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, 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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Click external link here for detailed species information
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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

CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE  
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

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

LITTLE GREBE or DABCHICK (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 1st winter plumage at Howth Harbour, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) or more commonly known as a 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
 
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) distribution map
Breeding      Resident     Non-breeding-winter        Vagrant
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Monday, 7 February 2022

ICELAND GULL (Larus glaucoides) 2nd winter from 31st January to at least 1st February 2022 at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland



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The Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) is of the family Laridae which is in the genus Larus.

Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) distribution map

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

Sunday, 6 February 2022

SNOW BUNTING (Plectrophenax nivalis) 1st winter male at Bray Promenade, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland






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The Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is of the longspur family Calcariidae which is in the genus Plectrophenax. This circumpolar species breeds mainly in the arctic mountainous regions of North America and Eurasia. Isolated populations also breed south of this range in upland areas.   
Apart from small numbers breeding in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, this is an uncommon and local winter visitor, from October to March, at coastal locations in Britain and Ireland. It occurs singularly or in small flocks at shingle beeches near the edges of sand dunes, harbour piers and headlands. Feeding close to the ground, it can be easily overlooked and difficult to locate as cryptic colouration helps it blend into the background.
 
Patrick J. O'Keffe / Raw Birds
 
Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis)  distribution map

   Breeding
    Migration    Resident    Non breeding-winter

Cephas, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, 5 February 2022

MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) immature or 1st winter at Bray Promenade, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

 



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 The Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) is of the family Laridae which is in the genus Ichthyaetus. This species has greatly expanded its range in the last 60 years from Eastern Europe. 
The first breeding record for Britain was in 1968 and now in excess of 1200 pairs breed. In 1995 a pair was discovered breeding in Co. Antrim and the following year a pair bred in Co. Wexford. Since then the Irish population has gradually increased to over 60 pairs. In the autumn there is an influx of continental birds from Europe for the winter which has been proven by colour ringing and then a return migration takes place in late spring.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
 Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) distribution map

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

Friday, 4 February 2022

MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) sub adult or 2nd winter at Bray Promenade, Bray, Co. Wicklow, 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 Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) is of the family Laridae which is in the genus Ichthyaetus. This species has greatly expanded its range in the last 60 years from Eastern Europe. 
The first breeding record for Britain was in 1968 and now in excess of 1200 pairs breed. In 1995 a pair was discovered breeding in Co. Antrim and the following year a pair bred in Co. Wexford. Since then the Irish population has gradually increased to over 60 pairs. In the autumn there is an influx of continental birds from Europe for the winter which has been proven by colour ringing and then a return migration takes place in late spring.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
 Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) distribution map

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

Thursday, 3 February 2022

MEDITERRANEAN GULL (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) two adults at Bray Promenade, Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

1st adult Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
 
1st adult Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
 
2nd adult Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) 

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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 Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) is of the family Laridae which is in the genus Ichthyaetus. This species has greatly expanded its range in the last 60 years from Eastern Europe. 
The first breeding record for Britain was in 1968 and now in excess of 1200 pairs breed. In 1995 a pair was discovered breeding in Co. Antrim and the following year a pair bred in Co. Wexford. Since then the Irish population has gradually increased to over 60 pairs. In the autumn there is an influx of continental birds from Europe for the winter which has been proven by colour ringing and then a return migration takes place in late spring.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
 Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) distribution map

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

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo subspecies P. c. carbo) immature at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland



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here to see distribution map and to hear calls

 The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is of the family Phalacrocoracidae which is in the genus Phalacrocorax. It has a scattered distribution in parts of North America, Eurasia, Africa and Australasia. 
There are a number subspecies recognised including the ground nesting Common Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo carbo) which occurs in Britain and Ireland that breeds on coastal rocky outcrops and on off shore islands.  The tree nesting Continental Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) which breeds in Northern Europe extending eastwards to Japan, but has in recent times colonised parts of southern Britain. This is apparently a rare subspecies in Ireland with less than 70 records but is in all probability under recorded.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds