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

Sunday, 31 May 2020

FOUR SPOTTED CHASER / FOUR SPOTTED SKIMMER (Libellula quadrimaculata) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Four-spotted Chaser Dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata) is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Libellula. This common and widespread species occurs in the temperate regions of Eurasia. It is also found in North America where it is known as the Four-spotted Skimmer. The flight season is from mid April to early September. 

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 29 May 2020

MARSH FRITILLARY BUTTERFLY (Euphydryas aurinia) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly (Euphydryas aurinia) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Euphydryas. It has a wide distribution in the Palearctic region
and is protected under Annex II of the European Union Habitats and Species Directive. The gregarious larvae overwinter in a silken web formed at the base of the larval host plant Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis). In mid March they emerge from hibernation and disperse prior to pupation in late April. Three to four weeks later, the adults appear and are on the wing until late June or early July. After mating the female lays batches of up to 300 eggs on the underside of the leaves of the host plant. The larvae hatch in mid June and then form a new silken web from which they feed on the leaves of the host plant before the hibernation period begins.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Thursday, 28 May 2020

NARROW BORDERED BEE HAWK MOTH (Hemaris tityus) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris tityus) is of the family Sphingidae which is in the genus Hemaris. It occurs through out the Palearctic region. This day flying bumblebee mimic is normally on the wing during May and June extending occasionally into July.
 It is the only Bee Hawk-moth found in Ireland where it has a very scattered distribution. Elsewhere it can be confused with the very similar Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis).

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

HAIRY HAWKER DRAGONFLY [Female] (Brachytron pratense) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Hairy Hawker Dragonfly is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Brachytron. Alternative names include Hairy Dragonfly and Spring Hawker. It has a scattered distribution in Europe and parts of western Asia. It is absent from Iceland and other northern latitudes. In the warmer part of its range, it is on the wing from late March to early August but has a shorter flight season elsewhere.  
This close up view of a freshly emerged female clearly demonstrates where it got its English name from.

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

LARGE RED DAMSELFLY [Female] (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) is of the family Coenagrionidae which is in the genus Pyrrhosoma. It is commonly found in Europe, smaller populations occur in northern Africa and western Asia. It is on the wing from April to early September.

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 24 May 2020

DINGY SKIPPER BUTTERFLY (Erynnis tagesi) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Dingy Skipper Butterfly (Erynnis tages) is of the family Hesperiidae which is in the genus Erynnis. It occurs in Europe and most of western Asia. The flight season is normally from late April to early June but in the warmer parts of its range there is a second generation on the wing during July and August.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 22 May 2020

HAIRY HAWKER DRAGONFLY [Female] (Brachytron pratense) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland



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The Hairy Hawker Dragonfly is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Brachytron. Alternative names include Hairy Dragonfly and Spring Hawker. It has a scattered distribution in Europe and parts of western Asia. It is absent from Iceland and other northern latitudes. In the warmer part of its range, it is on the wing from late March to early August but has a shorter flight season elsewhere. 

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Thursday, 21 May 2020

GREEN HAIRSTREAK BUTTERFLY (Callophrys rubi) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Green Hairstreak Butterfly (Callophrys rubi) is of the family Lycaenidae which is in the genus Callophrys. This small butterfly has a widespread distribution in Europe, Asia and northern Africa. When seen in flight, with its dull brown upper wings, it can easily be confused with darker coloured species. When not feeding it lands on green foliage always resting with the wings closed, revealing the iridescent green underwing. With this camouflage, it can be surprisingly difficult to spot. The flight season can extend from late March to early August but has a much shorter season in the northern part of its range.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Monday, 18 May 2020

RAFT SPIDER (Dolomedes fimbriatus) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, 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

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

EUROPEAN GREENFINCH [Male] (Carduelis chloris) Gile's Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth


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The European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) is a small passerine of the finch family Fringillidae which is in the genus Chlori. It has a widespread distribution in Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia. It  also occurs as an introduced species in parts of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Uruguay. Before the onset of winter, northern populations migrate to the more temperate areas of its range. In recent times, there has been a dramatic decline in numbers due to the spread of trichomonosis disease that effects the digestive system which results in mortality.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 8 May 2020

EUROPEAN STONECHAT [Female] (Saxicola rubicola subspecies S. r. hibernans) Gile's Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth


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The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is a small passerine of the family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Saxicola. Preferred habitat include rough grassy area's, sand dune 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.
   
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds