woodland near the village on 4 December.
Ennis: two at Lees Road Wood on 19th October. One at Ballyallia on 23rd October and again on 7th November. Two at Lees Road Wood on 4th November, with three there, 19th November.
two at Lees Road Wood on 19 October. One at Ballyallia on 23 October and again on 7 November. Two at Lees Road Wood on 4 November, with three there, 19 November.
Feakle: one on 9th April.
one on 9 April.
Newmarket-on-Fergus: one at Carrigoran House on 17th October.
: one at Carrigoran House on 17 October.
Sixmilebridge: one was seen at Kilnacreagh on 27th December.
: one was seen at Kilnacreagh on 27 December.
Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Common and widespread resident.
A bird of the eastern race was seen in Shannon on 23rd March (Stan Nugent).

 

 

Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Resident
Loop Head: high counts were of ten on 30th March, 27 on 5th September, and 35 on 16th September.
: high counts were of ten on 30 March, 27 on 5 September, and 35 on 16 September.
Illaunaneareann: 14 on 29th October.
14 on 29 October.

 

 

Rook Corvus frugilgus
Common and widespread resident.
Carrion Crow Corvus corone
Rare vagrant.
Lough Murree: one on 22nd October.
: one on 22 October.
Newmarket-On-Fergus: one, in the grounds of Ballycar National School on 17th November.
: one, in the grounds of Ballycar National School on 17 November.

 

 

Hooded Crow Corvus corvix
Common resident.

 

 

Raven Corvus corax
Resident.
Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Common and widespread resident.

 

 

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Common and widespread resident.
Tree Sparrow Passer Montanus
Scarce resident.
Numbers of this species has declined dramatically in the last decade.
Loop Head: seven at Kilbaha on 20th March. one, in the gardens in Kilbaha from 28th September – 9th October
: seven at Kilbaha on 20 March. one, in the gardens in Kilbaha from 28 September – 9 October

 

 

Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Common resident and winter visitor.
Loop Head: 50 were present in Kilbaha on 4th November.
: 50 were present in Kilbaha on 4 November.
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
Scarce winter visitor.
A poor year for this species.
Loop Head: one male was seen on 18th October.
: one male was seen on 18 October.
Linnet Cardeulis cannabina
Common winter visitor.

 

 

Twite Carduelis flavirostis
Scarce winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: one was seen at Bishop’s Quarter on 13th February.
one was seen at Bishop’s Quarter on 13 February.
Loop Head: 30 on 4th September is a large number and an early date.
: 30 on 4 September is a large number and an early date.
Redpoll Cardeulis flammea
Resident and winter visitor.
This species was under reported during the year.
Kildysart: two were seen on the pier on 23rd January.
: two were seen on the pier on 23 January.
Loop Head: "numerous" in Kilbaha on 4th November.
"numerous" in Kilbaha on 4 November.
Goldfinch Cardeulis carduelio
Scarce resident.
Ennis: up to nine fed daily at a bird feeder at Cappahard, Tulla Road, throughout November and December.
: up to nine fed daily at a bird feeder at Cappahard, Tulla Road, throughout November and December.

 

 

Greenfinch Cardeulis chloris
Common resident and winter visitor.
Inch: up to 49 were seen in a garden at Gortmore
: up to 49 were seen in a garden at Gortmore

 

Siskin Cardeulis spinus
Scarce resident and winter visitor.
Clarecastle: "a small flock" was reported on 8th November.
: "a small flock" was reported on 8 November.

 

 

Crossbill Loxia Curvirostra
Scarce breeder and winter visitor.
Cratloe: two were seen at Gallowshill and Woodcock Hill on 16th December; another four were seen north of Woodcock Hill on 20th December.
: two were seen at Gallowshill and Woodcock Hill on 16 December; another four were seen north of Woodcock Hill on 20 December.
Kilmaley: two, Letteragh Wood on 28th December.
: two, Letteragh Wood on 28 December.
Sixmilebridge: 20, near Kilnacreagh, Fisherman’s Hill, just east of the town on 21st December with eight there on the 23rd, 12 on 24th and five on 27th. Another two were seen near Oatfield, also on 27th.
: 20, near , Fisherman’s Hill, just east of the town on 21 December with eight there on the 23, 12 on 24 and five on 27. Another two were seen near , also on 27.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullfinch Pyrrula pyrrhula
Common and widespread resident.
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Common resident.
Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
Rare passage migrant.
Loop Head: one was heard calling at the Lighthouse on 18th September. Two were seen at The Fodry on 29th with another two present on 5th October.
Snow Bunting Plectorphenax nivalis
Regular passage migrant and winter visitor.
Ballyvaughan: a flock of 18 were seen at The Rine on 18th November.
Kilkee: ten were seen together at Castle Point on 23rd January.
Loop Head: two, near the Lighthouse, on 3rd October. A second pair was seen near Kilbaha on 6th October.
Yellowhammer Emberisa citrinella
Scarce resident.
The only records received were of eight birds seen together near Mullaghmore in May and a single bird was seen near Quilty in July.

 

List of Contributors

 

Eva Andreu
Paul Archer
Brian Arthurs,

 

Lorraine Benson
Robert Benson
Simon Berrow
Mark Bibby
Gerry Bilbao
Richard Bonser
Julien Boulanger
Cillian Boyd
Phil Brennan
Dermot Breen,

 

Graham Catley
Austin Cooney
Kieran Cronin

 

Michael Davis
Hugh Delaney
Alan Donovan
Joe Doolan
Jim F Dowdall
Aidan Duggan
Matti Eriksson
Lee Evans
Brian Finnegan
Colum Flynn
Owen Foley
Mick Frosby
Francois Gabillard
Mattias Gierdin
Kieran Grace
Tim Griffin
Christopher Gruwier
Mans Grundsten,
Nick Hallam
Dave Halliday
Tom Hayes
Chris Heard
Michael Hoit
Harry Hussey
Carol Inskipp
Tim Inskipp,
Dave Jenkins
D Keane
Aidan Kelly
Niall Keogh
Noel Keogh
Keith Langdon
Raphael Lebrun
Jacques-A Leclerq
Noel Lennihan
Pat Lonergan
Tom Lowe
Tom Lynch
Nuala Lynch
Finbarr Mac Gabhann
Franco Mareovic
Christy Meehan
Grace Meehan
Maeve Meehan
Paul Milne,
Killian Mullarney
Rick Mundy
John N Murphy
Gabriel Noonan
Stan Nugent
John O’Boyle
Barry O’Donaghue
Frank O’Duffy,
Benoit Paepegeay
Geoff Pearson
Brian Porter
John Rattigan
Bill Ryan
Frank Sadlier
Nicholas Selosse
Robert Vaughan
Gerard Walsh
Noel Walsh
Andy Woods
ohn Wright

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1997 Report

Clare Bird Report
Compiled by John. N. Murphy
on behalf of the Clare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland

List of Contributors
E. Archer                   B. Madden
P. Archer                   D. Manley
                                  T. Mee
C. Batty                     A. Meehan
I. Beatty                     C. Meehan
D. Berridge                G. Meehan
Birdnet Team             M. Meehan
C. Bradshaw             K. Mullarney
D. Breen                    J. N. Murphy
P. Brennan
M. Borkowski            E. A. MacLochlainn
G. Butler                    D. G. McAdams
T. McCoy
M. Carey                   C. McGuigan
D. Cooke                   C. McGuire
J. Coveney                D. McNamara
P. Davies                  J. Ohlsson
H. Delin                     Fergus O’ Connor
B. Dempsey              Frank O’ Connor
P. Dempsey              D. O’ Keeffe
                                 D. O’ Sullivan
K. Fahy                    O. O’ Sullivan
S. Farrell
B. Finnegan             G. Pearson
                                A. J. Pinson
N. Gricks                  J. Power
T. Griffin
                                 P. Rowe
B. Haslam
J. Hobbs                   A. D. Smith
M. Hoit                      M. Smyth
S. Holohan
C. Honan                  T. Tarpey
A. G. Kelly                A. J. Walsh
P. Kelly
S. Kennedy              Irish Rare Birds Committee
T. Kilbane                 Birdnet Team
A. Kiely                     Loop Head Log
E. Larrissem             T. Lowe
P. Lonergan              D. Low

 

Clare Bird Report 1997


Whooper Swans at Tullagher Bog.
John N Murphy, 5 Ballycasey Grove, Shannon, County Clare.

John N Murphy, 5 Ballycasey Grove, Shannon, County Clare.

 

Editorial
Once again 1997 was an exceptional year for birds in Clare. Four new species were added to the county list, in the form of a Pied-billed Grebe, a Black-necked Grebe, a Gyr Falcon and a Red Kite. Clare’s third Soft-plumaged Petrel appeared in August found by two Scandinavian visitors, who after spending a morning scanning the coast between Kilkee and Loop Head, eventually found their way to the Bridges of Ross. Here they were rewarded with close views of this much sought after rarity.
Migration was also well documented, especially seabird passage and passerine movements on the Loop Head peninsula. Very little ringing was carried out in the county in comparison to other years and this is reflected in the Ringing Report at the end of this publication.
Another year of Irish Wetlands Bird Survey (I-WeBS) counts were successfully carried out by volunteers of the Clare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland, producing a clearer picture of wader and wildfowl numbers in the county. Work on Mutton Island also progressed after a meeting with the owners who indicated their interest in the island becoming a wildlife haven. This augurs well for the future of the breeding species present and the visiting Barnacle Geese. The autumn of 1996 saw an influx of Snow Buntings into Irish coastlines with many of these birds remaining into January and late winter of 1997. There were flocks reported from Quilty, north Clare and the usual scattering from Loop Head.
February brought severe westerly gales mid month forcing an unusually large build up of divers in Galway Bay, with many taking shelter in Ballyvaughan and other inlets of this region. Over 100 Black-throated Divers were recorded on 22nd February. This was twice to three times the amount of birds normally counted on a good day in past years at this location.
The 8th March saw one of the counties five new bird species arrive at Fanore on the north-western side of the Burren. Here a white phased Gyr Falcon was spotted chasing Oystercatchers across the main road towards the shore. This was more than likely the same individual as that recorded in Kerry over previous days, making its way northwards to its breeding grounds.
Spring migration on the Loop Head peninsula was light with few passerines but the regular passage of seabirds. Early summer was marked by an invasion to Ireland of Common Crossbills from central and northern Europe. Large numbers in other Irish counties were not reflected in Clare, with no sizeable flocks of note and only a small dispersal of breeding birds in the usual localities of the east Clare Hills.
The most outstanding feature in the late summer of ’97 was the huge passage of Sabine’s Gulls at the Bridges of Ross and along the West Coast of Ireland. Unprecedented numbers past after westerly storms in late August with a peak of 215 on 29th being the maxima day count during this period. This coincided with large movements past Brandon Point, Kerry, where on the same day a maximum of 300 birds were counted. This period brought the best seawatching of the year with many shearwaters, petrels, skuas and phalaropes streaming past the Bridges of Ross and the Clare coast.
Waders marked the remainder of the autumn with three second time appearances for the county. An American Golden Plover put in a four day stopover at Fodry, Loop Head from 30th September to 3rd October. A Dotterel also arrived at Loop Head on 21st September and was only seen for a day, but a juvenile Long-billed Dowitcher stayed for over a month at Lough Donnell between 27th September and 5th November. What was interesting about both birds was the fact that they were seen in the exact locations, as the two previous records. Dotterel in 1988 within the same field at Loop and Long-billed Dowitcher in 1993 was also a long stayer at Lough Donnell. Who says lightning doesn’t strike twice?
After the west and south-westerly storms of early September, mid month saw winds shift to persistent south-easterlies. Things were looking up. Hopes were high for possible good falls of migrants at Loop Head. A small number of migrants did arrive with the highlight of these being an Icterine Warbler caught at Kilbaha on the 23rd September. This was another second county record; the first was in October 1995.
Unsettled weather throughout October played havoc with normal migration patterns. Northern thrushes were late, the usual influx of finches and Blackcaps seemed to be non-existent at Loop Head, never-the-less good birds did arrive.
Easterly winds around mid October did produce the counties first Red Kite. This bird turned up at Lough Donnell on 18th and travelled the coast arriving at Loop Head the same evening remaining in the area to the following morning. This bird proved to be a major wanderer. It was wearing colour wing-tags and had originated in Scotland, this might have been one of two birds wearing similar wing-tag combinations, which were spotted later in the year in east Cork (details in the colour ringing section).
The 25th of the month saw yet another first county record and the third for the year. A Black-necked Grebe joined a small flock of Little Grebes near Moyasta, Poulnasherry Bay, but unfortunately did not take up residence in the locality for the winter as birds often do in other parts of the country.
November was quiet with few scarce or rare species. Many late arriving Northern thrushes and finches passed through early in the month with wader and wildfowl numbers also rising.December was surprisingly one of the most interesting months of the year. Easterly winds early in the month forced some unexpected migrants into the country. In Clare on the 5th there was a Yellow Wagtail feeding the same area of salt marsh near Cleenagh Castle on the Fergus Estuary as a Water Pipit. Both these birds were good finds. The Yellow Wagtail was well out of season and was closely scrutinised, with taughts of the rarer Citrine Wagtail on the observer’s mind. The Water Pipit was only the second county record. Coincidentally the first Water Pipit in 1995 was also found at this exact site and by the same observer.
A shift in wind direction about 8th of the month to strong gale and storm-forced north and south Westerlies produced excellent conditions for a trip to the Bridges of Ross in search of wrecked seabirds. Little Auks were always on the cards and did turn up in small numbers, but no one expected a Pied-billed Grebe on the Loop Head peninsula. After a sea watch at the Bridges of Ross on 11th December a search of the headland and Kilbaha were inevitable. At Cloghaun Lough just east of Kilbaha a Pied-billed Grebe was found feeding within a flock of Teal. This was again a first county record and remained to 13th giving good views during its brief stay. This was for many county birders the icing on the cake to what was overall a memorable ornithological year.

 

Acknowledgements
I would like to thank all that contributed to this report, especially Myles Carey and Tony Mee for their encouragement, proof reading and advice. To Brian Madden for his advise and help on the layout of this publication. To Paul Milne and Killian Mullarney for records supplied on behalf of the Irish Rare Birds Committee. To Graham McElwaine of the Irish Whooper Swan Study Group and Congella McGuire of the National Parks & Wildlife Service, for information on darvic ringed Whooper Swan sightings. To the British Trust for Ornithology, Wader Study Group for colour ringing details. To Sr. Mary O’ Connell and her class for Puffin work.
Finally special thanks to all Clare members of Birdwatch Ireland for their records, support and work throughout the year. This includes the Meehan Family, Brian Finnegan, Andy Smith, Frank O’ Connor, and Antoine Kiely.

 

Systematic List
The sequence followed is that of Professor K H Voous’ "List of recent Holarctic Bird Species" (1977). Some records within this report may not have yet been accepted by the Irish Rare Birds Committee (I.R.B.C.). These records are marked with an asterisk *. The letters (ph) per hour in brackets appears after counts of some seabird species on passage at Bridges of Ross. Rare bird species with bracketed numbers e.g Icterine Warbler (1, 1), the first number stands for record of appearance within county Clare to date and the second one for number of appearance within the year covered by this publication, 1997. Where the letters nc appears in tables stands for no count received during that month for that site.

