Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Joe Adamson

Per Irish Birding;

26th October

1 Blackcap
3 Chiffchaff
1 Buzzard
1 Rose-coloured Starling

28th October

1 Eastern Yellow Wagtail (candidate)
4 Snow Bunting
1 Rose-coloured Starling

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Anton Meenan

Some recent sightings include;

1 Woodcock on the 23rd October

50 Redwing and 10 Blackbirds on the 26th October with an increase in bird activity noted.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Seamus Feeney 24th October.

I had an email from Seamus Feeney who was on Tory on thursday....

Covered a lot of the island yesterday stayed 'til 1700 ferry but didn't have time or energy to get to it all. The number of starlings appears to be down from the 500 or so at West Town, about 100 here and another 100 at the wagtail site, likely the rosy has moved on, pity, would love to have seen it. Few migrants around, mostly Redwings. Very pleased to see the wagtail, though it is extremely flighty, couldn't get within 30mts of it or it would fly, usually into the fields behind, though returned to the beach every time. You done well to get such great photos. Looking forward to hearing of DNA results.

On ferry crossing were 4 Great Skuas, 1 out and 3 in. 5 Common Scoter.

I met Anton Meenan and chatted him for a while, nice to have someone there who's interested in birds...I mentioned some of the bits I'd seen and asked what were migrants, he said just about everything on the island is a migrant. So the few bits I saw were probably migrants so.

70-80 Redwing
3 Blackbirds
2 Goldfinch
Yellow Wagtail
1 Jack Snipe
6 Teal
2 Whoopers on east town lake, left the lake while I was there.
3 Chough
8 Eider
1 Heron
1 Dunnock
1 Richard's Pipit. I had this fly over calling..
It seems that there's been a clear out of warblers, did see a Zebra Finch though ;)

Thanks for the advice and working out the timetable. You picked Thursday rather than Wednesday because of the weather, you were right, no ferry on Wednesday. Good job I listened to you.

All the best,


Aiden Kelly's Photos

A few of Aiden Kelly's photos from the 20th October. Thanks Aiden.

Leucistic Rock Pipit

Candidate Eastern Yellow Wagtail


Turnstone and Rosy Starling

Rosy Starling

Snow Bunting


Yellow-browed Warbler

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Candidate Eastern Yellow Wagtail

The candidate Eastern Yellow Wagtail is still on Tory. No sign of the Rosy Starling (per Seamus Feeney)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Red-necked Phalarope from September

Thanks to Jim Dowdall and Victor Cashera for the tip off. One of the local artists and photograper Ruiri Rodgers photographed a small bird outside his front door, at the harbour in mid september. It stayed for five days. It disappeared the morning some birders arrived.

Only the second record for Tory after an adult female on 4th June 2012.

Red-necked Phalarope by Ruiri Rodgers (photo of the photo by P. Phillips)

Monday, 21 October 2013

Anton's Photos




Add caption

Spotted Sandpiper

Rose-coloured Starling

Red Admiral

Above; Some of Anton Meenan's photos from the last few months.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

20th October;Another good day...

I just got a text from Aiden Kelly who was on Tory with Brad Robson, again today. Another excellent day.

The final total;

1  Richard's Pipit
1  Rose-coloured Starling
1  Eastern Yellow Wagtail (candidate)
2  Yellow-browed Warblers
1  Chiffchaff
15 Blackcap
4  Fieldfare
5  Redwing
5  Song Thrush
1 Blackbird
1 Swallow
1 House Martin
1 Twite
2 Snow Bunting
16 Greylag Geese

Saturday, 19 October 2013

19th October

Brab Robson, Aiden Kelly and Chris Ingram were on Tory today

Per Irishbirding;

10 Barnacle Geese
  1 Jack Snipe
  1 Redwing
  1 Fieldfare
  1 Snow Bunting
  1 Blackcap
  1 Goldcrest
  1 Yellow-browed Warbler
  1 Eastern Yellow Wagtail (Candidate)
  1 Rose-coloured Starling

Friday, 18 October 2013

18th October

1 Eastern Yellow Wagtail (candidate)
1 Greenland Redpoll
1 Rose-coloured Starling
1 Blackcap

17th October

1 Greenland Redpoll
1 Rose-coloured Starling
1 Eastern Yellow Wagtail (candidate)

16th October

1 Rose-coloured Starling
1 Blackcap
1 Brambling
1 Lapland Bunting

Thursday, 17 October 2013

14th/15th October

Gerard and I had planned an over night trip to Tory on the 14th/15th October. With Rose-coloured Starling, Greenland Redpoll and the candidate eastern Yellow Wagtail all present on the 13th an a light north easterly blowing it looked liked we had timed our visit well.

We took the Magheraroary ferry and with an easterly wind it was quiet on the ferry over.

Barnacle Geese

The best about 1000 Barnacle on the smallest island on the crossing,Inisbeg. The weather was glorious so we set out east in search of the Rosy Starling which was feeding on the seaweed at the east end beach. Jim and Victor had not seen the Redpoll or Wagtail that day which was a little disappointing. We located the Starling easily enough but the starling flock was jumpy and views were a bit distant. We checked east town for the Redpoll and Wagtail but neither appeared to be there. The best bird we could find was a Yellow-browed Warbler in Grace's garden. Fieldfares and Redwings buzzing around our heads were the only other visable sign of migration


Yellow-browed Warbler

The following day a quick visit to west town got me two island ticks Jackdaw and Goldcrest.

Jackdaw. Tory rarity..

After breakfast we headed back east to check the east end and the beachj, hoping to get better views of the Rosy Starling. We had a quiet couple of hours checking the fields. The best a merlin being modded by a pair of Pied wagtails.

We then headed to the beach to check out the starling flock. The Rosy was giving reasonable views, feeding on the seaweed.

Rose-coloured Starling (Peter Phillips)

Rose-coloured Starlings by Gerard Murray

Scanning the rest of the beach I picked up a monochrome looking flava wagtail a few metres away, feeding between the stones.

Flava Wagtail (all photos by Gerard Murray)

It was clearly the bird found by the two Jim's and Victor. We had talked about the bird, with Jim and Victor the day before. The plan was to try and get a recording of the birds call or a DNA sample. I spent 30 minutes failing miserably to record the call on my mobile phone, even though we had the bird as close as 4 metres. I gave up. After discussing it with Jim we though we would try to get a DNA sample. After about 15 minutes it eventually did the business on a large pebble on the beach.Gerrard kept an eye on the location of the stone and guided me to it.

It will be interesting to see what it turns out to be. There are currently no accepted records of Eastern Yellow Wagtail  M.t.tschutschensis in Ireland (as far as I can tell) and just two  British records up to the end of 2007. Both from Fair Isle. Both specimems obtained; 1st winter female collected on 9th October 1909 and a first winter male collected on 25th September 1912 (Slack; Rare Birds Where and When).

A recent record from Devon also provided a 100% match with eastern type Yellow Wagtail.(British Birds Jan 2013) per Killian Mullarney.

Very happy with ourselves we headed back to west town with the DNA sample. A stonechat on the road to east town was another island tick

Passing through east Town a single Tree Sparrow sized finch caught our attention

Greenland type Redpoll
It looked good for Greenland Redpoll and possibly the bird found a couple of days previously by Jim and Victor.

We got the 3pm ferry off the island. A very productive couple of days. Good luck to Jim and Victor who are staying on until the weekend.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

(Eastern) Yellow Wagtail

Per Irish Birding; 'The flava wagtail found yesterday at East Town. Showing well today, has characteristics of Motacilla tschutschensis (Eastern race)'

Other good birds today;

1 Jack Snipe
1 Rose-coloured Starling
1 Brambling
1 Snow Bunting
1 Greenland Redpoll
and the Yellow wagtail

Gerard Murray and I are going to Tory tomorrow and  coming home Tuesday. Hopefully the Wagtail and Greenland Redpoll will be still there and a new bird or two....

