Tuesday, 25 September 2012

All quiet on the western front

What does a picture like this conjure up to you?
Well, in short, no birds and a load of shenanigans. In fact hay bales wrapped ingeniously by Legoman faces in County Kerry were the find of the trip. With an easterly blow and no new fronts coming in from the Atlantic since the weekend before, Josh J and I knew this trip the weekend just gone would be a quiet one. But you've got to try, and that's what we did. Saturday was spent in west Cork, checking the estuaries around Clonakilty, Rosscarbery and Timoleague with loads of common birds seen as well as a decent looking Azorean Gull candidate that has been lingering the area for the past month or so.

Wanting to see at least one yank this weekend, we headed to Garretstown beach where amongst the most selfish, insolent and obnoxious dog walkers that I've ever had the discourtesy to encounter, was a nice juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper. This bird was what I'd call a 'typical' individual so compare it with the recent Western/Semi-p on the Wirral. I think structurally there's not too much wrong with the comparison, and that's one reason I've always been in the Semi-p camp on that bird. Back in the day, juvenile Western Sandpipers were easy to identify weren't they??!!

Anyway a group of people and their three dogs, that could see Josh and I watching birds on the beach, walked straight pass us flushing the waders, and then got an absolute ear bashing from me that involved several necessary and unnecessary. So much so that, before any garda incident evolved with the next potential incident, we departed to the tranquility of further west. And quietness is what we got - nothing else of note seen for the rest of the day at places like Ballydehob, Bantry, Castletown Bearhaven, Derrynane and Ballinskelligs. The Sunday proved as eventless, although a couple of hours at an elusive Reed Warbler on Valentia Island proved frustrating while Carrahane was as poor as it can possibly be in late September. Some lovely looking passerine habitat found though, and certainly worth bashing soon after a deep low hits in October.
habitat on Valentia Island
Whatever the weather and lack of birds this time around, Irish weekends are always a nice time so at least for the foreseeable future that's it, and back to stuff this side of the Irish Sea from now on. Unless those lows come bouncing in again...

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