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Shay Connolly, Eric Dempey, Dave Dillon, Nicola Dunphy, Chris Evans, Shane Farrell, Kieran grace, Sean Hogan, NiallT Keogh, Noel Keogh, Richard Killian, Dermot Mc Cabe , Stephen O Byrne, Dermot O Mahony, Robert Vaughan

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Dont forget to look in the galery for more wonderful birds seen by our talented Tolka Branch supporters

29 May, 2009

Howth CCTV Star and proud father of 7 chicks doing his bit around the house and goes out for more food. (other fathers please copy!)
Photo Bill Quinn

8 May, 2009
A pale phase Arctic Skua was chasing terns off Coliemore Harbour, Dalkey at 20:30 this evening. NK NTK A Grasshopper Warbler and Sedge Warbler were singing on Howth head this evening - above the cliff walk between the Baily and the nose of Howth.DOM

27 May, 2009
At Five Mile Point, Co. Wicklow this morning, 3 Storm Petrels were feeding offshore for c.45 minutes. A singing Whitethroat, male Kestrel, 3 or 4 Little Egrets & 50+ Swifts were also present. At Kilcoole a Curlew Sandpiper moulting into summer plumage was in Webb's field along with c.20 Dunlin, 4 Ringed Plover, the Whooper Swan, drake Shoveler, male Kestrel and up to 200 Swifts. 2 Sanderling were on the beach, a female Cuckoo was in the Buckthorn bushes and a female Peregrine flew high over The Breaches. An Owl sp. (presumably Short-eared Owl) has been seen by the Little Tern Wardens in and around the Little Tern colony in recent days! NTK

 Buzzard with feathers missing from one wing  over Somali, Baily, Howth Head at lunch time today. HQ BQ

26 May, 2009
Iceland Gull
in Stephen's Green at lunchtime today. KG The immature Hobby first reported on the 25th was still present this morning at Five Mile Point, Co. Wicklow showing well in the conifers on the Blackditch (East Coast Nature Reserve) side of the road and hunting dragonflies around the general area. A Cuckoo & Redpoll were also present. NK

Photos from today at the East Coast Nature Reserve. Eric Dempsey

Hobby above and Swift below

24 May, 2009
At Ballyulster football club in Celbridge this morning I  Buzzard being mobbed by Hooded Crows.RK.

23 May, 2009
The ever popular May Tolka trip to Wicklow took place amid showers, wind  and very little sunshine ( about 10 minutes worth). At Lough Dan early on we were privileged to see 2 Cuckoos perched on fence posts. At Glendalough we saw 2 Ravens, several Willow Warblers and brief views of  2 Spotted Flycatchers. Perhaps the damp and windy conditions kept a lot of birds hidden from view. We were lucky to see 2 Jays and sharp-eyed Brendan - the youngest member of the group - helpfully identified a Dipper  beneath the waterfall at Glendalough. 2 Red Squirrels were also seen by some of the group. Later on we had a brief glimpse of a Great Spotted Woodpecker. At the Coronation Plantation we saw 2 Whinchats, 1 Grasshopper Warbler and 2 Grey Wagtails. LB

Meanwhile there was a sub-adult Little Gull at Gormanston Strand and a Grasshopper Warbler singing near the Baily at Howth. AK 

21 May, 2009
Golfing and birdwatching! What will Tolka branch members think of next! But for one it was the perfect day for both, beautiful blue skies and a strong breeze. There are numerous water features on Luttrelstown golf course with plenty of Swifts and Swallows swooping down to feed as well as Coots nesting in the middle of the lakes on the couse and Moorhens & Swans with young. Two pairs of Swans with 5 cygnets each and they can be seen regularly walking down the fairways. Feeding on the fairways were plenty of Starlings, Blackbirds, Thrushes and the odd pheasant. A very noisy Chiffchaff could also be heard. There is a huge Heron's nest on top of one of the pine trees along side the fairway and a Magpie feeding young in a nest close-by. ND 

