Lorraine Benson, Hugh Delaney, Eric Dempsey, John Fox,  Mir Harris, Ray Kellett, Aidan Kelly, Niall T Keogh, Noel Keogh, Stephen King, Tony Long, Paul Lynch, Dermot Mc Cabe, Cian Merne, Oscar Merne, Dermot O Mahoney, Rachel Peelo, Gerry Power, Heather Quinn, Bill Quinn, Robert Vaughan


    Whimbrel at Malahide. Ray Kellett.  Note the bold crown stripes

31st October, 2007
!Brent Geese finally arrived in Baldoyle Estuary at Sutton Golf Club c150 birds.BQ

Sunday 28 October, 2007
3 Water Rails and a Stoat reported at Rogerstown today. TL South Dublin Bay coast from Irishtown to Williamstown, including Booterstown Marsh, from HT-3 hrs to HT there was a total of 3,300 waterbirds present, with the following of note: 812 Oystercatchers, 335 Sanderling, 405 Dunlin, 60 Curlew, 200 Black-tailed Godwit, 555 Redshank, 790 Black-headed Gull. OM At Malahide outer estuary there was 1 Whimbrel, 14 Greenshank, 8 Grey Plover, c 150 Redshank.  At the Inner estuary c200 Godwit, 4 Little Grebe, 6 Teal and 1 Buzzard. At Rogerstown 9 Greylag, c 150 Brent, 10 Little Egret,1 Peregrine, 1 Kestrel, 3 Spotted Redshank also good numbers of Curlew, Teal and Widgeon. RK

On the rising tide this sunny morning on the Bull the Blue-winged Teal was again on show opposite the car park entrance to St Annes with the Shoveler and hundreds of winter ducks and Brent Geese. 10 Knot stuck together in a group among the ducks ( Widgeon, Teal, Mallard and Shelduck) On the other side of the causeway looking north there were 10 Little Egrets at the freshwater outflow, good numbers of Brent Geese, Redshank,  Common Gulls and Herring Gulls  with smaller numbers of Great Black-backed Gulls, Dunlin, Greenshank and Godwits. Further out on the tide there were over 200 Pintail ducks. Beyond the ducks there were  more than 300 Curlew. The Pintail move in closer to the causeway on the full tide.Beautiful birds! LB. HQ, BQ

And there were 10 birdwatchers on the Causeway this morning!

Saturday 27 October, 2007
The female Blue-Winged Teal was with a large flock of Teal/Shoveler/Wigeon just opposite the main entrance to St Anne's Pk.For a photo of this bird - we think it is the same returning visitor - see January in the archives at the end of this page. This is a dificult bird to pick out!!  Also off the causeway there was one Carrion Crow and an adult Mediterranean Gull. Lots of geese, ducks and waders in...the place was packed with birds! 

25 October, 2007
At  Booterstown  381 Redshanks, 8 Greenshanks, 187 Black-tailed Godwits, 41 Dunlin.The tide was nearly full, so most of the birds were roosting. On the sandspit on the other side of the railway were 875 Oystercatchers, 122 Ringed Plovers, 415 Knot, 45 Curlews, 230 Bar-tailed Godwits, 96 Redshanks and 667 Black-headed Gulls. The Brents seem to have eaten out the Zostera (sea grass) already and numbers have fallen from c.300 to <50. OM

24 October, 2007

At Kilcoole this evening there was the Barnacle Goose, 6 Brent Geese, an adult male Ruff, c.100 Golden Plover, c.200 Lapwing, adult Mediterranean Gull, female Merlin and Sparrowhawk in Webb's Field. 10 Whooper Swans and 35 Greylag Geese were around the channels south of The Breaches. NK

Wood Duck at the BOTS, Mir and Michael Harris

22 October, 2007
At Swords 1 Ruff still present in inner estuary, 10 Red Brested Merganser and 8 Goldeneye, 1 F Sparrowhawk observed taking a Swipe at a Brent Goose!.120 Widgeon among the 112 Brent Geese by the Island Golf Club, and 1 Adult Mediterranean Gull in outer estuary. RK

Sunday 21 October, 2007
Female Blue- winged Teal back again with the Shoveler on the south side of the causeway on the Bull Island. DOM

