Tolka Branch Outing to Wexford, Saturday 21 October 2006

Tolka Branch Outing to Wexford, Saturday 21 October 2006

Our group of seven cars met at the Farmer's Kitchen to plan our itinerary for the day in Wexford. First stop was Churchtown, near Carne. The leafy lanes and gardens here can hold interesting migrants (as last year's Yellow-browed Warbler) but alas, not today. Highlights were a Kestrel, Stonechats and a late Swallow. We also saw a Merlin chasing Skylarks over Churchtown.

  We went on to nearby Nethertown Strand, which had Bar-tailed Godwits looking very fresh in their new winter plumage, White Wagtails with the numerous Pied Wagtails on the seaweed and a fine adult winter Mediterranean Gull. There we discovered a baby Seal, of which more later!
 Then it was on to Our Lady’s island where we were joined by 3 more intrepid Tolka branch members who had just returned from an exciting trip to Cape Clear and the Old Head of Kinsale happy with their sightings of the American Hermit Thrush and the Siberian Isabelline Shrike. The intrepid three also found a Garden Warbler at the Old Head of Kinsale.

   Birds were scarce at Our Lady's Island with no sign of the Tree Sparrows and at Tacumshin High Car park men with dogs had disturbed everything. The Forgotten Corner of Tacumshin rewarded our persistence in the rain with large flocks of dabbling Ducks and a (ringtail type) Hen Harrier quartering the reed bed.
Next was a visit to the North Slobs Pat Walsh Hide (the tower being closed for the day by now) and more ducks. Dabblers included Gadwall and divers included Goldeneye and Pochard. Another female Hen Harrier was also seen flying with crows in the distance. Two more late Swallows completed our sightings before we repaired to Toss Byrne's in Inch for refreshment.



The discovery of the distressed baby seal at Nethertown resulted, after various cross mobile phone connections, in a rescue party arriving and taking him into care. "Tolka" as he is now named, was just over three weeks old and 50% underweight with some minor injuries but an optimistic prognosis. The Official Seal of the Tolka BWI Branch will be released at a time we will be informed about and we hope to attend the occasion. Watch this space.



© Copyright, Tolka Branch, Birdwatch Ireland 2006