20 May, 2009
On the Bull today there were 17 lingering Brent Geese ( OK Geese,  nice to have you but dont you know its time to go back now?!), 340 summer plumaged Dunlin, 6 Bar-tailed Godwits, 160 Sanderling, 32 Whimbrel, 3 Wheatears.SF

19 May, 2009
A superb adult Long-tailed Skua flew south off The Breaches, Kilcoole today at 12:00. Other seawatch totals include: a dark phase adult Arctic Skua (south), 2 Red-throated Divers (south), c.20 Sanderling (north), a summer plumaged Great Northern Diver (sitting) and good numbers of feeding Manx Shearwaters, Sandwich Terns, Little Terns, Kittiwakes, auks & Shags.  On the marsh, the Whooper Swan, drake Shoveler, drake Teal, 2 pairs of Coot, 4 Lapwing , 1st-s summer Mediterranean Gull, c.60 Sandwich Terns, a Stock Dove, 4 Dunlin, 1 Knot, 2 Turnstones & 1 Golden Plover were seen. Plenty of hirundines & Swifts overhead along with a Kestrel & a Peregrine. NK NTK

18 May, 2009
Around Clara Vale searching for the Wood Warbler found by Aidan Kelly the day before, and after a few hours it was heard singing in the distance. A bit of patience resulted in some fantastic, prolonged views. Also singing in the woods were dozens of Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. Only one Chiffchaff was heard, as were a distant Cuckoo and elusive Jay. Siskins and Stock doves were also evident overhead. At Glendalough there was a Dipper calling just beyond the last carpark, several Ravens, Chaffinches, Treecreepers and a family of Grey Wagtails showed well, but the woods were disappointingly quiet.A  female Pied Flycatcher was seen by Owen Foley among a roving tit flock. Highlight of the day/ year was finding a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. At Lough Dan, the woods were again quiet, although another Cuckoo showed well, the river was probably too high for Dippers. RV SF

Whitethroat, Howth . John Fox

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon. Howth. John Fox. Peregrines don't usually like to get their feet wet!

 Wood Warbler. Wicklow. Robert Vaughan


17 May, 2009 
Todays  Photos from Wexford. John Fox.

[This bird has since been identified as a Woodchat Shrike (Lanius badius) from the Western Mediterranean islands; 30 May]


17 May, 2009
1 Whitethroat
at Newcastle near Airfield 2 Sedge Warblers at Blackditch SC

Sedgie in typical pose. Kilcoole. Shay Connolly

15 May, 2009
One Whitethroat and a
Spotted Flycatcher at Howth by the Bailey. SF

Swallows. Killoughter. John Fox

13 May, 2009
Near the Pollardstown Feeder canal Milltown: 1 Whitethroat, large numbers of Reed Buntings, Stonechats and Sedge Warblers, 1 Buzzard and 3 Ravens. SO'B A 2nd year  Glaucous Gull flew south along the beach at Newcastle heading towards Broadlough at 10:15 this morning. There was a steady passage of Manx Shearwaters & a female Common Scoter heading north offshore. Quiet on the marsh at Kilcoole with 26 Dunlin, 3 Whimbrel & 5 Sanderling the best of the waders. The Whooper Swan & drake Shoveler are still present and good numbers of Swifts & hirundines were seen feeding over the channels. NTK

12 May, 2009
5 Mile point towards Killoughter there were lots of singing Sedgies, some Swallows preparing to nest, a few Reed Bunting, Linnet and Stonechats, Gannets and Sandwich Terns fishing close to shore but no sight or sound of any Cuckoos yet.JF

Showy Sedge Warbler, 5 Mile Point. John Fox

10 May, 2009
At Baldoyle (Old Racecourse & adjoining area) there were 3 male Whitethroats (singing); 5 Sedge Warblers singing. At Portmarnock Marsh there were: 7 Sedge Warblers singing and  3 reeling Grasshopper Warblers.DD At Kilcoole, a drake Garganey, a 1st-summer Curlew Sandpiper, a Whooper Swan, a Common Sandpiper, a Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Whimbrel, 2 drake Shoveler, 2 Wheatears & 40+ Sandwich Terns were all seen in and around Webb's field. A further 12 Whimbrel flew north offshore & a Blackcap was singing along Ballygannon lane. NK NTK

