Birding Clare, Mayo, Sligo, Offaly, & Cork
April 26-May 6, 2016
We are cousins Eva Casey and Anne Gunshenan. Any errors on this page are the author's (Eva).
Other Perspectives on Species Already Showcased Above (in the order of the pictures):
- I got the Yellowhammer near Birr,
Co. Offaly, in the Ring Farmhouse B&B's driveway. I had two cameras, my old trusty Canon SX50
and my new somewhat heavier Coolpix P900. In this case I showcased above the
Canon Yellowhammer. This
Coolpix Yellowhammer photo
was runner-up. Of the 35 showcased photos above, 20 were taken with the Canon, 15 with the
Nikon Coolpix. Details.
Robin open-mouthed with a worm.
Great Tit photos:
at the Perfumery on the Burren with a Canon Powershot;
at Cotter's Garden on Cape Clear with Nikon Coolpix.
Greenfinch and male Chaffinch
at the Perfumery, Co. Clare;
Greenfinch and female Chaffinch
in Cotter's Garden on Cape Clear island, Co. Cork.
Blue Tit at the Perfumery's feeders: from the side;
from the back;
from the top.
Chaffinch, front view;
male in a tree.
Grey Wagtail in the Lee Valley Conservation area, Co. Cork;
Grey Wagtail from the back.
I got my first Pied Wagtail
outside Crotty's Pub in Kilrush;
Here's a Pied Wagtail in a field from the side;
from the back and
from the front;
front view of another individual; on a walkway
in Baltimore, Co. Cork;
Pied Wagtail with an insect in its bill.
Jackdaw with a bit of my picnic sandwich
that he stole while I was fiddling with my camera;
perhaps gathering nesting material;
The big picture: Jackdaws on a cow.
Magpies were conspicuous everywhere;
front_view; On a roof
Hooded Crow on the left is in the size
range of Magpies on the right; A
Hooded Crow is a little smaller
than a Lesser Black-backed Gull; The Hooded Crow
has a rough-edged bib; Hooded Crow.
- Rook pair nesting;
a Rook in a barnyard;
Rooks in flight;
a single Rook in flight;
Rookery; the lookout.
in the foreground is in breeding plumage because it has no white half-collar and no black tip on the bill;
Here's another Oystercatcher
in breeding plumage; and another;
Here are two Oystercatchers
in non-breeding plumage;
as evidenced by the half collar and the dark tip on the beak;
photo ops were plentiful.
- Two Little Grebes;
Little Grebe and Black-headed Gull.
My first Grey Heron; My second
Bar-tailed Godwit and two Oystercatchers.
- Whimbrels were migrating through Ireland throughout our 10 days
there. The light median line atop the head is one of the ways, besides
size, bill shape and call, of distinguishing a Whimbrel from a from a Curlew.
Curlew April 26, Clonderalaw Bay in the Shannon Estuary.
Curlews are threatened breeders in Ireland.
Guillemots and a Kittiwake
on the sea stack at the Cliffs of Moher; Two Guillemots
in the water (detail of the showcased guillemots).
Shelduck standing in the surf.
Tufted Duck pair at Lough Boora in Co. Offaly;
same pair, other camera.
Feral Greylag Goose at Lee Reservoir
in Co. Cork; same individual showing eyelids.
Brent are smaller than a Great Black-backed Gull;
Brent swimming off the beach in Skreen, Sligo.
Rock Pipet (or is it a Meadow Pipet?)
photographed from the beach at Skreen, Co. Sligo;
same individual, back view;
different individual, back view;
Another shot of the
showcased rock pipet.
Chiffchaff photographed at Holy Hill, Skreen, Co. Sligo;
Swallow; nifty tail pattern;
flying over Lough Errul,
a 15 minute walk from the dock on Cape Clear.
Other Bird Species Sighted (Ordered as in The Birds of Ireland
by Wilson and Carmody):
I photographed about 58 avian species on this trip, not counting the questionable Redpoll
or, of course, the Cuckoo I "only" heard (It was a thrill to hear), or the distant
Lapwing flock a birder pointed
out that I failed to snap.
Cormorant, Lee Reservoir.
(Shags are coastal).
Shag, coast near Easkey Pier, Sligo;
Shags on the Cliffs of Moher,
on the basis of size comparison with other species in the frame.
Can you spot the Puffin?
Gannets, between Baltimore, Co. Cork, and Cape Clear;
A couple of these Gannets
are in a dive; more Gannets.
Great Black-backed Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull in flowers;
Herring Gulls in courtship;
Herring Gull in a head first descent.
Common Gulls, Nikon Coolpix;
Common Gulls Canon SX50.
Black-headed Gull walking;
the sea stack, Cliffs of Moher.
Coot, Shannon Airport lagoons.
Moorhen, Shannon Airport lagoons.
Eurasian Golden Plovers,
(To me, a novice, they look more like Grey Plovers, but a serious birder opined otherwise.)
Possibly wild Rock Doves,
since they were on Cape Clear; otherwise just Feral Pigeons, still a trip bird.
Sand Martin Coolpix;
Sand Martin, Canon;
Sand Martin in flight;
Sand Martin peering into its home;
Sand Martin peering out of its home;
cliff with Sand Martins
photographed from the beach at Skreen, Sligo.
Skylark, photographed from the beach at Skreen, Sligo.
We had skylarks here but I'm not positive this is one of them.
Sedge Warbler, Shannon Airport lagoons.
- Goldfinch, Nikon Coolpix P900;
I regret not getting a photo worthy of this beautiful bird with either camera;
Goldfinch, Canon SX50.
- Linnet, probably a female;
Either a male linnet
or a (Lesser) Redpoll (Carduelis flammea);
Here that individual,
which was photographed at Holy Hill near Skreen, Sligo,
looks like a (Lesser) Redpoll .
Fox near Baltimore, Co. Cork, early May 5;
Fox in the same stance
May 3 at the Ring Farmhouse B&B near Birr, Co. Offaly;
That Fox retreating.
- Rabbit in Sligo;
Rabbits in Offaly.
- Seal seen from the Cape Clear to Baltimore boat.
- Green-veined White Butterfly
(Pieris napi), Holy Hill, Sligo.
- Song thrushes love to eat Snails.
Regretably I did not photograph a Song Thrush at all, let alone one using an 'anvil'
- basically a rock - to crack open a Snail shell.
- Song Thrushes also love Slugs, which don't require an anvil!
- Caroline and Anne. Caroline was a friendly
resident of Labasheda, Co. Clare.
- This man directed us when we missed a turn described in
Finding Birds in Ireland by Dempsey & O'Clery.
We wish we could remember his unusual name.
- Anne at Crotty's Pub in Kilrush where we had our first meal
in Ireland. We stayed at the
Hillcrest View B&B in Kilrush that night, our first in Ireland.
- Anne returning from the Cliffs of Moher
- Anne at the Perfumery where we had
lunch after exploring the Burren.
- Anne on our 3+ mile pre-breakfast walk.
- Eva and Anne April 29, 2016
at Emohruo B&B, Cliffs of Moher Road, Doolin, Co. Clare.
- Margaret Carey and Eva;
Margaret is the proprietor of Emohruo.
- Ceil greeting Anne
upon our arrival in Skreen, Sligo Friday evening. Ceil is the Superior of
Holy Hill Hermitage. She's a friend of Eva's (via MaryDan) since
Aquinas H.S. in Chicago.
- Anne and Eva
in their apartment at Holy Hill.
- Anne and Ceil walk the Skreen beach.
- People on the beach.
- Ceil and Anne walk by a ruin in Easkey.
- Anne helped Ceil make Irish stew.
- Eva met Patricia Conway after Mass at Holy Hill.
They discovered several incredible 2 degrees of separation connections!
- Sunday dinner at Holy Hill May 1, 2016.
- The central kitchen at Holy Hill. But each
Hermitage is self contained.
The hermits live and work in solitude for days at a time, just coming together periodically. On the first Sunday of
each month they welcome the public to Mass.
- Anne was a good sport about waiting patiently with me (Eva)
for the Dipper that never appeared. The stream on the grounds of Holy Hill is
- Anne and Betty walk the beach at Skreen. Early Monday morning before our
departure, Betty, a Holy Hill resident and a birder, took us on a bird walk.
- Eva and Anne at the Ring Farmhouse B&B near Birr, Co. Offaly.
- Anne on Cape Clear.
- Anne and the Captain
of the boat that was about to take us back to Baltimore, Co. Cork, from Cape Clear.
- My maternal grandfather, Patrick Kilty, hails from North Lakyle,
a small area of a rural dead-end peninsula in the Shannon estuary, in Co. Clare. There are only a couple of roads
in North Lakyle. I'll imagine this is his.
A story about Patrick Kilty returning to Ireland after many years in Chicago (.jpg file)
Labasheeda, on the River Shannon,
is the town on the spur road between Lakyle and the main road; Labasheeda's only store is a
grocery and Pub combo. There was a
dog asleep in the middle of the sidewalk.
- We did not find any Kiltys or Quiltys or Kielty's in
- This is the entire town of Kilmurry, the closest town to Lakyle not
on a dead end spur. It was mentioned in the Chicago Tribune in 1910 in Patrick and Winifred's wedding announcement.
Our rental car is the only one in sight, and there's no residential street.
- My grandmother's street;
Winifred Hunt Kilty emigrated to Chicago from Balintadder, a rural district Co. Mayo near the small town of
- The school Winifred Hunt attended still stands, abandoned; The boys'
entrance is on one side, the girls' on the other (Shades of St. Bride's where I went to school in Chicago).
- Wall and flowers; Another.
- Our courtyard at Holy Hill.
- Fossils Anne found on Easkey Beach, Co. Sligo.
- The bunny hill of surfing.
- Free-range chickens on Cape Clear;
The invasive yellow plant is gorse aka furze;
Ewe and lamb.
The wool is stained so perhaps the animals are raised primarily for meat. I hope they at least use the wool
- A traffic ram, photographed through my windshield;
This time it's a horse; now
- A trail in the
Slieve Bloom Mountains.
- The blind at Lough Boora in Co. Offaly.
- Palm trees near Skibbereen.
- View from our B&B near Baltimore, the Rathmore House.
- Livestock Shelter on Cape Clear.
- The Birding Center on Cape Clear.
We had a map, but the building is not labelled and it is not in special habitat--it's next to the harbor--
so we missed it. Maybe this photo will help others zero in on it. We heard they are staffing up again after a hiatus.
Check www.birdwatchireland.ie for updates.
- This 21st century cow looks like it's wearing a bell but it's actually an
identifier for the Lely Grazeway totally automatic milking system installed at
the Ardsollus Farm B&B near Shannon airport where we stayed our last night in Ireland. You can see videos of the system
The latch of choice in Ireland, even in this state-of-the_art setting;
A more typical Irish latch.
Anne's trip diary
Holy Hill's website is holyhill.ie
All our accomodations were wonderful
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