Jim Fitzharris left today...

12th October

News via Irishbirding (JD JF VC)

1 Rose-coloured Starling
1Lapland Bunting
1 Yellow Wagtail
3 Snow Bunting
4 Jack Snipe
70 Barnacle Geese

Friday, 11 October 2013

11th October

News from Tory via Irishbirding (JD VC JF)

88 Barnacle Geese
16 Snow Bunting
1 Rose-coloured Starling

10th October

News from the 10th per Irishbirding : V.C, J.D, J.F.

100+ Barnacle Geese
1 Rose-coloured Starling
6 Snow Bunting

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

9th October

per Irishbirding VC JD JF

30 Whooper Swan
6   Barnacle Goose
10 Sooty Shearwater
3   Great Skua
3   Arctic Skua
1  Snow Bunting
1  Rose-coloured Starling

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

October 8th

Victor Caschera, Jim Dowdall, Jim Fitzharris are on Tory at the moment (per Irishbirding)

4 Greylag Geese
5 Barnacle Geese
1 Iceland Gull
7 Great Skua
1 Buzzard
1 Rose-coloured Starling
1 Chiffchaff

Weather conditions are to improve for birding over the weekend with the winds turning from north to north easterly backing east. It should prove to be an interesting week.....

Anton Meenan

Anton reported the Rosy Starling present till late last night in the harbour and a Goldcrest in the garden. 18 Greylag Geese flw south this morning.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

6th again

The Rosy Starling is still on Tory. Chris Ingram has reported a fly over American Golden Plover.

6th October

The Spotted Sandpiper is still on Tory today (per Chris Ingram).

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Spotted Sandpiper

A Spotted Sandpiper is on Tory today (per Anton Meenan) and the Rosy Starling is still frequenting the harbour area.

The Spotted Sandpiper is the first for Tory

Tory;4th October

Tim Murphy had the Rosy Starling and a candidate Azorean Yellow-legged Gull on Tory today.

Arranmore; 4th October

A change in the wind to westerly had me change mind mid week. I decided take a chance on Arranmore instead of Tory. With a few yanks arriving and the chance of some eastern birds being blown back onto the west coas,t I thought it worth a look.

Late thursday evening word came through that Rob Vaughan was on Arranmore for a couple of weeks. He had found a  Common Rosefinch, Wryneck, Yellow browed Warbler, Snow Bunting and a Pied Flycatcher in the north east corner during the day.

Gerard Murray and I picked up Chris Ingram on route and we got the 8.30am boat from Burtonport. Rob met us at the ferry and we were birding by 9am. We went looking for yesterday's birds but could not find any of them. We all split up and spent a very plesent day birding the island. I could not find a thing with my best birds, a single swallow, 10 Chiffchaff (mostly calling)and 5 Long-tailed Tits. Gerard did a bit better with a Spotted Flycatcher in the harbour and a Snow Bunting at the lakes.

Snow Bunting (Gerard Murray)

Spotted Flycatcher (Gerard Murray)

Chris had the Spot Fly and a single Yellow browed Warbler. Rob did best with a Snow Bunting in the north east,  Yellow-browed Warbler in the harbour and a 'tecking' "low down" Phylloscopus warbler near the Glen Hotel. Despite Rob getting some brief views and hearing the bird well, the bird would not "give itself up".

15 minutes befor the ferry was due to depart we got a call from Rob. He had refound yesterday's Wryneck in its original location. It showed very well on the ground beside the car, and on a bramble for the few minutes we had left.

Total for the day; c.15 Chiffchaff, 5 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, 2 Snow Bunting,1 Wryneck, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Kestrel, and 1 Sparrowhawk.

The best of luck to Rob and Shane Farrell, who will be joining Rob for the next week or so.

(I will add a few of Gerard's shots, when he sends them to me ).

Wryneck(Gerard Murray)

Wryneck (Gerard Murray)