 

RED-THROATED DIVER. Gavia stellata.
Regular winter visitor and passage migrant.
Frequents two main sites, Liscannor Bay and Galway Bay, with light spring passage and heavier autumn migration past Bridges of Ross.
Ballyvaughan Bay: Five on 9th and four on 22nd February. Three on 9th and one on 18th November. One on 13th December.
Bridges of Ross: One on 9th January. Two on 18th February. One on 1st, two on 4th and 11 on 12th September. One on 6th and 7th, four on 9th and one on 30th October. One on 11th and one on 27th December.
Carrigaholt: One on 4th March.
Carrowmore Point: Ten on 7th April.
Liscannor Bay: Eight on 14th, one 17th and 12 on 22nd January. 11 on 9th February. One on 1st, two on 7th, and four on 14th November.
Quilty: One on 14th January. One on 25th February. One on 8th March.

 

BLACK-THROATED DIVER. * Gavia arctica.
Regular winter visitor.
Confined mainly to Galway Bay with a light scattering further south. The end of 96/97 winter was an exceptional season for this species with numbers reaching international importance in north Clare as records show.
Aughinish Island: 12 on 15th February (A. D. Smith).
Ballyvaughan Bay: 17 on 26th and 22 on 30th March (A. D. Smith).
Eight on 9th November (C. & M. Meehan).
Five on 29th November (C. & M. Meehan).
Two on 13th December (A. D. Smith).
Black Head: 60 on 9th and 100 on 22nd February. One on 9th November (C. & M. Meehan).
Doonbeg: One on 18th January (C. & M. Meehan).
One on 25th February (C. & M. Meehan).
Kilkee: One from 28th to 30th March (A. D. Smith et al).
Liscannor Bay: Two on 22nd January. Seven on 9th February (C. & M. Meehan).
One on 15th March (B. Finnegan).
18 on 1st November (B. Finnegan & J. N. Murphy).
One on 12th and 13th November (J. N. Murphy et al).
Two on 14th November (M. Meehan).
New Quay: Seven on 10th January (J. N. Murphy).
Quilty: Three on 26th January (C. Meehan et al).

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. Gavia immer.
Common winter visitor and passage migrant.
1997 was an average year with peak site counts and best months listed in Table 1 below.

____________________________________________________________________

                                                  Jan        Feb        Mar        Oct        Nov        Dec

Ballyvaughan Bay                      18          35         20            8           25          32
Liscannor Bay                              5            3           3            5           10            7
Loop Head/Bridges of Ross         1            5           1            6             1            1
Quilty to Kilkee Bay                       7            6           3            2             9          10
Shannon Estuary                          5            5           7            3             4            3
____________________________________________________________________

Table 1

Great Northern Diver off north Clare coast John N Murphy.

PIED-BILLED GREBE. Podilymbus podiceps. (0, 1).
Rare north American vagrant.
One at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head on 11th to 13th December (J. N. Murphy, A. D. Smith et al). This is only the fifth Irish record and a first for the county.

 

LITTLE GREBE. Tachybaptus ruficollis.
Common resident.
Ballyallia Lake: 36 on 22nd February. 43 on 10th November.
Lough Inchiquin: 31 on 6th January.
Shannon Airport Lagoon: 32 on 29th September.

 

GREAT CRESTED GREBE. Podiceps cristatus.
Common resident.
40 at Lough Derg on 24th January. 20 at Clonderlaw Bay on 29th September. 15 at Poulnasherry Bay on 30th October.

RED-NECKED GREBE.* Podiceps grisegena. (8, 2).
Rare winter visitor.
One at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January (C. & M. Meehan). One at Ballyvaughan Bay on 8th March (D. Cooke et al).
SLAVONIAN GREBE. Podiceps auritus.
Scarce winter visitor.
Two at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January and one there on 25th October.

BLACK-NECKED GREBE.* Podiceps nigricollis. (0, 1).
Rare vagrant.
The first county record made a short appearance at Poulnasherry Bay on 25th October (Frank O’ Connor, C. & M. Meehan).

FULMAR. Fulmaris glacialis.
Localised resident and regular passage migrant.
Highest counts were from Loop Head where 6,000 passed on the 18th February after severe westerly gales and 2,700 (ph) at Bridges of Ross on 28th August. Blue phased birds were also observed at Bridges of Ross on these two days, with one on 18th February and five on 28th August.

FEA’S / MADEIRAN SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL.

Pterodroma feae/madeira. (2, 1).

Rare vagrant.
One bird at Bridges of Ross on 31st July (H. Delin & J. Ohlsson). This was a third county record with sightings becoming more frequent in recent years.

 

CORY’S SHEARWATER.* Calonectris diomedea.
Rare passage migrant.
A good year with all records from Bridges of Ross. Three on 30th July (I. Beatty et al). August:three on 23rd (Birdnet Team), six on 25th (Birdnet Team) and five on 30th (Loop Head Log).

 

GREAT SHEARWATER. Calonectris diomedea.
Rare passage migrant.
A typical year for this species with all records from Bridges of Ross.
August: One on 23rd, 340 on 25th, five on 28th and four on 30th.
September: Two on 4th.
SOOTY SHEARWATER. Puffinus griseus.

Regular passage migrant.
An average year with no records for the end July, early August as in most years off the Loop Head peninsula. Records from Bridges of Ross were as follows;
August: Eight on 22nd, 30 on 23rd, 14 on 24th, 40 on 25th, 80 on 28th, three on 29th and 28 on 30th.
September: One on 1st and 2nd, 44 on 3rd, 1,165 on 4th, 36 on 6th and 15 on 12th.
October: Six on 6th, 11 on 7th, 51 on 9th, eight on 10th and one on 16th.

 

MANX SHEARWATER. Puffinus puffinus.

Common passage migrant.

Returning birds were first recorded on 18th March with 28 at Bridges of Ross. Counts of over 500 at Bridges of Ross were,

 

July: 1,600 on 7th and 500 (ph) on 16th.

August: 500 on 22nd, 6,500 on 23rd, 500 on 26th and 2,000 (ph) on 29th.

September: 3,400 (ph) on 4th.

October: Last sighting was 18 on 10th.

 

BALEARIC SHEARWATER. Puffinus mauretanicus.

Regular passage migrant.

A good year at Bridges of Ross with all sightings coinciding with large movements of Manx Shearwaters during August and September.

August: Four on 23rd, one on 24th and 25th, six on 28th and one on 29th.

September: One on 1st, two on 3rd, one on 4th and 6th.

 

STORM PETREL. Hydrobates pelagicus.

Common passage migrant.

Birds were recorded along the West Coast from as early as April through to the end of October, with the majority of sightings from the Bridges of Ross. All records in Table 2 are monthly totals observed at the Bridges of Ross between July and October. The highest day count from these figures was 700 on 29th August from a total of eight days of seawatching.

___________________________________________________________

July Aug Sept Oct

___________________________________________________________

 

Bridges of Ross 56 1,967 167 10

56 1,967 167 10

 

Table 2

 

LEACH’S STORM PETREL. Oceanodroma leucorhoa.

Regular autumn passage migrant.

This was another relatively good year for this species with all records coming from the Bridges of Ross and Loop Head.

August: 140 on 28th and 14 on 29th.

September: 42 on 3rd, 263 on 4th, 16 on 6th and 24 on 12th.

October: One on 7th and 10 on 10th.

GANNET. Sula bassana.

Common passage migrant.

Highest counts from the Bridges of Ross were 400 (ph) on 15th July. 300 (ph) on 16th July. 1,500 (ph) on 7th, 2,400 (ph) on 9th and 2,500 (ph) on 10th October.

CORMORANT. Phalacrocorax carbo.

Localised resident.

Birds breed at one inland site and some coastal locations. Highest counts were 46 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 5th January. There were 22 nesting pairs at Illaunanaraun on 16th June. 40 at Liscannor Bay on 7th November.

 

SHAG. Phalacrocorax aristotelis.

Common coastal resident.

47 at New Quay on 10th January. 25 at Quilty on 14th January. Over 50 at Quilty on 14th May.

 

LITTLE EGRET. Egretta garzetta.

Regular winter visitors in small numbers.

Similar records during 1997 compared with 1996. Three at Poulnasherry Bay on 1st January. One at Rineanna Point, Fergus Estuary on 21st January. Three at Ballycar Lake, Newmarket-on-Fergus on 27th February. One at Ballyallia Lake on 6th April, this was a first for this site. One at Lough O’ Grady on 3rd June another first site record. One at Poulnasherry Bay on 30th October joined by two others in mid December to end of year.

 

GREY HERON. Ardea cinerea.

Common resident.

14 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 9th June. 12 at Poulnasherry Bay on 9th August.

 

MUTE SWAN. Cygnus olor.

Common resident.

Lough Atedaun: 104 on 6th January. 113 on 14th January.

Lough Inchiquin: 86 on 13th January.

Shannon Airport Lagoon: 76 on 31st July.

 

BEWICK’S SWAN. Cygnus columbianus.

Scarce winter visitor.

Numbers seem to be declining with fewer birds visiting the county each winter. Two at Moanmore, Kilrush on 14th January. 14 at Lough Inchiquin on 10th January. Three at Querrin on 19th January. Three at Williamstown, Lough Derg on 24th January.

 

WHOOPER SWAN. Cygnus cygnus.

Regular winter visitor.

Peak counts from the top ten sites were,

Ballyallia Lake: 58 on 15th January. 48 on 22nd February.

Farrihy/Tullagher: 40 on 26th January. 27 on 22nd February.

Kells Lake: 104 on 20th March.

Kilfenora: 83 on 28th February. 52 on 17th December.

Lough Atedaun: 64 on 5th January.

Lough Inchiquin: 23 on 10th January.

Lough O’ Grady: 60 on 17th March. 67 on 12th November.

Shannon Airport Lagoon: 138 on 28th November.

Tullabrack Lake: 56 on 5th January. 40 on 22nd February.

 

Information on all darvic ringed birds in the colour ringing section.

 

 

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE. Anser brachyrhynchus. (3, 1).

(3, 1).

Rare winter visitor.

One at Lough O’ Grady from 24th November to 16th December (A. D. Smith).

 

 

GREENLAND WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. Anser albifrons.

Winter visitor in small numbers.

Burren: 35 on 6th January to 6th March. 30 on 11th November.

Tullagher Bog: 72 on 26th January. 34 on 29th October. 57 on 22nd November. 60 on 30th December.

 

GREYLAG GOOSE. Anser anser.

Scarce winter visitor, with much confusion between domestic and wild flocks.

One at Shannon from 11th to 13th January. Three at Farrihy Lake on 19th January.

26 at Lough O’ Grady from 28th August to 23rd September probably of domestic origins.

 

CANADA GOOSE. Branta canadensis.

.

Rare vagrant, with some confusion between domestic and wild origins.

Two at Kells Lough, Burren throughout late winter (Congella McGuire).

 

BARNACLE GOOSE. Branta leucopsis.

Winter visitor and passage migrant.

Illaunanaraun: 108 on 28th January. 170 on 15th February.

Loop Head: One on 11th October.

Mutton Island: 57 on 14th January. 70 on 5th March.

 

BRENT GOOSE. Branta bernicla.

Winter visitor and passage migrant.

120 at Querrin on 8th January, 100 there on 4th March. 100 at Ballyvaughan on 10th January and 26th March. 200 at Poulnasherry Bay on 2nd February. 93 at Querrin on 5th February. Four at Loop Head on 12th September and five on 10th October.

 

SHELDUCK. Tadorna tadorna.

Resident and common winter visitor.

The largest congregations were 200 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 5th January. 50 at Bell Harbour on 11th January. 200 at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January. 185 at Clenagh Bay, Fergus Estuary on 19th January.

 

RUDDY SHELDUCK. Tadorna ferruginea. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare vagrant with some confusion between collection and wild origins.

One male at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 18th May (J. N. Murphy).

 

WIGEON. Anas penelope.

Common winter visitor, occasionally summers.

Highest counts from the top four sites for 1997 were:

____________________________________________________________________

Jan Feb Mar Oct Nov Dec

Ballyallia Lake 1,500 905 235 nc nc 780

1,500 905 235 nc nc 780

Burren Lakes 520 182 nc nc 300 nc

520 182 nc nc 300 nc

Lough O’ Grady 230 425 200 nc nc nc

230 425 200 nc nc nc

Poulnasherry Bay 382 nc nc 480 1,000 1,000

382 nc nc 480 1,000 1,000

____________________________________________________________________

Table 3

 

Elsewhere: 1,100 at Lahinch on 7th January, 300 at Lough Donnell on 27th February.

Summer records: Two males and one female at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 2nd July.

Two males and one female at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 2 July.

 

GADWALL. Anas strepera.

Scarce winter visitor, rare breeder.

Ballyallia Lake: 40 on 5th January. 28 on 12th January. 39 on 17th March.

Lough Bunny: 14 on 14th January.

Lough Donnell: Eight on 19th January. 20 on 8th November.

Lough Gash: 26 on 23rd January. 47 on 22nd December.

Lough Inchiquin: 34 on 6th January. 70 on 13th January. 26 on 4th February.

Shannon Airport Lagoon: 36 on 9th February. 26 on 29th September. 48 on 24th October.

 

TEAL.* Anas crecca.

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

The largest records were from Ballyallia Lake where there was 316 on 12th January, 200 on 22nd February and 351 on 17th February. 160 at Lough Inchiquin on 6th January. 110 at Lough O’ Grady on 12th January. Over 100 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 19th January and 180 at the same site on 24th October. There were 400 at Lough Atedaun on 6th November.

 

Male Teal showing the characteristics of the north American race A.c.carolinensis were as follows: One drake at Bell Harbour in early January (T. Griffin et al). Another male at Ballyallia Lake on 29th March (M. Carey). One male at Lough O’ Grady on 12th January (A. D. Smith). One drake at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 23rd November (A. D. Smith).

 

MALLARD. Anas platyrhynchos.

Common resident.

110 at Lough Inchiquin on 6th January. 110 at Lough O’ Grady on 12th January. 315 at Ballyallia Lake on 12th January with 365 there on 20th September. 250 at Lough Atedaun on 26th November. 180 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 28th November.

 

PINTAIL. Anas acuta.

Scarce winter visitor.

Records from Shannon Airport Lagoon were 11 on 5th January, 18 on 9th February, 22 on 29th September and 10 on 28th November. 15 at Lough Atedaun on 14th January. 14 at Moanmore Lough on 14th January. 25 at Poulnasherry Bay on 14th January with 38 there on 28th February. 24 at Lough O’ Grady on 24th January.

 

GARGANEY. Anas querquedula. (4, 1).

(4, 1).

Rare vagrant.

One drake at Ballyallia Lake on 23rd March. This was only the fifth record for the county (M. Carey).

 

SHOVELER. Anas clypeata.

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

Records from Ballyallia Lake were 337 on 12th January, 150 on 22nd February, 131 on 17th March and 338 on 14th December. 74 at Lough Atedaun on 6th November. 179 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 28th November.

 

POCHARD. Aythya ferina.

Common winter visitor.

There were 38 at Moanmore Lough, Kilrush on 14th January. 90 at Ballyallia Lake on 6th January. 100 at Lough Inchiquin on 10th January. 43 at Lough Gash on 23rd January. 0 at Lough Atedaun on 2nd February.

 

TUFTED DUCK. Aythya collaris.

Common resident and winter visitor.

Over 100 at Lough Inchiquin on 10th January. 135 at Ballyallia Lake on 12th January with 120 there on 14th December. 180 at Lough Derg on 24th January. 160 at Lough Atedaun on 26th November.

 

RING-NECKED DUCK. Aythya collaris. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare north American vagrant.

Presumably the same adult male that was present at Lough Inchiquin in late autumn of 1996, re-appeared there on 2nd February. It is believed that the same adult male turned up at Ballyallia Lake from 24th March and remained for one month to 25th April, where it had paired off with a female Tufted Duck. Later in the year this bird was once again re-located at Lough Inchiquin on 31st October, where it remained up to mid November before moving on to Ballyallia Lake over-wintered into late spring of 1998 (M. Carey, J. N. Murphy et al).

 

Drake Ring-necked Duck © John N Murphy

 

SCAUP. Aythya marilla.

Winter visitor.

Largest count was 40 at Clonderlaw Bay on 25th January and 76 at Islandavanna, Fergus Estuary on 25th March.

 

EIDER. Somateria mollissima.

Scarce winter visitor.

One immature/female at Ballyvaughan Bay on 17th March (J. N. Murphy & A. D. Smith). Two immatures at Liscannor Bay on 12th November (J. N. Murphy).

LONG-TAILED DUCK. Clangula hyemalis.

Scarce winter visitor.

15 – 20 at Aughinish Island on 14th January. One at Poulnasherry Bay on 9th April.

 

COMMON SCOTER. Melanitta nigra.

Common winter visitor and passage migrant.

Found mainly at two sites, Liscannor Bay and Galway Bay with autumn passage at Loop Head varied from year to year.

 

Bridges of Ross: Six on 16th July. Two on 11th, one on 23rd, 12 on 25th, two on 27th, 15 on 28th, five on 29th and eight on 30th August. 18 on 4th, two on 6th and six on 12th September. Three on 7th, two on 9th, two on 10th and three on 11th October.

Galway Bay: 40 at Black Head on 13th December.

Liscannor Bay: 300 on 14th January. 350 on 22nd February. 650 from 1st to 14th November.

 

VELVET SCOTER. Melanitta fusca.

Scarce winter visitor.

One at Aughinish Island on 10th January (J. N. Murphy). Three at Black Head on 22nd February (C. & M. Meehan). One at Liscannor Bay on 1st November (B. Finnegan & J. N. Murphy). Two at Liscannor Bay on 31st December (B. Finnegan & J. N. Murphy).

 

GOLDENEYE. Bucaphala clangula.

Regular winter visitor.

This species is commonly found in the east Clare lakes and Burren Lakes system. The highest count was 120 at Lough Derg on 24th January. Other noteworthy counts were 20 at Lough George on 20th March. 20 at Lough Atedaun on 6th November.

 

RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. Mergus serrator.

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

The largest count was 70 at Finvarra Point on 11th January.

 

RUDDY DUCK. Oxyura jamaicensis. (3, 1).

(3, 1).

Rare vagrant.

One female at Ballyallia Lake on 14th January to 8th February (A. D. Smith et al).

 

RED KITE. Milvus milvus. (0, 1).

(0, 1).

Rare vagrant.

One bird wearing colour wing tags was seen at Lough Donnell in the early afternoon on 18th October. Later that day the bird was seen at Loop Head and was again recorded the following morning 19th near the lighthouse (M. Carey, B. Finnegan et al). This was the first record for Clare.

 

HEN HARRIER. Circus cyaneus.

Scarce resident and passage migrant.

Ballyallia Lake: One on 2nd January.

Core Bog: One on 28th August. One on 19th September. One on 24th November.

Farrihy: One on 5th November.

Feakle: One on 21st November.

Kilrush: One on 18th September. One on 3rd October.

Loop Head: One on 2nd, one on 8th, one on 16th and one on 23rd October.

Lough Atedaun: One on 23rd January. One on 29th September.

Lough Donnell: One on 28th September. One on 1st and 4th October.

Lough O’ Grady: One on 17th March.

Maghera: One on 1st June.

Poulnasherry Bay One on 5th July. One on 7th and 25th September.

Shannon: One on 29th September.

Tulla: One on 21st February.

Tullagher Lough: One on 10th March. One on 25th October.

 

SPARROWHAWK. Accipiter nisus.

Common resident.

14 days observations at Loop Head.

 

KESTREL. Falco tinnunculus.

Common resident.

22 days observations at Loop Head.

 

MERLIN. Falco columbarius.

Scarce passage migrant, rare breeder.

Loop Head had a total of 16 days of observation, with peak passage between 3rd and 26th October. Elsewhere records were as follows;

Aughinish Island: One on 30th September. One on 2nd December.

Ballyallia Lake: One on 2nd January.

Bodyke: One on 14th February.

Core Bog: One on 25th November. One on 27th December.

Ennis: One on 25th February.

Farrihy: One on 12th October. One on 1st November.

Kilkee: One on 28th March.

Kilrush: One on 8th May. One on 10th September.

Maghera: One on 23rd January.

Poulnasherry Bay:One on 22nd November.

 

 

GYR FALCON. Falco rusticolus. (0, 1).

(0, 1).

Rare vagrant.

The first Clare record was a white phased bird seen briefly hunting over a roadside near Fanore on 8th March (D. Cooke & P. Rowe).

 

PEREGRINE. Falco peregrinus.

Scarce resident.

One nest site was raided during the breeding season with high disturbance levels at two other sites. Observed at Loop Head on a total of 29 days throughout 1997.

 

RED GROUSE. Lagopus lagopus

Scarce resident.

Two at Lough Ea, Maghera on 1st April.

 

PHEASANT. Phasianus colchicus.

Widespread and common.

 

WATER RAIL. Rallus aquaticus.

Scarce resident.

Highest count was five at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 19th January and four on 28th November. Smaller numbers were observed during the year at Lough Atedaun, Williamstown, Lough O’ Grady, Lough Donnell, Scariff Bay, Doora Dump, Kilrush and Kilcredaun Marsh.

 

MOORHEN. Gallinule chloropus.

Widespread and common resident.

38 at Lough Gash, Newmarket-on-Fergus, on 22nd December was the largest count.

 

COOT. Fulica atra.

Common resident.

266 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 24th October and 302 on 28th November. 370 at Ballyallia Lake on 5th January with 329 there on 20th September.

 

OYSTERCATCHER. Haematopus ostralegus.

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

Best counts were 154 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 12th January. 148 at Quilty on 14th January. 300 at Shannon Town on 16th February. 250 at Poulnasherry Bay on 7th September with 206 there on 26th December. 70 at Lough Donnell on 27th September. 350 at Loop Head on 27th December. 150 at White Strand, Doonbeg on 29th December.

One albino bird spent the later part of the year at Poulnasherry Bay.

 

RINGED PLOVER. Charadrius hiaticula.

Common resident and winter visitor.

60 at Lurga Point, Quilty on 11th January. 260 at Poulnasherry Bay on 25th September and 26th October. 200 at Doonbeg on 26th October. 96 at Clahane, Liscannor Bay on 12th November.

 

DOTTEREL.* Charadrius morinellus. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare vagrant.

One juvenile at Loop Head on 21st September only stayed for the day (G. Pearson).

 

AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER. Pluvialis dominicus. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare north American vagrant.

One juvenile at Fodry, Loop Head from 30th September to 4th October (J. N. Murphy, T. Mee et al).

 

GOLDEN PLOVER. Charadrius apricaria.

Common winter visitor.

Highest counts were 701 between Shannon Town and Bunratty on 19th January, 250 at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January, and 1,500 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 2nd March with 2,000 there on 18th. 1,000 at Poulnasherry Bay on 23rd March. 500 at Islandavanna, Fergus Estuary on 25th March. 600 at Lough Donnell on 1st November. 500 at Aughinish Island on 2nd December.

 

GREY PLOVER. Charadrius sqatarola.

Common winter visitor.

There were 300 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 5th January and 9th November. 100 at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January.

 

LAPWING. Vanellus vanellus.

Common winter visitor and breeder.

500 at Ballyallia Lake on 12th January, with 1,120 there on 14th December. 500 at Lough O’ Grady on 12th January. 220 at Lough Inchiquin on 13th January. 300 at Kells Lough, the Burren also on 13th January. 1,000 at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January. 400 at Lough Donnell on 14th January. 2,680 between Shannon Town and Bunratty on 19th January. 1,000 at Clarecastle on 23rd January. 400 at Farrihy Lake on 22nd November. 1,000 at Poulnasherry Bay on 30th November. 300 at Querrin on 20th December. 1,200 at Bunratty on 28th December.

 

Lapwing numbers were down during the I-WeBs winter counts of 1996/97 in comparison to previous season of 1995/96.

 

KNOT. Calidris canatus.

Common winter visitor.

500 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 5th January and 2nd March. 250 between Shannon Town and Bunratty on 19th January. 500 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 9th November. Summer records at Shannon Airport Lagoon were one on 31st August with five there on 9th.

 

SANDERLING. Calidris alba.

Scarce winter visitor.

The two main sites are Lurga Point, Quilty and Kilkee Beach with smaller numbers at Liscannor Bay and Ballyvaughan. Peak counts were 60 at Quilty on 14th January, 72 at Kilkee on 8th August.

 

LITTLE STINT. Calidris minuta.

Scarce autumn passage migrant.

One at Loop Head on 12th August. Two at Lough Donnell on 28th September with one there on 1st November. One at Kilkee on 19th October. Two at Quilty on 8th November.

 

CURLEW SANDPIPER. Calidris ferruginea.

Scarce passage migrant.

Aughinish: One on 30th August.

Ballyvaughan: One on 10th January.

Kilcredaun: One on 12th August.

Kilkee: One on 2nd November.

Lough Donnell: Two on 20th, six on 26th, three on 27th and two on 28th September.

Poulnasherry Bay: One on 28th September.

Quilty: Five on 3rd October.

Shannon Airport Lagoon: One on 8th, 18th and 22nd May. One on 9th August. Two from 15th to 28th September.

 

PURPLE SANDPIPER. Calidris maritima.

Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant.

This species is found at one main site on the beach at Lurga Point/Seafield just outside Quilty. Here the flock is of international importance with numbers for 1997 slightly down on past years. It is remarkable that few records are received annually from other parts of the county, emphasising the importance of this site for the species.

Loop Head: Six on 11th December.

Lurga Point, Quilty: 100 on 11th and 170 on 14th January.

 

DUNLIN. Calidris alpina.

Common winter visitor and passage migrant.

 

Table 4 below shows the peak winter monthly counts for the top county locations.

below shows the peak winter monthly counts for the top county locations.

____________________________________________________________________

Jan Feb Mar Oct Nov Dec

Lurga Point, Quilty 1,600 350 250 100 100 600

1,600 350 250 100 100 600

Poulnasherry Bay 2,100 500 100 200 300 1,000

2,100 500 100 200 300 1,000

Shannon Estuary 4,300 500 5,000 1,000 3,000 5,500

4,300 500 5,000 1,000 3,000 5,500

____________________________________________________________________

Table 4

 

RUFF. Philomachus pugnax.

Scarce passage migrant.

Six at Kilkee Reservoir on 9th April. One at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 8th May, another there on 31st July with two on 20th September and one remaining to 29th. One at Kilcredaun on 12th August. Three at Islandavanna on 31st August. Three at Ballyallia Lake on 20th September. Two at Lough Donnell on 26th with one remaining to 27th September. One at Clenagh Lake on 20th September. One at Lough O’ Grady from 24th to 27th September and one on 30th November.

 

JACK SNIPE. Lymnocryptes minimus.

Scarce under-recorded winter visitor.

One at Loop Head on 19th October.

 

1983 1988 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996

 

2 1 1 3 2 1 1 3

 

Table 5

Figures in Table 5 above show how under-recorded this species has been in Clare over last 15 years.

 

SNIPE. Gallinago gallinago.

Common resident.

There was noticeable migration along the West Coast during the first few days of October with highest counts as follows.

At Loop Head there were 34 on 1st, over 100 on 2nd, 68 on 9th, 65 on 11th, 24 on 16th, 18 on 19th and 16 on 23rd October. There were 42 at Lough Donnell on 1st October. Over 50 at Lough O’ Grady on 27th September with 40 on 13th November. 35 at Poulnasherry Bay on 30th November with 50 there on 27th December.

 

LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER. Limnodromus scolopaceus. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare nearctic vagrant.

One was located at Lough Donnell on 26th September and remained to 7th November (C. & M. Meehan et al). This was the same location where the first bird was found on 30th October 1993 and another unidentified Dowitcher species in October 1983.

 

WOODCOCK. Scolopax rusticola.

Scarce under-recorded resident and winter visitor.

One at Querrin on 3rd January. One at Tuamgraney on 23rd January. One at Loop Head on 19th October. One at Whitegate on 6th December.

 

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. Limosa limosa.

Common winter visitor and passage migrant.

558 between Shannon Town and Bunratty on 19th January. Records from Shannon Airport Lagoon were 1,000 on 31st March, 800 on 13th May, 600 on 8th June, 1,000 on 31st July, 1,500 on 9th August, and 3,000 on 29th September. 4,000 at Islandavanna, Fergus Estuary on 6th April. Largest inland count was 100 at Ballyallia Lake on 24th October.

 

Black-tailed Godwits © John N Murphy

 

 

BAR-TAILED GODWIT. Limosa lapponica.

Common winter visitor.

There were 80 at Ballyvaughan on 10th January. Records from Shannon Airport Lagoon were 80 on 18th March, 200 on 8th May and over 450 on 26th December. 40 at Quilty on 3rd November.

 

WHIMBREL. Numenius phaeopus.

Common passage migrant.

 

Winter: Two at Liscannor Bay on 15th January.

Two at Liscannor Bay on 15 January.

Spring: Earliest record was one at Ballyvaughan on 30th March. Peak migration was in late April with largest counts being 48 at Cappagh, Kilrush on 29th April. 130 at Lough O’ Grady on 2nd May. 30 at Lurga Point on 1st May. 18 Shannon Airport Lagoon on 13th May. 48 at Poulnasherry Bay on 14th May with 84 at Quilty the same day.

Earliest record was one at Ballyvaughan on 30 March. Peak migration was in late April with largest counts being 48 at Cappagh, Kilrush on 29 April. 130 at Lough O’ Grady on 2 May. 30 at Lurga Point on 1 May. 18 Shannon Airport Lagoon on 13 May. 48 at Poulnasherry Bay on 14 May with 84 at Quilty the same day.

Autumn: Passage at Loop Head was as follows. The first bird went through on 7th July. There was a build up in late August of 80 on 23rd, 18 on 25th, five on 27th and 135 on 29th. Passage continued with 15 on 3rd, 96 on 4th, 32 on 6th, five on 10th, 12 on 12th and three on 18th September. The last bird was recorded on 10th October.

Passage at Loop Head was as follows. The first bird went through on 7 July. There was a build up in late August of 80 on 23, 18 on 25, five on 27 and 135 on 29. Passage continued with 15 on 3, 96 on 4, 32 on 6, five on 10, 12 on 12 and three on 18 September. The last bird was recorded on 10 October.

There was 12 at Poulnasherry Bay 25th August and 29 on 9th September.