Saturday 20 October, 2007
Down at Kilcoole this morning (beautiful weather) there was a Barnacle Goose, a male Gadwall, 12 Shovelers, 18 Little Grebes, 10 Whooper Swans, etc. Also a late Wheatear. OM At Swords estuary there was a juvenile Greenland White- fronted Goose an adult winter Mediterranean Gull & 2 Ruff.
At Rogerstown there was one 1 Ruff and at Knock Lake: 2 Whooper Swans. DOM

19 October, 2007
Female Ruddy Duck at Knock lake this afternoon. PL A second-year Mediterranean Gull was in Bray Harbour, and also a Black-headed Gull ringed in Sweden!.OM At Booterstown there were  6 Little Egrets, 270 Dunlin, 185 Knot, 215 Sanderlings, 110 Black-tailed Godwits, 529 Bar-tailed Godwits, 290 Redshanks and  1,545 Black-headed Gulls.

18 October, 2007
Barncale Goose
at Kilcoole today also  24 Greylag and 14 Whooper Swans.

Ruff and Peregrine Falcon at Swords. Eric Dempsey 

Saturday 13 October, 2007
Dundalk Bay was good today  with c.17,000 birds. The main species were Brent Geese (284), Teal (282), Mallard (591), Wigeon (522), Red-breasted Merganser (153), Oystercatcher (4,493), Ringed Plover (112), Golden Plover (2,465), Knot (808), Dunlin (1,056), Black-tailed Godwit (955), Bar-tailed Godwit (1,178), Curlew (220), Redshank (1,313), Greenshank (25) and Black-headed Gull (1,519). Between Dunany and Clogher Head were 661 Common Scoters. At Booterstown and on the spit outside the railway line there were 630 Oystercatchers, 315 Dunlin, 535 Knot, 172 Redshanks, 14 Greenshanks, 181 Black-tailed Godwits and 220 Bar-tailed Godwits. OM

11 October, 2007
At Broadmeadow, Swords Estuary there was a At Broadmeadow, Swords Estuary there was a Buff-Breasted Sandpiper and two Ruff feeding around the edge of the salt marsh.GP

 9 October , 2007
A sprinkling of Sandwich Terns still about -- 7 at Merrion Gates, 3 between Portmarnock and Malahide, and 1 at Skerries south beach. The wader roost at Merrion Gates included a nice flock of 695 Bar-tailed Godwits. Brents must have moved on, only 61 at Merrion Gates, 68 at the North Bull Island, and 16 at Swords Estuary. Also at Swords Estuary surprisingly, a juvenile Greenland White-fronted Goose. (Must have been very tired and couldn't quite make it all the way to the Wexford Slobs)  Still at Swords, 195 Black-tailed Godwits, 48 Great Crested Grebes, 202 Mallard, 4 Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper and a
Jack Snipe...good numbers of shanks and two Little Egrets.OM,ED

7 October, 2006
This morning there was a drake Gadwall at the main pond at Arklow, two Swallows at the Avoca River bridge, and two more at Buckroney. OM 

6 October, 2006
In glorious sunshine at Kilcoole this morning there was a nice mix of birds, including 3 Red-throated Divers,  4 Little Egret , 11Shoveler , 2 Gadwall , 2 Little Stint , 3 Sandwich Tern , 1 Kingfisher , 2 Wheatear .  >50 Skylarks moving south, and a Porpoise offshore. No Brent Geese yet at Kilcoole. OM

4 October, 2007
17 Common/Artic T
erns on Sandymount this evening. OM  

1 October, 2007
On Sandymount Strand this evening there was an adult michahellis Yellow-legged Gull, a juv. Curlew Sandpiper, c.12 Meditteranean Gulls, 2 Little Egrets, 11 Common Terns, c.215 PB-Brent Geese and 2 Greenshank. 12 Greenshank were roosting on the island in Booterstown Marsh, and a Kestrel was seen over the scrubland there also. NK, NTK , SK

Brent Geese now in Dublin!

Photos John Fox


Sunday 30 September, 2007
On Howth Head this afternoon there was one Wheatear and a gregarious flock of 55 Goldfinches.  Stonechats were in abundance as were Robins, Thrushes, Blackbirds, andMeadow Pipits. There was one Kestrel. LB, HQ

25 September, 2007
At the high tide roost in Booterstown Marsh this afternoon, 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpipers, 6 Greenshank and 7 Little Egrets were seen resting on the islands. A male Kingfisher showed very well, sitting on the culvert wall at the northern end of the marsh. 134 PB-Brent Geese (with at least 89 young) were on Sandymount Strand as was a juvenile male Peregrine. NTK NK

24 September, 2007
The adult atlantis-type Yellow-legged Gull was on show at Sandymount Strand again this evening, out from the first carpark north of Merrion Gates. NK

Sunday 23 September, 2007
Big clear out of Redshanks in Swords- less than 20 remaining from 200 plus last Friday. But 39 Greenshank at the head of the estuary this morning. 1 female Ruff also and 1 adult winter Medterranean Gull. DOM Does anyone know any patterns of wader movement round Dublin Bay  possibly related to tides? Its interesting that there were 200+ Redshank on Swords on Friday and the same number in Fairview on Saturday? Ed.

Saturday, 22 September, 2007
We were delighted to welcome new members to the first Tolka outing of the new season.  Ten cars set out for the North Dublin birding hotspots. In delightful weather our first stop was Broadmeadow Estuary, Swords where we saw a Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, two Ruffs and good numbers  of Greenshanks. No geese or ducks other than Mallard and eclipse Teal. At Rogerstown we had 4 Buzzards and 6 Little Egrets. Again, no geese but some Wigeon. Skerries car park gave clear views out to sea with lots of bird activity. Our seawatching  gave us a Cory's Shearwater, some Manx Shearwaters and Sandwich Terns, and one female Wheatear .Note, the small road from the dump under the railway to the Rogerstown outer estuary is closed. Rogerstown hide was manned by our friends in the  Fingal Branch and they are open now every Saturday and Sunday. Good news is the access road and some walks have been tarmaced, DMcC

 In the Tolka Basin at Fairview ( at low tide 3-4 pm) there were over 500 Black-headed Gulls, 200 Bar-tailed Godwits, 230 Redshanks, 120 Curlew, 20 Oystercatchers, ( all waders feeding intensively on the muddy goodies in the Tolka Basin!) 10 Grey Herons and one Cormorant ( a dozen Starlings and Linnets were along  the high shore). LB  

At Kilcoole this calm morning there was a single Red-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver, 16 Little Grebes, 6 Little Egrets, 15 Sandwich Terns, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Teal, 13 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler, 1 Kingfisher. Also a good trickle of Swallows, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Goldfinches, Redpolls and 6 Wheatears. OM

20 September, 2007
At Merrion Gates, Sandymount Strand this evening an adult Yellow-legged Gull showing characteristics of the sub-species Atlantis (Azorean/Atlantic Yellow-legged Gull) was present at around 19:30 with the Gull roost. An adult Michahellis Yellow-legged Gull was also seen here. Both birds were compared directly alongside graellsii Lesser Black-backed Gulls.(This is most likely the same bird which has been seen here in October 2004, October 2005 and winter 2006/2007.) A juvenile Curlew Sandpiper was on Booterstown Marsh together with 10 Little Egrets, 201 Black-tailed Godwits, 277 Redshanks, 38 Knot. NK ,HD, OM.  2,931 terns came in around sunset/dusk, and out in the bay an Arctic Skua chased a small group of terns. 9 Mediterranean Gulls also came in to roost. The high tide roost spit also had 685 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2,750 Black-headed Gulls, 52 Brents, 240 Oystercatchers, 102 Ringed Plover, 75 Sanderling.OM

 18 September, 2007
A 2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull was on the lake at UCD Belfield this lunchtime. NTK A Peregrine Falcon was again on the east side of  the Central Bank this evening.RV  Only 155 terns at Booterstown on Monday evening , but a nice lot of waders in Booterstown Marsh including a Curlew Sandpiper. Also 64 very early Brent Geese  on the Zostera at Merrion Gates including 37 young! c.80 Brent Geese on the North Bull Island earlier in the day.RP, OM.  In Dundalk Bay there were 20,500 birds including 882 Black-tailed Godwits in a tight low-tide roosting bunch on the estuary at Dundalk town. Three Curlew Sandpipers and four Ruffs there too. A total  250 Brent Geese were in the bay and between Dunany Point and Clogher Head, again with very large numbers of goslings.In the group there was one young Pink-footed Goose. OM 

