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

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

AZURE DAMSELFLY (Coenagrion puella) [Male] Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Azure Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) is of the family Coenagrionidae which is in the genus Coenagrion. It is the most abundant bluet in Europe and also occurs in parts of northern Africa and western Asia. It is absent from northern latitudes and from eastern Iberia. The flight period is from April to September, peaking in June and July.

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

CINNABAR MOTH (Tyria jacobaeae) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Cinnabar Moth (Tyria jacobaeae) is of the family Erebidae which is in the genus Tyria. This striking day flying macro moth occurs in Europe and western Asia. It is also found in North America, Australia and New Zealand as an introduced species. The larval food plant is Common Ragwort (Senecio Jacobea) and flight season peaks in June and July.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds 

Monday, 1 June 2020

CRAB SPIDER [Female] (Misumena vatia) with prey Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) is of the family Thomisidae which is in genus Misumena. It occurs in the temperate regions of Europe and North America where it is known as the Goldenrod Crab Spider or more simply the Flower Spider. Only the female can change colour normally either from white to yellow or visa versa but this can be a protracted process. The minute black and white male can be a real challenge to locate.

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 31 May 2020

FOUR SPOTTED CHASER / FOUR SPOTTED SKIMMER (Libellula quadrimaculata) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
The Four-spotted Chaser Dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata) is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Libellula. This common and widespread species occurs in the temperate regions of Eurasia. It is also found in North America where it is known as the Four-spotted Skimmer. The flight season is from mid April to early September. 

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 29 May 2020

MARSH FRITILLARY BUTTERFLY (Euphydryas aurinia) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Marsh Fritillary Butterfly (Euphydryas aurinia) is of the family Nymphalidae which is in the genus Euphydryas. It has a wide distribution in the Palearctic region
and is protected under Annex II of the European Union Habitats and Species Directive. The gregarious larvae overwinter in a silken web formed at the base of the larval host plant Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis). In mid March they emerge from hibernation and disperse prior to pupation in late April. Three to four weeks later, the adults appear and are on the wing until late June or early July. After mating the female lays batches of up to 300 eggs on the underside of the leaves of the host plant. The larvae hatch in mid June and then form a new silken web from which they feed on the leaves of the host plant before the hibernation period begins.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Thursday, 28 May 2020

NARROW BORDERED BEE HAWK MOTH (Hemaris tityus) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris tityus) is of the family Sphingidae which is in the genus Hemaris. It occurs through out the Palearctic region. This day flying bumblebee mimic is normally on the wing during May and June extending occasionally into July.
 It is the only Bee Hawk-moth found in Ireland where it has a very scattered distribution. Elsewhere it can be confused with the very similar Broad-bordered Bee Hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis).

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

HAIRY HAWKER DRAGONFLY [Female] (Brachytron pratense) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Hairy Hawker Dragonfly is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Brachytron. Alternative names include Hairy Dragonfly and Spring Hawker. It has a scattered distribution in Europe and parts of western Asia. It is absent from Iceland and other northern latitudes. In the warmer part of its range, it is on the wing from late March to early August but has a shorter flight season elsewhere.  
This close up view of a freshly emerged female clearly demonstrates where it got its English name from.

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

LARGE RED DAMSELFLY [Female] (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) is of the family Coenagrionidae which is in the genus Pyrrhosoma. It is commonly found in Europe, smaller populations occur in northern Africa and western Asia. It is on the wing from April to early September.

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 24 May 2020

DINGY SKIPPER BUTTERFLY (Erynnis tagesi) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Dingy Skipper Butterfly (Erynnis tages) is of the family Hesperiidae which is in the genus Erynnis. It occurs in Europe and most of western Asia. The flight season is normally from late April to early June but in the warmer parts of its range there is a second generation on the wing during July and August.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Friday, 22 May 2020

HAIRY HAWKER DRAGONFLY [Female] (Brachytron pratense) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland



CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Hairy Hawker Dragonfly is of the family Aeshnidae which is in the genus Brachytron. Alternative names include Hairy Dragonfly and Spring Hawker. It has a scattered distribution in Europe and parts of western Asia. It is absent from Iceland and other northern latitudes. In the warmer part of its range, it is on the wing from late March to early August but has a shorter flight season elsewhere. 

 Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Thursday, 21 May 2020

GREEN HAIRSTREAK BUTTERFLY (Callophrys rubi) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Green Hairstreak Butterfly (Callophrys rubi) is of the family Lycaenidae which is in the genus Callophrys. This small butterfly has a widespread distribution in Europe, Asia and northern Africa. When seen in flight, with its dull brown upper wings, it can easily be confused with darker coloured species. When not feeding it lands on green foliage always resting with the wings closed, revealing the iridescent green underwing. With this camouflage, it can be surprisingly difficult to spot. The flight season can extend from late March to early August but has a much shorter season in the northern part of its range.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Monday, 18 May 2020

RAFT SPIDER (Dolomedes fimbriatus) Lullymore West Bog, I.P.C.C. Nature Reserve, Lullymore, Co. Kildare, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information

The Raft Spider (Dolomedes fimbriatus) is a semi-aquatic member of the family Pisauridaeone which is in the genus Dolomedes. It is one of Ireland’s largest spiders. Also known as the Hunting Spider or the Jesus Christ spider for its ability to walk on water. It occurs in sphagnum bogs. Main prey items include aquatic and terrestrial  insects, invertebrates as well as tadpoles which it detects using its forelegs to sense any vibrations on the water surface. If threatened, it can submerge itself under water for up to 60 minutes.

Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls
 
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 [Female] (Saxicola rubicola subspecies S. r. hibernans) Gile's Quay, Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is a small passerine of the family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Saxicola. Preferred habitat include rough grassy area's, sand dune 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.
   
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds


Thursday, 30 April 2020

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is a small passerine in the family Muscicapidae and is closely related to the Old World flycatchers. 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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

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


CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY PHOTO
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls 
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, Swords, Fingal, Co. Dublin, Ireland

CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY PHOTO
Click external link here for detailed species information
Click external link here to see distribution map and to hear calls 

The Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) is a wader or shorebird of the family Scolopacidae which is in the genus Tringa. The breeding range 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.
 
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds

Sunday, 19 January 2020

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

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) Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, Ireland


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
 
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) Port Oriel Harbour, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, 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 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

Sunday, 16 December 2018

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


CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE HIGHER QUALITY IMAGE
Click here for detailed species information
Click here to see distribution map and to hear calls

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