 

CURLEW. Numerius arquata.

Common winter visitor and scarce breeder.

200 at Lough Donnell on 14th January. 250 at Carrowmore Point on 22nd February. 100 at Poulnasherry Bay on 23rd February. 100 at Lough Cullaun on 20th March. 100 at Kells Lake on 20th March. 120 at Lough O’ Grady on 8th August. 300 at Kilrush on 18th September. 200 at Farrihy Lake on 22nd November. 150 at Moyasta on 30th November. 150 at Querrin on 20th December.

 

SPOTTED REDSHANK. Tringa erithropus.

Regular passage migrant.

Clenagh Bay: One on 19th January. Two on 20th September. One on 5th December.

Clonderlaw Bay: One on 19th January.

Kilbaha/Loop Head: One on 15th October.

Manus/Fergus Estuary: One on 22nd March.

Poulnasherry Bay: Two on 4th and 5th December.

Rine/ Ballyvaughan: One on 11th January. One on 26th March.

Rineanna Point: One on 19th January.

Shannon Airport Lagoon: One on 15th July. Two on 8th October.

 

REDSHANK. Tringa totanus.

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

Highest counts were 200 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 1st and 5th January. 1,138 between Shannon Town and Bunratty on 19th January. 4,000 at Shannon Town on 9th February. 360 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 9th July with 500 there on 9th November. Counts from elsewhere were 150 at Poulnasherry Bay on 26th September.

 

GREENSHANK. Tringa nebularia.

Common winter visitor and passage migrant.

Aughinish Island: Five on 15th February.

Ballyvaughan: Seven on 28th March.

Carrigaholt: Five on 7th October.

Clenagh Bay: Six on 20th September.

Doonbeg: Ten on 14th October.

Lough O’ Grady: Two on 30th July.

Poulnasherry Bay: 15 on 29th August. 24 on 28th September.

Querrin: Ten on 5th February. Nine on 5th October.

 

GREEN SANDPIPER. Tringa ochropus.

Scarce passage migrant, occasionally overwinters.

Two winter records of one at Kilkee Reservoir on 19th January and one at Lough Atedaun on 2nd February. Three at Lough Donnell on 8th August.

 

WOOD SANDPIPER. Tringa glareola.

Rare passage migrant.

One at Lough Atedaun on 2nd February (A. D. Smith) and one at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 15th September (J. N. Murphy).

 

COMMON SANDPIPER. Actitis hypoleuco.

Scarce breeder and passage migrant.

Largest count was 12 at Loop Head on 11th August. Singles at Lough O’ Grady on 3rd and 4th June. One at Moyasta on 12th August. One at Clenagh Bay on 20th September. One bird overwintered at Kilbaha, Loop Head from 1st November to the end December.

 

TURNSTONE. Arenaria interpres.

Common winter visitor and passage migrant.

There were 300 at Quilty on 14th January. 50 at Kilkee on 17th October. 60 at Farrihy on 1st November and 26th December. 200 at Loop Head on 27th December.

 

GREY PHALAROPE. Phalaropus fulicarius.

Regular autumn passage migrant.

Numbers slightly lower that other years with all records from Bridges of Ross.

August: One on 25th and 29th, and three on 30th.

September: Eight on 1st, four on 3rd, 14 on 4th and 48 on 12th.

October: 13 on 7th and four on 10th.

 

POMARINE SKUA. Stercorarius pomarinus.

Regular autumn passage migrant.

An average year for this species with all records from Bridges of Ross as shown in Table 6 below.

____________________________________________________________________

August September October

 

Bridges of Ross 18 56 35

18 56 35

____________________________________________________________________

Table 6

 

ARCTIC SKUA. Stercorarius parasiticus.

Regular autumn passage migrant.

A normal year with all records from Bridges of Ross, but no July records as in previous years.

____________________________________________________________________

August September October

 

Bridges of Ross 122 97 25

122 97 25

____________________________________________________________________

Table 7

LONG-TAILED SKUA.* Stercorarius longicaudus.

Rare autumn passage migrant.

At the Bridges of Ross there were eight records in 1997.

One juvenile on 28th, 29th and 30th August (A. G. Kelly, E. A. MacLochlainn et al).

Two juveniles on 3rd September (P. Lonergan et al).

One juvenile on 12th September (T. Kilbane & J. N. Murphy).

One juvenile on 13th September (P. Kelly, E. A. MacLochlainn et al).

One juvenile on 10th October (K. Mullarney, O. O’ Sullivan & M. Smyth).

 

GREAT SKUA. Catharacta skua.

Common autumn passage migrant.

Lower numbers than previous years with one winter record of three on 18th February and one mid summer bird on 16th July at Bridges of Ross. One at Quilty on 1st October.

Table 8 shows monthly totals of Great Skuas past the Bridges of Ross.

shows monthly totals of Great Skuas past the Bridges of Ross.

____________________________________________________________________

August September October

 

Bridges of Ross 214 132 19

214 132 19

____________________________________________________________________

Table 8

 

MEDITERRANEAN GULL. Larus melanocephalus.

Scarce winter visitor.

This was the second best year since 1995, with records mainly from the south and west of the county. Some of the birds in this area are possibly the same individuals feeding up and down this coastline.

Ballyvaughan: One second-winter on 9th February.

Doonbeg: One second-winter on 18th January.

One second-winter on 12th October.

One second-winter on 29th December.

Doora Dump: One first-winter on 25th to 28th February.

Kilkee: Three on 3rd January.

One adult on 9th November.

One second-winter on 16th November.

One second-winter on 18th December.

Loop Head: One adult on 11th August.

One adult and one second-winter on 16th October.

Quilty: One second-winter on 14th October.

 

Adult winter Mediterranean Gull.© John N Murphy

 

 

LITTLE GULL. Larus minutus.

Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant.

Six at Liscannor Bay on 17th January. One adult at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 9th August. One immature at Bridges of Ross on 29th August. One immature at Kilkee from 30th September to 3rd October. One first-winter at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 23rd December.

 

SABINE’S GULL. Larus sabini.

Regular autumn passage migrant.

 

Sabine’s Gull immature at Loop Head.© John N Murphy

 

As stated in the introduction 1997 was an exceptional year for this species. One immature at Liscannor Bay on 28th August was the only record away from the Loop Head peninsula. Records from the Bridges of Ross were.

August: One on 23rd and 24th, 14 on 25th, five on 27th, 118 on 28th, 215 on 29th and three on 30th.

September: Two on 1st, four on 3rd, 52 on 4th, six on 6th and 35 on 12th.

October: One on 7th and 9th with two on 10th.

 

BLACK-HEADED GULL. Larus ridibundus.

Common and widespread.

Some of the highest counts were, over 700 at Doora Dump on 2nd January, 300 at Core, Scariff on 22nd February. 300 at Islandavanna, Fergus Estuary on 25th March. 600 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 18th March, 300 there on 2nd July, 500 on 9th August and 200 on 29th September. 190 at Lough O’ Grady on 30th July.

 

COMMON GULL. Larus canus.

Common winter visitor, small breeding numbers.

150 at Doora Dump on 2nd January. 100 at Quilty on 4th January. 120 at Lough Donnell on 27th September.

 

RING-BILLED GULL. Larus delawarensis.

Rare north American migrant.

An average year for this species with sightings as follows.

One adult at Ballyvaughan from January throughout to spring early summer. Absent during mid summer months. But an adult bird probably the same individual as earlier in the year returned on 9th November. (C. & M. Meehan, J. N. Murphy, A. D. Smith et al). One adult at Clarecastle on 23rd January (J. N. Murphy). One first-winter at Doora Dump on 2nd and 23rd January (J. N. Murphy). One adult-winter at Doora Dump on 1st February (J. N. Murphy). One adult at Liscannor Bay on 9th February (C. & M. Meehan). One second-winter at Doora Dump on 28th February (J. N. Murphy). One adult at Loop Head on 14th December (G. & M. Meehan).

 

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. Larus fuscus.

Common summer visitor, breeds in small numbers.

There was another successful breeding season at Mutton Island where largest congregations are in summer months, with highest counts from elsewhere being 120 at Doora Dump on 30th June.

 

HERRING GULL. Larus argentatus.

Resident.

There were 420 at Doora Dump on 15th January and 250 at Kilkee Dump on 23rd December. These were the largest counts during 1997.

 

YELLOW-LEGGED GULL.* Larus argentatus michahellis/cachinnans. (2, 2).

(2, 2).

Rare Vagrant.

One adult at Doora Dump on 25th March (J. N. Murphy), and another adult at the same location on 30th June (J. N. Murphy). It is believed that these were two separate individuals.

 

ICELAND GULL. Larus glaucoides.

Scarce winter visitor.

A good year for this species with records as follows, one second-winter at Kilkee on 4th and 5th January. One second-winter at Lurga Point on 11th January. One first-winter at Doora Dump on 15th January. One second-winter at Doora Dump from 3rd to 28th February. One adult-summer at Doora Dump on 14th March. One second-winter at Kilkee on 8th February. One first-winter at Kilkee Dump on 18th February. Two second-winters at Ballyallia Lake on 22nd March. One second-winter at Clahane, Liscannor Bay on 15th March. One first-winter at Kilkee on 18th November.

 

GLAUCOUS GULL. Larus hyperboreus.

Scarce winter visitor.

Counts were as follows, one adult at Doora Dump on 2nd January. One second-winter at Kilkee on 4th January. One sub-adult at Ballyvaughan from 10th to 12th January. One first-winter at Kilkee on 28th January. One at Querrin on 5th February. One second-winter at Quilty on 6th April. One at Lough Murree on 11th November. One adult at Loop Head on 16th December. Two first-winters at Liscannor Bay on 31st December.

 

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. Larus marinus.

Common resident.

Breeding numbers on Mutton Island and Illaunanauraun were stable. Highest counts were 230 at Lough Donnell on 14th January. 50 at Illaunanauraun on 19th January. 70 at Loop Head on 16th October.

 

KITTIWAKE. Rissa tridactyla.

Common resident and passage migrant.

Highlights from Bridges of Ross and Loop Head were, 1,000 on 18th February, 400 on 18th March, 1,000 on 9th May, 200 (ph) on 16th July, 600 on 10th October and 1,000 (ph) on 30th October.

 

SANDWICH TERN. Sterna sandvicensis.

Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

The first records of this species were from Ballyvaughan on 15th March. The last bird was seen at Lough Donnell on 3rd November.

Observed on sea passage in autumn at Loop Head on a total of 16 days between 15th July and 2nd October.

 

COMMON TERN. Sterna hirundo.

Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

The first records of returning birds were two at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 30th April. There was light passage at Bridges of Ross from 22nd to 24th August. The last sighting was 42 at Poulnasherry Bay on 18th October.

 

ARCTIC TERN. Sterna paradisaea.

Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

Early returning migrants were five at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 30th April. Records at Loop Head peninsula shown in Table 9 overleaf, depicts peak passage between 25th

 

August and 11th October with a total of 561 birds, out of which 202 on 4th September was the largest day passage.

____________________________________________________________________

August September October

Bridges of Ross 68 376 72

68 376 72

____________________________________________________________________

Table 9

 

LITTLE TERN. Sterna albifrons.

Scarce passage migrant.

One at Bridges of Ross on 30th August.

 

BLACK TERN. Chlidonias niger.

Scarce passage migrant.

An average year for this species with records from Bridges of Ross the only records for 1997. Singles on 23rd and 24th August. Four on 28th August. One on 1st September.

 

GUILLEMOT. Uria aalge.

Common breeder and passage migrant.

There was an estimated 3,000 on the breeding colony at Loop Head on 16th June.

Largest passage numbers at Bridges of Ross was in October where 1,500 (ph) passed on 7th, 2,500 (ph) on 9th and 2,000 (ph) on 10th.

 

RAZORBILL. Alca torda.

Common breeder and passage migrant.

A calculated 800 to 1,000 were on the breeding colony at Loop Head on 16th June. Largest autumn passage at Bridges of Ross coincided with Guillemot movements between 7th to 10th October.

 

BLACK GUILLEMOT. Cepphus grylle.

Scarce breeder and winter visitor.

Aughinish Island: Four on 10th January. Ten on 15th February

Ballyvaughan: Three on 9th and nine on 22nd February.

Carrigaholt: One on 4th March.

Liscannor Bay: Six on 7th January.

Loop Head: One on 29th May. One on 7th, 8th and 16th July. One on 23rd August. One on 2nd and 3rd September.

 

LITTLE AUK.* Alle Alle.

Rare winter visitor.

All sightings were at Bridges of Ross in December, four on 11th (J. N. Murphy & A. D. Smith), one on 12th (M. Carey & J. N. Murphy), three on 14th (G. & M. Meehan), six on 27th (J. N. Murphy).

 

PUFFIN. Fractercula arctica.

Scarce summer visitor and passage migrant.

A count of the breeding colony at Cliffs of Moher was made in early June with 800 pairs taught to have been present. Passage at Bridges of Ross was light with best count being 34 on 7th July.

 

ROCK DOVE. Columba livia.

Scarce resident.

Seen on a total of 18 days at Loop Head throughout the year with largest count 20 on 3rd October. Elsewhere there were 14 at Illaunanauraun on 9th January. 10 at Aughinish Island on 2nd December.

 

STOCK DOVE. Columba oenas.

Scarce summer visitor.

Single birds were observed at Loop Head, Shannon Airport Lagoon and Sixmilebridge.

 

WOODPIGEON. Columba palumbus.

Common resident.

Largest count was 150 at Ballyallia House on 2nd and 14th January.

 

COLLARED DOVE. Streptopelia decaocto.

Common resident.

Spring passage at Loop Head is common. Records from the Loop Head peninsula were, one on 12th April, two on 14th May with eight on 29th May and five on 16th June. There were two autumn records of singles at Kilbaha on 3rd September and 3rd October.

 

TURTLE DOVE Streptopelia turtur.

Scarce passage migrant.

Four at Loop Head on 30th May.

 

CUCKOO. Cuculus canorus.

Summer visitor.

The first record was one calling at Cullaunysheeda Lake, Kilkisken on 16th April.

 

BARN OWL. Tyto alba.

Scarce resident.

One near Moveen, Kilkee on 1st March. One at Knockcarragh Cross near Cree on 4th March. One at Tuamgraney on 4th March. One heard at Core, Scariff on 8th July and seen on 1st and 23rd November. One near Illaunanaraun on 30th October. One at Shannon Town on 1st December. One at Drumline, Newmarket-on-Fergus on 11th December.

 

LONG-EARED OWL. Asio otus.

Scarce resident.

One heard at Core, Scariff on 2nd July. One at Inch, Ennis on 7th and 8th September.

 

SHORT-EARED OWL. Asio flammeus.

Rare winter visitor and passage migrant.

One at Loop Head on 26th October (T. Mee et al).

 

SWIFT. Apus apus.

Common summer visitor.

Two late records were singles at Loop Head on 18th and 23rd September.

 

KINGFISHER. Alcedo atthis.

Scarce resident.

One at Williamstown on 24th January. Singles at Core/Lough O’ Grady on 23rd February, 9th and 10th July, 9th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 25th and 27th August. One at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 3rd August. One at Moyasta on 11th August. One at Carrigaholt on 2nd September. One at Doonbeg on 14th October.

