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, 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.

Friday, 17 September 2021

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) adult 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.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

COMMON RINGED PLOVER (Charadrius hiaticula) 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.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

EUROPEAN HERRING GULL (Larus argentatus subspecies L. a. argenteus) adult Blacksod Lighthouse, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, 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

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

WHITE ERMINE MOTH (Spilosoma lubricipeda) caterpillar Blacksod, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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 The White Ermine Moth (Spilosoma lubricipeda) is of the family Erebidae which is in the genus Spilosoma. This common species is found throughout the temperate regions of Eurasia. The adult is white with dark antennae and has black speckling on the forewing. The normal flight season is from mid May to end of July but infrequently there is a second generation later in the autumn. Larval stage is from July to late September. Then a  hairy cocoon is formed among plant debris in which the pupal stage remains and emerges the following year as an adult in early summer.
 
 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, 13 September 2021

KNOT GRASS MOTH (Acronicta rumicis) caterpillar Blacksod, Belmullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo, Ireland


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The Knot Grass Moth (Acronicta rumicis) is of the family Noctuidae which is in the genus Acronicta.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

RED BACKED SHRIKE (Lanius collurio) immature found by Mark Collins on 12-09-2021 was still present on 15th and is only the 5th Dublin record Upper Cliff Road, Balscadden, Howth, Co. Dublin, Ireland

 

  
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 The Red Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) is of the family Laniidae which is in the genus Lanius. Its breeding range extends from Mainland Europe to Western Asia and in the autumn it migrates south to spend the winter in Southern Africa. 
In Ireland, it is a rare but annual spring and autumn passage migrant, with just over 200 records. There are four previous Co. Dublin records: 26-08-1927 (immature Rockabill Island, Skerries), 24-09-1974 (immature Clontarf), 02 to 04-10-2004 (first-winter North Bull Island) and 26-05-2012 (male Sutton).   
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
  
Reference:
A List of Some Rarer Birds in Dublin version 5.2  by Joe Hobbs (download pdf here)

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) adult in breeding plumage Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is of family Ardeidae which includes Bitterns, Egrets as well as Herons and is in the genus Egretta . It is found in the temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa as well as Australia and New Zealand. Over the last 60 years or so this species has greatly expanded its range including recolonising its former breeding areas in Northern Europe, as well as Ireland. It first bred in the Caribbean in the mid 1990’s and is increasingly being recorded along the North American eastern seaboard.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 5 September 2021

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) melanistic type adult Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, 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

Saturday, 4 September 2021

EUROPEAN STARLING or COMMON STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) female Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland


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 The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) or more commonly known as a Starling is of the family Sturnidae which is in the genus Sturnus.