Wednesday, 31 October 2012

29th October


The best 25+ Waxwing. One flock of about 17 and a group of 3 and the rest singles. Most flew over but one lingered at the magic bush.. (per JD)

Other birds;

10 Snow Bunting
4 Blackcap
1000 Redwing
2 Buzzard
1 Goldeneye
1 Chiffchaff

Redwings and Waxwings

Common Rosefinch

Common Rosefinch
Thanks to Aiden Kelly for the above photos.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

27th and 28th October

Jim Dowdall, Aiden Kelly and Victor Cashera are on Tory for the long weekend.


2 Buzzard
1 Goldeneye
5 Blackbird
2 Fieldfare
50 Redwing
1 Goldcrest
1 Chiffchaff
1 Blackcap
1 Wheatear


Bad weather hampered the search

1 Common Rosefinch
1Snow Bunting
2 Blackcap
1 Chiffchaff
1 Glaucous Gull (first winter)
200+ Redwing

Better weather due tomorrow...

Friday, 26 October 2012

Chris Ingram 25th and 26th October.

I recieved an e mail from Chris who was on Tory for a couple of days. His complete trip list as follows;

Here's my list: (44 species)

Great Northern Diver  1 from boat on 25th
Heron  1 on 25th
Mute Swan  on both lakes, also one dead below telegraph wires near west lake
Whooper Swan  8 flew in and landed on west lake
Eider  14 on 25th, 35 on 26th including northern race bird both days
Goldeneye  female on east lake
Buzzard  1 on 25th, 2 together on 26th
Peregrine  1 on 25th
Kestrel  male on 25th, female on 26th
Ringed Plover  much reduced numbers
Whimbrel  1 on 25th
Turnstone  much reduced numbers
Black-headed Gull  imm on west lake both days
Common Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black Backed Gull
Kittiwake  offshore
Rock Dove
Rock Pipit  c.40 on lighthouse road on 25th, smaller numbers on 26th
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Robin  1 on 26th
Blackbird  2 on 25th, 7 on 26th
Redwing  300+ on 25th, c.50 on 26th
Fieldfare  1 on 25th, 2 on 26th
Goldcrest  1 on 25th
Hooded Crow
Starling  reduced numbers from last week
Chaffinch  1 on 26th
Linnet  11
Tree Sparrow

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Coal Tit 23rd October

Anton Meenan texted me to say he had a tame  Coal Tit in his garden today. The first one he has ever recorded there.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Arranmore 20th October

Headed out for the day to Arranmore with Rob Vaughan, Ger Murray and Chris Ingram. We had a modest enough return for the day.The best birds were

1 Snow Bunting near the lighthouse
1 Hen Harrier near the north east end
1 Woodcock
3 Brambling with the Chaffinch flock.

Snow Bunting

Black Guillemot

Tory in the distance

Dunnock with white eye rings

On the way home we had the returning male Ring necked Duck at Lough Shevagh.

Ring-necked Duck

We could not make inch levels in time to look through the flock but had nice views og the Whooper Swans as they came in to roost on the lake.

Whooper Swans over Inch Lake

Saturday, 20 October 2012

19th October


1500 Redwing
8 Brambling
2 Snow Bunting
1 Lapland Bunting
4 Blackcap
2 Chiffchaff
2 Goldcrest
1 imm  male Northern Eider outside the harbour (per tweet)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

18th October


Another wet and windy day. Best bird a Richard's Pipit seen briefly in the lighthouse complex-presumably same as Sunday's bird.

1000+ Redwing
11 Snow Bunting
12 Brambling
50 Barnacle Geese
120 Whooper Swans
1 Jack Snipe
1 Chiffchaff
2 Goldcrest
1 Dunnock

17th October


A bad weather day on Tory;

1 Blackcap
6 Snow Bunting
c.200 Redwing (sheltering near the lighthouse).

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Another good day;16th October

JD,PK and TS are still on Tory

1 Red-breasted Flycatcher,  adult male, (4th Island record). Last recorded in October 1961.
1 Barred Warbler (12th Island record).
1 Black Redstart
10 Golcrest
2 Chiffchaff
18 Brambling
4 Snow Bunting
1  Northern Eider (imm. male) 2nd Island record (I think) after 8 birds together in October 2004
1 Corncrake (Late bird).
1 Great Northern Diver.

The winds are set to continue east to north east until at least friday so there might be some more good birds to come.

15th October

Myself and Ger Murray headed out to Tory for the day today with a great deal of anticipation. We met Chris Ingram and Ralph Sheppard on the early boat.

