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 14 September 2017

BLACK TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa subspecies. L .l. islandica) juvenile 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, 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 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

Sunday 10 September 2017

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) is a small Old World passerine in the family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Muscicapa. Although in decline, it is the commonest and the most widespread flycatcher found in Europe and western Asia. It is one of six species of migratory flycatcher which are summer breeding residents in Europe. There are several subspecies recognised. In late spring, it returns from its wintering areas in southern Africa and southwestern Asia. Its preferred habit is open deciduous woodland. Main prey items include small flying invertebrates and caterpillars. By September with its food supply in decline, the return migration south begins. In 2016, the International Ornithologists' Union split the two subspecies M. t. balearica  (which occurs on the Balearic Islands) and M. t. tyrrhenica  (Corsica as well as Sardinia) from Spotted Flycatcher to form a new species Mediterranean Flycatcher (Muscicapa tyrrhenica).
Above text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
Spotted Flycatchers are estimated to have declined by 59% across Europe during 1980–2005 (PECBMS 2007). A predator 'control' experiment has indicated that the abundance of nest predators may be determining the breeding success of Spotted Flycatchers, especially in woodland, where nest success was lower overall than in gardens (Stoate & Szczur 2006). Another study using nest cameras has identified avian predators, especially Jays, as responsible for most nest losses (Stevens et al. 2008). Decreasing survival rates may have been caused by deterioration in woodland quality, particularly leading to declines in the large flying insects that are food to the flycatcher, or by conditions either on the wintering grounds or along migration routes (Fuller et al. 2005).
 Source:  https://www.bto.org/birdtrends2008/wcrspofl.shtml

Sunday 3 September 2017

RED VEINED DARTER DRAGONFLY (Sympetrum fonscolombii) female resting on COMMON KNAPWEED (Centaurea nigra) seed head, Togher Pond, Simonstown, Togher, Co. Louth, Ireland


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The Red-veined Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is of the family Libellulidae which is in the genus Sympetrum. It has a widespread distribution and is commonly found in Africa, Western, Central and Southern Asia as well as most of Europe. This species is nomadic by nature and since the 1990’s has greatly expanded its European range as far north as southern Scandinavia.  

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday 18 August 2017

LANG'S SHORT TAILED BLUE BUTTERFLY (Leptotes pirithous) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), also known as Common Zebra Blue, is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae which is genus Leptotes. This migratory species occurs in southern Europe, most of Africa including Madagascar and southern Asia.

Monday 3 July 2017

EURASIAN HOOPOE (Upupa epops) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) is a very striking member of the family Upupidae which is in the genus Upupa. It derives its English name from its distinctive call. It occurs in Europe, Asia and North Africa where it is predominantly a summer resident which winters in sub Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. It is absent from the northern parts of Eurasia. Southern populations, including those on the  Balearic Islands, are sedentary. Formerly considered a single species, the Hoopoe has now been split into three species, the African Hoopoe (Upupa africana), the Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) and the Madagascan Hoopoe (U. marginata). A fourth species the Saint Helena Hoopoe (U. antaios), now extinct, occurred on Saint Helena Island.
                                                                                       
 Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday 17 June 2017

CLEOPATRA BUTTERFLY [Male] (Gonepteryx cleopatra subspecies G. c. balearica) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Cleopatra Butterfly (Gonepteryx cleopatra) or simply called Cleopatra is a medium sized butterfly of the family Pieridae which is in the genus Gonepteryx. It occurs in Southern Europe, Northwest Africa as well as Turkey and parts of the Middle East. In Europe, this long lived species is on the wing from April to August. There are 10 subspecies recognised and the subspecies Gonepteryx cleopatra balearica is endemic to the Balearic Islands, Spain.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

The Cleopatra Butterfly is divided into the following subspecies:
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra cleopatra  – North Africa, Portugal, Spain, Sicily
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra balearica  – Balearic Islands
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra petronella  – Ibiza
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra italica  – Italy, France, Corsica,  Sardinia
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra dalmatica  – Dalmatian coast, western Balkans
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra citrina  – southern Greece
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra insularis  – Crete
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra fiorii  – Rhodes
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra taurica  – Anatolia, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Cyprus
  •     Gonepteryx cleopatra palmata  – Cyrenaica, Libya
 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonepteryx_cleopatra

Monday 5 June 2017

CATTLE EGRET [WESTERN] (Bubulcus ibis) Pollença, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a species of heron of the family Ardeidae which is in the genius Bubulcus. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a rapid expansion and has successfully colonised much of the temperate zones of the world. There are two geographical races which are sometimes classified as full species, the Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis ibis) and the Eastern Cattle Egret (B. ibis coromandus). The eastern subspecies breeds in Asia and Australasia, and the western form occupies the rest of the range, including the Americas. Some authorities recognise a third subspecies, (B. i. seychellarum) which occurs on the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. 

 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_egret

Saturday 20 May 2017

COMMON WALL GECKO (Tarentola mauritanica) Pollença, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Common Wall Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) or Moorish Gecko is a small reptile of the family Phyllodactylidae which is in the genus Tarentola. Other names include Crocodile Gecko and Mauritanian Gecko. This mainly nocturnal species occurs in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. In Europe, it has been introduced on the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Madeira as well as in North America (USA) and South America (Argentina also Uruguay).

