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

Friday, 29 April 2022

BLACK TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa subspecies L .l. islandica) immature at the Horse Marsh, Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Limosa. This large, long-legged and long-billed shorebird's breeding range extends from Iceland through central Europe as well as central and northeastern Asia. In the autumn, it migrates south to spend the winter in southern and western Europe, Mediterranean Basin, sub Saharan Africa, southern Asia and parts of coastal Australia. The species breeds in fens, damp meadows, moorlands and bogs. In the winter, it occurs on estuaries, lake shores, and in damp coastal fields.
 
There are three subspecies recognised:
  •  Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit - (Limosa limosa islandica) 
  • European Black-tailed Godwit - (Limosa limosa limosa) 
  • Asian Black-tailed Godwit - (Limosa limosa melanuroides)

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) distribution map
 
LimosalimosaWorldDistribution.jpg
Yellow breeding     Blue wintering     Green breeding resident
 
J. Schroeder, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, 28 April 2022

BLACK TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa subspecies L .l. islandica) adult in transition to breeding plumage at the Horse Marsh, Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Limosa. This large, long-legged and long-billed shorebird's breeding range extends from Iceland through central Europe as well as central and northeastern Asia. In the autumn, it migrates south to spend the winter in southern and western Europe, Mediterranean Basin, sub Saharan Africa, southern Asia and parts of coastal Australia. The species breeds in fens, damp meadows, moorlands and bogs. In the winter, it occurs on estuaries, lake shores, and in damp coastal fields.
 
There are three subspecies recognised; 
  •  Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit - (Limosa limosa islandica) 
  • European Black-tailed Godwit - (Limosa limosa limosa) 
  • Asian Black-tailed Godwit - (Limosa limosa melanuroides)

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) distribution map
 
LimosalimosaWorldDistribution.jpg
Yellow breeding     Blue wintering     Green breeding resident
 
J. Schroeder, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

RED TAILED BUMBLEBEE (Bombus lapidarius) queen nectaring on Hawkweed wildflower species (Hieracium sp.) at Lullymore West Bog, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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Click external link here for detailed Red-tailed Bumblebee information
Click external link here for detailed Hawkweed Wildflower information
 
Click here to see identification guide to Irish Bumblesbees
 
The Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) is of the family Apidae which is in the genus Bombus.
The Hawkweed Wildflower species (Hieracium sp.) is of the family Asteraceae which is in the genus Hieracium.

Monday, 25 April 2022

PEACOCK BUTTERFLY (Aglais io) at Lullymore West Bog, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


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The Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Aglais. It overwinters as an adult with its wings closed and the dark cryptic under wing pattern help it avoid detection by predators.
 
 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 24 April 2022

ORANGE TIP BUTTERFLY (Anthocharis cardamines) a male nectering on Bluebell flowers (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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Orange-tip Butterfly information
 
 The Orange-tip Butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines) is of the family Pieridae which is in the genus Anthocharis. This common and widespread species is on the wing from early May to late June. The larval food plant is Cuckoo Flower (Cardamine pratensis) which is also known as Lady's Smock. It overwinters as a chrysalis.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday, 23 April 2022

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) at Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) is a small shorebird or wader in the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Actitis. This Eurasian species is a summer resident that returns from its wintering areas in April. It breeds around fresh water lakes and has a scattered distribution that extends from the Atlantic coast of Europe to Eastern Asia. Unlike most other shorebirds or waders seen on passage, it does not occur in flocks, single individuals are normally encountered. It migrates south in late Summer to spend the winter in Africa, southern Asia and Australia. Small numbers over winter in western and southern Europe. 
The Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) is an almost identical species that is a summer resident in North America which winters in South America and to a lesser extent in parts of southern USA. It is a rare but annual vagrant in Europe. Remarkably in 1975, a pair attempted to breed on the Isle of Sky in Scotland but alas the eggs failed to hatch.
 
  Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

ROCK PIPIT (Anthus petrosus) at Balscadden Beach, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus) is of the family Motacillidae which is in the genus Anthus.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

ROCK PIPIT (Anthus petrosus) at Balscadden Beach, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus) is of the family Motacillidae which is in the genus Anthus.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

MEADOW PIPIT (Anthus pratensis) at Balscadden, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) is of the family Motacillidae which is in the genus Anthus.

Monday, 11 April 2022

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) adult at Howth Harbour, Howth, 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, 9 April 2022

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) at East Pier, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Arenaria.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba subspecies M. a. alba) female at Balscadden Beach, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small ground nesting passerine and along with the longclaws and pipits is in the family Motacillidae which is in the genus Motacilla. This species is the commonest and most widespread wagtail that is found in Eurasia. It also breeds in Morocco in North Africa and there is a small Alaskan breeding population in North America. The northern populations are migratory and winters in Southern Europe, Africa and Southern Asia. Up to 11 sub-species are recognised, including the Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii) which breeds in Britain, Ireland and the near-continent.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

PIED WAGTAIL (Motacilla alba subspecies M. a. yarrellii) male at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland

       

    WHITE WAGTAIL (Montacella alba) subspecies distribution map          

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CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

SMALL TORTOISESHELL BUTTERFLY (Aglais urticae), twelve were counted during a two hour visit including this tattered individual nectaring on Dandalions (Taraxacum Officinale agg.) at Balscadden, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, 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

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