Thursday 19 February 2015

West Cork Branch outing to Bantry, 8th February 2015

Members of the West Cork Branch met outside the Westlodge Hotel in Bantry on a beautiful sunny day. After cramming in to as few cars as possible, we headed off to Bantry Harbour to look through the usual collection of Black-headed and Herring Gulls to look for anything out of the ordinary, but today it was not to be. From there we headed over to the promenade to scan the bay. Great Northern Divers and Black Guillemots were showing together with some seals. Despite our best efforts we couldn’t turn any of the divers into a Black-throated Diver, one of the target species for the day.
Over at the new pier, again we had good views of Great Northern Divers in the channel and Oystercatchers along the shore. Moving on to the Bantry airfield, again we saw Great Northern Divers and Black Guillemots. A possible Black-throated Diver tantalisingly moved into a bay and out of sight before we could positively identify it.

We drove on down to the Sheep’s Head to the fish factory at Gerahies, a well-known site for Mediterranean Gulls, and it didn’t disappoint with at least three different individuals. One of the birds was colour ringed but we couldn’t get a good enough view to read the ring. Offshore, still plenty of Great Northern Divers, good numbers of Shags and a single Gannet were showing whilst we had a quick lunch. This area also turned up two birds of prey with Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.

We then took the scenic road over the top of the Peninsula, down into Ahakista and travelling west to Lough Farranamagh. Here we picked up some extra species including Moorhen, Collared Dove, Stonechat, Reed Bunting and surprisingly two Chiffchaffs. Driving back to Durrus, we stopped to scan Dunmanus Bay at several locations but only added Ringed Plover to our list, to give the final species list total of 54.


1 Hooded Crow
2 Wren
3 Coal Tit
4 Starling
5 Jackdaw
6 Magpie
7 Robin
8 Chaffinch
9 Goldcrest
10 Song Thrush
11 Cormorant
12 Grey Heron
13 Black-headed Gull
14 Mute Swan
15 Oystercatcher
16 Redshank
17 Herring Gull
18 Pied Wagtail
19 Turnstone
20 Little Egret
21 Woodpigeon
22 Curlew
23 Black Guillemot
24 Great Northern Diver
25 Dunnock
26 Rook
27 Great Black-backed Gull
28 Mallard
29 Greenshank
30 Pheasant
31 Shag
32 Raven
33 Kestrel
34 Common Gull
35 Mediterranean Gull
36 Meadow Pipit
37 Bullfinch
38 Gannet
39 Grey Wagtail
40 Blackbird
41 Sparrowhawk
42 Kestrel
43 House Sparrow
44 Redwing
45 Little Grebe
46 Chiffchaff
47 Moorhen
48 Linnet
49 Collared Dove
50 Reed Bunting
51 Stonechat
52 Rock Pipit
53 Blue Tit
54 Ringed Plover

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