Birds recently Spotted in West of Ireland

Birds Recently Spotted

Winter can be a great time for bird watching in the West of Ireland. Here are three of the more interesting birds I’ve seen recently.

Great White Egret

Birds - Great White Egret

Great White Egret

This bird does not ‘belong’ in Ireland, let alone the West. However, as I was driving south through Galway and its terrible floods the other day, a large white bird caught my eye in a flooded field at Kilcolgan. I stopped and observed the Great White Egret for 10 minutes, before continuing on my way. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera for one of the most interesting birds I’ve ever seen around these parts, so here is a picture from the UK’s RSPB website.

Barnacle Goose

Birds - Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Geese

North West Mayo carries internationally important numbers of this bird during winter, when they migrate south from Greenland. I saw five recently at Blacksod Bay, but, again, didn’t have my camera. The Iniskea Islands hold very large numbers of these birds during winter. Note the pale white / cream face on an otherwise black upper body head and neck. My record for this bird is approximately 980 on The Mullet peninsula.

Brent Goose

Birds - Brent Geese

Brent Geese

Again, the North West of Ireland holds important wintering flocks of Brent Geese. I saw three birds on the beach at Dromard, Co. Sligo recently. That day, I did have the camera. Click on the picture to increase its size and note the Brent’s distinctive thin white collar, which is visible on the bird on the left.

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