Outing Report

Wexford Coach Outing - 6th November 2016.

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South Dublin members in the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve car park. Picture by Bill Rea.

South Dublin Members on the Wexford Coach Outing, 6th November 2016 (picture: Bill Rea)

The weather on this occasion, for the annual visit to the Wexford hotspots, was a great improvement on 2015. Bright sunshine was accompanied by a sharp northerly breeze, so woolly hats, scarves and gloves were the order of the day. A Red Kite, showing near Redcross on the new N11, gave a solid start to a very satisfactory day-list.

At the Ferrycarrig Hotel comfort stop, there were small flocks of Little Egret and Teal, with Grey Heron and Mallard. On then to Rosslare Ferryport, where the sea was wild and the Black Redstarts were hiding somewhere, while Rock Pipit, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock and Pied Wagtail foraged under the hedges in the car-park. But we did see Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Razorbill, Cormorant, Guillemot, Sanderling, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Redshank and Ringed Plover, coping with the waves, and a Kestrel fighting the wind with some hardy gulls.

Immature Cormorant on the River Slaney. Picture by Bill Rea.

Cormorant on the River Slaney, 6th November 2016 (picture: Bill Rea)

The lake at Our Lady’s Island was a good deal calmer and gave excellent views of Wigeon, Greylag Geese, Black-tailed Godwit, and a few Golden Plover. A quick walk around the pilgrim path revealed Whooper Swan family groups, Linnets on the move, a Reed Bunting and a fine display of Gadwall dabbling in small flocks. A passing Stock Dove gave fleeting views.

At Tacumshin Lake, as usual, the sheer number of waders was very impressive. On the walk to the High Point, Mike Bowtell spotted a flying Cattle Egret, and Niall Hatch soon located a Long-billed Dowitcher 'sewing' its way along the feeding grounds. This busy 'Yank', as our visiting American vagrants are sometimes referred to, can be identified by its particular bill movements. It was accompanied by a Little Stint. The surrounding flocks included Shelduck, Dunlin, Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Pintail, and many swans, both Mute and Whooper.

Ringed Plover on the beach at Rosslare Harbour. Picture by Bill Rea.

Ringed Plover, Rosslare, 6th November 2016 (picture: Bill Rea)

On then to the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, where the geese flocks were predominantly Greenland Whitefronts, although not in the usual high numbers in the nearer fields. Some Barnacle and Pale-bellied Brent were also spotted.

A check over the harbour wall provided good sightings of Kingfisher, Red-breasted Merganser, Great-crested Grebe, and Goldeneye. A Peregrine moved on to a post momentarily and added to the day’s tally of raptors, which had included a Sparrowhawk over the bus, a passing female Hen Harrier at Tacumshin, a Kestrel at Rosslare, the Red Kite on the N11, and numerous Buzzards in flight or perched in roadside trees.

Some More Pictures

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First-year Herring Gull dodging the waves at Rosslare Harbour. Picture by Bill Rea.

Some more pictures taken on the day by Bill Rea.
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Hooded Crow on the beach at Rosslare. Picture by Bill Rea.
Pied Wagtail on the neach at Rosslare. Picture by Bill Rea.
A couple of Sanderlings at the water's edge in Rosslare. Picture by Bill Rea.
A male Stonechat in the scrub at Rosslare. Picture by Bill Rea.
Linnet at Tacumshin. Picture by Bill Rea.
A couple of Rooks on a wire at Tacumshin Lake. Picture by Bill Rea.
Outside the church at Our Lady's Island. Picture by Bill Rea.
On the sea-bank at Rosslare. Picture by Bill Rea.
At Tacumshin's east end car park. Picture by Bill Rea.
At the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, our final stop on the outing. Picture by Bill Rea.

When the day's log was called a total of 84 species was the tally. Not bad for a very enjoyable day’s birding!

Frank Doyle

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