Below Whitethroat, Broadlough. Eric Dempsey

Saturday 9 May 2008
One Grey Wagtail
was on the footpath on Simmonscourt Rd this morning. LB 
There was  fall of night migrants on Rockabill island off north Dublin today ..Wheatears, Grasshopper Warblers, Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, a Blackcap, a Garden Warbler. The birds were gone by Sunday although during the day  there was a trickle of Swallows, a Sand Martin, a few Swifts, a Meadow Pipit, a Pied Wagtail and a Linnet.At dawn on Sunday 181 Black Guillemots were counted courting around the island, while in the evening there were up to  to 750-800 Common Terns, 90 Arctic Terns and 34 Roseate Terns.OM

8 May 2009
6 Manx Shearwaters
off the end of the South Wall. 2 Wheatears at the base of the South Wall at Pollbeg.SH

7 May, 2009
 One Black Guillemot under the Ha'penny Bridge at lunchtime today. LB

6 May 2009
One Whitethroat
singing below the Summit carpark in Howth. CE

5 May, 2009
A flock of 100 Hooded Crows seen at  White's Wood in the Phoenix Park tonight at 20.30. Unusual for the breeding season since they are solitary nesters and must have reasonable sized territories. Non-breeders? DMcC Speed dating? Just a thought!

In this interesting  mixed habitat of wetland, scrub, woodland and grassland complex 4k west of Nurney Co. Kildare there are a pair of displaying and calling Buzzards, 2 Lapwing, 1 drumming Snipe, numerous Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps calling, at least 3 Grasshopper Warblers, 1Yellowhammer, 3 Redpolls and 2 Ravens.SO'B

3 May, 2009
Sedge Warbler
singing at Baggot St Bridge this morning. LB Reeling Grasshoper Warbler, Cuckoo, Blackcap and numerous Sedge Warblers at Kiloughter.SC RV  A Reed Warbler and 2 Little Terns at Broadlough. RV  4 Swifts and 3 Sedge Warblers at Newcastle Wicklow. 2 juv Dipper on the Dodder. SC

Sandwich Terns. Sandycove. Nicola Dunphy

At Broadlough: 4 Whimbrel, a Common Sandpiper & a Black-tailed Godwit were the pick of migrating waders. Other sightings included, a drake Wigeon, 3 singing Whitethroats, a male Kestrel, several displaying Shelduck, some Little Egrets present in the trees at the breeding colony & a Stoat. A female-type Merlin was sitting in "The Hobby Tree" at Killoughter & 8 Whimbrel flew south overhead. A Blackcap was singing by the pines just north of Killoughter marsh and Water Rails were heard calling in the reedbeds. A 1st-summer male Wheatear was on the rocks just south of Five-mile-point. At Blackditch, 7 singing Blackcaps & a squealing Water Rail were heard in the birch woodland whilst a pair of Lapwing & 4 Swifts were at the flooded grazing meadows. A male Kestrel was hunting over Newcastle Airfield & c.14 Little Terns were offshore from there. A Common Sandpiper, a Greylag Goose, nesting Mute Swan & a female-type Sparrowhawk were in Stringer's channels. At Kilcoole, numbers of waders were low with 10 summer plumaged Dunlin, 31 Whimbrel & 5 Turnstone the best. In Webb's field, c.50 Sandwich Terns were resting with a further c.25 feeding offshore. Also present in Webb's were 8 Light-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Whooper Swan, a male & female Wheatear, a pair of Shoveler, 2 drake Wigeon, a drake Teal, 8 Swifts, c.20 Sand Martins, singing Skylarks & plenty of Lapwing.  The BWI reserve held a squealing Water Rail & 3 Coot (one of which was carrying nesting material). Sedge Warblers, Stonechats, Willow Warblers, Swallows, Grey Herons & migrating Sandwich Terns were all particularly evident along the whole stretch of coast today. NTK

Dippers. Dodder. Shay Connolly


Sedge Warbler. Newcastle. Shay Connolly

1 May, 2009

Wheatear ( male) , Greystones. Tony Parker



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