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

Monday, 29 December 2014

MEADOW PIPIT (Anthus pratensis) 1st winter at Ballyieragh North, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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The Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) is of the family Motacillidae which is in the genus Anthus.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

EUROPEAN ROBIN (Erithacus rubecula) Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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 The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) is of the  family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Erithacus.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

EURASIAN SISKIN (Spinus spinus) male at Croha West, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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 The Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus) is of the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Spinus.

Eurasian Siskin (Spinus spinus) distribution map

Breeding                   Resident                    Non breeding - winter
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, 21 December 2014

EUROPEAN SHAG (Gulosus aristotelis subspecies P. a. aristotelis) immature at South Habour, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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The European Shag (Gulosus aristotelis) is of the cormorant family Phalacrocoracidae which is in the genus Gulosus. It occurs in northern and western Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, parts of North Africa as well as parts of the Black Sea Coast. This species breeds in colonies on coastal rocky cliffs and on offshore islands. Can easily be confused with Greater Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) but unlike that species, it is very rarely found inland on lakes or rivers.
  
Three subspecies are generally recognised :
      • G. a. aristotelis – occurs in northwestern European Atlantic Ocean coasts
      • G. a. desmarestii – occurs in the Mediterranean Basin and Black Sea coasts
      • G. a. riggenbachi – occurs in northwestern African coasts
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
European Shag (Gulosus aristotelis) distribution map

 Breeding                  Non-breeding - winter 
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 19 December 2014

SONG THRUSH (Turdus philomelos) Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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 The Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) is of the thrush family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

EUROPEAN HERRING GULL (Larus argentatus subspecies L. a. argenteus) at Keenleen, South Harbour, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

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The European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) is of the family Laridae which is in the genus Larus. There are several subspecies recognised including the Western European Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus) which is resident in Ireland, Britain and the Near Continent.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Monday, 15 December 2014

EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) male at the Youth Hostel Garden, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland


 
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 The Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) or more simply known as a Blackbird is of the thrush family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

BLACK REDSTART (Phoenicurus ochruros) immature at Killickaforavane, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland


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The Black Redstart
(Phoenicurus ochruros) is a small perching bird in the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae which is the genus Phoenicurus. It is a locally common resident in central and southern Europe as well as northern Africa. It also occurs in western and central Asia. In the warmer parts of its range it is sedentary. The northern populations migrate in the autumn to spend the winter in southern and western Europe, northern Africa and the Indian sub continent. In Ireland, it is a very uncommon spring and autumn passage migrant, in addition very small numbers overwinter at traditional coastal locations.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola subspecies S. r. hibernans) female Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

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The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is of the chat family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Saxicola. Preferred habitats include rough grassland, sand dunes and heathland where it is typically seen perched on brambles, gorse or shrubs within the breeding area. 
In the temperate part of its range, nesting commences in late March and up to three broods are raised. It is a partial migrant. Populations from the colder regions move to spend the winter in southern Europe and northern Africa. Successive hard winters, as was the case in 2009/10 and 2010/11 caused severe losses in the mainly sedentary northwestern populations
There are two subspecies generally recognised, Saxicola rubicola rubicola occurs in central, eastern and southern Europe as well as northern Morocco and southeastern Turkey. Saxicola rubicola hibernans occurs in northwestern Europe including Britain, Ireland, France and Norway.
   
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola ssp. s. r. hibernans) male Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

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The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is of the chat family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Saxicola. Preferred habitats include rough grassland, sand dunes and heathland where it is typically seen perched on brambles, gorse or shrubs within the breeding area. 
In the temperate part of its range, nesting commences in late March and up to three broods are raised. It is a partial migrant. Populations from the colder regions move to spend the winter in southern Europe and northern Africa. Successive hard winters, as was the case in 2009/10 and 2010/11 caused severe losses in the mainly sedentary northwestern populations
There are two subspecies generally recognised, Saxicola rubicola rubicola occurs in central, eastern and southern Europe as well as northern Morocco and southeastern Turkey. Saxicola rubicola hibernans occurs in northwestern Europe including Britain, Ireland, France and Norway.
   
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 7 December 2014

EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE (Streptopelia turtur) juvenile Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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The European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) is a migratory member of the family Columbidae, which includes doves as well as pigeons and is in the genus Streptopelia. It is a  summer breeding resident in Europe (including the Canary Islands), parts of the Middle East, as well as western Asia and north Africa. It is absent as a breeding species from Iceland, Ireland (formally bred) and most of Scandinavia but does occur in spring and autumn as an uncommon/rare overshooting migrant. Over much of its northern range, there has been a very sharp decline in its population. In the autumn, it migrates south to spend the winter in southern Africa.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) male, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

 
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 The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is of the sparrow family Passeridae which is in the genus Passer.

