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

Saturday, 31 August 2013

SHORT EARED OWL (Asio flammeus) Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

 
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    The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a member of the owl family Strigidae which is in the genius Asio. It occurs on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Worldwide, there are 216 species of owl. 
    In Ireland, it is mainly a scarce winter visitor to northern, eastern and southern coastal locations. Historically, the absence of voles from the Irish landscape has prevented it from becoming a breeding resident. Elsewhere in Europe, breeding success is heavily dependent upon an abundance of voles which is an important prey item fed to young owlets. Probably as a result of accidental introduction, Bank Vole (Myodes glareolus) has now become established in southwestern Ireland and subsequently this species of owl has bred on a number of occasions in that region. 
    More recently, a small breeding population of Short-eared Owl has become established in northeastern Ireland.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) Skerries, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

 
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In Europe, Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)  is a summer resident  which breeds in coastal colonies and spends the winter in Africa

Thursday, 29 August 2013

PURPLE SANDPIPER (Calidris maritima) East Pier, Howth Harbour, Howth, Fingal, Co.Dublin, Ireland

 
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MEDITERRANEAN GULL (2nd winter) (Larus melanocephalus) Gormanston Beach, Gormanston, Co. Meath, Ireland

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Up to the early 1980's Mediterranean Gull was considered  to be a rare/scarce migrant in Ireland. Due to expanding European population, there has been a gradual increase in the numbers occurring. Wintering flocks of up to 50 individuals have been now recorded at a number of coastal locations in Ireland. The first Irish breeding record was in 1995 in County Antrim. The following year breeding was proved in County Wexford which remains the stronghold of the small Irish breeding population.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

ROSEATE TERN (Juvenile) (Sterna dougallii) Gormanston Beach, Gormanston, Co. Meath, Ireland

 
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In Europe, the Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii) is a rare summer visitor which breeds in a small number of coastal colonies and spends the winter in West Africa

Monday, 26 August 2013

SILVER WASHED FRITILLARY BUTTERFLY (Argynnis paphia) Clogherhead Village, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland

 
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The Silver-washed Fritillary Butterfly (Argynnis paphia) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Argynnis. This very large species occurs throughout the temperate regions of the Palearctic. In Britain, it is found in the southern half of England and Wales. It has a very scattered distribution in Ireland.
Eggs are laid in tree crevices close of it's larval foodplant Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana). The larvae hatch in August and immediately hibernate. They emerge the following April and then feed on the foodplant. Pupation occurs during May and the adult flight season is from July to late September.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

DUNLIN (Juvenile in moult to winter plumage) (Calidris alpina) Rogerstown Estuary, Rush, Fingal, Co. Dublin

 
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Saturday, 24 August 2013

PACIFIC BLACK DUCK Anas superciliosa ssp. A. s. rogersi Chinese Garden of Friendship, Pier Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW , Australia

 
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CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP, Pier Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 
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The Chinese Garden of Friendship is located in Chinatown, Sydney, Australia. Modeled on the typical private gardens of the Ming Dynasty, the garden offers an insight into Chinese heritage and culture. The gardens were officially opened in 1988 as part of Sydney's bicentennial celebrations and they were named the Garden of Friendship symbolizing the bond established between China and Australia.    

CURLEW SANDPIPER (Adult summer plumage) (Calidris ferruginea) Kalloni Salt Pans, Lesvos Island, Greece

 
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Thursday, 22 August 2013

WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) Kalloni Salt Pans, Lesvos Island, Greece


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The Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) is a medium sized shorebird or wader in the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Tringa .  It is a summer resident which breeds across a wide band that stretches eastward from the uplands of Scotland, (where 10 to 25 pairs breed annually), to Scandinavia and to the Pacific coast of Asia. This long distant migrant spends the winter in sub Saharan Africa, southern Asia and parts of Australia.  During spring and autumn, it is irrregularly encountered outside its normal range as a scarce/rare overshooting migrant. 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

YELLOW BROWED WARBLER (Phylloscopus inornatus) Knockanacohig, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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The Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) is one of smallest leaf warbler in the genus Phylloscopus. This insectivorous species is a summer breeding resident in the temperate regions of Asia. In the autumn, it migrates south to winter in the tropical regions of south east Asia. Small numbers also winter in western and southern Europe, as far south as the Canary Islands. In Ireland, it is a scarce or rare annual autumn passage migrant to coastal headlands and offshore islands. This individual was trapped, ringed (banded) and then released under license from The Irish Wildlife Service.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / RawBirds.com

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

RED BELLIED JUMPING SPIDER (Philaeus chrysops) Skala Kallonis, Lesvos Island, Greece

 
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The Red Bellied Jumping Spider (Philaeus chrysops) is a spider of the family Salticidae which is in the genus Philaeus. It occurs in the warmer parts of the Palearctic, from Portugal in the west to China in the east. This conspicuous species with its striking black and red colouration can grow up to 12mm in length and is commonly encountered in warm open type habitat. A wide variety of small invertebrates are preyed upon. On Lesvos, it can be seen from late March until early autumn.

Monday, 12 August 2013

OLIVE TREE PEARL MOTH (Palpita vitrealis) Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co.Cork, Ireland


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The Olive Tree Pearl Moth (Palpita vitrealis) or Jasmine Moth is a micro moth of the family Crambidae which is in the genus Palpita. This widespread species occurs in southern Europe as well as Africa, Asia, Australia and America. The larvae feed on a number of plant species including Olive Trees (Olea europea) and Jasmine (Jasminum officinale). This migratory species has a wingspan of 27–31 mm. In Europe, it is on the wing from June to December and also occurs as a rare but regular migrant further north in Europe, including to coastal locations in southwest Ireland.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Sunday, 11 August 2013

SLOW WORM Anguis fragilis Aire de Ruesga, Mentera-Barruelo, Cantabria, Spain

 
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EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris male on left with juvenile, Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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

EURASIAN CRAG MARTIN Ptyonoprogne rupestris Paisaje Protpegido del Rio Tinto, Huelva, Spain.

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Tuesday, 6 August 2013

RAFT SPIDER (Dolomedes fimbriatus) Girley Bog, Drewstown Woods, County Meath, Ireland

 
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The Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) is a semi-aquatic member of the family Pisauridaeone which is in the genus Dolomedes. It is one of Ireland’s largest spiders. Also known as the Hunting Spider or the Jesus Christ spider for its ability to walk on water. It occurs in sphagnum bogs. Main prey items include aquatic and terrestrial  insects, invertebrates as well as tadpoles which it detects using its forelegs to sense any vibrations on the water surface. If threatened, it can submerge itself under water for up to 60 minutes.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 2 August 2013

IBERIAN WALL LIZARD (Podarcis hispanica) Parque Natural, Collados del Asón, Cantabria, Spain

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IBERIAN WALL LIZARD Podarcis hispanica Collados del Asón, Cantabria, Spain

 
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GRIFFIN VULTURE Gyps fulvus Los Barrios Dump, Cadiz, Andalusia, Spain

 
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YELLOW LEGGED GULL Larus michahellis Los Barrios Dump, Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain

 
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