Outing Report

Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow - 9th September 2012.

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South Dublin members bird-watching at Kilcoole. Picture by Colum Clarke.

South Dublin members at Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow (picture: Colum Clarke)

On Sunday the 9th of September the South Dublin Branch held its first Outing of its 2012-2013 season. Meeting in the car park of Kilcoole Train Station, we quickly noticed our first birds: several Swallows hawking for insects and a Dunnock calling from some nearby trees.

From here we walked a short distance south along the beach to look into the BirdWatch Ireland reserve. Here we found about 30 Mallards sitting on the bank, with a few Teal mixed in. More Swallows, a few House Martins and one Sand Martin were also noted flying over the reedbed. A Kestrel was seen hovering in the distance, which was quickly followed by a Sparrowhawk dashing across and a juvenile Peregrine attempting to catch a Woodpigeon. A very nice selection of raptors despite the rather dull weather!

One keen-eyed observer picked out two late Sedge Warblers feeding in the reserve, which eventually gave brief but good views to all. A Moorhen and Water Rail were also heard calling from the reeds, but could not be seen.

The marshes and beach at Kilcoole with the Dublin to Wexford railway line between them. Picture by Dick Coombes.

Kilcoole Marsh and Beach with Bray Head and Little Sugarloaf in the distance (picture: Dick Coombes)

Moving further south, we scanned the open water and grassland in Webb's Field and had good views of Shoveler, Curlew, a couple of Little Egrets and a Bar-tailed Godwit. Scanning a group of Woodpigeon, which had come to drink at the waters edge revealed a single Stock Dove, one of the specialities of Kilcoole. The abundant seeding Thistles in the field held good numbers of Goldfinch and Linnet.

Looking out to sea, our group noted a couple of Gannets, a single Fulmar flying south and a group of six Common Scoters. The highlight of the day was probably the adult winter Mediterranean Gull seen resting with some Black-headed Gulls. Although easily seen at Sandycove, it is still relatively unusual to see this species along the Wicklow coast.

Some More Pictures

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Looks like something has got their attention! Picture by Colum Clarke.

Some more of the pictures taken on the outing. See if you can spot yourself?
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Time to recap events. Picture by Niall Hatch.
Enjoying a joke with Stephen McAvoy, Branch Chairman (on the left). Picture by Niall Hatch.
Proceeding in an orderly fashion. Picture by Niall Hatch.
The beach and shingle bank at Kilcoole with a line of Sea-buckthorn bushes on the left. Picture by Dick Coombes.

We finished our trip at the Sea-buckthorn hedge at the southern end of Webb's field, noting the first Wigeon of the autumn, as well as a few Coot and a Shelduck.

Stephen McAvoy

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