Welcome to the Waterford Birds blog, supplementing the Recent reports page of the main Waterford Birds website www.waterfordbirds.com. If it's not there yet it may be here (real-time postings when possible), along with extra details. Please post any updates, new reports or corrections by texting 0861701599 (alternatively - but this may delay dissemination of news - click Comments). The main website will be updated (including photos) at next opportunity.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

RAM HEAD: 50+ Common Dolphins, 3 Porpoises & a breaching Basking Shark (A. Malcolm).

Nr CROHAUN: 3 or 4 Grasshopper Warblers singing this evening (MC).
PORTLAW/CURRAGHMORE AREA: Dipper at Portlaw Bridge, Jay near Lowry Bridge, 6 singing Blackcaps, 90 Painted Ladies & a Silver Y (MAD, PMW).

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: 25 Painted Ladies, 83 Silver Y & a Rush Veneer, mostly along clifftops. 2 Silver Y & a Rush Veneer trapped last night (PMW).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

BROWNSTOWN HEAD (update): Totals for migrant Lepidoptera now 138 Painted Ladies, 81 Silver Ys & 7 Red Admirals, the first two mostly feeding/resting along clifftops. A Chiffchaff was the only apparent bird migrant (MAD, PMW).
Nr MAHON BRIDGE: Major passage of Painted Ladies heading NNW especially since 12:00: sample count 375 NNW in 15 mins 12:35-12:50 (1500/hr!) over a c250 m wide silage field. Passage apparently less dense across a wider front, with several other sample counts suggesting up to 250-300/hr across 100-200-m bands but less than this at times or from some vantage points. Including incidental observations throughout tetrads S30 G, H, L & M, minimum total 785 Painted Ladies counted in Lemybrien / Mahon Bridge area today (08:30-14:15). 4 migrant Silver Y moths also recorded, & a Spotted Flycatcher SE of Mahon Bridge (PMW).

LEMYBRIEN to TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: A further 30 Painted Ladies flying N or NW across road, 14:30-15:10 (PMW).

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: A Silver Y caught in moth-traps last night (PMW).
Nr LEMYBRIEN: 2 Spotted Flycatchers & 50 Painted Ladies, mostly feeding/resting, Ballylinch area (tetrad S30L) (PMW).

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ballyvoyle: Painted Lady (MC)

Nr WATERFORD CITY: 10 Painted Ladies (Liam Lysaght).

TRAMORE: 11 Painted Ladies (Tony Bryant).

YOUGHAL-to-WATERFORD main road: 11 Painted Ladies flying W or NW, this evening - part of delayed arrival after huge influx of PLs to Britain last weekend (PMW).
NIER VALLEY: Dipper near Knockaunbrandaun & Jay north of Graignagower (DMcG).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

ATLANTIC CHARTS (c) Met Eireann: Looking good for migrants (insects at least...)

CARRIGNAGOUR (nr Lismore): Spotted Flycatcher (Andrew Malcolm).

DRUM HILLS: Totals of singing warblers in & around young forestry, Garrynagree / Scordaun area (tetrads X28I & N mainly): 4 Sedge Warblers, 6 Whitethroats, 3 Blackcaps, 20 Willow Warblers & 9 Chiffchaffs, 09:45-13:15 (PMW).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WATERFORD BREEDING BIRD ATLAS update: Known coverage since 1st April this year is mapped below by 2-km tetrad - 1+ hr coverage x71 tetrads (13%, largest dots), all records x 169+ tetrads (31% of county total). This includes localities for all records submitted here or to main website. Click here for further details & larger map, also species maps from previous years.

Monday May 25, 2009

NIER VALLEY / COMERAGHS: Spotted Flycatcher near Knockalisheen, Cuckoo near Moanyarha (DMcG).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

KNOCKMEALDOWN MOUNTAINS: Red Grouse & Cuckoo, Ballysaggart area (John Power & Bernie Sheridan).

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: Some lingering or late passage waders still about - 15 Whimbrel, 8 Curlew & 90+ Oystercatcher at Ballinattin & spits, 4 Redshank at Clohernagh (PMW).

DUNHILL CASTLE: Spotted Flycatcher (Declan McGrath).

CARRIGCAUM FOREST (SE of Kilsheelan): 3 Jays, a Spotted Flycatcher & 7 singing Whitethroats (PMW).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: 1 Red-throated Diver W, 740 Manx Shearwaters W (47 E) & 164 Gannets W (21 E) in a 1-hr evening seawatch (20:10-21:10, wind f.3 W); 2 Swifts W over the head @ 21:30. Migrant insects - a Painted Lady on clifftop today, while 2 Dark Sword-grass & a Diamond-back Moth trapped tonight were the first migrant moths here this spring (PMW).

