Monday, 9 April 2012

Dipsville once more!

After a successful day yesterday I got greedy and decided to go for the Hoopoe that had been present in Guileen since 25th March. I hadn't seen any Hoopoes in Ireland last year at all (just one in Mallorca) and being such exotic looking birds I was keen to see this one. The weather showed signs of clearing after lunch so I called Harry Hussey up and told I'd pick him up in the city at around 3.30pm. Harry had the 'gen' from several other birders who'd seen it so it was just a matter of care and patience and we'd both manage to connect with it......ahem!
Guileen is not too far from Whitegate but not a place I'd ever visited before. A small sandy beach lies beneath a cliff walk and several lucky people own very nice houses which face straight out onto the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful on a good day and spectacular during a southerly storm I imagine. A single Peregrine hunting along the cliffs against the grey sea gave the place a very wild look.

Peregrine Falcon - Guileen, Co. Cork 9th April 2012

This is the sort of place I would love to live in, but even with today's depressed property market I bet those homes would fetch a nice price. And of course it looked perfect for a Hoopoe. I could imagine the poor bugger overshooting France, tired and hungry pitching down amongst the gardens and country boreens until he (or she) got their strength back up. Sadly though it looks as though it got its strength back up yesterday because for Harry and I there was no sign. Admittedly the weather was a bit foul at first so once the squawly showers cleared we set about looking in earnest in case we had missed it at first as it sheltered under a bush. But our searching was in vain, there was no sign. With the Hoopoe 'window' closing I may have to go the year without seeing one in Ireland, autumn records are rarer.
Interestingly there are quite a few very nice gardens around the village which in the right conditions in either spring or autumn could well be worth a check for migrants. There were plenty of commoner species around making use of the bird feeders, I scanned for Tree Sparrows or maybe even a Spanish Sparrow amongst the flock of Spagies but of course nothing doing. Maybe a nice Dark-eyed Junco this autumn!
Clearly used to people though the commoner stuff allowed reasonably close approach.

Yellowhammer, Guileen, Co. Cork, 9th April 2012

Chaffinch, Guileen, Co. Cork, 9th April 2012

Collared Dove, Guileen, Co. Cork. 9th April 2012
Following our fruitless search we decided to stop at Rostellan Lake on the way back home to check for the 2nd summer Little Gull that had been reported. Harry picked it up distantly over the reedbeds before it crossed over the road and continued away towards Aghada. Dark and heavy clouds had diminished the light so this distant cropped record shot was all I could manage.

2nd summer Little Gull, Rostellan Lake, Co. Cork 9th April 2012
With the rain not too far away we set off for home.

1 comment:

  1. Darn it! I was hoping that fella would still be around. Seen several in Spain but that would have been a nice Cork/Irish tick for me :-(