Tuesday, November 03, 2015

County Kerry Ireland

As tradition has it Dee and I always spend her birthday on dry land and more often than not its usually in a remote cottage in Scotland. However, this year we decided on southern Ireland, with two days sightseeing in Dublin and then on to our cottage in Co. Kerry on the south-west coast. As far as Dublin is concerned, I can highly recommend a weekend during Halloween, where the whole city seems to be in fancy dress and the atmosphere is simply wicked!

View from the cottage overlooking Brandon Bay, Co. Kerry Ireland
On Sunday we picked up our hire car and drove the four hours or so down to County Kerry to our cottage for the week based near Castlegregory and Lough Gill. The weather thus far has been stunning, with temperatures reaching a barmy 20C.

Over breakfast each morning rafts of Common Scoter can easily be scoped from the bay window and this morning a real treat, with a large pod of Dolphins passing quite close in. Despite my efforts no surprises within the Scoter numbers but a ♂Scaup was easily picked out.

Oystercatchers a plenty!
Our first few days have been spent exploring the local coves and shoreline and we even managed to see a long staying Gull-billed Tern, which has been regularly seen at Blennerville lock gates near Tralee. Divers, or Loons as I prefer seem to be arriving in small numbers and we've managed several Great Northern and the odd Red-throated. Thousands of Oystercatchers along the beaches with Greenshank, Redshank, Turnstone, Sanderling, Ringed Plover and some large flocks of Golden Plover, Little Egrets roam in sixes and sevens!

Black Guillemot in Dingle Bay!
With calm winds sea watching hasn't yielded anything of note as yet, with the exception of a few distant Gannet. Both Guillemot and Black Guillemot can often be found on the water and Shag are quite common to the area. The nearby Lough Gill plays host to Whooper Swans in the winter months but it would seem that like the UK their running late. Light-bellied Brent Geese on the other hand can be found in descent numbers currently.

A few Rock Pipits to be found around the harbour at Dingle
A visit to Dingle this afternoon and a change in the weather with the glorious sunshine giving way to overcast laden skies. A walk around the bay produced little in calm conditions but a couple of Rock Pipits and a nearby Black Guillemot gave us a few photo opportunities.