Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Breeding birds 24th-25th June.

 I was on Tory Monday and Tuesday just passed to do a land based survey of the breeding birds. Four new species confirmed breeding; Black headed Gull, Eider, Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting.

Thanks to Liz Mc Kenna who helped me with the survey on Monday.


Eider; female with 4 chicks in the harbour.
Tufted Duck; Female with 10 chicks at the lighthouse lake.
Black- headed Gull; 10 pairs with a minimum of 10 chicks at the lighthouse lake
Common Gull 160 adults attending nests with a minimum of 40 chicks
Little Tern; 8 birds mobbing other birds at a likely nesting site. Birds may be incubating.
Arctic Tern; 10 pairs nesting behind the lighthouse, including at least 2 birds incubating.
Peregrine; Pair on and off seen around the cliffs but no confirmation off breeding.
Buzzard; Pair at the cliffs behind West town.
Dunlin; 3 birds at the lighthouse lake.
6-8 pairs of Redshank
Sedge Warbler 2-3 pairs, including one bird carrying food.
Reed Bunting; 2-3 pairs including one bird carrying food.

Eider with ducklings



Sedge Warbler

 Plemty of recently fledged Whearearsaround the island. Unseasonal Whooper Swan and Iceland Gull also present. The only migrants were a single Chiffchaff at the east end and  up to 4 Collared Doves.

Iceland Gull

Whooper and Mute Swans

Collared Dove

Rock Pipit

 On the ferry over the best were 5 Storm Petrel. On the journey home just a single Manx Shearwater with at least 15 Storm Petrel and one Leach's Petrel following a small fishing boat between the islands.

Manx Shearwater

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Liz Mc Kenna 13th June

I had a message from Liz was on Tory on Thursday...

I was back on Tory yesterday with my son Myles. We were out on the cliffs for most of the time. Had all the gear packed up for the ferry when I noticed this bird at the harbour. I taught it looked like an Iceland Gull. Sorry about the quality of the pics - had to use my son's camera as no time to take back out the scope!

See crossing very quiet. A few shearwaters on way out and a great northern diver was the best we had.

Thanks for that Liz.

The Iceland Gull is still present today per Anton Meenan

Iceland Gull

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

1st June; Trip list

 I recieved a message from Richard Smith via Birdforum on their recent trip to Tory;

 Rather late but here is the Derry trio's bird list for 1st June. Quite a rough sea with swells up to 10 ft. Highlight of the day was Great Shearwater & at least 6 Basking Shark. See attached bird list. It was nice to meet Dublin birder Mark Stewart.

Roger Murray, Theo Campbell, Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Tory Island Trip                              01/06/2013

On 8:30 outward sailing

Great Black-Backed Gull       Common Gull            Herring Gull
Lesser Black-Backed Gull      Kittiwake                  Sandwich Tern
Common Tern                         Guillemot                  Razorbill       
Black Guillemot                     Puffin                        Gannet         
Great Northern Diver              Fulmar                      Manx Shearwater

On Tory

Mute Swan                Mallard                Tufted Duck
Swallow                   Rock Dove            Corncrake
Snipe                       Redshank                Turnstone
Dunlin                      Oystercatcher         Golden-Plover
Ringed Plover          Lapwing                 Arctic Tern
Magpie                     Chough                  Hooded Crow
Raven                       Blackbird               Wheatear
Starling                     Wren                      Sedge Warbler 
Skylark                    Tree Sparrow          Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pipit           Rock Pipit

On 18:00 return sailing

Great Skua         Great Shearwater

Monday, 10 June 2013

Marc Mc Loughlins Photos

Marc has sent me some of his photos from his recent trip to Tory.

Thanks Marc.
Peregrine Falcon

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot


Tree Sparrow


Basking Shark

Sedge Warbler



Great Skua
Little Tern


Great shots of the Corncrakes!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Chris Ingram; 8th June

I had an email from Chris Ingram who was on Tory today.............

'I did the short trip to Tory today and did the West.

Whooper Swan  1
Greylag  2
Wigeon  1 male
Tufted Duck  2 males
Black-headed Gull  14
Little Tern  12
Dunlin  11 on beach
Whimbrel  1
Sedge Warbler  1

I met Marie Duffy again today who is the NPWS Corncrake person for Tory.  Last week she did her survey and counted 2 singing East end and 6 singing West end.'

Thursday, 6 June 2013

6th June Marc Mc Loughlin

I had a couple of texts from Marc today

One adult and one juv Peregrine present and 16 Black Guillemots at the harbour in the east end...

Basking Shark swam into the harbour and a small whale probably Minke breached a few feet outside the bay....

Migrants of note; 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Sedge Warbler, 4 Collared Doves.

Mark is on till tomorrow................

He promised to share some of his photos from the trip.

5th June Marc Mc Loughlin

I had a text from Marc yesterday

'Cracking viws of another corncrake this morning (up at 4.20 but so worth it!) Heard 6 altogether. Two Great Skua flew in past the lighthouse and two Barnacle Geese flew in from the north. Plenty of Little Terns (20) and three Sedge Warblers in full song.'

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

June 4th

Another ferry fiasco this morning with the ferry staying on tory over night....

So making the most of a bad lot I birded Bunbeg then on to Bloody Foreland and then Magharoarty for the 11.30 ferry to tory.

Good numbers of birds at Bunbeg with 3 Great Northern Diver 1 Red throated Diver and a winter plumaged Black throated Diver all together in the bay. Still plenty of Sanderling and Dunlin moving north. At Bloody foreland the best was a calling cuckoo, there were no migrants in the gardens.

No sign of the Kumliens Gull at Magharoary.

The ferry left on time and I met Liz Mc Kenna who was going over for the day and Marc McLoughlin from Dublin who is staying over for a few days.

The ferry over was quiet as was to be expected on a light easterly. The best was  3 Great Northern Diver, 5 Storm Petrel and about 65 Manx Shearwater feeding between the islands. Despite searching there was no sigh of any Red- necked Phalarope.

Great Northern Diver

Storm Petrel

Plenty of calling Corncrake behind the houses in west town and a few migrants making the most of the settled weather. 5 Chiffchaff in various places.

A Spotted Flycatcher in East Town and a Robin and Blackcap in Antons east end patch. The Peregrine is still present around the cliffs and a Buzzard was noted by Marc. Liz had 400 plus Puffin loafing off the east end cliffs.

Spotted Flycatcher

Other migrants included 2 Collared Dove and 2 Wood Pigeon.

Collared Dove

Marc had great views of the Corncrake and might get lucky as the settled weatheris set to continue. He promised to keep me updated on whats around. He also had a Great Skua and 8-10 Choughs around the cliffs.
Recently fledged Rock Pipit

Whooper Swan at East End.

Anton reported a Redpoll still hanging around the garden.

I only had time to cover the east end so did not get to check out the west end and breeding seabirds...

Also a Basking Shark from the ferry on the way home and a Golden Eagle from the Errigal car park looking towards the Poisoned Glen. High and distant above the ridge line...

Monday, 3 June 2013

Chris Ingram

I had an email from Chris who was on Tory over the weekend....

'Here is my list for 30th and 31st May.  Sightings relate to 30th unless noted.

Mute Swan  pairs in both east and west
Whooper Swan  2 on west lake
Tufted Duck  2 on west lake
Pheasant  1 calling in east
Corncrake  2s in east  probably 4/5 in west
Buzzard  1 pale phase bird on 31st
Ringed Plover
Sanderling  2 on beach  30th
Dunlin  c.40 on beach
Black-tailed Godwit  1 in west both days
Whimbrel  1 on beach 31st
Turnstone  c.25 on beach
Black-headed Gull  5/6 on north lake in west, 3 appeared to be sitting on nests.
Common Gull
Lesser Black Back
Herring Gull
Great Black Back
Sandwich Tern  1 offshore
Arctic Tern 
Rock Dove
Collared Dove  2 in Anton's far garden on 30th, 1 west town on 31st
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Pied Wagtail  also 1 White Wagtail by Grace's
Sedge Warbler  1 behind west town
Chiffchaff  1 ( singing on 31st)
Hooded Crow
Tree Sparrow
Reed Bunting  1 on 31st

On return crossing  c. 65 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Basking Sharks'

Black-headed Gull would appear to be a new breeding species for the island. There heve been a few birds present most summers over the last couple of years.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Bank Holiday Weekend

A few birders are on Tory for the Bank holiday weekend

Per Irish Birding......

30th May

Collared Dove   2
Chiffchaff          1
White Wagtail   1

1st June

Great Shearwater    1
Great Skua               1
Great Northern Diver   3
Storm Petrel              2
Corncrake                  3

2nd June

 Corncrake    5