 

SKYLARK. Alauda arvensis.

Common resident.

Best counts were. 60 at Loop Head on 29th May. 50 there on 6th June. 80 at Loop on 18th September. There were 62 at Inishcullen Hill, Shannon on 24th September. A flock of 263 at Poulnasherry Bay on 25th September one of the largest flocks ever seen in the county.

SAND MARTIN. Riparia riparia.

Common summer visitor.

Earliest date was 42 at Drumcliff, Ballyallia Lake on 14th March.

 

SWALLOW. Hirundo rustica.

Common summer visitor.

The first record was at Shannon Town on 8th April with last sighting of the year, one at Ennis on 13th November. 300 at Lough O’ Grady on 25th August.

 

 

HOUSE MARTIN. Delichon urbica.

Common summer visitor.

The earliest record was at Tullagher Bog on 6th April and last sighting was eight at Scariff on 3rd October.

 

TREE PIPIT*. Anthus trivalis. (3, 1)

(3, 1)

Rare passage migrant.

 

One at Loop Head on 12th April (B. Finnegan & J. N. Murphy). It is hard to believe that this is only the fourth county record. All previous records in Table 10 were also found at Loop Head.

 

1985 1991 1995

 

One on 20th October. One on 2nd August. One on 31st October.

 

Table 10

 

MEADOW PIPIT. Anthus pratensis.

Common resident.

Largest count was 250 at Loop Head on 18th September. These birds were probably migrating through the headland. There was no other noticeable build up at Loop Head throughout the remainder of the autumn.

 

ROCK PIPIT*. Anthus petrosus.

Common resident.

A bird of the northern race Littoralis was at Loop Head on 6th April (J. N. Murphy).

 

Rock Pipits are plentiful along the Clare coast © John N Murphy

 

 

WATER PIPIT. Anthus spinoletta. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare vagrant.

One at Clenagh Castle on 5th December the exact site as the last record (A. D. Smith).

 

YELLOW WAGTAIL. Moticilla flava.

Rare passage migrant.

One unusual winter record at Clenagh Castle on 5th December (A. D. Smith).

 

GREY WAGTAIL. Motacilla cinerea.

Scarce resident.

Poulnasherry Bay: Three on 26th February. Three on 2nd March. Six on 9th April. Three on 12th December.

Quilty: One on 5th March.

 

PIED WAGTAIL. Motacilla alba yarrelli.

Common resident.

Pre-roost flock 42 at Loop Head on 7th October.

 

WHITE WAGTAIL. Motacilla a. alba.

Regular passage migrant.

There were three at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 20th September.

 

DIPPER. Cinclus cinclus.

Scarce resident.

 

WREN. Troglodytes troglodytes.

Widespread and common resident.

 

DUNNOCK. Prunella modularis.

Widespread and common resident.

 

ROBIN. Erithecus rubecula.

Widespread and common.

 

BLACK REDSTART. Pheonicurus ochuros.

Scarce passage migrant and winter visitor.

One at Kilrush on 2nd January. One on the pier at Knock on 3rd January. One at Loop Head on 19th March and 12th April. Two at Farrihy on 26th and 27th December.

 

REDSTART. Pheonicurus pheonicurus.

Scarce passage migrant.

One at Loop Head lighthouse on 27th September (G. Pearson). One at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 6th October (O. O’ Sullivan & M. Smyth).

 

WHINCHAT. Saxicola rubetra.

Scarce passage migrant.

One at Loop Head lighthouse on 15th April, with another there on 1st October. One at Moyasta on 15th September. One at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 23rd October.

 

STONECHAT. Saxicola torquata.

Widespread and common resident.

 

WHEATEAR. Oenanthe oenanthe.

Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

The first record of the year was one at Ross Bay, Loop Head on 18th March. There was 17 at Loop Head on 7th April, 22 on 9th May, with 20 there on 5th and 6th June. Last bird recorded was one at Kilkee on 30th October.

 

BLACKBIRD. Turdus merula.

Common resident and winter visitor.

Light passage at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 3rd and 27th October.

 

FIELDFARE. Turdus pilaris.

Common winter visitor.

There was a noticeable mid winter influx during December 1997, which saw mixed thrush flocks throughout the whole county with some very large inter-county movements. 200 at Bunratty on 12th January. 200 at Coolreagh, Bodyke on 25th November. 600 at Loop Head on 12th December.

 

SONG THRUSH. Turdus philomelos.

Common resident and winter visitor.

Light passage at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 27th October.

 

REDWING. Turdus iliacus.

Common winter visitor.

As with Fieldfare, large mixed mid winter flocks, but fewer large individual flocks of Redwing than Fieldfare were evident. 400 at Loop Head on 9th January, 300 at Bunratty on 12th January and 300 at Shannon Town on 22nd January. 100 at Kilrush on 16th March.

 

MISTLE THRUSH. Turdus viscivorus.

Common resident and winter visitor.

Largest sightings were 40 at Core, Scariff on 26th July. 27 at Shannon Golf Club on 29th September.

 

WHITETHROAT. Sylvia communis.

Scarce summer visitor.

Earliest record was one at Tullabrack, Kilrush on 19th April.

 

GARDEN WARBLER. Sylvia borin.

Scarce passage migrant.

One at Kilrush Wood on 16th April (Frank O’ Connor).

 

BLACKCAP. Sylvia actricapilla.

Common winter visitor, scarce breeder.

Winter: One male at Stonehall, Newmarket-on-Fergus from 5th to 10th January. One at Kilrush Town on 4th January. One male at Shannon Town on 22nd January. One male and one female at St. Michael’s Villas, Ennis on 23rd January. Two at Pine Grove, Ennis on 20th September. One male and three females at Kilrush throughout December. One male and one female at Ballycasey, Shannon on 14th December to end of month. One female at Clonmoney on 14th December. One male at Kilkee on 15th December. One male at Lough Gash on 22nd December.

One male at Stonehall, Newmarket-on-Fergus from 5 to 10 January. One at Kilrush Town on 4 January. One male at Shannon Town on 22 January. One male and one female at St. Michael’s Villas, Ennis on 23 January. Two at Pine Grove, Ennis on 20 September. One male and three females at Kilrush throughout December. One male and one female at Ballycasey, Shannon on 14 December to end of month. One female at Clonmoney on 14 December. One male at Kilkee on 15 December. One male at Lough Gash on 22 December.

Summer: One male heard singing at Core, Scariff on 30th March, 29th April and 1st May. One singing male at Ministers Cross and two at Castle Lake, both Sixmilebridge on 10th April. Two males at Hurlers Cross, Clonmoney on 13th April. One male at Cratloe Woods on 27th April. Two at Kilrush Woods on 2nd May. Two males at Magherabawn on 1st June. One male at Raheen Woods on 3rd June. Singles at Lough O’ Grady on 13th June, 7th and 9th July.

One male heard singing at Core, Scariff on 30 March, 29 April and 1 May. One singing male at Ministers Cross and two at Castle Lake, both Sixmilebridge on 10 April. Two males at Hurlers Cross, Clonmoney on 13 April. One male at Cratloe Woods on 27 April. Two at Kilrush Woods on 2 May. Two males at Magherabawn on 1 June. One male at Raheen Woods on 3 June. Singles at Lough O’ Grady on 13 June, 7 and 9 July.

Migration: One at Loop Head on 12th April. One male at Loop Head on 19th October, with one female there on 23rd.

One at Loop Head on 12 April. One male at Loop Head on 19 October, with one female there on 23.

 

CHIFFCHAFF. Phylloscopus collybita.

Common summer visitor and passage migrant. Occasionally winters.

Earliest record was one singing male at Shannon Town on 14th March with latest birds present at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 30th October.

 

WILLOW WARBLER. Phylloscopus trochilus.

Common summer visitor and passage migrant.

The first bird of the year was at Shannon Town on 26th March and last record was one at Loop Head on 23rd October.

 

GRASSHOPPER WARBLER. Locustella naevia.

Common summer visitor.

Earliest record was a singing male at Shannon Town on 15th April.

 

SEDGE WARBLER. Acrocephalus schoenobaenus.

Common summer visitor.

First record was one at Shannon Town on 15th April.

 

ICTERINE WARBLER. Hippolais icterina. (1, 1).

(1, 1).

Rare passage migrant.

One caught and ringed at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 23rd September with last sighting on 8th October (J. N. Murphy et al).

 

LESSER WHITETHROAT. Sylvia curruca. (6, 2).

(6, 2).

Rare passage migrant.

Still a rare bird on the West Coast of Ireland with two records from Loop Head.

One near Gull Island on 12th September (Frank O’ Connor).

One at Kilbaha on 26th October (T. Mee & D. Manley).

 

Lesser Whitethroat © John N Murphy
GOLDCREST. Regulus regulus.

Common resident and passage migrant.

Birds believed to be migrants were observed at Loop Head on a total of 11 days between 23rd September and 27th October.

 

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. Muscicapa striata.

Summer visitor.

The only record of note was three on spring migration at Loop Head on 29th May.

 

PIED FLYCATCHER. Ficedula hypoleuca.

Scarce passage migrant.

A poor year for this species with only one record of an immature/female at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 3rd October.

 

LONG-TAILED TIT. Aegithalos caudatus.

Common resident.

 

COAL TIT. Parus ater.

Common resident and passage migrant.

Birds noted at Loop Head were as follows.

September: Four on 23rd and 30th.

October: Three on 1st, one on 2nd and 3rd, four on 6th, two on 7th, six on 8th and 9th, two on 10th, seven on 18th, three on 19th, four on 23rd, one on 25th, three on 26th and 27th and one on 30th.

 

BLUE TIT. Parus caeruleus.

Widespread and common resident.

 

GREAT TIT. Parus major.

Widespread and common resident.

 

TREECREEPER. Certhia familairis.

Resident.

 

JAY. Garrulus glandarius.

Scarce resident with a steady decline in numbers.

Ballyallia: One pair throughout the year.

Cratloe Woods: Four on 12th January.

Coolreagh: One on 9th November.

Kilrush Woods: Two on 21st February.

Maghera: One on 12th October.

Raheen Woods: Three on 16th January. One on 3rd June. One on 8th November.

 

MAGPIE. Pica pica.

Widespread and common resident.

 

CHOUGH. Pyrrhocorax pyyrhocorax.

Resident.

Highest counts were 30 at Illaunanauraun on 30th April. 24 at Loop Head on 8th July. 19 at Loop Head on 3rd and 12 on 19th October.

 

JACKDAW. Corvus monedula.

Widespread and common resident

Noticeable build up over the lighthouse at Loop Head where there was a flock of 400 on 19th October.

 

ROOK. Corvus Frugilegus.

Widespread and common resident.

 

HOODED CROW/CARRION CROW. Corvus carone corvix.

Common resident.

Largest counts were a flock of 186 at Kilrush Woods on 28th April and 78 at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 31st October.

One Carrion Crow at Loop Head on 7th and 16th October.

 

RAVEN. Corvus corax.

Resident.

Largest counts were seven at Poulnasherry Bay on 28th January. Seven at Loop Head on 22nd July and 12 on 6th September.

 

STARLING. Sturnus vulgaris.

Common and widespread resident.

Pre-roost flock of 10,000 at Shannon Town throughout March.

 

HOUSE SPARROW. Passer domesticus.

Widespread and common resident.

 

TREE SPARROW. Passer montanus.

Confined to the Loop Head peninsula with all sightings listed below.

January: One on 9th.

April: 12 on 12th and one on 29th.

May: Two on 9th, one on 14th and six on 29th.

June: Two on 5th and 6th.

July: Two on 7th and 8th, six on 16th and five on 27th.

August: Eight on 12th.

September: Seven on 23rd and four on 30th.

October: Seven on 1st, 12 on 2nd, four on 3rd, three on 6th, four on 7th, 10 on 8th, one on 9th and 11th, three on 15th, 13 on 16th, four on 19th, 14 on 23rd, two on 24th, 10 on 25th, 18 on 26th and 14 on 30th.

December: One on 11th.

 

CHAFFINCH. Fringilla coelebs.

Common resident and winter visitor.

Largest numbers were 100 at Querrin on 3rd January.

 

BRAMBLING. Fringilla montifringilla.

Scarce winter visitor.

Bealaha: One on 26th January.

Doonbeg: Three on 1st November.

Dromoland Castle:One on 2nd January.

Kilkee: One on 3rd November.

Loop Head: One on 19th, 23rd and 27th October.

Meelick: One on 24th January.

 

GREENFINCH. Carduelis chloris.

Common resident and winter visitor.

 

GOLDFINCH. Carduelis carduelis.

Scarce resident.

There were 30 at Maghera on 23rd January. 20 at Bodyke on 11th November.

 

SISKIN. Carduelis spinus.

Scarce resident and winter visitor.

Over 140 at Cratloe Woods on 12th January. 60 at Maghera on 23rd January. 40 at Williams Town Lough Derg on 24th January. 40 at Raheen Woods on 28th January with 110 there on 12th February. 10 pairs at Maghera on 1st June.

 

LINNET. Carduelis cannabina.

Common winter visitor.

70 at Finvarra Point on 11th January. 200 plus at Carrowmore Point on 22nd February. 100 at Poulnasherry Bay on 7th August. Over 100 at Loop Head on 12th August, with 150 there on 30th September and 1st October. 100 plus at Clenagh, Fergus Estuary on 20th August.

 

REDPOLL. Carduelis flammea.

Resident and winter visitor.

30 at Cratloe Woods on 12th January. A flock of 200 at Maghera on 23rd January. 40 at Kilrush Woods on 7th February.

 

Birds showing characteristics of the north European race Mealy Redpoll C. f. flammea were.

One at Kilrush Town on 6th November (Frank O’ Connor).

One outside Kilrush on 11th December (J. N. Murphy & A. D. Smith).

 

CROSSBILL. Luxia curvirostra.

Scarce breeder and winter visitor.

Cratloe Woods: Nine on 12th January.

Core: One on 1st, nine on 10th, one on 18th and one on 19th July. One on 26th November.

Doonbeg: Five on 26th October.

Glendree: 25 on 26th July. One on 21st September.

Maghera: Four on 23rd January. Four on 2nd August. Six on 12th October.

 

BULLFINCH. Pyyrhula pyyrhula.

Widespread and common resident.

 

LAPLAND BUNTING. Calcarius lapponicus.

Rare passage migrant.

One at Rine, Ballyvaughan on 23rd March (J. N. Murphy). One at Loop Head on 19th March (M. Meehan & J. N. Murphy), and one on 23rd October (J. N. Murphy).

 

SNOW BUNTING. Plectrophenax nivalis.

Regular passage migrant and winter visitor.

Ballyvaughan: 23 from 22nd to 26th March.

Loop Head: Four on 9th January. One on 21st September. One on 8th October.

Poulnasherry: One on 10th and one on 19th October.

Quilty: 34 on 14th January. Three on 20th February. Four on 5th March.

 

Snow Bunting at Fodry, Loop Head.© John N Murphy

 

 

YELLOWHAMMER. Emberiza citrinella.

Scarce resident.

The only records received for 1997 was one pair near Kilnaboy on 21st March with three at the same location on 11th June. One near Corofin on 10th December.

 

REED BUNTING. Emberniza schoeniclus.

Common resident.

The largest count was 50 at Core Bog on 21st November with 30 remaining into December.

 

Rare Bird Sightings.

