Sunday, February 26, 2012

 This 1st winter Iceland gull was a nice surprise amongst the swans at Swords yesterday. It was found coming to roost during the week, today it was feeding aggressively amongst the black headed gulls for bread thrown out to the swans.
 Spent a few hours out at Rogerstown in north Dublin yesterday hoping for a few of the raptors that had been seen over the previous few days. The young male hen harrier put in a brief appearance early on. With a full crop it left the field around 830 am and didn't show again till I left around midday. I stayed around and had a few kestrels, buzzards, a young peregrine but no sign of the merlin, red kites or short eared owls that have been seen in recent times. I wandered around the fields getting to grips with the new layout of the area and was amazed to come across a pair of grey partridge running around the side of the road. I had been told there were birds in a cage in the area as part of a re-introduction but it was great to see them roaming free all the same. I followed the pair for a while and got great views and some quick, rough sketches. Hopefully they will thrive here as they are in the Boora parklands.

 This was one of my better shots of the water rail from U.C.D. last week. Was tricky to get a shot in the open as it moved so quickly and there was very little light. Have dozens of blurred shots of this bird!

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