|Adult ringer - does what it says on the tin|
I spent the previous three days up north, starting with a bit of a dip at Enniskillen where we had a go for the putative Thayer's Gull seen earlier last week. Sligo held half a dozen Iceland Gulls, including these bad boys on the river: -
|adult Iceland Gull|
|a dopy looking juvenile Iceland Gull|
Mayo was good value, and as we headed into the county on Sunday we stopped off in Balina where there was a fairly retarded 2nd-winter Ring-billed Gull complete with a pinkish toned bill and largely dark eye - plenty of the birds I saw in Canada back in December, and the vagrants I've seen over here previously, are much more adult-type in appearance.
|What a retard|
|Little and large|
After another fitful night's sleep in accommodation (my mother and Karen will be proud!), we headed out to the wild, wild west and did The Mullet where there were wingers everywhere - Icelands seemed to love the fields where we saw 16 in total while the windswept coasts were where those big beastly Glaucs were hanging out, including one on a rather long dead whale carcass.
JJ had raved about a large, long-necked Canada Goose he'd seen a few weeks back at Termoncarragh and after a fair bit of searching we managed to find it in amongst a mixed bag of geese including 2 Tundra Beans (presumably an absolute mega Mayo record), 3 Greenland Whitefronts and a few Icelandic Greylags.
After the Mullet, we headed south taking in Carrowmore Lake where a couple of Ring-necked Ducks were hanging about with the Tufted Ducks, before heading onto Achill Island for the last couple of hours of light. Checking a fish factory was really disappointing, though there were a couple of Glaucs in the scenic setting of Keel beach before finishing off as per usual with the drake Black Duck at Sruhill Lough.
So, to date, nothing amazingly special but relaxing, good company and 77 white-winged gulls so far. See what the next few days bring - just doing this post from The Lighthouse Inn in Kilbaha with a decent pint of Guiness next to me...Loop and the surroundings in the morning.