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 13 March 2020

RED KNOT [winter plumage] (Calidris canutus) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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A small flock of Red Knot (Calidris canutus) in flight over the Big Marsh at the western end of the Broadmeadow Estuary, Fingal, Dublin, Ireland

Thursday 13 February 2020

COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) Broadmeadow Estuary, Malahide, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a medium sized sandpiper of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Tringa. The breeding range of this wader or shorebird extends from northern Scotland eastwards across northern Europe and Asia. This migratory species winters in sub Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Australasia. In addition, small numbers overwinter along the coasts of northwest Africa and northwest Europe including Britain and Ireland.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
 Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) distribution map
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/TringaNebulariaIUCNver2018_2.png 
 
 Breeding           Passage           Non-breeding-winter           Vagrant  
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons 

Tuesday 4 February 2020

COMMON REDSHANK (Tringa totanus) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co.Dublin, Ireland


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The Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) is of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Tringa.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

EUROPEAN SHAG (Gulosus aristotelis) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, 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

Sunday 19 January 2020

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) is a small member of the heron family Ardeidae which includes Bitterns, Egrets 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, 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

Friday 18 October 2019

COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) from 7th to 17th October 2019 at River Maine, Corbally Road, Galgorm, Ballymena, Co. Antrim


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The Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor) is of the family Caprimulgidae which is in the genus Chordeiles.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

EURASIAN SPARROWHAWK [Male] (Accipiter nisus) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), alternative names include Northern Sparrowhawk or simply Sparrowhawk, is a small bird of prey of the family Accipitridae which is in the genus Accipiter. It has a widespread distribution across the temperate and subtropical parts of the Old World. It is a partial migrant and in the more northern and colder parts of its range, it disperses south for the winter. The preferred habitats include open type wood land, hedge rows, parks and gardens where a wide variety of small to medium sized perching birds are preyed upon. Males are up to 25% smaller than females and tend to prey upon sparrow sized passerines but can include starlings and thrushes. Females, on the other hand, can tackle larger prey including doves, pigeons and magpies.

Text © Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Six subspecies are generally recognised:

  •  Accipiter nisus nisus - breeds from Europe and west Asia to western Siberia and Iran; northern populations winter south to the Mediterranean, north-east Africa, Arabia and Pakistan.
  •  Accipiter nisus nisosimilis - central and eastern Siberia east to Kamchatka and Japan, and south to northern China. This subspecies is wholly migratory, wintering from Pakistan and India eastwards through South-East Asia and southern China to Korea and Japan; some even reach Africa.
  •  Accipiter nisus melaschistos - Afghanistan through the Himalayas and southern Tibet to western China, and winters in the plains of South Asia.
  •   Accpiter nisus wolterstorffi - Sardinia and Corsica
  •  Accipiter nisus granti - Madeira and the Canary Islands.
  •  Accipiter nisus punicus - north-west Africa, north of the Sahara.

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

Sunday 23 June 2019

RED NECKED PHALAROPE (Phalaropus lobatus) female Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) is a small sandpiper type shorebird of the family Scolopacidae and is one of the three species of phalarope in the genus Phalaropus. It is a long distance migrant, breeding in the Arctic tundra regions of North America and Eurasia and wintering at sea on tropical oceans. The small British population, which has recently increase to c60 pairs, is mainly confined to the Shetland Isles and the Outer Hebrides as well as occasionally breeding on the Scottish Mainland. Formally up to to 50 pairs bred in Ireland then this population declined with no proof of breeding since the early 1970s, although breeding has been suspected on a number of occasions. Thanks to a program of habitat improve by BirdWatch Ireland, a handful of birds have recommenced breeding at one protected site in County Mayo.
There are three previous Co.Dublin records: 30-09-1954 (West Pier, Dun Laoghaire), 19-12-1956 (North Bull Island) and  08 to 10-09-1957 (Bootherstown Marsh)

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
Reference:
A List of Some Rarer Birds in Dublin version 5.2 - Joe Hobbs (download pdf here)

Saturday 13 April 2019

EUROPEAN HERRING GULL (Larus argentatus ssp. L. a. argenteus) at Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, 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

COMMON DOG VIOLET (Viola riviniana) at Clogher Head Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland


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The Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) or more simply Dog Violet, also known as Wood Violet, is of family Violaceae which is in the genus Viola. This perennial wild flower is native to Eurasia as well as parts of northern Africa. Separate with care from the closely related Early Dog-violet (Viola reichenbachiana) and Heath Dog-violet (Viola canina) as well other European Viola.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday 7 April 2019

GREY HERON (Ardea cinerea) at Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland

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The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) is of the family Ardeidae and is in the genus Ardea It is resident in the temperate regions of Eurasia as well as eastern and sub Saharan Africa. The more northern populations are migratory and move south for the winter. Wetlands are its main habitat and commonly occurs along estuaries, streams, rivers and lakes. Aquatic as well as terrestrial creatures are preyed upon. Prey items include amphibians, insects, reptiles, small mammals and birds which are swallowed whole.
This species nests in tall trees in colonies which are known as heronries. Upto five eggs are laid and are incubated for 25 days. Fledging takes place after 60 days.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
 
 Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) distribution map
 Breeding     Resident     Winter     Vagrant      Introduced resident 
 
SanoAK: Alexander Kürthy, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons 

Sunday 16 December 2018

REDWING (Turdus iliacus) Loop Head Peninsula, Kilbaha South, Co. Clare, Ireland


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The Redwing (Turdus iliacus) is a species of thrush in the family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus. It breeds in the northern parts of Eurasia extending eastwards from Iceland to eastern Russia. The first breeding record for Scotland was in 1932 where there is now an established population of up to 100 pairs. Small numbers have also recently been found breeding in Greenland. In the autumn, this highly migratory species leaves the colder parts of its breeding range to winter further south in Europe as well as parts of North Africa and the Middle East extending to northern Iran. 

Text: Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday 2 June 2018

GREEN VEINED WHITE BUTTERFLY (Pieris napi) nectering on HAWKWEED (Hieracium sp.) Giles Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth, Ireland


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The Green-veined White Butterfly (Pieris napi) is of the family Pieridae which is in the genus Pieris. It commonly occurs in Eurasia as well as North America. This species is on the wing from March to October, over several generations, but in Ireland the normal flight season extends from mid April to mid September. It hibernates during the winter as a chrysalis.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday 25 March 2018

EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) is a member of the finch family Fringillidae which is in the genus Carduelis. It breeds in most of Europe and Western Asia but is absent from the colder northern parts of that region. It has a scattered distribution in North Africa and occurs as an introduced species in south eastern Australia, New Zealand and Uruguay. It can be commonly found in gardens, particularly in winter, where it readily comes to bird feeders.
   
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Monday 12 March 2018

EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) male, Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is of the family Sturnidae which is in the genus Sturnus.

Saturday 3 March 2018

EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) male at Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) or more simply known as a Blackbird is of the thrush family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus.

Friday 2 March 2018

REDWING (Turdus iliacus) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Redwing (Turdus iliacus) is a species of thrush in the family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus. It breeds in the northern parts of Eurasia extending eastwards from Iceland to eastern Russia. Small numbers have also recently been found breeding in Greenland. In the autumn, this highly migratory species leaves the colder parts of its breeding range to winter further south in Europe as well as parts of North Africa and the Middle East extending to northern Iran. 

Text: Patrick J. O'Keeffe /Raw Birds

Thursday 1 March 2018

FIELDFARE (Turdus pilaris) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) is a species of thrush in the family Turdidae which is in the genus Turdus. This Palearctic species breeds in woodlands of Northern Scandinavia, Central Europe as well as Northern and Central Asia. In the autumn, it migrates south to winter in Southern and Western Europe and the Middle East extending to Northern India.

Text: Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Monday 1 January 2018

BRIMSTONE BUTTERFLY (Gonepteryx rhamni) [Male] Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, 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 presents of its larval host plants, Alder Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) and Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus carthartica) influences its geographic range and distribution. This butterfly can live for up to a year and the flight season is from April to August. It then overwinters as an adult and emerges, after seven months, from hibernation.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday 26 December 2017

COMMON REDPOLL (Acanthis flammea subspecies A. f. caberet) Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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 The Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) or more simply known as a Redpoll is of the finch family Fringillidae which is in the genus Acanthis. 
 There are several subspecies recognised including the Lesser Redpoll (Acanthis flammea caberet) which is resident in Ireland and Britain. It also breeds in Central Europe and Southern Scandinavia where it is a partial migrant, which moves south and west to more temperate regions for the winter.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Wednesday 29 November 2017

MEADOW PIPIT (Anthus pratensis) Rogerstown Estuary, Rush, 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 27 November 2017

SNOW BUNTING (Plectrophenax nivalis) male at West Pier, Howth, Fingal, Co. Dublin, 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'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Saturday 25 November 2017

RUFF (Calidris pugnax) Adult male, Rogerstown Estuary, Rush, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Ruff (Calidris pugnax) is a medium sized shorebird or wader of the sandpiper family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Calidris.

Thursday 23 November 2017

RUFF (Calidris pugnax) Juvenile plumage, Rogerstown Estuary, Rush, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland


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The Ruff (Calidris pugnax) is a medium sized shorebird or wader of the sandpiper family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Calidris.