|Keem beach at the west end of Achill Island, County Mayo|
|Sruhilbeg Lough, home of the Pied-billed Grebe|
It was by now Saturday evening, and the sun had gone in and the wind was starting to get up signalling the start of a deep low pressure system that was going to rip through overnight. After seeing the regular Black Duck (and a couple of hybrids), I walked along the grass to Sruhill Lough and near the monument, amongst a couple of hundred Starlings, flushed a Buff-breasted Sandpiper which then appeared to head onto the nearby beach. Result at last; however, armed with the DSLR at the ready, I tried hard to relocate this bird - by which time Nick Watmough had joined me - but it wasn't to be. In fact, I was hoping this would be the precursor to a good day on the Sunday what with the weather turning bad.
Sunday morning was grim and even by the time I'd turned in for the night the weather was ripping through the place. Fortunately, after a decent meal and a couple of pints, I'd seen sense and opted for the 'soft' option of a night in a hotel rather than getting blown about in the car. Waking the next morning, rather expectant, Nick and I headed out to do the golf course and the west end of the Achill. Wader numbers had built up, and with a fair few Ringed Plovers on the golf course and Sanderlings on the beach, there was a bit to scan through. However, a search of all of Achill's sites drew and blank and it wasn't to be. Having spent a few hours in the afternoon at sites near Louisburgh, it was time to head back to Shannon and onto the red eye flight back to London.
|Doolough Valley and the potato famine monument|