Good looking weather predicted with light north easterlies

The boat trip over was uneventful as expected with the easterly wind. A fly over Great Northen Diver and 14 Eider a few hundred metres out were a nice surprise.
The harbour area had migrants with Redwing on the wires and Blackcaps and Chiffchaff in most bushes.
Chris and Ralph relocated the Barred Warbler which gave great views in the bush at the pier side B+B

Barred Warbler
JD rang to say he had 2 Brambling at the back of the shop. We saw one and while checking the area Ger flushed aWoodcock. 4 Greenfinch were on wires around Antons house but did not stay long. At the east end a Dunnock (island rarity)showed briefly as did some Fieldfare and Redwing



I flogged the fields at the east end but after an hour I had just a single wren to show for my troubles. Back in east town the Pied Flycatcher and a flock of Brambling remained mostly well hidden in a single tree.

One of 16 Brambling present

Pied Flycatcher mostly skulking...
A small flock of twite showed briefly at the east end lake

 At 3 o clock two Goldcrests made there first appearance of the autumn

 PK JD and TS had 5 Snow Bunting the best of the rest as follows

1 Barred Warbler
1 Pied Flycatcher
6 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
8 Blackcap
2 Goldcrest
130 Redwing
5 Fieldfare
2 Blackbird
5 Song Thrush
1 Dunnock
3 Robin
2 Linnet
6 Twite
4 Greenfinch
14 Eider
 16 Brambling
Chris and Ralph at the east end
Anita and Anton

A mega day by Tory standards !

14th October

Jim Dowdall, Paul Kelly and Tom Shevlin are on Tory for the week.

20 Brambling
2 Pied Flycatchers
1 Redstart
1 Barred Warbler (West Town)
1 Richard's Pipit (seen flying in and landing around the lighthouse compound. Then flying off towards West Town)
5 Blackcap
2 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
25 Redwing
4 Fieldfare
6 Song Thrush

A big fall by Tory standards

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Ger Murray Photos 11th October

A few photos attached from Ger Murray from a recent trip to tory


Lesser Whitethroat


Doctors visit


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Lesser Whitethroat 11th October 2012

I visited Tory for the day with Ger Murray despite good looking conditions the only warbler found was a Lesser Whitethroat. Other birds of note included a jack Snipe and 2 confiding Snow Bunting

Rain overnight continued till midday

All quiet in west town with few waders and no migrants. On the way out of west town Ger found a Lesser Whitethroat, the only warbler of the day.

The lake was quiet, but we flushed a Jack Snipe from the western end.At the ruined house close to the lighthouse a male Snow Bunting showed very well.

Male Snow Bunting West End

No Lapland Bunting despite a lenghty search.

Back out east another darked Snow Bunting showed well at the dump

Snow Bunting

Only 2 Barnacle geese were seen. This bird on the edge of west town and a bird flying to the mainland.Anton reported a few hundred flying south last week.

Barnacle Goose

Out east this Robin was the only notable migrant


On the return ferry a few birds..........
The best 2 Sooty Shearwaters and an Arctic Skua

Ferry home


Sooty Shearwater over Bloody Foreland

Blyth's Reed Warbler Rob Vaughan 6th-10th October

Rob Vaughan was on Tory over the last few days and sent me the following trip report. Highlighs included the islands first Blyth's Reed Warbler and 2 Tree Pipits. Chris Ingram managed to twitch both birds!

sat    6
200 or more barnable geese over Inishbofin on the way out, several more throughout the day on Tory. Snow bunting in the harbour immediately, very little passage. Quite a few redwings moving through. 10 Whoopers on the lake in the evening were flushed and flew south. An adult and juv buzzard circling the cliffs were mobbed by 2 adult peregrines. 2 female/juv kestrels around the lighthouse.

Sun   7
Plenty of geese still passing over head throughout the day. Very few redwings. A new song thrush and blackbird and 2 robins only real sign of movement. A juv whooper at the lighthouse pond seemed exhausted and allowed a close approach.

mon  8
A few redwing over head early morning, plenty of geese but numbers died during the day. A new reed bunt at the east end was overshadowed by a banana shaped acro in the last garden. A few blackbirds, a new kestrel and the 1st sparrowhawk and merlins seen. 2 whoopers at the west end.

Blyth's Reed Warbler (R.Vaughan)

Tues 9
No sign of the acro, replaced instead by a male blackcap. While watching that, a tree pipit flew in from the west calling strongly, landed briefly before dropping, flushed it twice before it continued strongly west. Golden plover flew over calling heading west.

Wed 10
Little of note up the east end. A juv male merlin chasing pipits behind graces garden and a juv female sprok up the west end. Numbers of curlew increased and a single skylark flew east high overhead.

Tree Pipit Grace's B+B (R.Vaughan)

Tues 9
No sign of the acro, replaced instead by a male blackcap. While watching that, a tree pipit flew in from the west calling strongly, landed briefly before dropping, flushed it twice before it continued strongly west. Golden plover flew over calling heading west.

Wed 10
Little of note up the east end. A juv male merlin chasing pipits behind graces garden and a juv female sprok up the west end. Numbers of curlew increased and a single skylark flew east high overhead.

Mute swan-         2 pairs and a lone juv. A lone adult on the west lake on the 9th driven off by the local pair
Whooper swan-   10 (8 ads,2 juvs) 6th, 1 juv 7th, ad and juv 8th
Barnacle goose-  over 200 on the islands on the 6, with several flocks of 20plus circling the island daily.
Mallard-              Roughly 5 on each lake.
Wigeon-              Lone male west end
Teal-                   5 west end and 3 east end
Eider-                  16 on the 6th included one Borealis, 5 daily till it rose to 12 on 9th and 10th
Pheasant-             1 female behind Graces daily
Fulmar-                small numbers daily around the island
Manx shearwater-  1 from the boat on the 6th
Gannet-                good numbers daily
Cormorants-         common
Shags-                 common
Grey Heron-         1 daily, probably 2 on 10th
Common buzzard- 2 daily with a 3rd on the 10th, fattening up on 100's of dying rabbits.
Sparrowhawk-       male on the 8th caught a starling, circled high and south late in the eve, juv female on the 8th.
Kestrel-                2 everday, joined by a third on the 8th.
Merlin-                 Female type from the 8th, juv male on the 10th
Peregrine-            2 adults daily, 1 juv daily and another at Maheroarty
Oystercatcher-     30 west end
Ringed Plover-      1 on the morning of the 9th, grew to 22
Grey Plover-         1 juv 8th
Golden Plover-      1 calling and flying west on the 9th
Lapwing-              30 west end
Purple sand-        3 on the 10th
Turnstone-           common
Dunlin-                 1 in the harbour on the 10th
Redshank-           common
Curlew-                3 most days, over 20 on the 10th
Snipe-                 flushed a few most days
Black headed gull- 2 a few times around the harbour
Common gull-      scarce, but a few around the harbour
Herring gull-         common
Great b b gull-      common
Kittiwake-            common, amazed they didn't lure in a sab's!
Black guillemot-   a few around Maheroarty, none on Tory
Razorbill-             a few mostly distant
Guillemot-            1 in close east end harbour, a few out to sea
Feral pigeon-        20 mostly west town
Skylark-               1 calling overhead on the 10th
Rock pipit-           common
Meadow pipit-      common, noticable daily fluctuations
Tree pipit-            1 on the 9th looked a lot brighter than 1 seen well on the 10th
Pied wagtail-        10 or more most days
White wagtail-      1 6th and 7th, a different bird on the 8th
Dunnock-             1 west town 6th
Robin-                  from 2 on 6th, grew to 5 on the 10th
Wheatear-            2 most days, 4 on the 9th
Song Thrush-       1 7th, and 1 daily afterwards,
Redwing-             noticable daily movement in small numbers, 12 on the 8th
Blackbird-           2 daily, atleast 4 on the 8th
Blackcap-           1 male on the 9th
Blyth's reed warbler- 1 on the 8th, east end garden
Chiffchaff-            2 6th, 1 everyday after and 2 on 10th
Wren-                 common
Chough-              atleast 2 pairs
Hooded crow-      common
Raven-                5-6 daily
Starling-              100's
Tree sparrow-       6 west town, 20 or more east town. No house sparrows seen
Linnet-                 8 on the 9th
Goldfinch-            min 7 on the 10th
Reed bunting-      2 6 and 7th, 3 on the 8th, 1 9th
Snow bunting-     2 on the 6th, 1 on the 7th, apparently around the graveyard for the previous week atleast
Lapland bunting-  2 on the 8th,

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Arranmore Island 3rd October

A day on a very pleasent Arranmore Island yesterday with Rob Vaughan and Ger Murray.. No yanks but Rob found a Rose coloured Starling and we managed 3 Yellow browed Warblers

Car Ferry to Arranmore

East End

Ger at the lighthouse

Snowy Owl Country

One and a half hours later no snowy

Snowy Owl pellet. The closest we got...

Lots of migrant cover

Stonechats Robins and Great Tits were much in evidence

Yellow browed Warbler. 3 found with 4 Chiffchaff and 1 Goldcreast the only other warblers

Rosy Starling

Time to go

50 odd Barnacle Geese flying south

Single Eider off the ferry

Father Ted moment...