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: 2 Choughs at Lisselan (new racecourse), also 3 Swifts & 20+ House Martins feeding low over the lake there (PMW).
HELVICK HEAD: 5 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Chiffchaffs.

BALLINCLAMPER: 2 Brent Geese (late stayers) and 1 summer plumage Great Northern Diver on the sea. ( MC )
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Single Tree Sparrow near old farm buildings, Wheatear & Painted Lady on clifftop; House Martin pair with newly-constructed nest on house but cliff-nesting on the Head seems to have died out in last few years (PMW).
Nr KNOCKEEN DOLMEN: An adult-summer Great Northern Diver flew west overhead @ 08:35, 4-5 km inland from Tramore (PMW).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

EASTERN KNOCKMEALDOWNS: Grasshopper Warbler seen nr Broemountain @ 210 m (13:05), also 17 singing Willow Warblers in an hour in same area (tetrad S10N, 0915-1015) (PMW).
Nr BALLYNAMULT: Dipper at Priestown Bridge (11:35) - Co Waterford side (PMW).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: Seawatch 18:45-19:15
1 Pomarine Skua, 2 unidentified Skuas (extremely distant but probably Pomarine), 4 Storm Petrels and 1 Black Guillemot west. Winds not as strong this evening resulting in much quieter passage of birds close to shore. ( MC )

DUNGARVAN TOWN: Tufted Duck again at the new town park nr Dunnes Stores, this morning, accompanied by a resident Moorhen & visiting Mute Swan (Eugene Burke).

Monday, May 18, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: Seawatch 18:45-19:55
8 Pomarine Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, 9 Storm Petrels and 2 Puffins flew west. ( MC )

DUNGARVAN TOWN: A male Tufted Duck was found by M Cowming Sr. in the channel opposite Lidl which is part of the new town park currently under development.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: Seawatch 19:00-20:00
2 1st summer Little Gulls, 1 Black Guillemot, 8 Sandwich Terns, 1 Diver sp. and 4 Storm Petrels. (MC). Another 3 Storm Petrels west 18:45-19:00 & 150+ Manx Shearwaters west 18:45-19:15 (MAD, PMW).
HELVICK HEAD: 1 Storm Petrel west during a brief seawatch this morning. 4 Spotted Flycatchers and 2 Blackcaps (Male & Female).

ARDMORE: 20 Tree Sparrows. ( MC ) 4 in Bawnacommera area, c16 Ballysallagh area.
KILBARRY BOG: Grasshopper Warbler & 8 Sedge Warblers (6 singing) (PMW).
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: 6 adult Pomarine Skuas & a Storm Petrel east, adult summer Great Northern Diver & 780 Manx Shearwaters west (seawatch 07:30-08:30, wind f.6 decreasing to 4 SW) (MAD, PMW).

Saturday, May 16, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: (Seawatch 19:15-20:45) 1 Adult SABINE'S GULL*, 11 Arctic Terns, 3 Storm Petrels, 1 Great Skua, 3 unidentified Skuas (probable Pomarines but uncertain due to distance) and 14 light phase Pomarine Skuas flew west. The flock of 14 were part of a larger flock originally found by D Clarke this evening. After resting in the bay for roughly an hour, the birds continued west. 1 unidentified cetacean was also seen briefly from the cove. ( MC )

*An adult Sabine's Gull - the same one? - was seen later the same evening off Ballycotton (Co Cork), 30+ km SW of Helvick.

BALLYNACOURTY POINT: 22+ Pomarine Skuas (DC).

CLONEA STRAND: 2 Spotted Flycatchers at Ballinclamper (DC).
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: 4 adult light-phase Pomarine Skuas west, 2 Great Skuas east, 495 Manx Shearwaters & 155 Gannets west in 1 hr (6-7 pm, wind f.7 SW), also a Black Guillemot on sea & 13 Whimbrel on land (PMW).

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: 2 Whimbrel at Clohernagh (PMW).
HELVICK HEAD: 3 Storm Petrels, 2 1st-winter Little Gulls, 5 Puffins & 940 Manx Shearwaters west (seawatch 1.55-2.55 pm, wind 6-7 SW-W) (PMW).

DUNGARVAN BAY: 90+ Gannets feeding.
HELVICK HEAD: Female Whinchat ( MC & CF )

Friday, May 15, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: 2 Spotted Flycatchers ( MC )
CLONEA STRAND: Spotted Flycatcher at Balinclamper (Declan Clarke).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: 6 Spotted Flycatchers ( MC ).
ON THIS DATE: Also while things are quiet, see the graph below for an indication of the best rarity-finding dates in Co Waterford, based on records since 1953. Click here for a full list sorted by date.

WATERFORD BREEDING BIRD ATLAS: General birding is quiet at the moment but good progress is being made with the Atlas - map below summarizes known coverage between 1st April and 13th May 2009. The largest dots represent timed coverage of 2+ hours (1 tetrad) or 1+ hour (at least 51 tetrads, 9% of county total); including casual/roving records, at least 139 tetrads (26% of the c540 in the county) have had some coverage this season. See further details and species maps from previous seasons.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: Spotted Flycatcher ( MC )

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nr PORTLAW: Buzzard (Fons Jaspers).

Monday, May 11, 2009

WHITING BAY: 16 Whimbrel (Sean Hogan).

BALLYQUIN (nr Ardmore): Wheatear (SH).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

CLONEA STRAND: At Ballinclamper, Merlin (killed House Sparrow on feeder), pair of Shelduck, 18 Whimbrel, 22 Sanderling, 23 Dunlin, 32 Turnstones & 3 Wheatears (Declan Clarke).

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Small(!) arrival of migrants - Grasshopper Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher (1st of year), 2 Sedge Warblers & a Wheatear - with calming & shift of wind overnight from SW to NE (PMW).

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: 20 Whimbrel at Ballinattin.
KILCLOONEY FOREST (east Comeragh foothills): Grasshopper Warbler & 4 Whitethroats singing (PMW).

Saturday, May 09, 2009

HELVICK HEAD: 1 Great Skua west. ( Seawatch 5.05-5.35pm )
DUNMORE EAST: 6 Whimbrel on rocks.

FORNAGHT STRAND & BOG: 4 Whimbrel & 11 late Brent Geese on strand, Water Rail calling from the bog (MAD, PMW).
BALLYVOONEY: Ringtail Hen Harrier.
RAM HEAD: Wheatear, 2 Stock Doves, Great Northern Diver flying west.
DUNGARVAN TOWN: 2 Great Northern Divers flying west over town @6am.
A number of Swifts seen today between Dungarvan and Knockaderry Lake via coast road. (MC)
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Seawatch 11.35-12.35 (wind 4 SW) produced 2 Arctic Skuas W, 627 Manx Shearwaters W (157 E, 150+ feeding), 4 Fulmars W, 70 Gannets W (6 E), 25 Kittiwakes W (5 E) & 65 large auks W (7 E). 3 Whimbrel, 3 Swifts & 2 Chiffchaffs on the head (PMW).

Friday, May 08, 2009

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Evening seawatch 7.25-8.25 pm (wind 4 WSW) produced a pale Balearic Shearwater west, 287 Manxies W (3 E), 6 Fulmars W, 70 Gannets W (1 E), 54 Kittiwakes W (1 E), 2 Sandwich Terns E & 28 large auks W. Also 21 Whimbrel on land (PMW).
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: 11 Whimbrel. 207 Manx Shearwaters W (14 E) in a 1-hr seawatch (10.40-11.40 am, wind 5-6 WSW); also 5 Fulmars W, 20 Gannets W (14 E), 13 Kittiwakes W (4 E) & 38 large auks W (2 E) (PMW).

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Near KILSHEELAN: 16+ singing Blackcaps in woodland from Kilsheelan east to Coolnamuck, & 4 Swifts lower over River Suir at Kilsheelan (PMW).

DROMANA HOUSE (Blackwater valley): 3 Swifts (Eugene Burke).
HELVICK HEAD: Seawatch 18.40-19.50pm 2 Puffins, 4 Red-throated Divers, 4 Great Skuas, 1 unidentified Skua sp. and many Manx Shearwaters West this evening. ( MC & CF )

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Helvick Head: 2 Puffins on the water, 1 Diver sp. west and good numbers of Manx Shearwaters west on passage. (MC)
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Pomarine Skua E & 340 Manx Shearwaters W (2E) in a 1-hr seawatch (7-8 pm, wind f. 7-8 SW); also 93 Gannets W (1 E), 9Fulmars W (1 E), 29 Kittiwakes W, 125 Guillemots W (3 E), 1 Razorbill W & 2 Whimbrels W (PMW).

DUNMORE EAST: 2 Black Guillemots on sea east of the pier/seawall @ 6.30 pm - possibly birds from Portally or Creadan Head (PMW).
BALLYSHUNNOCK RESERVOIR: Whooper / Mute Swan hybrid & a pair of Great Crested Grebes.



BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Pair of Tree Sparrows near nest-site used last year (PMW).