Monday, 1 December 2014

HOODED CROW or GREY CROW (Corvus cornix) drinking fresh blood along the road after a Rock Dove had been killed by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

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The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) also known as Grey Crow is a member of the crow family Corvidae which is in the genus Corvus. Four subspecies are generally recognized. Despite the fact that it is heavily persecuted, it occurs throughout Western Asia including parts of the Middle East as well as along the Nile Valley in North Africa. It is also commonly encountered and has a widespread distribution in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. It is resident in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Northern Scotland. In the rest of Britain as well as Southwestern and Western Europe, it is replaced by the closely related Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) from which it was split in 2002 and was recognised as a separate species. Where their breeding ranges overlap, they may hybridise. Some of the northern populations are migratory and move south for the winter.
    
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

HOODED CROW or GREY CROW (Corvus cornix) drinking fresh blood along the road after a Rock Dove had been killed by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

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The Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) also known as Grey Crow is a member of the crow family Corvidae which is in the genus Corvus. Four subspecies are generally recognized. Despite the fact that it is heavily persecuted, it occurs throughout Western Asia including parts of the Middle East as well as along the Nile Valley in North Africa. It is also commonly encountered and has a widespread distribution in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe. It is resident in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Northern Scotland. In the rest of Britain as well as Southwestern and Western Europe, it is replaced by the closely related Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) from which it was split in 2002 and was recognised as a separate species. Where their breeding ranges overlap, they may hybridise. Some of the northern populations are migratory and move south for the winter.
    
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 29 November 2014

EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter nisus) female with freshly killed ROCK DOVE (Columba livia) Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland


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The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), alternative names include, Northern Sparrowhawk or simply Sparrowhawk, is a small bird of prey of the family Accipitridae which is in the genus Accipiter. It has a widespread distribution across the temperate and subtropical parts of the Old World. It is a partial migrant and in the more northern and colder parts of its range, it disperses south for the winter. The preferred habitats include open type wood land, hedge rows, parks and gardens where a wide variety of small to medium sized perching birds are preyed upon. Males are up to 25% smaller than females and tend to prey upon sparrow sized passerines but can include starlings and thrushes. Females, on the other hand, can tackle larger prey including doves, pigeons and magpies.

  Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Six subspecies are generally recognised:

  •  Accipiter nisus nisus - breeds from Europe and west Asia to western Siberia and Iran; northern populations winter south to the Mediterranean, north-east Africa, Arabia and Pakistan.
  •  Accipiter nisus nisosimilis - central and eastern Siberia east to Kamchatka and Japan, and south to northern China. This subspecies is wholly migratory, wintering from Pakistan and India eastwards through South-East Asia and southern China to Korea and Japan; some even reach Africa.
  •  Accipiter nisus melaschistos - Afghanistan through the Himalayas and southern Tibet to western China, and winters in the plains of South Asia.
  •   Accpiter nisus wolterstorffi - Sardinia and Corsica
  •  Accipiter nisus granti - Madeira and the Canary Islands.
  •  Accipiter nisus punicus - north-west Africa, north of the Sahara.
Reference
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_sparrowhawk


Saturday, 22 November 2014

HERMANN'S TORTOISE (Testudo hermanni subspecies T. h. boettgeri) Svilengrad, Haskovo Province, Bulgaria

 
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The Hermann's Tortoise (Testudo hermanniis) of the family Testudinidae which is in the genus Testudo. The Marginated Tortoise (Testudo marginata) and Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca) are the only other species of tortoise native to Europe.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Distribution map of Hermann's Tortoise showing subspecies
By Mkljun - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4820094
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Testudo_hermanni_range_map.jpg 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

EASTERN IMPERIAL EAGLE (Aquila heliaca) Svilengrad, Haskovo Province, Bulgaria

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The Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) is of the family Accipitridae which is in the genus Aquila. This very large uncommon bird of prey which breeds in central and south eastern Europe as well as western and central Asia. The European population winters in north east Africa. The Asian population winters in the Middle East, northern Indian and South East Asia. Small numbers remain in the breeding areas all year round. Major prey items include hares, rabbits, susliks (a type of ground squirrel), birds and carrion. 
 
 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds