Outing Report

Cabinteely Park - 30th August 2015.

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Some of the South Dublin members that were on the Cabinteel Park outing. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

South Dublin members in Cabinteely Park, 30th August 2015 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

This year we decided to begin our season of events a little early with a couple of outings in August. The second of these was to a familiar South Dublin Branch destination, Cabinteely Park. Its difficult to know just what the park has to offer the birder at this time of year as it can become very quiet while birds lie-low under the cover of the still full canopy of leaves as they recover from the effort of raising their broods and begin to moult their feathers. So, 22 optimistic South Dublin members met up at 10:30 near the park entrance to see what it had to offer. Branch Chairman, Frank Doyle, led the outing and he announced that we would begin by heading towards the wooded area behind Cabinteely House. Off we went.

Our first stop was to investigate movement and calls high in some trees, that turned out to be mostly Blue Tits and at least one Goldcrest. Views were not great and often fleeting so we continued along, further in to the wooded area where we had to be satisfied with a Robin, Wood Pigeons and some corvids. This is a good area for Treecreeper but sorry to say, there were none on show today!

You can always depend to see a Robin in the park. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Robin in Cabinteely Park, 30th August 2015 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

Next we headed towards the artificial pond created by the Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown Parks Department near the Old Bray Road park entrance. This pond drains in to the Cabinteely Stream that runs through the park. On the way a Mediterranean Gull was seen in flight but soon disappeared and was only seen by a few.

There was a fine selection of birds on the pond. The majority were Black-headed Gulls and Mallards including some strange looking farmyard types. Also present were three Little Grebes, two juveniles and an adult. One of the juveniles was still been fed by the adult but the other seemed independent and was diving constantly. There were three Moorhens also, again an adult and two juveniles. One of the juveniles was sitting in a clump of grass about ten feet away and was totally indifferent to the many people in the vicinity. Finally, the regular pair of Mute Swans were onsite.

The adult Little Grebe that was on the pond. Picture by Bill Rea.

Little Grebe on the Cabinteely Park pond, 30th August 2015 (picture: Bill Rea)

We retraced our steps back across the Cabinteely Stream and walked along its bank. A Wren was spotted flitting about in bushes and a Dunnock was seen. Then one of the group asked 'what bird is that' pointing upwards. That bird turned out to be a Buzzard, and we watched it for several minutes as it soared majestically overhead before it headed off towards the west. It was definitely the best bird on the day, so thanks to Alison for finding it.

A large group of Black-headed Gulls were spread out feeding and loafing on the grassy area adjacent to the stream and with them were two Mediterranean Gulls. One of them obliged us by staying put and we were able to view it and a Black-headed Gull in the same scope view, allowing us good comparisons of these similar gulls. Then some Goldfinch flew overhead and landed high in a bare tree further on. We got great views in the scopes and as we watched more flew in until there was about 15 in total.

Some More Pictures

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Black-headed Gull on the Cabinteely Park pond. Picture by Bill Rea.

Some more pictures taken on the day by Gustavo Zoladz and Bill Rea.
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One of the Mediterranean Gulls seen during the outing. Picture by Bill Rea.
Moorhen in a hurry. Picture by Bill Rea.
Cabinteely Park corvids. Mr. Jackdaw and ...... Picture by Bill Rea.
....... Mr. Rook. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.
Some of the Goldfinch flock that we saw. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.
South Dublin members watching the Goldfinch flock. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Next stop was a bridge over the stream where we have seen Grey Wagtail during past outings. First birds to show were a couple of Pied Wagtails, not quite what was hoped for but a good start. Then Eleanor spotted a Grey Wagtail and the entire group got on to it and had great views. That seemed a fitting end to our outing and we said our farewells and headed off home satisfied with all that we had seen on this end of August outing.

Joe Hobbs

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