Outing Report

Broad Lough, Co. Wicklow - 9th December 2012.

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Well wrapped up against the cold at Broad Lough. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.

South Dublin members brave the cold at Broad Lough (picture: Stephen McAvoy)

It was a cold windy morning and not for the fainthearted, but sixteen hardy birders turned up for the branch outing led by Branch Chairman, Stephen McAvoy.

As we headed for the northern end of the lough against a stiff breeze, Stephen heard a Reed Bunting and we spotted it on the nearby gorse momentarily. We also heard Dunnock calling at this time.

A lone Pintail flies over Broad Lough. Picture by Colum Clarke.

Pintail over Broad Lough, 9th December 2012 (picture: Colum Clarke)

As we arrived at the waterside there was a female Goosander in the water right in front of us. We got a good sight of her on the water before she flew back up-stream and was not seen again. Still, for those of us who had not seen one before it showed well if some-what briefly.

There were plenty of Mallard and some Wigeon, Little Grebe, Redshank and Mute Swan right before us as well as a Pintail in flight. To our left on a mud bank, were some Dunlin and Ringed Plover, with a Grey Plover in lonely splendour.

Little Grebes taking a break from diving. Picture by Colum Clarke.

Little Grebes, Broad Lough, 9th December 2012 (picture: Colum Clarke)

Overhead was a large flock of Golden Plover, wheeling and receding from us, they maintained a presence over us for the duration of our stay, and displayed a brief glimpse of their wonderful golden colour in a brief shot of sunshine.

There were some gulls including Great Black-backed, Black-headed and Common Gulls as well as a possible Ring-billed Gull until we realised it was not the real thing.

Black-tailed Godwits living up to their name. Picture by Colum Clarke.

Black-tailed Godwits, Broad Lough, 9th December 2012 (picture: Colum Clarke)

We got a brief sighting of a Little Egret, and later another, but both were sensibly sheltering from the stiff wind. Both Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits dredged for food side by side, making it easy to compare and note the differences.

There were some Rock Pipits, popping up from a marshy island to our right, an unusual place for them to frequent but Stephen had identified them by call, and we did not get anything other than fleeting views of them.

A view over Broad Lough. Picture by Colum Clarke.

A view over Broad Lough, 9th December 2012 (picture: Colum Clarke)

We walked further north and were rewarded by sighting a large group of Lapwing, a bathing Curlew and some Cormorants, both adult and juvenile. We called it a day at about 12.30 and on the walk back to the Murrough Road, spotted a Blue Tit, a pair of Stonechat and a good sighting of Reed Bunting. No raptor made an appearance to thrill us, probably too much wind. However we did have the usual corvids in attendance.

Some More Pictures

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A bird on a wire! Stonechat at Broad Lough. Picture by Colum Clarke.

Some more pictures taken on the outing by Colum Clarke and Stephen McAvoy of the birds, branch members and scenery at Broad Lough.
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Hooded Crow on the prowl. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.
Bewick's Swans against a blue sky over Broad Lough. Picture by Colum Clarke.
Another view of Broad Lough. Picture by Colum Clarke.
Which way did it go? Picture by Stephen McAvoy.
Always find a good vantage point to scan from. Picture by Colum Clarke.

All in all not a bad mornings birding, and all were looking forward to the next one at the North Bull Island, Co. Dublin on 13th January 2013, meeting at 2pm to catch a good tide.

Eleanor Keane

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