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: An Arctic Skua E, 2 Puffins on sea & 206 Manx Shearwaters W (6 E, 20 feeding close inshore) in a half-hr seawatch (7.20-7.50 pm, wind 5 SW); also 39 Gannets W (10 E), 5 Fulmars W (1 E), 20 Kittiwakes W & 16 large auks W (8 Raz, 4 Guillemot). 19 Whimbrel in fields (PMW).
CLONEA STRAND: 15 Whimbrel, 20 Sanderling, 28 Dunlin & 2 Wheatears at Ballinclamper (Declan Clarke).

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: 14 Whimbrel, 120+ Oystercatcher & 25 Dunlin roosting on the spits, 15 Shelduck along north shore & new racecourse(PM Walsh).

Monday, May 04, 2009

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Evening seawatch 6.55-7.40 pm (wind f.3 SW) produced no further skuas, 44 Manx Shearwaters W, 20 Gannets W (1 E), 25 Kittiwakes W (2 E), 1 Fulmar W, 4 Whimbrel E & 3 Swifts W (MAD, PMW).
TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: Grasshopper Warbler singing at Kilmacleague inlet (MA Duggan), 42 Whimbrel visible from Saleen.

RATHMOYLAN COVE: 3 Swifts in off the sea, also a Wheatear (PMW).
HELVICK HEAD: 1 Cuckoo, 1 Wheatear (male), 1 Sedge Warbler.
BALLYMACART: 1 Wheatear (male)
RAM HEAD: 2 Wheatears (males)
Whitethroats evident at most sites visited along coast now. (Mícheál Cowming & Colum Flynn)
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Single Pomarine Skua (1st of yr) & Great Skua east during a 1-hr seawatch (10.18-11.18 am, wind f.4-5 SW); also 39 Manx Shearwaters W (+ 15 feeding), 24 Gannets W (3 E), 4 Fulmars W, 9 Kittiwakes W (3 E), 16 Sandwich Terns W & 24 large auks W (17 Razorbill, 1 Guillemot). Landbirds included 5 Swifts (mainly W) & 2 Wheatears (PMW); also 15 Whimbrel in fields.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Nr TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: Buzzard (Micheal Cowming).

BALLYSCANLAN LAKE: 1st/2nd-summer Iceland or Glaucous Gull flying west with 2 Herring Gulls over the lake - a strange sight inland in early May (MC).

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Bar-tailed Godwit with small numbers of Whimbrel (MC).
BELLE LAKE: Another Reed Warbler singing here (nr SE corner of lake) also a Sedge Warbler (PMW).
WOODSTOWN: 2 Water Rails squealing & 3 Sedge Warblers singing at Woodstown Bog; a late Brent Goose flew past the beach and across Waterford Harbour towards Duncannon (PMW).
RIVER SUIR near POULDREW: Reed Warbler singing from Co Waterford bank opposite Portnascully (1st county record of year); also 2 Sedge Warblers & 27 Whimbrel (PMW).

Saturday, May 02, 2009

BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Very quiet, just single Willow Warbler & Chiffchaff in afternoon, and small nos of Swallows in off sea (PMW).
Ballyvoyle: 2 Whitethroats.
Helvick Head: 3 Whitethroats
Knockaderry Lake: Cuckoo
Castletown Fen: Cuckoo
(Mícheál Cowming, Colum Flynn)

TOURIG RIVER (nr Youghal): 6 CATTLE EGRETS - 3 Cork side, 3 Waterford side of river. At roundabout on N25 take Tallow exit and pull into layby on left after a few hundred metres. Birds viewable but distant from here. (Micheal Cowming, Colum Flynn)
Nr KILROSSANTY: Dipper at Aughnacurra Bridge.

Nr COMERAGHMOUNTAIN / MAHON FALLS: Grasshopper Warbler & Whitethroat singing. Also small nos of Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Siskin between here and Kilrossanty (PMW).
RAM HEAD: Buzzard, 9 divers (1+ Great Northern), 5 Porpoises, also brief 'splash' of either a Minke Whale or a Basking Shark (Andrew Malcolm).

Friday, May 01, 2009

NIGHT ATLASSING: 4 sites checked 9.25-11.05 pm (clear, calm but cool night) but not much to show - single Sedge Warblers singing at Bunmahon (tetrad X49J) & Annestown Bog (X49Z), even quieter along Kilmurrin valley (X49P) & at Fenor Bog (S50F) (PMW).
ARDMORE BAY: 42+ Whimbrel; 43 Manx Shearwaters west in 15 mins, 8.00-8.15 pm = c170/hr (PMW).

BALLYSCANLAN HILLS: Cuckoo heard this afternoon (Tony Bryant).