Friday 12 May 2017

MEDITERRANEAN KATYDID [Female] (Phaneroptera nana) S'Albufereta Nature Reserve, Port de Pollenca, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Mediterranean Katydid (Phaneroptera nana) is a bush-cricket of the family Tettigoniidae which is the genus Phaneroptera. It mainly occurs in southern Europe, the Near East and North Africa. It can be encountered from July through to October in sunny and dry habitats, especially in shrubs and low branches of trees. The males grow up to 13–15 millimeters long while females can reach 15–18 millimeters. The basic colouration of the body is light green, with many small black spots. Head, legs and wings are also green. The eyes are bright orange. Hind wings are longer than the fore wings. The female's sickle shaped ovipositor is about 5 millimeters long.
Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phaneroptera_nana

Saturday 29 April 2017

WHITE BANDED GRASSHOPPER (Eyprepocnemis plorans) S'Albufereta Nature Reserve, Port de Pollenca, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The White Banded Grasshopper (Eyprepocnemis plorans) is a member of the Shorthorned Grasshopper family Acrididae which is in genus Eyprepocnemis. It occurs in Africa, the southern parts of Spain, Italy and Greece as well as parts of Western Asia.

Source: http://www.pyrgus.de/Eyprepocnemis_plorans_en.html

Monday 24 April 2017

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (Muscicapa striata) Boquer Valley, Formentor Peninsula, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) is a small Old World passerine in the family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Muscicapa. It is the commonest and the most widespread flycatcher found in Europe and western Asia. It is one of five species of migratory flycatcher which are summer breeding residents in Europe. In late spring, it returns from its wintering areas in southern Africa and southwestern Asia. Its preferred habit is open deciduous woodland. Main prey items include small flying invertebrates and caterpillars. By September with its food supply in decline, the return migration south begins.  

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Saturday 15 April 2017

BLACK WINGED STILT (Himantopus himantopus) Male on left + juvenile Salinas d'Es Trenc, Salinas de Lavante, Campos, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is one of three species of stilt, the others two are Black Stilt (Himantopus novaezelandiae) and Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus). It is resident in Africa and also breeds across the temperate parts of Europe and Central Asia where it is a summer resident that migrates south for the winter to sub Saharan Africa, the Indian sub-continent and South East Asia. Within the warmer parts of this range, there is a sedentary population.  

In addition, there are also four subspecies or races recognised, which some authorities consider to be full species:
  • Hawaiian Stilt (Himantopus himantopus knudseni) is resident on the Hawaiian Islands. 
  •  Black-necked Stilt (H. h.  mexicanus) occurs in the southern part of North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the northern part of South America, including the Galapagos Islands
  • White-backed Stilt (H. h.  melanurus) occurs in central and southern South America
  • White-headed Stilt (H. h.  leucocephalus) occurs in Australasia, the Java Peninsula and the Philippines.

Monday 27 March 2017

SCARLET DARTER DRAGONFLY [Male] (Crocothemis erythraea) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Scarlet Darter Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea) is a member of the family Libellulidae which is in the genus Crocothemis. It is a common species in southern Europe and throughout Africa as well as western Asia as far as southern China. The adult male’s bright scarlet red abdomen has a striking flattened profile which distinguishes it from other "red" darters. Females and immatures are yellow-brown and have a conspicuous pale stripe along the top of the thorax.

Wednesday 8 March 2017

SARDINIAN WARBLER [Male] (Sylvia melanocephala) Boquer Valley, Formentor Peninsula, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala) is a small mainly insectivorous warbler of the family Sylviidae which is in the genus Sylvia. It is commonly encountered in southern and eastern Europe and around the Mediterranean Basin as well as on the Canary Islands. Up to five subspecies are recognised by some authorities. The female, typically of most sylvia warblers, has drabber plumage, it is grey headed with brownish upper parts and the under parts are washed buff. This species normally occurs in shrubby type habitat as well as in parks and gardens. 

Text:  © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / RawBirds.com

Friday 3 March 2017

WESTERN [PURPLE] SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is a large member of the rail family Rallidae which is in the genus Porphyrio. This chicken-sized bird, with its large feet, bright plumage and red bill and frontal shield is easily recognisable in its native range. It used to be considered the nominate subspecies of the Purple Swamphen which has now been split into six full species  It is found in Iberia, France, Sardinia and  northwest Africa to Tunisia.

The Purple Swamphen has been split into the following species:
  •     Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) - southwest Europe and northwest Africa
  •     African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis) - sub-Saharan  Africa and   Madagascar
  •     Grey-headed Swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus) - Middle East, through the Indian subcontinent to southern China and northern Thailand, introduced Florida, USA
  •     Black-backed Swamphen (Porphyrio indicus) - southeast Asia to Sulawesi
  •     Philippine Swamphen (Porphyrio pulverulentus) - Philippine islands
  •     Australasian Swamphen (Porphyrio melanotus) - Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_swamphen

Wednesday 22 February 2017

RED VEINED DARTER DRAGONFLY [Male] (Sympetrum fonscolombii) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Red Veined Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum fonscolombii) is a member of the family Libellulidae which is in the genus Sympetrum. It has a wide spread distribution and is commonly found in Africa, western, central and southern Asia as well as most of Europe. This species is nomadic by nature and since the 1990’s has greatly expanded its European range as far north as southern Scandinavia.  

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Monday 20 February 2017

CLOUDED YELLOW BUTTERFLY (Colias croceus) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus) is a migratory butterfly of the family Pieridae which is in the genus Colias. It is one of the most-widespread species in Europe. The breeding range extends from North Africa and southern Europe eastwards through Turkey into the Middle East. It occurs throughout the rest of Europe as a summer migrant, in good years individuals reaching Scandinavia. In Asia, its range extends into central Siberia in the north and into India in the south but it is absent from Central Asia.

Source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colias_croceus

Friday 10 February 2017

EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) is a member of the rail and crake family Rallidae which is in the genus Fulica. It occurs in Eurasia, northern Africa and Australia. It has recently expanded its range into New Zealand. In the milder parts of its range, it is sedentary but in the northern more colder region, it migrates further south and west for the winter.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasian_coot   

Tuesday 31 January 2017

BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), more commonly known as Night Heron, is a medium sized heron in the family Ardeidae which is in the genus Nycticorax. It is the most widespread heron in the world but is absent from large parts of North Africa, Northern Eurasia and Australasia as well as the more northern and colder regions. There are four subspecies or races generally recognised. The northern populations are migratory and winter in the southern parts of the range.

Friday 20 January 2017

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) Albufera Marsh, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small member of the heron family Ardeidae which also includes Bitterns and Herons. 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. It first bred in the Caribbean in the mid 1990’s and is increasingly being recorded along the North American eastern seaboard.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Rawbirds.com

Saturday 31 December 2016

CATTLE EGRET [WESTERN] (Bubulcus ibis) Pollença, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a species of heron of the family Ardeidae which is in the genius Bubulcus. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a rapid expansion and has successfully colonised much of the temperate zones of the world. There are two geographical races which are sometimes classified as full species, the Western Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis ibis) and the Eastern Cattle Egret (B. ibis coromandus). The eastern subspecies breeds in Asia and Australasia, and the western form occupies the rest of the range, including the Americas. Some authorities recognise a third subspecies, (B. i. seychellarum) which occurs on the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. 

 Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_egret

Saturday 24 December 2016

BALEARIC WARBLER [Male] (Sylvia balearica) Boquer Valley, Formentor Peninsula, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


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The Balearic Warbler (Sylvia balearica) is a small passerine of the family Sylviidae which is in the genus Sylvia. It is endemic to the Balearic Islands (but is absent from Menorca), Spain. It is very closely related to and is similar in appearance to Marmora's Warbler (Sylvia sarda) who together with Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata) and Tristram's Warbler (Sylvia deserticola) form a super group within the genus Sylvia. This insectivorous species occurs in open rocky coastal habitat with thorny bushes, broom and heather which provide cover and nesting areas.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds.com

Monday 19 December 2016

SQUACCO HERON [Male] (Ardeola ralloides) Palaiochora Harbour, Palaiochora, Crete, Greece


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The Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) is small heron of the family Ardeidae which is in the genus Ralloides. It is resident south of the Sahara Desert in western, eastern and south eastern Africa, including Madagascar. There is also a small population in Morocco and Algeria on the North West African coast. In addition, this heron occurs as a summer resident in central and southern Europe as well as in western central Asia. In the autumn, it migrates back to Africa to spend the winter months there. Its diet includes frogs, lizards, small fish and a wide variety of invertebrates. 

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Rawbirds.com

Saturday 17 December 2016

CHUKAR PARTRIDGE (Alectoris chukar subspecies A. c. cypriotes) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece

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The Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) or more commonly called Chukar is in the pheasant family Phasianidae which is in the genus Alectoris. It has a widespread distribution which stretches in a wide band from south eastern Europe to eastern China. There are many subspecies recognised including Alectoris chukar cypriotes which occurs on the islands of Crete, Rhodes, Cyprus as well as in parts of Bulgaria and Syria.This gamebird has been widely introduced, for hunting purposes, in many countries including the USA and New Zealand where feral populations have become established.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / rawbirds.com

Wednesday 14 December 2016

COMMON CUCKOO or EURASIAN CUCKOO (Cuculus canorus) Akrotiri Peninsula, Crete, Greece


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The Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) is of the family Cuculidae which is in the genus Cuculus. It is a summer visitor to Eurasia that spends the winter in sub Saharan Africa as well as parts of southern Asia.  
This species mimics the Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) both in size and appearance. It doesn't build a nest of its own but instead it is a brood parasite specialising in laying single eggs in the nests of other species, typicially that of Dunnock (Prunella modularis), Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) or Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus). Its eggs, although larger, mimic the colour of the hosts eggs.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) distribution map
 
 
Breeding - summer      Non breeding - winter 
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons