Sunday, September 25, 2011

Choughed to see a Stonechat

Also the last week in Ballycotton, a couple of common but by no means uninteresting birds. In fact the chough and stonechats below are 2 of my all time favourite species! Both where quite approachable, especially the chough which let me come to within about a meter. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ballycotton butterflies

Went looking for some more wildlife in Ballycotton a couple of weeks ago, since I don’t drive and am limited by bus schedules I decided to focus on the cliff walk instead of the reed bed areas, I don’t yet have the equipment to properly photograph distant waders anyway. Very few birds around but plenty of butterflies!

A dying caterpillar, seemingly attacked and cut open by another insect, probably a solitary wasp or something similar.

Wall brown butterfly

A 6 spot burnet moth, actually quite hard to photograph
Common blue butterfly

Also a common blue butterfly

A large white butterfly
Meadow brown butterfly

Small copper butterfly

Speckled wood butterfly
A rose chaffer beetle, never seen one before, very pictueresque (can't spell today)
Small tortoiseshell butterfly

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fish & Fishermen

Here’s a great cormorant and a young(ish) shag, which just so happen to be Ireland’s only 2 species of cormorant. The great cormorant is more widespread and can be found around Cork city. The shag in contrast sticks to the coast and can therefore not be found as much on the river Lee. The one you see below is probably not very representative of the species because adults in breeding plumage are jet black with a tufted crest. Anyway the shag has a more delicate frame (ref, the thinner bill).

Great cormorant
Impressivly this fellow was balancing on this beam in gale force winds last week. The hurricane blowoff apparently didn't bother him much.


Here for effect is a Shannie (a type of blennie fish) which I found under a rock, it may look like I took a fish out of water but this little guy can easily spend a whole low tide period under a rock with no actual water. It was probably much happier after I released it into a rockpool  ;-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gullinary experiments

I haven’t had much time lately to write any blogs or sort through the catacombic depths of my photos. Instead I thought I’d share the product of a rather pleasant day of exploring the pier in Galway city recently. I always wanted more flight shots and the less then cautious black headed gulls (and some other species too) seemed like the perfect subjects. 

A common gull
Crabs are in high demand these days!
Herring gull closeup
Ring billed gull closeup
Ring billed gull again