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

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK [Male] (Accipiter nisus) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, 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.

Text © 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.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_sparrowhawk

Sunday, 23 June 2019

RED NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus) female Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) is a small sandpiper type shorebird of the family Scolopacidae and is one of the three species of phalarope in the genus Phalaropus. It is a long distance migrant, breeding in the Arctic tundra regions of North America and Eurasia and wintering at sea on tropical oceans. The small British population, which has recently increase to c60 pairs, is mainly confined to the Shetland Isles and the Outer Hebrides as well as occasionally breeding on the Scottish Mainland. Formally up to to 50 pairs bred in Ireland then this population declined with no proof of breeding since the early 1970s, although breeding has been suspected on a number of occasions. Thanks to a program of habitat improve by BirdWatch Ireland, a handful of birds have recommenced breeding at one protected site in County Mayo.
There are three previous Co.Dublin records: 30-09-1954 (West Pier, Dun Laoghaire), 19-12-1956 (North Bull Island) and  08 to 10-09-1957 (Bootherstown Marsh)

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
Reference:
A List of Some Rarer Birds in Dublin version 5.2 - Joe Hobbs (download pdf here)

Saturday, 13 April 2019

EUROPEAN HERRING GULL (Larus argentatus ssp. L. a. argenteus) Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland


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COMMON DOG VIOLET (Viola riviniana) Clogher Head Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland


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The Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) or more simply Dog Violet, also known as Wood Violet, is of family Violaceae which is in the genus Viola. This perennial wild flower is native to Eurasia as well as parts of northern Africa. Separate with care from the closely related Early Dog-violet (Viola reichenbachiana) and Heath Dog-violet (Viola canina) as well other European Viola.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 7 April 2019

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, 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