|juvenile Kumlien's Gull at Kilbaha, County Clare|
After a nice morning's work, I wanted to see the Kumlien's Gull that had been lingering in Limerick. So within an hour or two, we were in Stab City and I was severely disappointed: -
|tenuous to say the least...|
|Squint and you may just about get a bit of colouration in those primaries|
|Even the pigeon has turned its head away in shame after looking at that (lack of a) tail band|
|This dopey guy didn't fancy its chances with gulls of its own size, so kept with the smalls in Bantry harbour.|
|A trawler bringing in a few larids into Castletown Bearhaven|
Back to the real stuff though at Reenard Point, Cahersiveen. An adult Kumlien's Gull with darkish markings to P8-P10 was top of the haul, backed up by another 7 Iceland Gulls. Some lad from the nearby restaurant helped us out, emptying a load of fish scraps in front of us... which were devoured quickly by the gulls.
|Note darkness on P10 extending onto both webs and down the primary shaft|
Nearby on The Iveragh, the Spoonbill was still at Cromane, doing absolutely nothing but sleeping as usual, along with a second-winter Iceland Gull. However, we weren't going to hang about as the weather had closed in and we had more sites to hit and birds to see. Unfortunately the poor weather meant that we only gave Rossbeigh a token effort, as it was hopeless looking for scoter so who knows whether last year's rhinoceros was about? Probably not, but we couldn't be sure.
|A super slick, relatively advanced 2nd-winter Iceland Gull at Reenard|
|Note the uniformly biscuit-coloured primaries, darkening towards the tips.|
|Typical scene from this week's trip - a Glauc, a Kumlien's and 2 Iceland Gulls|
|Just one of 110 seen during the week|
|Kittiwake in Dingle harbour|
Surely worth more than £35?
Add in an American Black Duck, a Lesser Scaup, 4 vagrant Canada Geese, a Black Brant, 2 Ring-necked Ducks and a Tundra Bean Goose and it's easy to see why I'd recommend a week of chilled out birding along the Irish west coast in winter.