Monthly Archives: July 2005

January to March 2006

Rare & Scarce Bird News for Clare
Seawatchers at the Bridges of Ross © Joe DoolanRare Bird Sightings


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, 100 Dublin Road, Sutton, Dublin 13 or
All local and scarce bird sightings, should be sent to the county recorder:
John Murphy, Applewood, Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus, Clare or
List of Contributors:
Julia Baer, Cillian Boyd, Lorraine Benson, Dermot Breen, Austin Cooney, Mike Davis,
Shane Farrell, Brian Finnegan, Charles Glynn, Kieran Grace, Tim Griffin, Tom & Nuala Lynch,
Finbarr Mac Gabhann, Ken MacKenzie, Stewart Holohan, Tomas McCoy, Andrew, Maeve & Christy Meehan,
John N Murphy, Barry O’Donoghue, Colin Perkins, John Rattigan, Billy Ryan, Oliver Shine, Stan Nugent,
Andy Woods, Iza Zawadzka



Recent SightingsSaturday 25th March 2006
One drake Ring-necked Duck was at Ballyallia Lake this afternoon (John N Murphy et al).
A drake Green-winged Teal was at Bell Harbour.
A dark-bellied Brent Goose was at Lough Murree, near the Flaggy Shore.
There were 15 Black-throated Divers between Finvarra Point and Aughinish Island.
One Red-necked Grebe was off Doorus Pier near Aughinish Island along with one
Long-tailed Duck and one Sandwich Tern.
Great Northern Diver John N Murphy

Thursday 23rd March 2006
There was a Merlin at Quilty today.

Wednesday 22nd March 2006
There were five Wheatears near Tullig, Cross in west Clare today.
A count of 11 Little Egrets was had at Moyasta, Poulnasherry Bay.
There was a 2nd year Ring-billed Gull and two Common Sandpipers
at the Quay in Clarecastle today.

Thursday 16th March 2006
There were 30 Whoopers Swans on wet meadows
along the Cullenagh River just south of Cullenagh on the Ennistymon road.

Wednesday 15th March 2006
There was a Merlin near Knockhogan on the main
Quin to Ennis road.

Tuesday 14th March 2006
The drake Ring-necked Duck was at Ballyallia Lake  today (John N Murphy).
There were five Little Egrets at Poulnasherry Bay.

Sunday 12th March 2006
A second-winter Iceland Gull was at Ross Bay, Loop Head.
There were 93 Whoopers Swans between Latoon South and Ballygirreen.
There was one Chiffchaff at Pine Grove, Ennis.
Five Greylag Geese were at Finn Lough, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Friday 10th March 2006
A drake Ring-necked Duck was on Ballyiallia lake today (S. Nugent)
The 15 White-fronted Geese were at Tullagher Bog today.

Wednesday 8th March 2006
A Common Sandpiper was seen in Clarecastle.

Sunday 5th March 2006
There were three female Ring-necked Ducks
at Knockalough, Kilmihil (John N Muphy et al).
There was one Crossbill at Boolynagleragh Bog.
There were 13 Snow Buntings at Loop Head.
Two Little Egrets and the white Curlew were
at Poulnasherry Bay.

Three female Ring-necked Ducks at Knockalough ©  John N Murphy

Saturday 4th March 2006
The drake Green-winged Teal was still at Querrin (Maeve & Christy Meehan).
A group of 24 Red-throated Divers were off Querrin Point.
There were three Black-throated Divers off Finvarra Point.
The Black Redstart was still in Kilrush.
The Barn Owl was seen again in Kilkee.

Friday 3rd March 2006
The Barn Owl was one again seen hunting in Kilkee.

Thursday 2nd March 2006
One Jack Snipe was flushed at Ballyallia Lake.
There was one Black-throated Diver at Liscannor Bay with
two more birds off the rocky beach in Clahane.
A Barn Owl was seen hunting late this night at Kilkee.
A male Hen Harrier was seen west of Connolly.
A first winter Iceland Gull was at Lough O’Donnell, Quilty.

Wednesday 1st March 2006
Two Black-throated Divers were between Cappa and Aylevarroo, Kilrush.
A female Blackcap was in the Hermitage, Ennis.

Tuesday 28th February 2006
There was a drake Green-winged Teal at Querrin and another
drake was at Bell harbour.
Two Little Egrets were at Poulnasherry Bay.
Partial albino Pied Wagtail in Kilkee,
this bird has been around for a few years ©  Iza Zawadzka

Sunday 26th February 2006
A male and female Blackcap were still at Oak Park, Ennis.

Saturday 25th February 2006
There was a Black Redstart at Liscannor.
Six Black-throated Divers and 20 Long-tailed Ducks
were seen along the Flaggy Shore in North Clare.
A Dark-bellied Brent Goose was in lough Murree.

Friday 24th February 2006
One male and one female Blackcap were in Oak Park, Ennis.

Thursday 23rd February 2006
A male and a female Blackcap were seen feeding in a gadren
in Oak Park, Ennis.

Wednesday 22nd February 2006
There was a drake Green-winged Teal at Querrin today (Maeve Meehan).

Tuesday 21st February 2006
There was a Merlin 2km east of Kilrush today.

Monday 20th February 2006
One Jay was seen North of Finn Lough, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Saturday 18th February 2006
An adult Ring-billed Gull was at Ballyvaughan.
There were seven Black-throated Divers and four
Long-tailed Duck near the Flaggy Shore today.

Friday 17th February 2006
There were two Jays north of Ardnacrusha.

Tuesday 14th January 2006
There was a Red Grouse at Woodcock Hill, Cratloe this afternoon.
One Water Rail was at Ballycar Lough, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Monday 13th February 2006
There was a Jack Snipe near Ballycar North, Ardnacrusha.
One Woodcock was at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Sunday 12th February 2006
The male Ring-necked Duck was at Lough Inchiquin, Corofin today (Meehan Family),
along with two Hen Harriers and seven Bewick’s Swans.
There was a female Hen Harrier at Islandavanna, Clarecastle.
One first-winter Iceland Gull was at Quilty.
One Little Egret was in Doonbeg Bay.
There was one Jay at Cappateemore East, north of Parteen today.

Saturday 11th February 2006
There were four Crossbills near Kylemore, Sallybank, Broadford.
One male Crossbill was at Kilnacreagh along with four Raven.

Friday 10th February 2006
There was a female Black Redstart on the peir at Seafield, Quilty.
Four Crossbills were at Gallowshill with one pair building a nest.
Black Redstart © Stan Nugent

Thursday 9th February 2006
There was a female Merlin at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus.
One male Merlin was seen hunting over the road at Toonagh Cross, Ennis.
One Dipper was spotted at the Rine River in Quin.

Wednesday 8th February 2006
There was a Jay at Moneennagliggin South, near Meelick this morning.

Tuesday 7th February 2006
There was one Jay near Glenwood, east of Sixmilebridge.

Monday 6th February 2006
There was a Barn Owl at Ballycasey, Shannon tonight.
One male Blackcap was seen just outside Quin village.

Sunday 5th February 2006
A drake Ring-necked Duck was at Lough Inchiquin (Maeve Meehan).
There were 15 Crossbills and 35 Siskins at Kilnacreagh this morning.
One 2nd-winter Iceland Gull was at Clahane, Liscannor.
Two Little Egrets were at Blackwier Bridge, Poulnasherry Bay.

Friday 3rd February 2006
There was a Carrion Crow and one Jay near Cratloe this morning.

Thursday 2nd February 2006
One female Crossbill was in a small wood near Castlecrine
east of Sixmilebridge.
One Dipper was on the River below the bridge at Sixmilebridge.

Tuesday 31st January 2006
There was one male Blackcap and a Kingfisher near Parteen Today.
One Black-throated Diver was in Kilkee Bay.

Monday 30th January 2006
Two Common Sandpipers were at the Quay in Clarecastle.
There was one Little Egret at poulnasherry Bay.
One male Black Redstart was at Kilrush.
Black Redstart at Kilrush © Charles Glynn

Sunday 29th Janaury 2006
One female Hen Harrier flew over Applewood, Ballycar
Newmarket-on-Fergus this morning.
Another female Hen Harrier was seen near Doonbeg this afternoon.
A count of 67 Whooper Swans were at Ballygireen.
The drake Ringed-necked Duck was at Ballyiallia lake (Austin Cooney & Brian Finnegan).
There was one Common Sandpiper and one Green Sandpiper
at the Quay in Clarecastle.

Saturday 28th January 2006
There were 15 Black-throated Divers off Finvarra Point and the Flaggy Shore.
Between Traugh Beach and the Flaggy shore there were 90 Black Guillemots
and 32 Long-tailed Ducks.
One Velvet Scoter was mixed in with a flock of 30 Common Scoters
off Aughinish Island.
There were also 50 Great Northern Divers and 30 Brent Geese along the
North Clare coast today.
Brent Geese at NorthClare © John N Murphy

Friday 27th January 2006
There were 11 Crossbills at Kilnacreagh Wood this afternoon.
Ten Graylag Geese flew into Ballycar Lough this morning.

Thursday 26th January 2006
Onme drake Ring-necked Duck at Ballyallia Lake,
Ennis ( Finbarr Mac Gabhann & Kieran Grace).

Tuesday 24th January 2006
The male Blackcap was still at Oak Park.

Monday 23rd January 2006
There was a male Blackcap at Oak Park, Ennis.

Sunday 22nd January 2006
Only the male Ring-necked Duck was seen today
at Ballyallia Lake (Austin Cooney & John N Murphy).
One male Blackcap was North of Sixmilebridge.
There were two Common Sandpipers and one Jack Snipe
on the Owenogarney River near Bunratty.
Drake Ring-necked Duck at Ballyallia lake © John N Murphy

Saturday 21st January 2006
The Common Sandpiper was once again at Clarecastle

Friday 20th January 2006
One Common Sandpiper was on the pier in Clarecastle.
The two Ring-necked Ducks were still at Ballyallia Lake (John N Murphy).

Thursday 19th January 2006
The female Blackcap was still at Balymacahill on the Tulla Road, Ennis.

Wednesday 18th January 2006
There was a female Blackcap at Ballymacahill, Ennis.

Tuesday 17th January 2006
There were three Crossbills at Kilnacreagh, east of Sixmilebridge.
One Little Egret was at Tullyvarraga Marsh in Shannon,
while at nearby Saint’s Island and Tradaree Point there
was a large flock of 2,500 Golden Plover and 2,000 Lapwing.

Monday 16th January 2006
There were two Ring-necked Ducks at Ballyallia, one drake
and one hen (Stan Nugent).
One Jay was at Sixmilebridge.
One male Blackcap was still at Oak Park, Ennis.
A flock of 35 Greylag Geese were at Ballycar Lake, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Sunday 15th January 2006
One female Blackcap was at Shannon Town.
There was a male Blackcap at Oak Park, Ennis.
There was a male Hen Harrier at Tullagher Bog.
There were 17 Greylag Geese at Ballycar, Newmarket-on-Fergus.

Saturday 14th January 2006
There was a first-winter Iceland Gull at Quilty.
Ten Snow Buntings were near the Martello Tower on Aughinish
Island in North Clare.
A flock of 204 Brent Geese were in fields adjacent to Lough
Murree near the Flaggy Shore in North Clare this afternoon.
There were 125 Barnacle Geese on Mutton Island while another
50 were seen on Illaunonauran near Kilkee.
One Little Egret was at Doonbeg.
The Greenland White-fronted Goose flock at Tullagher Bog is
down to just 15 birds.  At the rate they are dropping off in
three years there will probably be no more birds at this site.
Iceland Gull at Quilty © John N Murphy

Friday 13th January 2006
Female Blackcap at Ballymacahill, Ennis.

Tuesday 10th January 2006
Female Blackcap at Ballymacahill, Ennis.

Saturday 7th January 2006
There was one male and one female Blackcap at Oak Park, Ennis.
There were ten Crossbills in pine woods just North of Flagmont, near Lough Graney.
A flock of 60 Reed Buntings were also seen going to roost in a recently felled wood
just North of Flagmont.

Friday 6th January 2006
There was one Jackdaw of the Scandinavian race at Ballycar this morning.
One Little Egret fed in drains near Meelick this afternoon.
There were three Jays at the Lees Wood Road.

Thursday 5th January 2006
There was one Jay at Kilrush Woods.
A flock of 50 Siskins were on the Kilrush road just outside Ennis.
The female Blackcap was still at Ballymacahill, on the Tulla Road.

Wednesday 4th January 2006
One Common Sandpiper on the quayside in Clarecastle.

Monday 2nd January 2006
There was a 2nd winter Iceland Gull at Clahane.
A 1st winter Iceland Gull was at Quilty.

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Black-necked Grebe

Black-necked Grebe   Podiceps nigricollis
Rare vagrant.
1997:    The first county record made a short appearance
 at Poulnasherry Bay on 25th October.
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Balearic Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater   Puffinus mauretanicus
Regular Autumn passage seabird.
The first record for the county was one on 15th October 1983.
Since then, there has been an annual passage of 10 – 15 records per annum
between the months of July to early October, off the Bridges of Ross.
2001:   One at Bridges of Ross on 24th, three on 25th, one on 26th, four on 29th and four on 30th August.
2000:   One at Bridges of Ross on 1st September.
1999:   Two at Bridges of Ross on 17th August.
              Singles at Bridges of Ross on 24th, 27th and 28th August.
              Seven at Bridges of Ross on 26th August.
              Four at Bridges of Ross on 29th August.
              Three at Bridges of Ross on 30th August.
              Two at Bridges of Ross on 8th and 9th August.
1998:   One at Bridges of Ross on 23rd and one on 29th August.
              Two at Bridges of Ross on 9th September.
1997:   All records are from the Bridges of Ross.  One on 31st July.
              Four on 23rd, one on 24th and 25th, six on 28th and one on 29th. August.
              One on 1st, two on 3rd, one on 4th and 6th September:
1996:   At Loop Head and Bridges of Ross:  Four on 16th, one on 17th, two on 19th, one on
              20th, two on 21st, one on 23rd, 11 on 24th, two on 25th, and three on 31st August.
              One on 7th and two on 17th September.   One on 3rd and 4th October.
1995:   At Bridges of Ross: One on 25th August.  Three on 2nd, one on 14th and 25th September. 
              One on 6th and 14th October.
1994:   At Bridges of Ross: two on 8th, one 9th and three on 10th September.
1993:   One at Bridges of Ross on 16th September.
1991:   Singles at Bridges of Ross on 7th and 21st September with two there on 16th September.
1990:   One off Loop Head on 12th August, 21 from 12th August to 19th September, with a
               maximum of four on 12th August.
1988:   One on 23rd September.
1987:   There were 13 at the Bridges of Ross between 30th July an 6th October, with a.
              maximum four on 2nd September.
1986:   Singles at Bridges of Ross on 18th and 22nd October.
1985:   One at Castle Point, Kilkee on 1st September.
1984:   Ten at the bridges of Ross between 9th and 23rd September.
1983:   One at Bridges of Ross on 15th October.

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Fea’s (Soft-plumaged) Petrel

Fea’s (Soft-plumaged) Petrel   Pterodroma (mollis) feae  
Rare passage seabird.
To date there have been ten records and all at the Bridges of Ross.

2007:     Bridges of Ross: one, 21st August; two, 25th August; one, 26th August.
2006:     Bridges of Ross: one, 8th August; one, 21st August; one, 23rd August; one, 29th August.
2005:     Bridges of Ross: one, 13th August; one, 14th August; one, 25th August; one, 26th August.
2004:     Bridges of Ross: one, 25th August; one, 1st September.
1999:     One, Bridges of Ross, 30th August.
1997:     One, Bridges of Ross, 31st July.
1995:     One, Bridges of Ross, 25th August   
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Purple Heron

Purple Heron   Ardea purpurea
Rare European vagrant.
2006:One juvenile was at Lough Donnell from the 1st to 4th October.

1996:One adult at Doora Dump, Ennis on 30th October.
This was a first record for the county.

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Eurasian Spoonbill

Eurasian Spoonbill   Platalea leucordia
Rare vagrant.
1975:    A single bird was present at Shannon Airport Lagoon from
            26th June to 1st July.
1976:    One adult at Shannon Airport Lagoon on 29th and 30th August.
1998:    One immature/first-winter bird at Poulnasherry Bay on 30th November.
This birds was believed to have traversed back and forth between
Ballylongford Bay in county Kerry and the Shannon Airport Lagoon,
eventually making its way back to Poulnasherry Bay in October 1999
where it remain for the rest of the winter and into the new millennium.
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Pink-footed Goose

Pink-footed Goose   Anser brachyrhynchus
Rare winter visitor. 
2007:  Six at Lahinch Marsh from 4th to 21st January  
            One juvenile Clooney 20th January
2006:   One juvenile at Lahinch Marsh from 3rd to 8th October.
             One juvenile at Loop Head on 10th October.
2004:   One at Islandavanna, Clarecastle 2nd March.
1999:    One at Doonbeg from 22nd January to 4th February.
1997:    One at Lough O’Grady from 24th November to 16th December.
1996:    One at Farrihy Lake and Tullagher Bog from 26th November to 1st December.
1994:    The bird that over-wintered at Tullagher Bog was last sighted on 22nd March.
1993:    One juvenile at Kilbaha, Loop Head on 9th October.
One, presumably the same bird as that from Loop Head,
was at Moyasta, Poulnasherry Bay on 28th November.

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Great Northern Loon

 Great Northern Loon Gavia immer

Common winter visitor.
Any coastal site can hold small numbers of 10 or less but highest concentrations are in Galway Bay.
The largest counts from this site were 95 on 22nd January 1998. 250 in April 2000 is one of the largest counts ever.

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Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe    Podilymbus podiceps 
Rare North American vagrant.
1997:    One at Cloghaun Lough, Loop Head from 11th to 13th December.
             This was only the fifth Irish record at that time and a first for the county.
 Pied-billed Grebe John N Murphy 
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Red-necked Grebe

Red-necked Grebe   Podiceps grisegena  
Regular winter visitor.
2005:    One adult in summer plumage at Poulnasherry Bay on February.
1999:    One at Ross Bay, Loop Head on 20th October.
             One at Ballyvaughan on 20th November.
1998:    One at Aughinish Island on 22nd January.
             One at Poulnasherry Bay on 15th November.
1997:    One at Poulnasherry Bay on 19th January.
             One at Ballyvaughan on 8th and 9th March.
1996:    One at Aughinish Island on 3rd March.
1994:    Two at Ballyvaughan throughout January.
1993:    One at Shannon Airport on 16th and 17th January.
             One at Ballyvaughan on 16th October.
1992:    One at Aughinish Island on 19th January.
1989:    One at Ballyvaughan on 19th February.
1988:    One at Ballyvaughan on 20th February.
1968:    Two at Labasheeda Bay on 29th December.
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