 

Rarities.

All records of national rarities (see Irish Birds 4: 116 – 118 for complete list, and Irish Birds 4: 258 – 260, 5: 80 for amendments to list) should be sent for assessment to Irish Rare Birds Committee (IRBC). This should be done as soon as possible after the bird has been found. Prompt submission facilitates assessment and helps to ensure early publication. Rarity description forms can be obtained by sending a S.A.E. to the secretary Mr. Paul Milne, 62 The Village, Bettyglen, Raheny, Dublin 5, to whom all descriptions should be sent.

 

Local Rarities.

The editorial committee reserve the right to request substantiating notes from inexperienced observer’s for certain scarce species, which do not have to be submitted to the IRBC. Observers not known to the committee and regardless of experience may also be requested to supply brief descriptions to support their records. We reserve the right to withhold from publication any records, which we feel, has not been fully substantiated.

 

The list of local rarities is as follows:

Black-throated Diver Sightings of this species within Galway Bay do not require a description to be sent to IRBC. If one locates thisspecies in any other part of the county, then a description is necessary for the IRBC.

Slavonian Grebe Mediterranean Gull

Great Shearwater Sabine’s Gull

Mediterranean Shearwater Ring-billed Gull

Leach’s Petrel Black Tern

Pink-footed Goose Nightjar

Dark-bellied Brent Goose Tree Pipit

Garganey Yellow Wagtail

Velvet Scoter Redstart

Ruddy Duck Reed Warbler

Marsh Harrier Lesser Whitethroat

Buzzard Yellow-browed Warbler

Quail Firecrest

Pectoral Sandpiper Carrion Crow

Wood Sandpiper Twite

Grey Phalarope Lapland Bunting

Pomarine Skua Corn Bunting

 

All local and scarce bird sightings as listed above, should be sent to the county recorder: John Murphy, 5 Ballycasey Grove, Shannon, Clare.

 

 

 

Ringing Report 1997

 

Icterine Warbler ringed at Kilbaha © John N Murphy.

 

Phil Brennan, The Crag, Stonehall, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co. Clare.

 

As can be seen from the report overleaf little ringing of note was carried out during 1997, as in past years. Only two ringers reside in Clare, Phil Brennan & John Murphy and few visiting ringers nowadays make the annual pilgrimage to Loop Head for migrant passerines. This is due mainly to loss of suitable habitat at the site, and a certain amount of enthusiasm for the location from birders seems to have past.

The majority of birds ringed in Clare during 1997 were Storm Petrels from the Loop Head Peninsula and winter garden Chaffinches. Two new species were ringed for the first time and added to the county list. These were the Icterine Warbler at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 23rd September and a Long-eared Owl at Shannon Town on 9th September. Other noteworthy birds ringed were four Yellowhammers, a species much on the decline in Clare as in other Irish counties.

 

 

Ringing Totals for Clare 1974 – 1997

1974 – 1996 1997 1974-97

Species Pulli Adult Total Pulli Adult Total Grand T

Little Grebe 3 3 3

Fulmar 2 2 1 1 3

Storm Petrel 1563 1563 74 74 1637

Leach’s Petrel 1 1 1

Cormorant 1 1 1

Shag 1 1 1

Grey Heron 1 1 1

Mute Swan 7 7 4 4 11

Wigeon 15 15 15

Teal 25 25 25

Mallard 41 41 41

Pochard 1 1 1

*Hen Harrier 26 26 26

Sparrowhawk 4 17 21 21

Kestrel 3 7 10 10

Merlin 1 1 1

Water Rail 77 77 77

Moorhen 30 30 30

Coot 2 2 2

Oystercatcher 22 22 22

Ringed Plover 8 22 30 30

Golden Plover 9 9 9

Grey Plover 1 1 1

Lapwing 1 49 50 50

Knot 55 55 55

Sanderling 2 2 2

Little Stint 1 1 1

Curlew Sandpiper 11 11 11

Purple Sandpiper 7 7 7

Dunlin 4289 4289 4289

Ruff 3 3 3

*Snipe 14 62 76 76

Woodcock 183 183 183

Black-tailed Godwit 19 19 19

*Whimbrel 225 225 225

*Curlew 747 747 747

*Redshank 641 641 641

Spotted Redshank 2 2 2

*Greenshank 4 4 4

*Green Sandpiper 6 6 6

*Wood Sandpiper 2 2 2

*Common Sandpiper 25 25 25

Turnstone 45 45 45

Laughing Gull 1 1 1

*Blk-headed Gull 2122 23 2145 2145

Common Gull 2 2 2

Lesser Blk-Bk Gull 2 2 2

Great Blk-bk Gull 6 6 6

*Sandwich Tern 37 37 37

*Common Tern 222 222 222

Woodpigeon 2 14 16 16

Collared Dove 14 14 14

Cuckoo 3 3 3

Long-eared Owl 0 1 1 1

*Short-eared Owl 3 3 3

Swift 22 22 22

Kingfisher 10 10 10

Skylark 65 65 65

Sand Martin 2231 2231 2231

Swallow 444 2496 2940 2 3 5 2945

House Martin 114 114 114

Tree Pipit 1 1 1

Meadow Pipit 12 390 402 402

Rock Pipit 138 138 138

Grey Wagtail 8 39 47 47

Pied Wagtail 3 229 232 232

Dipper 24 27 51 51

Wren 420 420 5 5 425

Dunnock 336 336 2 2 338

Robin 25 1018 1043 2 2 1045

Bluethroat 1 1 1

Black Redstart 9 9 9

Redstart 5 5 5

Whinchat 2 2 2

Stonechat 30 254 284 284

Wheatear 15 15 15

Gray-cheeked Thrush 1 1 1

Blackbird 36 1116 1152 6 6 1158

Fieldfare 84 84 84

Song Thrush 20 418 438 9 9 347

Redwing 312 312 11 11 323

Mistle Thrush 18 31 49 49

Grasshopper Warbler 106 106 106

Savi’s Warbler 1 1 1

Sedge Warbler 3 8074 8077 15 15 8092

Icterine Warbler 0 1 1 1

Reed Warbler 8 8 8

Barred Warbler 1 1 1

Lesser Whitethroat 3 3 3

Whitethroat 58 58 2 2 60

Garden Warbler 31 31 31

Blackcap 233 233 2 2 235

Yellow-browed Warbler 10 10 10

Wood Warbler 2 2 2

Chiffchaff 405 405 1 1 406

Willow Warbler 14 1778 1792 12 12 1804

Goldcrest 741 741 8 8 749

Firecrest 2 2 2

Spotted Flycatcher 36 16 52 52

Red-breasted Flycatcher 3 3 3

Pied Flycatcher 8 8 8

Long-tailed Tit 339 339 7 7 346

Coal Tit 485 485 11 11 496

Blue Tit 44 1535 1579 10 10 1589

Great Tit 10 732 742 5 9 14 756

Treecreeper 6 115 121 121

Jay 2 2 2

Magpie 6 47 53 53

Jackdaw 20 56 76 76

Rook 54 54 54

Hooded Crow 4 40 44 44

Raven 1 1 1

Starling 499 499 7 7 506

House Sparrow 341 341 341

Tree Sparrow 24 24 24

Red-eyed Vireo 2 2 2

Chaffinch 4 3193 3197 63 63 3260

Brambling 13 13 13

Greenfinch 5 2846 2851 25 25 2876

Goldfinch 41 41 41

Siskin 87 87 87

Linnet 9 211 220 220

Redpoll 470 470 470

*Crossbill 2 2 2

Bullfinch 300 300 300

*Hawfinch 2 2 2

Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 1 1

Yellow Warbler 1 1 1

*Yellowhammer 217 217 4 4 221

Rustic Bunting 1 1 1

Little Bunting 1 1 1

Reed Bunting 2 1037 1039 1 1 1040

 

Grand Total 3229 42297 45526 7 289 303 45839

 

Note: Species that appear with and asterisk * before them might have been birds ringed outside of Clare.

Note: Pulli = pullus or young in nest.

Pulli = pullus or young in nest. Species that appear with and asterisk * before them might have been birds ringed outside of Clare. Pulli = pullus or young in nest.

 

Selected Recoveries in 1997.

The format to understanding the recovery details is as follows:

 

Under the species name in column 1 appears numbers (FC845971), these are the bird’s individual BTO identity numbers, which are marked on the ring. The next line on the same column is the status of the bird when recovered.

 

On the second column 2 appears the age and sex of the species (FG).

 

Ad = Adult.

Juv = Juvenile able to fly.

Pull = Nestling.

FG = Fully grown, age hard to determine.

1W = First winter bird.

M = Male.

F = Female.

 

The dates of species ringed are in column 3, first date on line one is when it was ringed, and the date on line two is finding date.

 

Column 4 is self explanatory, giving the place, country and co-ordinance where bird was first ringed on line one, line two the place, country and co-ordinance where bird was located, line three consist of the distance and direction the species flew.

is self explanatory, giving the place, country and co-ordinance where bird was first ringed on line one, line two the place, country and co-ordinance where bird was located, line three consist of the distance and direction the species flew.

 

 

A selection of recoveries for 1997 is set out below. Only one bird ringed in Clare was controlled or recovered from abroad during this time frame.

 

FULMAR. Fulmaris glacialis.

FC845971 FG 05.08.95 Fife, 56.01′ N, 03.08′ W (Scotland)

Found dead 10.03.97 Kilkee, 52.41′ N, 09.39′ W (Clare)

561km South West

 

STORM PETREL. Hydrobates pelagicus.

2453118 FG 20.07.96 Loop Head, 52.35′ N, 09.52’W (Clare)

Controlled 01.08.97 Leganagh Point, 51.34′ N, 08.43’W (Cork)

138km South

 

REDWING. Turdus iliacus.

RS74189 FG 02.11.95 Loop Head, 52.34′ N, 09.52′ W (Clare)

Shot 15.02.97 Beira Alta, 40.30’N, 07.42’W (Portugal)

1353km South

 

Colour Ringing.

 

Details of birds with colour bands found in Clare during ’97 are highlighted as follows: All the following are Whooper Swan sightings.

WHOOPER SWAN. Cygnus cygnus.

Band: 6HT Age: Age: Adult.

Age: Adult.

Ringing Details: Anavatn, N Iceland as juvenile on 18/08/96 (birds mother 4XL).

Anavatn, N Iceland as juvenile on 18/08/96 (birds mother 4XL).

Movements: L. Foyle – N Ireland on 29/10/96, Farrihy Lake – Clare on 28/01/97, Corofin – Clare on 05/02/97, River Foyle – N Ireland on 06/04/97,

L. Foyle – N Ireland on 29/10/96, Farrihy Lake – Clare on 28/01/97, Corofin – Clare on 05/02/97, River Foyle – N Ireland on 06/04/97,

L. Swilly – Donegal on 07/04/97.

Band: 7BV Age: Adult.

Adult.

Ringing Details: Skjalftavatn, N Iceland as an adult on 04/08/96.

Skjalftavatn, N Iceland as an adult on 04/08/96.

Movements: R. Foyle – N Ireland on 29/10/96, Corofin – Clare on 5/2/97,

R. Foyle – N Ireland on 29/10/96, Corofin – Clare on 5/2/97,

L. Donnell – Clare on 22/02/97.

Band: PDC Age: Adult.

Adult.

Ringing Details: Anavatn, Jokuldalur, E Iceland as an adult on 17/08/88.

Anavatn, Jokuldalur, E Iceland as an adult on 17/08/88.

Movements: L. Swilly – Donegal on 15/01/93, Farrihy L. – Clare on 22/01/95,

L. Swilly – Donegal on 15/01/93, Farrihy L. – Clare on 22/01/95,

L. Donnell – Clare on 05/02/95, Farrihy L. – Clare from 13/11/95 to 13/02/96, L. Donnell – Clare 13/12/96, L. Donnell – Clare from

28/01/97 to 22/02/97.

Band: 4YS Age: Adult.

Adult.

Ringing Details: Anavatn, Jokuldalur, E Iceland as a juvenile on 15/08/95.

Anavatn, Jokuldalur, E Iceland as a juvenile on 15/08/95.

Movements: L. Donnell on 13/12/96 and on 22/02/97, Tullabrack – Clare on 23 & 26/02/97.

L. Donnell on 13/12/96 and on 22/02/97, Tullabrack – Clare on 23 & 26/02/97.

Band: 5AI/5AC Age: Adults (a pair both ringed on same date & same location).

Adults (a pair both ringed on same date & same location).

Ringing Details: Skjalftavatn, N Iceland as an adult on 05/08/95.

Skjalftavatn, N Iceland as an adult on 05/08/95.

Movements: These two birds spent from 05/11/95 to 21/02/96 at Drumcliff, Ballyallia Lake – Clare. They then returned 24/11/96 at the same location until 27/02/97.

These two birds spent from 05/11/95 to 21/02/96 at Drumcliff, Ballyallia Lake – Clare. They then returned 24/11/96 at the same location until 27/02/97.

Band: 3TU Age: Adult.

Adult.

Ringing Details: Rangalon, Iceland as a juvenile on 15/08/95.

Rangalon, Iceland as a juvenile on 15/08/95.

Movements: Norfolk – England on 06/01/95, Dundrum Bay – Down on 01/02/95, Blindwell Turlough – Galway on 25/03/95, Rangalon – Iceland on 22/06/95, Saenautavatn – Iceland on 15/08/95, Lancashire-England on 20/10/95, Norfolk – England on 21/10/95, L. Swilly – N Ireland on 04/01/96, Saenautavatn – Iceland on 18/08/96, Norfolk-England on 24/10/96 and Corofin – Clare on 05/02/97.

Norfolk – England on 06/01/95, Dundrum Bay – Down on 01/02/95, Blindwell Turlough – Galway on 25/03/95, Rangalon – Iceland on 22/06/95, Saenautavatn – Iceland on 15/08/95, Lancashire-England on 20/10/95, Norfolk – England on 21/10/95, L. Swilly – N Ireland on 04/01/96, Saenautavatn – Iceland on 18/08/96, Norfolk-England on 24/10/96 and Corofin – Clare on 05/02/97.

 

Other colour banded birds observed in Clare during 1997 were all also ringed on nesting grounds in Iceland and over-wintered in three main sites Corofin Lakes, Tullagher Lough and Ballyallia Lake. These birds include two juveniles 5FY and BF2, and seven adults 4XT, 3J77, 4YS, NSL, PTN and NTP. A full paper on Whooper Swans will appear in the 1998 bird report.

RED KITE. Milvus milvus.

Colour wing-tagged combination. Ringing details. Date.

Inverness, Scotland. 1997.

Right Wing: Orange Finding Details. Date.

Left Wing: Blue Lough Donnell, Clare. 18/10/97.

Blue Lough Donnell, Clare. 18/10/97.

Loop Head, Clare. 18/10/97

Loop Head, Clare. 19/10/97

 

 

RINGED PLOVER. Charadrius hiaticula.

Colour ring combination. Ringing details. Date.

Shannon Airport Lagoon. 09/08/97

Right Leg: White over Orange over Finding details. Date.

White over Orange over

Red below knee Hampshire, England. No exact

Left Leg: Black over knee date

Black over knee date

DUNLIN. Calidrus alpina.

Colour ring combination. Ringing details. Date.

Ottenby, Sweden. 27/07/92.

Right Leg: Yellow over Blue Finding details. Date.

Yellow over Blue

Left Leg: White over Red Liscannor Bay, Co. Clare. 26/01/97.

White over Red Liscannor Bay, Co. Clare. 26/01/97.

metal below knee
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. Limosa limosa.

Colour ring combination. Ringing details. Date.

Wash Estuary, England. 30/08/96.

Right Leg: Red over White Finding details. Date.

Red over White

metal below knee Shannon Airport Lagoon 13/05/97.

Left Leg: Red over Yellow Co. Clare.

Red over Yellow Co. Clare.

Wildlife of Mutton Island

 

Watch Tower on western side of Mutton Island © John N Murphy

 

Introduction

Mutton Island or Inishgaorach as it was once known, lies 1km north west of Lurga Point, near Quilty on the West Coast of Clare. The locality is steeped in ancient history and fishing has long been associated with the small village of Quilty, dating back to shellfish picking on the shore in pre-famine times. This coastal region is made up of pastured meadows, marshy marginal land, which leads to a roughed rocky shoreline scattered with sandy beaches. It is the area of sand dunes and decaying seaweed at Seafield on Lurga Point, which draws birds and ornithologists alike to this windswept coastline.

The region is a vitally important feeding ground for migratory wildfowl and waders. Annually thousands of migrating birds arrive en route to and from their winter and breeding quarters. During spring waders like Whimbrel, Dunlin, Turnstone, Ringed Plover and Sanderling gather in large flocks to feed on this rich invertebrate coast. The majority of these birds over-winter on the beach at Seafield, traversing between Mutton Island and the mainland during tidal cycles. Purple Sandpiper wintering here reaches peak counts of national importance. The pasturelands of the Island are also vitally important for a grazing herd of approximately 300 Barnacle Geese, which overwinter, from Greenland.

In summer the Island is home to diminishing colonies of breeding gulls. There are also smaller numbers of breeding waders, seabirds and passerines. Little of this Islands wildlife has been regularly recorded before the Clare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland (C.B.B.I.) decided to monitor for changes in the early 1990’s. Preliminary studies by Roger Goodwillie on behalf of An Foras Forbartha in 1970/71, and seabird colony counts by Ruttledge et al and Merne for the Irish Wildbird Conservancy in conjunction with the Wildlife Services, were the only known fieldwork’s prior to our visits.

 

The following report is based on winter counts from the mainland and fieldwork trips carried out mainly during summer visits in 1990/93 and a week’s observation in May of 1995.

 

Historic Background.

Earliest recorded history dates back to the period 700AD, to the times of St Senan’s monastic settlement. Here he founded a small church and shrine near the landing spot above Port Tobacco Cove. Today all that stands of the church are fallen walls and a little galvanised roofed house. At Gorraun Rock there are remains of a small fort "Dun-Gorraun". An earthquake shook Clare’s West Coast in early 800AD. It was about 16th or 17th March and was responsible for killing an estimated 1010 people. This quake was supposedly responsible for cutting the island in three, creating the present day makeup of the area, Mutton, Mattle and Craggaun Rock. During the Spanish Armada invasions the island was used as a prison and small fortress with prisoners jailed here for short periods before being hanged. Throughout the ages seven families inhabited the island. Gallagher, Kelleher and Griffin were three families associated with Mutton but it is now sadly uninhabited.

 

Location and Topography

Mutton Island is about 1.5km in length and runs in an east west direction. It is made up of 185 acres of small stone walled meadows, sparsely covered hills of heather and jagged rocky foreshore. To its north side, flaggy rock slopes gently to the sea with rising rocky cliffs to the eastern end near Goolar Bay. To the west a bare rocky outcrop occurs at Carricklea where there is much evidence of erosion from prevailing westerly winds and accompanied high seas. Visible from the northern shore are Seal Rock and Carrickaneelwar, both less than half a kilometre away.

The south and eastern shores are low lying cobbled bolder and sandy beaches at Coonnaluinga, Port Tobacco Cove and Coonabaud. Along this shoreline, the cliffs rise to a height of 15 to 20 feet. A small ruined house and church on this height overlook Port Tobacco Cove facing east towards Lurga Point. Craggaun Rock lies just off the island to the Northeast and Mattle Island 2km to the south. High cliffs to the western side rise to nearly 100 feet between Carricklea and Gorraun Rock. The sea has eroded a puffing hole near Coosnadread and another spectacular one called Taylor’s Hole north of the watch house (old telegraph tower) at Iffinbeg. The centre of the island rises to a hill of about 150 to 200 feet above sea level with gentle slopes, descending east and westwards. The only other high ground on the island is an area north east of Goolar Bay, which slopes gently southwards.

 

 

Vegetation and Flora

For such a small island a good diversity of plants can be found with activities of man in the past adding to this diversity. There are remnants of tillage and domestic grazing animals. The old ruined house area near the landing spot at Port Tobacco Cove is dominated by nettles Utrica dioica , typical of nutrient enriched grazing. On the freshwater pool the main plant was Bulrush Scripus lacustrus, a typical fresh water species. One important species found on the cliffs was Spleenwort Asplenium marinum. This is a species confined to sea cliffs, which tolerate certain amount of sea spray. It appears to be particularly prone to pollution and is reportedly declining in Britain. Where the cliffs had been heavily grazed there is a Plantain sward, comprising three different species, Ribwort Plantain Plantago lanceolata, Buckshorn Plantain Plantago coronopus, Sea Plantain Plantago maritima, Sea Thrift Armeria maritima and Red Fuscue Festuca rubra. Beyond the salt spray area there is good acid grassland. Within this grassland where there is a build up of water, there are good wet flushes with Sphagnum sp. and Heath Spotted Orchids Dactylorhiza maculata. A total of 54 plant species in all were found on only one brief check in spring and no species of rarity.

 

The following was the list of plants found:

 

Yarrow Achilles millefolium Common Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza fushii

Creeping Bent Agrostis stolonifera Heath Spotted Orchid Dactylorhiza maculata

Bog Pimpernel Anagalis tenelia Marsh Hellebrine Epipactus palustrus

Vernal Grass Anthoxanthus odoratum Common Cotton Grass Eriophorum angustifolium

Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria Common Cleavers Galium aparine

Lesser Burdock Arctium minus Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium

Thrift Armeria maritima Marsh Pennywort Hydrocotyle vulgaris

Spleenworth Asplenium marinum Yellow Iris Iris psuedacorus

Sea Aster Aster tripolium Soft Rush Juncus effusus

Daisy Bellis perennnis Birdsfoot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus

Heather Calluna vulgaris Field Woodrush Luzula campestris

Cuckoo Flower Cardamine pratensis Purple Loosesrife Lythrum salicaria

Glaucous Sedge Carex flacca Early Purple Orchid Orchis mascula

Black Sedge Carex nigra Buckshorne Plantain Plantango coronopus

Carnation Sedge Carex panicea Ribwort Plantain Plantango lanceolata

Common Mousear Cerastium fontanumSea Plantain Plantango maritima

Creeping Thistle Cirsium arvense Annual Meadow Grass Poa annua

Cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata Smooth Meadow Grass Poa pratensis

Amphibious Bistort Polygonom amphibium Broad-leaved Dock Rumex obtusifolius

Heath Milkwort Polygala serpyllifolia Procumbent Pearlwort Sagina procumbens

Broad-leaved Pondweed Potamogeton natans Creeping Willows Salix repens

Silverweed Potentilla anserina Bulrush Scripus lacustrus

Tormentil Potentilla erecta Searush Scripus maritimus

Greater Spearwort Ranunculus lingua Sea Campion Silene maritima

Creeping Buttercup Ranunculus repens Lesser Stitchwort Stellaria graminea

Sheep’s Sorrel Rumex acetosella Devilsbit Scabious Succisa pratensis

Curled Dock Rumex crispus White Clover Trifolium repens

 

 

Wild bird species account

The island is probably of most importance for Barnacle Geese, which visit in winter months. Other waders, duck and birds of prey do visit the island during winter, but little is known of activities on the island during this season. This is due to unpredictable and bad weather making crossings to the island impossible throughout most of the winter. It is suspected that waders feed on the pond and shoreline, crossing from nearby Lurga Point and Seafield to feed during hide tides. They also possibly roost on the island, Mutton being ideal for such activities with little or no disturbance.

 

Summer Breeders: During visits since the early 1990’s, the main priority has been to monitor and count the breeding colonies of gulls. Four species in all breed on Mutton, these being Common, Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed (see distribution map on the following page). There were once small colonies of Terns recorded during the 1970’s and Cormorants also bred. But now both these species have deserted with Cormorants breeding on nearby Mattle Island to the south and no sign of any terns breeding in the surrounding area. Another seabird species, which did breed up to recent times, were Storm Petrels. Searches in early summers of 1990, ‘93 and 1995 were fruitless. Even with the aid of tape lured singing petrels and two night-time efforts to catch and ring, no birds were found or believed to be breeding. Shags and Fulmars frequent and loaf on the cliffs to the western end of the island. Both probably do breed though nesting was not observed. Caves on this western side also play host to breeding Black Guillemots with seven pairs recorded in 1990. Since this count there have only been on average of two pairs per annum during recent visits.

During visits since the early 1990’s, the main priority has been to monitor and count the breeding colonies of gulls. Four species in all breed on Mutton, these being Common, Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Great Black-backed (see distribution map on the following page). There were once small colonies of Terns recorded during the 1970’s and Cormorants also bred. But now both these species have deserted with Cormorants breeding on nearby Mattle Island to the south and no sign of any terns breeding in the surrounding area. Another seabird species, which did breed up to recent times, were Storm Petrels. Searches in early summers of 1990, ‘93 and 1995 were fruitless. Even with the aid of tape lured singing petrels and two night-time efforts to catch and ring, no birds were found or believed to be breeding. Shags and Fulmars frequent and loaf on the cliffs to the western end of the island. Both probably do breed though nesting was not observed. Caves on this western side also play host to breeding Black Guillemots with seven pairs recorded in 1990. Since this count there have only been on average of two pairs per annum during recent visits.

 

Annually a pair of Ravens nest in a traditional site near Gorraun Rock as marked on distribution map overleaf.

 

Other passerines found breeding include Meadow and Rock Pipits, Skylarks, Wrens, Swallows, Wheatears and one old House Martin nest in the watchtower, evidence of past breeding.

Wading birds can be present during high tides even in summer months but few were found to breed. A couple of pairs of Ringed plover breed most years with favoured traditional spots marked on map overleaf.

 

The lack of certain common bird species was evident on all visits, with no thrushes or finches other than Linnet recorded during summer trips. This is probably due to the lack of cover with no trees or bushes to provide nesting sites for many or our resident species. Also in spring one would expect to find lost or displaced summer migrant passerines but none were found.

 

Distribution map of selected breeding birds on Mutton Island.

 

Great Black-backed Gull (A) Lesser Black-backed Gull (B) Herring Gull (C)

 

Common Gull (D) Ringed Plover (E) Raven (F)

 

Winter visitors: Mutton is of huge importance to a flock of 200 – 300 Barnacle Geese, making the island a nationally important site for this species. Occasionally figures reach high enough for international status of importance. This is also the most southerly feeding site in Ireland for such large numbers of this species. There is only one other site further south in this country that gets a tiny number annually. This is the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Mutton’s birds arrive in October and depart for breeding grounds in Greenland during late March early April. It is also of importance for Purple Sandpipers, which feed on Lurga Point and the beach at Seafield. This species traverse between the mainland and island during tidal cycles.

Mutton is of huge importance to a flock of 200 – 300 Barnacle Geese, making the island a nationally important site for this species. Occasionally figures reach high enough for international status of importance. This is also the most southerly feeding site in Ireland for such large numbers of this species. There is only one other site further south in this country that gets a tiny number annually. This is the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Mutton’s birds arrive in October and depart for breeding grounds in Greenland during late March early April. It is also of importance for Purple Sandpipers, which feed on Lurga Point and the beach at Seafield. This species traverse between the mainland and island during tidal cycles.

To date there have been 56 species recorded on the island and these include scarcer migrants like Slavonian Grebe, Eider Duck, Glaucous and Sabine’s Gulls, Great and Arctic Skuas.

 

Use of the island by introduced and domesticated animals

Over the years local farmers have used the island as grazing grounds for cattle, sheep and goats. Past residents also had small herds of livestock and the island derives its name from the farming of sheep that were once grazed here being highly prized mutton. Presently a herd of fifty goats roam the island but no cattle have been transferred there from the mainland since the late 1980’s. These goats are in direct competition with wintering Barnacle Geese, which depend on the island as main grazing grounds. To what extent the goats are having on the islands plant life is not yet known, but close monitoring over the coming years may give a better picture. The goats might be a good thing for some plant species on the island, as they might help scatter seeds throughout. This may also be of advantage to the geese, as they might be helping to keep the grasses short making feeding easier for the Barnacle Geese. Fluctuations in the geese numbers might also be a direct cause of over grazing by goats and further work will have to be done to verify this theory.

Mutton is of huge importance to a flock of 200 – 300 Barnacle Geese, making the island a nationally important site for this species. Occasionally figures reach high enough for international status of importance. This is also the most southerly feeding site in Ireland for such large numbers of this species. There is only one other site further south in this country that gets a tiny number annually. This is the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Mutton’s birds arrive in October and depart for breeding grounds in Greenland during late March early April. It is also of importance for Purple Sandpipers, which feed on Lurga Point and the beach at Seafield. This species traverse between the mainland and island during tidal cycles.

 

Other animals inhabiting the island are Brown Hares Lepus capensis and Rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus. The hares are taught to be present on the island for hundreds of years with mainland hares introduced in recent times by the Miltown Malbay Coursing Club. Members visit the island frequently to release or catch hares for transportation to course meetings throughout Clare. Talks with the group have lead to an agreement to visits Mutton less frequently during the winter, hence causing fewer disturbances to the geese. The rabbits were only introduced to the island in recent years. During my visits in May of 1990 none were present. It has been learnt that a local shooter released the rabbits for hunting and ferreting purposes. The presence of rabbits on Mutton, is a concern as huge numbers might build up, devouring the island of its vegetation. I also fear that if a ferret were to escape on a hunting expedition, breeding birdlife would be quickly slaughtered and forced to desert.

 

Other amphibians and mammals present were Common Frogs Rana temporaria in the small freshwater pools and frequently seen hauled up on rocks, sun bathing Common and Grey Seals. Future plans are afoot to search for bats and set Longworth traps to check for mice and shrews.

