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

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

EUROPEAN GREENFINCH [Male] (Carduelis chloris) Gile's Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth


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The European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) is a small passerine of the finch family Fringillidae which is in the genus Chlori. It has a widespread distribution in Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia. It  also occurs as an introduced species in parts of Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Uruguay. Before the onset of winter, northern populations migrate to the more temperate areas of its range. In recent times, there has been a dramatic decline in numbers due to the spread of trichomonosis disease that effects the digestive system which results in mortality.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 8 May 2020

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola subspecies S. r. hibernans) female at Gile's Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth


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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

Thursday, 30 April 2020

EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola subspecies.S. r. hibernans) male at Gile's Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth


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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, 14 March 2020

BLACK LEGGED KITTIWAKE (Rissa tridactyla) Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland


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The Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) is of the gull family Laridae which is in the genus Rissa. The only other member of the genus Rissa  is the Red-legged Kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris) where less than 200,000 pairs breeds on the some of the Bering Sea Islands between Russia and Alaska,USA.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe /Raw Birds

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

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