Saturday, 22 February 2014

Irish trip day seven - Cork and Kinsale

Our final day of the trip and it was a toss up between going around Galway, which is always nice, or doing some dirty long distance twitching back down to Kinsale, Cork for a nice showy and pink Ross's Gull. The latter won overwhelmingly: -

adult Ross's Gull Kinsale, Co.Cork 22nd February 2014
This was remarkably my first Ross's Gull since one in Plymouth in 2002 (though I did see one disgustingly in Suffolk in 2006), so I was pretty chuffed with the show it put on. Though erratic in its appearances, it did show well by the quay near the Trident Hotel every hour or so. There was also a juvenile Kumlien's Gull present, while nearby at Kinsale Marsh an adult Ring-billed Gull was on the rocky causeway.
juvenile Kumlien's Gull Kinsale, Co.Cork 22nd February 2014
With our flight back to London scheduled for the early evening, there was still time to increase the Ring-billed Gull tally! Popping in at the rather depressing Atlantic Pond in Blackrock, there were a couple of them - an adult and a second-winter. Cork County Council advised not to feed the birds bread, and as an alternative suggested vegetables such as lettuce and celery. Suffice to say, there was floating bits of lettuce in the water that evidently didn't suit the culinary needs of our feathered friends, while abandoning Cork City Council's advice and whacking in a load of brown bread allowed us to eyeball this: -
2nd-winter Ring-billed Gull Atlantic Pond, Co.Cork 22nd February 2014
So onto another top spot, the slipway at O'Callaghan's Strand in Limerick town - within twenty minutes of Shannon airport too. Here there was a nice looking first-winter Ring-billed Gull along with a pretty dopey, placid looking juvenile Iceland Gull.
1st-winter Ring-billed Gull Limerick, Co.Limerick 22nd February 2014
And that was that, the end of another decent trip. Without the mega find unfortunately, despite a lot of trying, but with 14 species of gull including Ross's Gull, Laughing and American Hering - plus 88 white-winged gulls and 11 Ring-billed Gulls - it wasn't too shoddy a week.

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