Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Thursday, 7 October 2021

FAEROE SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago subspecies G. g. faeroeensis) at Cartron, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland



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 The Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Gallinago. It breeds in temperate regions of Eurasia. In the colder parts of its range, populations are migratory and move south to spend the winter in southern Eurasia as well as parts of northern and sub Saharan Africa.
There are two subspecies recognised, Common Snipe (G. g. gallinago) and Faeroe Snipe (G. g. faeroeensis) which breeds in Iceland, Orkney, Shetland as well as the Faeroes and has russet brown plumage tones. Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) which occurs in the Americas was formally treated as a subspecies of Common Snipe but was made a full species in 2003.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago) showing some characteristics of Faeroe Snipe (Gallinago gallinago subspecies G. g. faeroeensis) at Cartron, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland

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 The Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Gallinago. It breeds in temperate regions of Eurasia. In the colder parts of its range, populations are migratory and move south to spend the winter in southern Eurasia as well as parts of northern and sub Saharan Africa.
There are two subspecies recognised, Common Snipe (G. g. gallinago) and Faeroe Snipe (G. g. faeroeensis) which breeds in Iceland, Orkney, Shetland as well as the Faeroes and has russet brown plumage tones. Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) which occurs in the Americas was formally treated as a subspecies of Common Snipe but was made a full species in 2003.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds    
 
 Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) distribution map  
 
GallinagoGallinagoIUCNver2019-2.png
 Breeding            Resident          Winter
 
By SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy. CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81451030

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

COMMON SNIPE (Gallinago gallinago subspecies G. g. gallinago) juvenile at Cartron, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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 The Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Gallinago. It breeds in temperate regions of Eurasia. In the colder parts of its range, populations are migratory and move south to spend the winter in southern Eurasia as well as parts of northern and sub Saharan Africa.
There are two subspecies recognised, Common Snipe (G. g. gallinago) and Faeroe Snipe (G. g. faeroeensis) which breeds in Iceland, Orkney, Shetland as well as the Faeroes and has russet brown plumage tones. Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata) which occurs in the Americas was formally treated as a subspecies of Common Snipe but was made a full species in 2003.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds    
 
 Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) distribution map  
 
GallinagoGallinagoIUCNver2019-2.png
 Breeding            Resident          Winter
 
By SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy. CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=81451030

Monday, 4 October 2021

EUROPEAN STARLING or COMMON STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) juvenile in transition to 1st winter plumage below and adult, feeding on Potworms (Enchytraeidae) at Cartron, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland



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 The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) or Common Starling is of the family Sturnidae which is in the genus Sturnus.

Sunday, 3 October 2021

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) adult from 29th September to 14th October 2021 at Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) is a large wading bird of the family Threskiornithidae which is in the genus Plegadis. This nomadic species breeds in the warmer regions of North America, Eurasia, Africa and Australia.
This individual was first reported in 2020 on 12th August at North Bull Island and then at Balbriggan Golf Course on various dates from 20th to 27th September as well as at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords on 26th and 29th September. There were no further reports until 29th September 2021 when it was relocated at Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate and remained there until at least 14th October, data per www.irishbirding.com 
There are 23 previous Co. Dublin records, the first of which was from Balrothery in October or November 1840. There are just over 500 Irish records. 
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Reference:
A List of Some Rarer Birds in Dublin version 5.2  by Joe Hobbs (download pdf here)

Saturday, 2 October 2021

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) 1st winter Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a member of the finch family Fringillidae which is in the genus Carduelis. It breeds in most of Europe and Western Asia but is absent from the colder northern parts of that region. It has a scattered distribution in North Africa and occurs as an introduced species in south eastern Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay. It can be commonly found in gardens, particularly in winter, where it readily comes to bird feeders.
   
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 1 October 2021

NOON FLY or NOONDAY FLY (Mesembrina meridiana) Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Noon Fly (Mesembrina meridiana) or Noonday Fly is of the family Muscidae which is in the genus Mesembrina. This is a common and widespread medium sized fly with distinctive golden cheeks and amber wing bases. The female lays a single egg in up to five cow pats or dung and when the lava hatches, it predates the larvae of other species which are feeding within the dung. The flight season is from late April into October.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Thursday, 30 September 2021

LITTLE GREBE or DABCHICK (Tachybaptus ruficollis) Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) or more commonly known as Dabchick, is a small waterbird in the family Podicipedidae which is in the genus Tachybaptus. Nine subspecies are generally recognised whose range extends in a band over most of Europe across southern and eastern Asia. It also occurs in northern and sub Saharan Africa. Worldwide there were 23 species of grebe but Alaotra Grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus), which was last seen in 1985 at Lake Alaotra in Madagascar, is now considered to be extinct. 

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) female and Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) in the background Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is dabbling duck of the family Anatidae which is in the genus Anas.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

RED ADMIRAL BUTTERFLY (Vanessa atalanta) Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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 Click external link here to see identification guide to Irish Butterflies
 
The Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Vanessa.

