Wednesday, 2 November 2011

East Cork

The weather here in Cork has been pretty unsettled so clear skies and calm winds yesterday meant it was a chance to check some spots in East Cork. I was joined by Harry Hussey and first stop was Cobh for a brief and unsuccessful check of Kennedy Pier and the Pilot Boat Pier for the juv American Herring Gull. Maybe it's saving itself for next years Bird Race!
Over at Cuskinny, Harry quickly picked up a 1st winter Little Gull amongst the Black-headed Gulls on the seaward side. The light was the wrong side for shots so I just enjoyed watching the bird instead. No sooner had it appearred when it disappeared but was quickly replaced by the regular Sabine's Gull. This bird, assuming it's the same one, has been appearring annually each autumn in Cobh since as a far back as 2003 I believe.

Sabine's Gull over Cuskinny Reserve
It flew out of the Cuskinny reserve presumably after a quick wash and away out of sight. Between House Crows, American Herring Gulls, Sabine's Gulls and lots of other stuff, Great Island always has something to offer, the Bird Race tallies often pass the 100 spp. mark. Not bad for early January!
We headed on to Knockadoon Head in the company of John Meade but could only dig out a Chiffer, some Goldcrests and a Lesser Redpoll. Harry received at text from Micheal Cowming that the 1st winter Ring Ouzel was showing well over at Ardmore Head so for the sake of seeing a good bird we jumped back in the car and headed to Ardmore. The bird was indeed showing well but was very nervous, it was returning to the same Cotoneaster hedge all the time though and with a little patience in the fading light it obliged for one shot.

1st winter Ring Ouzel - Ardmore Head, Co. Waterford
After that it was homeward bound!