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Outing Report

Wexford Coach Outing - 8th November 2015.

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South Dublin members at Tacumshin's East End Car Park. Picture by Bill Rea.

South Dublin members at Tacumshin, 8th November 2015 (picture: Bill Rea)

A birding trip to Wexford never disappoints. So, while the skies were generously liquid and the wind was high setting off from the ferry terminal last Sunday morning, hope sprang eternal! A nice cuppa and tasty buns at the Ferrycarrig Hotel refreshed the energy levels and the serious work commenced. Seen from the hotel, two Redshank, a Curlew and some Common Gulls on the Slaney, made a nice start to a very satisfactory day list.


Barnacle Geese on the North Slob, 8th November 2015. Picture by Bill Rea.

Barnacle Geese, North Slob, 8th November 2015 (picture: Bill Rea)

At Rosslare Ferry Port we had excellent views of male and female Black Redstarts, Rock Pipits and Pied Wagtails, while a Grey Seal checked us out from the heavy swell. On then to Lady's Island Lake, where Mute Swans and a small flock of ducks, including Gadwall, Wigeon and Mallard, were sheltering from the persistent gale.

A brave Skylark was heard calling, but, in the conditions, a quick decision was made to head for the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve at the North Slob, in order to avail of the facilities and hides for more comfortable birding and lunching. On the way to the reserve we picked up Bar-tailed Godwit, Turnstone and Cormorant.


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its an Irish Hare on the North Slob. Picture by Bill Rea.

Irish Hare, North Slob, 8th November 2015 (picture: Bill Rea)

There was a good show of Greenland White-fronted Geese on the reserve, although the main flocks have yet to arrive. Also seen from the Tower Hide were Snipe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-tailed Godwits, many Lapwing and Golden Plover, a couple of Barnacle Geese and some Whooper Swans. A solitary Ruff proved quite elusive in the large stubble field, but Niall Hatch was fortunate to spot a Merlin dashing past. From the Pump-House Hide, the inland view was quiet, apart from a family party of four Little Grebes, while the sea view yielded a single Great Crested Grebe.

Those who took the healthy walk to the Pat Walsh Hide had great views of a Spotted Redshank, one Scaup, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, a calling Water-Rail, some Greenshank, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Moorhen and Coot, and, for the very keen-eyed, a distant Ring-necked Duck. The latter bird had obviously attracted a number of the touring cognoscenti, who shared their skills and optics with us day-trippers. A passing female Hen Harrier was a nice bonus for some lucky viewers.


Just some of the thousands of wildfowl we witnessed at Tacumshin. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.

Wildfowl over Tacumshin Lake, 8th November 2015 (picture: Stephen McAvoy)

We then headed for Tacumshin, spotting some Little Egret and a lone Buzzard foraging in the fields and, lo and behold, as we neared this great birding area, the skies began to clear. Our driver brought us all the way to the two best access points, which saved time and energy.

The Spoonbill was soon picked up on the far shore by Pat Twomey (cool scope), and Mike Bowtell spotted a fine male Hen Harrier quartering the nearby fields. The lake was crowded with flocks of Wigeon, some Shoveler, Pochard, Pintail, Shelduck, and Whooper and Mute Swans galore. Our former Chairperson, Stephen McAvoy, on furlough from his endeavours in BTO headquarters at Thetford, had joined us for the day and spotted a Grey Phalarope swimming fairly close to shore.

Unfortunately, there was some disturbance from active hunters, causing occasional dispersals of the various flocks, but early returnees to the bus had great close-ups of a Kestrel. With the light fading, we headed for home.


Some More Pictures

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Farmyard Goose, Wigeon and Mallard at Our Lady's Island Lake. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.

Some more pictures taken on the outing by former Branch Chairman Stephen McAvoy.
Click on the thumbnail picture (left) and then use the left and right arrows on your keyboard to scroll through them.

South Dublin members at Rosslare Ferry Port. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.
South Dublin members in the rain at Our Lady's Island Lake. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.
Finally the rain stopped and the skies cleared at Tacumshin. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.
The sun sets over Tacumshin, time to head home but we'll be back. Picture by Stephen McAvoy.

Apart from the various waders and raptors, we had a good range of passerines and doves. The final count for the day, in spite of adverse conditions, was a very respectable 76 species as well as Grey Seal and Irish Hare. We'll be back!


Frank Doyle


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