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, 3 April 2022

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola subspecies S. r. hibernans) male, drying out after a wash at Balscadden, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin


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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

Saturday, 2 April 2022

EUROPEAN SHAG (Gulosus aristotelis) at Howth Harbour, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, 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, 1 April 2022

BRENT GOOSE or PALE BELLIED BRENT GOOSE (Branta bernicla subspecies B. b. hrota) a family party, [two adults, 1st on left and 2nd right plus three 1st winters] at Howth Harbour, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Brent Goose (Branta bernicla), also known as Brant Goose in North America, is of the family Anatidae which is in the genus Branta.
 
There are three subspecies generally recognised:
        • Dark-bellied Brent Goose (B. b. bernicla) or Dark-bellied Brant in North America
        • Pale-bellied Brent Goose (B. b. hrota) or Atlantic Brant in North America
        • Black Brant Goose (B. b. nigricans) or the Pacific Brant in North America
It has also been suggested by some that the so called Grey-bellied Brent Goose be recognised as a subspecies. 

Patrick J.O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Thursday, 31 March 2022

EUROPEAN ROBIN (Erithacus rubecula) at Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) or more commonly known as a Robin is of the  family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Erithacus.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

COMMON PHEASANT or RING NECKED PHEASANT (Phasianus colchicus) at Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Common Pheasant or Ring Necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is of the family Phasianidae which is in the genus Phasianus.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

MISTLE THRUSH (Turdus viscivorus) feeding on Common Ivy (Hedera helix) berries at Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

 
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 The Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) is of the thrush family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus.

Monday, 21 March 2022

MISTLE THRUSH (Turdus viscivorus) feeding on Common Ivy (Hedera helix) berries at Turvey Nature Reserve, Donabate, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) is of the thrush family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus.

Sunday, 20 March 2022

COMMON BUZZARD (Buteo buteo) at 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, 17 March 2022

SMALL TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY (Aglais urticae) freshly emerged from hibernation, a minimum of 8 were present at Lullymore West Bog, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Aglais urticae) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Aglais. It has a widespread distribution in the Palearctic region but is absent from southern Asia.  
 Overwintering as an adult, its cryptic under wing pattern helps to avoid detection by predators. It emerges from hibernation in the spring to lay eggs on its larval plant. The caterpillars (larvae) feed on Common Nettle (Urtica dioica).

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

BRIMSTONE BUTTERFLY (Gonepteryx rhamni subspecies G. r. gravesi) male at Lullymore West Bog, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni) is of the family Pieridae which is in genus Gonepteryx. It occurs in Europe, Asia and parts of northern Africa. The presence of its larval host plants, Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) and Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus carthartica) influences its geographic range and distribution. 
The Irish Brimstone Butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni subspecies G. r. gravesi) is endemic to Ireland. This hardy species can live for up to a year. There are two flight seasons, March to mid June and July to mid September. It then goes into hibernation and emerges in early spring the following year.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Reference and very highly recommended reading:
The Irish Butterfly Book available directly from the author Jesmond M. Harding ISBN 978-0-9560546-1-6 

Monday, 14 March 2022

MOUNTAIN HARE or IRISH HARE (Lepus timidus subspecies L. t. hibernicus) at least six present including this tame individual at Tumduff Mor, Lough Boora Discovery Park, Boora, Co. Offaly, Ireland



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The Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) is of the family Leporidae which is in the genus Lepus and mainly occurs in the tundra and mountainous regions of the Palearctic.  
The Irish Hare (Lepus timidus hibernicus) is a subspecies that is endemic to Ireland. It uniquely also occurs in lowland areas down to sea level as well as not having a white coat in winter.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 13 March 2022

MOUNTAIN HARE or IRISH HARE (Lepus timidus subspecies L. t. hibernicus) at least six present including this individual with snow white underparts and partially snow white ears at Tumduff Mor, Lough Boora Discovery Park, Boora, Co. Offaly, Ireland


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The Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) is of the family Leporidae which is in the genus Lepus and mainly occurs in the tundra and mountainous regions of the Palearctic.  
The Irish Hare (Lepus timidus hibernicus) is a subspecies that is endemic to Ireland. It uniquely also occurs in lowland areas down to sea level as well as not having a white coat in winter.
 
Patrick J. O' Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 12 March 2022

COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) feeding at low tide in the south east corner of Howth Harbour, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

 
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The Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) or more simply known as a Redshank is of the sandpiper family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Tringa.

 Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) distribution map
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/TringaTotanusIUCN2019_2.png
 
 Resident - year round  Breeding  Passage  Non-breeding - winter 
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 11 March 2022

BLACK REDSTART (Phoenicurus ochruros) immature at Balscadden Beach, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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The Black Redstart
(Phoenicurus ochruros) is a small perching bird of 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

Thursday, 24 February 2022

EUROPEAN SHAG (Gulosus aristotelis) at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Fingal, Co. Dublin, 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

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

EUROPEAN SHAG (Gulosus aristotelis) with a European Flounder (Platichthys flesus) at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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The European Shag (Gulosus aristotelis) is of the cormorant family Phalacrocoracidae which is in the genus Gulosus. This species breeds in colonies on coastal rocky cliffs and offshore islands. It occurs in northern and western Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, parts of North Africa as well as parts of the Black Sea Coast. Can easily be confused with Greater Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) but unlike that species, it's 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

Monday, 21 February 2022

EUROPEAN SHAG (Gulosus aristotelis) at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

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Click external link here for detailed species information
Click external link here to see distribution map and to hear calls
 
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, 18 February 2022

EURASIAN SISKIN (Spinus spinus) female at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Dublin, 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, 13 February 2022

EURASIAN SISKIN (Spinus spinus) male at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Dublin, 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