Monday, 27 September 2021

COMMA BUTTERFLY (Polygonia c-album) two on the Bird Walk trail Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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Click external link here to see identification guide to Irish Butterflies
 
The Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-aibum) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Polygonia
This common species has a widespread distribution in the temperate regions of Eurasia and North Africa. Formally absent from Ireland, it is only in recent times that it has been added to the Irish Butterfly List. It was first reliably reported near Portaferry, Co. Down in August 1997 and again in August 1998. There were no further reports until 17th August 2000 when there was a fully verified record from the Raven Nature Reserve, Co. Wexford. Proof of breeding was subsequently confirmed in that area. Over the last ten years, it has rapidly expanded its range from southeast Co. Wexford and has now colonised most of southern Leinster as well as eastern Munster.
The larval food plant is mainly Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) and the flight season is from late March to late September, split over two generations. Having overwintered as an adult, it emerges in late spring and then after mating, lays its eggs on the larval food plant.
The 1st record for Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork on 14th October 2019 (pers. comm. Jim Fitzharris) might be an indication of fresh immigration from Britain or Continental Europe. 
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 26 September 2021

BUFF TAILED BUMBLEBEE (Bombus terrestris) nectering on Common Ivy Blossoms (Hedera helix ) Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

 


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The Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) is of the family Apidae which is in the genus Bombus. This bumblebee is commonly found throughout the temperate regions of Europe, The Middle East, northern Africa and occurs as an introduced species in other countries including Australia (Tasmania), Japan as well as parts of South America.  

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 25 September 2021

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) sheltering from the wind Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland



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The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is of the  family Ardeidae which is in the genus Ardea. It is resident in the temperate regions of Eurasia as well as parts of Africa. The more northern populations are migratory and move south for the winter. It occurs mainly in wetland habitats where a wide variety of aquatic creatures are preyed upon.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 24 September 2021

COMMON BUZZARD (Buteo buteo) Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a medium sized bird of prey of the family Accipitridae which is in the genus Buteo.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) in transition to winter plumage Blacksod Lighthouse, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Arenaria.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

COMMON LINNET (Linaria cannabina) Blacksod Village, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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The Linnet (Linaria cannabina) or Common Linnet is of the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Linaria.
 It derives its name from its fondness for the seeds of the flax plant which is used to make linen. This small finch occurs in Europe as well as Western Asia but is absent from northern latitudes and has a limited distribution in North West Africa and the Middle East. 

There are seven subspecies :
  • Linaria c. autochthona - occurs in Scotland     
  • L. c. cannabina - occurs in the rest of Britain, Ireland also northern Europe, eastwards to central Siberia. It is a partial migrant, wintering in north Africa and southwest Asia
  • L. c. bella - occurs in Middle East, eastwards to Mongolia and northwestern China
  • L. c. mediterranea - occurs on the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Greece, northwest Africa and on the Mediterranean islands
  • L. c. guentheri - occurs on Madeira Island
  • L. c. meadewaldoi - occurs on the Western Canary Islands (El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria)
  • L. c. harterti - occurs on the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura)
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_linnet

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

BRIGHT-LINE BROWN-EYE MOTH or TOMATO MOTH (Spilosoma lubricipeda) caterpillar Blacksod Village, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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 The Bright-line Brown-eye Moth (Lacanobia oleracea) or Tomato Moth is of the family Noctuidae which is in the genus Lacanobia. This common and widespread species occurs in the temperate areas of Eurasia as well as parts of North Africa.   
Having overwintered underground as a papa, the adult merges in early May and is on the wing until early July. In warmer regions there is a second generation and that flight season is during August and September. The caterpillar or larva stage is from June into early October.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds  
 
References and highly recommended reading:
Field guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland  by Paul Waring, Martin Townsend and Richard Lewington
Field guide to the Caterpillars of Great Britain and Ireland  by Barry Henwood, Phil Sterling and Richard Lewington

Monday, 20 September 2021

BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) a migrating juvenile resting on a gutter Blacksod Village, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland

 
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  The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is of the family Hirundinae which is in the genus Hirundo . It is a summer resident which breeds in the Northern Hemisphere. There are small sedentary populations in some of the tropical parts of this range but during the summer it is mainly absent from the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia. This common and widespread insectivorous species feeds exclusively on small flies and midges. 
In late autumn with the onset of colder weather, when its prey items begin to diminish, it migrates south to its wintering areas. The North American population winters in Central and South America. The Eurasian population winters in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian sub-continent, South East Asia and parts of Northern Australia. In early spring the return migration north begins. At least six races are recognised.  
There are 74 species of hirundines which includes Swallows and Martins. In additional, the only known record of the Red Sea Cliff Swallow (Hirundo perdita) was of one found dead at Sanganeb Lighthouse, Sudan in May 1984.

  Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 19 September 2021

COMMON CARDER BUMBLEBEE (Bombus pascuorum) nectering on Devil's-bit Scabious Wildflower (Succisa pratensis) Blacksod Village, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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The Common Carder Bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum) or Common Carder Bee is of the family Apidae which is in the genus Bombus.
The Devil's-bit Scabious Wildflower (Succisa pratensis) is of the family Caprifoliaceae which is in the genus Succisa.
 
Click external link here to see identification guide to Irish Bumblesbees

Saturday, 18 September 2021

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) adult in the foreground and juvenile Blacksod Lighthouse, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland

 
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 The Common Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula) is of the family Charadriidae which is in the genus Charadrius.