Sunday 16 August, 2007
No sign of Geese yet on the Bull Island this morning but there was a good number of large waders including over 500 Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits and 130 Redshank all seen from the brick and pebble-dash bus shelter on the main road ( it was very windy!). Also 7 Grey Plover coming out of Summer plumage. These are very striking birds even in moult! A Peregrine Falcon was on the east side of the Central Bank, Dame St this evening. LB  .  At Strangford  Lough there were  c.13,000 Brents at Strangford Lough with very large numbers of goslings.OM

Black-tailed Godwit winter plumage, Photo and notes Eric Dempsey

Bar-tailed Godwit winter plumage, Photo and notes Eric Dempsey

11 September, 2007
4 Ruff (3 male) and a Curlew Sandpiper amongst the Dunlin at Broadmeadow, Malahide Estuary . DOM 2 Balearic Shearwaters  flew south together quite close to Aidan's place in Balbriggan at 07.40hrs. this morning. No Manxies around! And there was 1 Arctic Skua offshore.AK 

10 September, 2007
2 Long Tailed Skuas seen over Bremore, Balbriggan this evening and a Sooty Shearwater. AK

Saturday 8 September, 2007
No geese yet to our knowledge on the Bull Island but there were small numbers of  Wigeon and Shoveler present early this morning. Also a couple of Arctic Skuas in the bay harassing terns. Summer plumaged adult Grey Plovers were seen passing through. Also over 40 Little Egret present. DOM

7 September, 2007
A Sooty Shearwater was seen off Bremore, Balbriggan  ( where else but at the Aidan Kelly seabird MECCA!!) also good numbers of Manx Shearwaters and 5 Arctic Squas. AK At Sandymount this evening, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, an eclipse male Wigeon and  a female Pintail were present. An Arctic Skua was seen in Dublin Bay.NK 3,401  terns were on Sandymount Strand by 20.20 hrs including  Roseate Terns showing very well and clearly in flight. There were 12 Little Egrets in Booterstown Marsh this morning  and 3 present this evening. OM, NK

6 September, 2007
3 juvenile Black Terns were present at the tern roost at Sandymount Strand this evening. 110 Great Crested Grebes were in Dublin Bay also.NK

4 September, 2007
8 Little Egrets were seen flying from Booterstown towards the North Bull at 7am.NK

3 September, 2007
From Booterstown Dart Station at low tide this evening there were thousands of sea and shore birds ( mostly Gulls but there were good numbers of Redshank, a few Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwits disturbed by a Peregrine and 2 juvenile Knot) with the Tern numbers up again to 3,400.OM, LB

Sunday 2 September, 2007
Late this evening in Bremore, Balbriggan there were lots of seabirds feeding offshore. 1-2 Balearic Shearwaters in with c.1000 rafting Manx Shearwaters . Lots of Gannets, Kittiwakes and terns in feeding frenzies.Also c. 12 Arctic Skuas offshore working the flocks.AK 1 Juvenile Black Tern present on the beach in front of Booterstown at 18.00 hrs,  Also c. 1200 Terns offshore feeding actively, 3 Arctic Skuas also in the area. HD

Saturday 1 September, 2007
Off Balbriggan today a Balearic Shearwater flew south with a group of Manx  Shearwaters.AK At Swords Estuary there were  3 Ruff & 3 juvenile Knot. DOM

The Tern numbers in Dublin Bay have been fluctuating possibly due to fish shoals moving away, recent very low tides or early departures for Africa? There were 5200 on 25th, 1450 on 28th and only 450 on 31st August. OM

We have heard about the feeding habits of these birds - now you can see for yourself!!
These photos were taken on 1 September, 2007 on the Bull Island by John Fox.

Grey Heron with Hooded Crows  

Now for the Mystery bird below!! No, it not a Little Stint.  Its a Sanderling. Eric has sent us excellent tips on identifying this bird and other waders. We have  posted this ID piece in the Birding Tips section of this website.  


30 August, 2007
1 juvenile Black Tern at Sandymount in the Tern flock (c.1800 birds), at 19.30 hrs.HD


July, August 2007
May, June 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007 and Earlier