 

 

Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus infestation of the island

The brown rat Rattus norvegicus probably first appeared on Mutton island during the 16th Century after the Spanish Armada fleets were wrecked near Mal Rock and other rocky shelves of this coastline. Rats might have also reached the island from the mainland by swimming or walking during times of extremely low tides. Locals informed me that it is possible to walk a sand bank to the island in such conditions. For as long as anyone can remember, brown rats were always present on the island and it was only after I visited in May of 1990, that I realise the extraordinary large numbers present. On this overnight stay while surveying the island under spotlights for breeding seabirds, large concentrations of rats were observed pouring out of holes and crevices throughout. These vermin must have a huge detrimental effect on breeding bird populations, and would possibly do most damage to burrow nesting species like Storm Petrels or Manx Shearwaters, if they were present. Worldwide studies have shown that rats predate nests in many isolated islands as food source eating eggs and young as well as adults in some cases. My personal belief is that brown rats are one of the main causes for falling breeding gull numbers on Mutton Island. I also believe that they are the main reason for the desertion of Storm Petrels to nearby Mattle Island. On Mutton rats live a relatively undisturbed life with few predators to effect populations. The presence of Ravens, the odd passing raptor, or visiting humans is the only treats affecting their lives. I believe that rats have an all year round food supply, eating vegetation, seeds, plant roots, seaweed and any small invertebrate found on the shoreline. They must also eat eggs and birds especially sick or injured individuals. I have seen on the island remains of dead goats, hares and rabbits stripped of their flesh by rats. Occasionally dead mammals such as seals and dolphins get washed ashore. These carcasses would keep rats fed for weeks, eating their hosts from the inside out. Other food sources include mammal and Barnacle Geese droppings, all of which graze the island in winter. Both eat tons of grass, leaving behind thousands of nutrient enriched droppings giving a wealth of food supplies for rats.

Attempts to locate and count the rats were made in the early part of May 1993, when members of the Clare Branch of the Birdwatch Ireland place chew sticks throughout the island. Chew sticks were simply small pieces of inch-by-inch sized wood, varying in lengths and hammered into the ground, then laced with margarine. These sticks were left in place for a couple of weeks and later checked to see if rats had eaten through them. This was a method used by the Ailsa Craig Woking Group in Scotland to try and estimate numbers of brown rats, so that they knew areas in which to concentrate a rat eradication programme. Our findings were that rats on Mutton were concentrated mainly around the old ruined buildings and near the pond.

 

Invertebrates

During all visits little attention was made of flying insects. Obvious insects like butterflies and moths were noted and included; Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, Cabbage Whites Pieris brassicae, Peacock Inachis io, Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines, Garden Tiger moth Arctia caja, and one Emperor Saturnia pavonia. Bumblebees Bombus sp. were seen feeding on some flower species. Limpets and periwinkles were noted on the rocky seaweed tide line. Much more work is required.

 

Emperor Moth © John N Murphy.

 

 

Discussion and Recommendations

Further counts and survey work on the island is essential with aims to manage and control certain aspects. The rabbits could possibly create a problem in years to come when the present population explodes. Culling might be necessary. Summer grazing by goats or sheep could be beneficial for the pasturelands leaving short-cropped grass in winter months for geese to feed. But goats grazing there all seasons of the year will only rape the island of its vegetation. I think goats should be remove during winter months allowing the grasslands to replenish to some extent. This would also benefit future control of the brown rats. Goats should be removed because harsh winter conditions create hazardous elements, killing them, hence creating feeding for rats. I personally believe that extermination of the brown rats would be beneficial to the islands bird life. Catriona Brady suggests that elimination of rats is good for plant species recovery in the short term, but in the long term it is bad. She states that large bird populations will alter the vegetation composition through manuring and nesting activities. Catriona goes on to say that such an activity will only reduce the diversity of plants and one only has to look at Irelands Eye or the Saltees for such an example. This is probably true, but I still feel it is essential to eliminate as many rats from the island as possible. This might allow burrow-nesting species like Puffins, Manx Shearwaters or Storm Petrels to return to the island, similar to that on Ailsa Craig in Scotland. Domesticated grazing herds like sheep and goats should help to spread plant seeds over the island and their presence might deter a large build up of nesting gulls or cormorants, allowing plants to re-colonise.

 

Acknowledgements

I would greatly like to thank the island owners the Hufty Family, along with acting solicitor Mr Michael Nolan, for permission granted to enter the island to carry out studies. Thanks to Catriona Brady, her colleague Paddy and Geoff Pearson for their description and listing of vegetation. To Stewart Holohan for information on similar studies carried out in Canada and Oscar Merne for his advice and support. Also a special thanks to Patricia Dempsey, a local resident who gave freely of her time preparing much of the ground work in the locality. To the boatman Peter Murrihy for his seafarers skills and to the residents of the area for their co-operation. A special thank you to Sister Mary O’ Connell and her pupils for efforts with Puffin work on Mutton.

Finally thanks to my fellow ornithologists and committee members of the Clare Branch of Birdwatch Ireland for their time and effort, especially: Gerry Wheeler, Maeve Meehan, Christy Meehan, Congella McGuire, Myles Carey and Brian Finnegan.

 

References

Norman F I. 1975. The Murine rodents Rattus Rattus, Exulans, and Norvegicus as avian predators. Atoll Research Bulletin No.182. The Smithsonian Institute.

 

Lloyd C, Tasker M L, Partridge K. 1991. The Status of Seabirds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, London.

 

Zonfrillo B, Monaghan P. 1992. Rat eradication on Ailsa Craig. Applied Ornithology Unit, Zoological Dept, University of Glasgow, Glasgow.

 

 

 

COUNTY CLARE SPECIES CHECKLIST.

 

1. RED-THROATED DIVER

2. BLACK-THROATED DIVER

3. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER

4. PIED-BILLED GREBE (1 record 1997)

5. LITTLE GREBE

6. GREAT CRESTED GREBE

7. RED-NECKED GREBE

8. SLAVONIAN GREBE

9. BLACK-NECKED GREBE (1 record 1997)

10. SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL (3 records 1980’s, 1995 & 1997)

11. FULMAR

12. CORY’S SHEARWATER

13. GREAT SHEARWATER

14. SOOTY SHEARWATER

15. MANX SHEARWATER

16. LITTLE SHEARWATER (4 records 1985, 1991, 1995 & 1996)

17. WILSON’S PETREL (3 records 1985, 1990 & 1995)

18. STORM PETREL

19. LEACH’S PETREL

20. GANNET

21. CORMORANT

22. SHAG

23. BITTERN (1 record 1983)

24. LITTLE EGRET

25. GREY HERON

26. PURPLE HERON (1 record 1996)

27. MUTE SWAN

28. WHOOPER SWAN

29. BEWICK’S SWAN

30. BEAN GOOSE

31. PINK-FOOTED GOOSE (3 records 1993, 1994 & 1996)

32. WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE

33. GREYLAG GOOSE

34. CANADA GOOSE

35. BARNACLE GOOSE

36. BRENT GOOSE

37. SHELDUCK

38. WIGEON

39. AMERICAN WIGEON (2 records 1976 & 1991)

40. GADWALL

41. TEAL / GREEN-WINGED TEAL

42. MALLARD

43. PINTAIL

44. GARGANEY

45. SHOVELER

46. POCHARD

47. RING-NECKED DUCK (1 record 1995, 1996 & 1997)

48. TUFTED DUCK

49. SCAUP

50. EIDER

51. LONG-TAILED DUCK

52. COMMON SCOTER

53. SURF SCOTER (7 records 1 in 1975, 1 in 1977, 4 in 1984 & 1 in 1985)

54. VELVET SCOTER

55. GOLDENEYE

56. SMEW (3 records 1968, 1993/94 & 1995)

57. RED-BREASTED MERGANSER

58. GOOSANDER (1 record 1989)

59. RUDDY DUCK

60. SPOONBILL (4 records 1945, 1973, 1975 & 1976)

61. GLOSSY IBIS (4 records 1857, 1902 & 2 in 1906)

62. WHITE-TAILED EAGLE (last recorded in 1849)

63. GOLDEN EAGLE (last recorded in 1896)

64. MARSH HARRIER (3 records 1981, 1989 & 1993)

65. HEN HARRIER

66. SPARROWHAWK

67. BUZZARD

68. OSPREY (3 records 1864, 1984 & 1992)

69. KESTREL

70. MERLIN

71. HOBBY (4 records, 1 in 1987, 2 in 1993 & 1 in 1995)

72. GYR FALCON (1 record 1997)

73. PEREGRINE

74. RED GROUSE

75. GREY PARTRIDGE

76. RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE

77. QUAIL

78. PHEASANT

79. WATER RAIL

80. SPOTTED CRAKE (1 record 1989)

81. CORNCRAKE

82. MOORHEN

83. COOT

84. COMMON CRANE (2 records 1986 & 1993)

85. LITTLE BUSTARD (1 record 1916)

86. OYSTERCATCHER

87. BLACK-WINGED STILT (1 record 1987)

88. AVOCET (1 record 1981)

89. STONE CURLEW (1 record 1844)

90. COLLARED PRATINCOLE (1 record 1953)

91. RINGED PLOVER

92. DOTTEREL (2 records 1988 & 1997)

93. AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER (2 record 1996 & 1997)

94. GOLDEN PLOVER

95. GREY PLOVER

96. LAPWING

97. KNOT

98. SANDERLING

99. SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER (1 record 1995)

100. LITTLE STINT

101. WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (2 records 1969 & 1990)

102. BAIRD’S SANDPIPER (1 record 1996)

103. PECTORAL SANDPIPER (2 records 1981 & 1990’s)

104. CURLEW SANDPIPER

105. PURPLE SANDPIPER

106. DUNLIN

107. BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (6 records 3 in 1990, 3 in 1996)

108. RUFF

109. JACK SNIPE

110. SNIPE

111. LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (2 records 1993 & 1997)

112. WOODCOCK

113. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT

114. BAR-TAILED GODWIT

115. WHIMBREL

116. CURLEW

117. UPLAND SANDPIPER (1 record 1995)

118. SPOTTED REDSHANK

119. REDSHANK

120. GREENSHANK

121. GREATER YELLOWLEGS (1 record 1990)

122. GREEN SANDPIPER

123. WOOD SANDPIPER

124. COMMON SANDPIPER

125. TURNSTONE

126. WILSON’S PHALAROPE (2 records 1981 & 1994)

127. RED-NECKED PHALAROPE

128. GREY PHALAROPE

129. POMARINE SKUA

130. ARCTIC SKUA

131. LONG-TAILED SKUA

132. GREAT SKUA

133. MEDITERRANEAN GULL

134. LITTLE GULL

135. SABINE’S GULL

136. LAUGHING GULL (1 record 1981)

137. BLACK-HEADED GULL

138. RING-BILLED GULL

139. COMMON GULL

140. LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL

141. HERRING GULL

142. ICELAND GULL

143. GLAUCOUS GULL

144. GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL

145. ROSS’S GULL (1 record)

146. KITTIWAKE

147. SANDWICH TERN

148. ROSEATE TERN

149. COMMON TERN

150. ARCTIC TERN

151. LITTLE TERN

152. GULL-BILLED TERN (2 records 1984 & 1992)

153. BLACK TERN

154. WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN (3 records 1893, 1984 & 1992)

155. GUILLEMOT

156. RAZORBILL

157. BLACK GUILLEMOT

158. LITTLE AUK

159. PUFFIN

160. PALLAS’S SANDGROUSE (1 record 1888)

161. ROCK DOVE

162. STOCK DOVE

163. WOODPIGEON

164. COLLARED DOVE

165. TURTLE DOVE

166. CUCKOO

167. BARN OWL

168. SNOWY OWL (1 record 1907)

169. LONG-EARED OWL

170. SHORT EARED OWL

171. NIGHTJAR

172. SWIFT

173. BELTED KINGFISHER (1 record 1984)

174. KINGFISHER

175. BEE-EATER (1 record 1990)

176. HOOPOE (3 records 1957, 1960 & 1996)

177. WRYNECK (1 record 1931)

178. GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER (3 records, 2 in 1968 & 1 in 1990)

179. SKYLARK

180. SAND MARTIN

181. SWALLOW

182. RED-RUMPED SWALLOW (1 record 1987)

183. HOUSE MARTIN

184. RICHARD’S PIPIT (3 records 1987, 1990 & 1994)

185. BLYTH’S PIPIT (1 record 1995)

186. TREE PIPIT

187. MEADOW PIPIT

188. ROCK PIPIT

189. WATER PIPIT (2 records, 1 in 1995 & 1 in 1997)

190. YELLOW WAGTAIL

191. GREY WAGTAIL

192. PIED/WHITE WAGTAIL

193. WAXWING

194. DIPPER

195. WREN

196. DUNNOCK

197. ROBIN

198. BLUETHROAT (1 record 1982)

199. BLACK REDSTART

200. REDSTART

201. WHINCHAT

202. STONECHAT

203. WHEATEAR

204. PIED WHEATEAR (1 record 1988)

205. ROCK THRUSH (1 record 1995)

206. RING OUZEL

207. BLACKBIRD

208. FIELDFARE

209. SONG THRUSH

210. REDWING

211. MISTLE THRUSH

212. GREY-CHEEKED THRUSH (1 record 1991)

213. GRASSHOPPER WARBLER

214. SAVI’S WARBLER (2 records 1980 & 1992)

215. SEDGE WARBLER

216. REED WARBLER

217. ICTERINE WARBLER (2 records 1995 & 1997)

218. MELODIOUS WARBLER (1 record 1991)

219. BARRED WARBLER (2 records 1985 & 1994)

220. LESSER WHITETHROAT

221. WHITETHROAT

222. GARDEN WARBLER

223. BLACKCAP

224. ARCTIC WARBLER (1 record 1986)

225. PALLAS’S WARBLER (1 record 1995)

226. YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER

227. WOOD WARBLER

228. CHIFFCHAFF

229. WILLOW WARBLER

230. GOLDCREST

231. FIRECREST (2 records 1980 & 1989)

232. SPOTTED FLYCATCHER

233. RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (5 records, 2 in 1985, 1988, 1989 & 1991)

234. PIED FLYCATCHER

235. LONG-TAILED TIT

236. COAL TIT

237. BLUE TIT

238. GREAT TIT

239. TREECREEPER

240. GOLDEN ORIOLE (2 records 1847 & 1862)

241. GREAT GREY SHRIKE (1 record 1971)

242. JAY

243. MAGPIE

244. CHOUGH

245. JACKDAW

246. ROOK

247. HOODED / CARRION CROW

248. RAVEN

249. STARLING

250. ROSE-COLOURED STARLING (3 records 1808, 1830 & 1989)

251. HOUSE SPARROW

252. TREE SPARROW

Norman F I. 1975. The Murine rodents , , and as avian predators.

253. RED-EYED VIREO (3 records 1995)

 

254. CHAFFINCH

255. BRAMBLING

256. GREENFINCH

257. GOLDFINCH

258. SISKIN

259. LINNET

260. TWITE

261. REDPOLL / MEALY REDPOLL

262. CROSSBILL

263. COMMON ROSEFINCH (1 record 1987)

264. BULLFINCH

265. HAWFINCH (2 records 1991 & 1993)

 

266. YELLOW WARBLER (1 record 1995)

267. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (1 record 1986)

 

268. DARK-EYED JUNCO (1 record 1905)

269. LAPLAND BUNTING

270. SNOW BUNTING

271. YELLOWHAMMER

272. ORTOLAN BUNTING (1 record 1988)

273. RUSTIC BUNTING (1 record 1985)

274. LITTLE BUNTING

275. REED BUNTING

276. BLACK-HEADED BUNTING (1 record 1991)

277. CORN BUNTING

 

 

 

The following records relate to birds found in Clare and believed to be of possible captive origins or escapees and cannot be accepted as wild specimens in accordance to the IRBC.

 

GREATER FLAMINGO (1 record 1995 & 1996)

RUDDY SHELDUCK (2 records 1993 & 1997)

YELLOW-THROATED BUNTING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devilsbit Scabious

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