South Dublin Branch - Outing Report

Bluethroat - Ballycotton, Cork (photo: Paul & Andrea Kelly)

Rogerstown Estuary and Turvey Parklands - 8th October 2017.

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Out standing in a field in Turvey! Picture by Bill Rea.

South Dublin members at Turvey Parklands (picture: Bill Rea)

The morning was rather dull but there was a good turnout for our visit to the reserve at Rogerstown Estuary and Turvey Parklands. A Common Buzzard perched nearby on some bare branches and two Mistle Thrushes on the tops of the pines gave some great views as the group assembled. The pleasant walk down to the main hide had the gentle background of many Robins competing in their autumn serenade. We also saw mixed finch flocks availing of the abundant seed-bearing plants, including Bullfinch, Linnet, Redpoll, and Goldfinch. A Goldcrest and a Dunnock added variety to the selection.

One of many Robins spotted along the path to the hide. Picture by Luke Geraty.

Robin at Turvey Parklands (picture: Luke Geraty)

As we approached the Frank McManus hide, the tide was beginning to fill and the inner estuary provided a marvelous array of waders and other waterfowl. Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit were very strongly represented, while a few Grey Plover worked the sands busily, accompanied by Redshank and good numbers of Greenshank. A noticeable presence, especially at the western end of the various creeks, was a strong flock of Little Egrets in their immaculate plumage. Grey Heron were also in attendance, but they seem to keep a lower profile when their brighter cousins are about. Gulls were mainly represented by Herring, Great Black-backed and Black-headed varieties.

Bar-tailed Godwit on the mud at Rogerstown Estuary. Picture by Luke Geraty.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Rogerstown Estuary (picture: Luke Geraty)

As the tide filled the outer estuary, the Dunlin flocks came rushing in and got down to some serious foraging along the main channel. Some of the Dunlin retained strong traces of summer plumage on the breast, mantle and scapulars. A Curlew Sandpiper and some visiting Ruff proved elusive among the scattered waders. There was also a good spread of Pale-bellied Brent Geese, with Wigeon, Mallard, Shelduck, and some Oystercatchers. A Peregrine falcon, perched on a small ruin in the inner marsh, was found by Eleanor, our Hon. Secretary, and waited obligingly while everybody got a good sighting of this top predator. Stonechats and Meadow Pipits caught the eye on a nearby fence.

Male and female Wigeon at Rogerstown Estuary. Picture by Luke Geraty.

Wigeon, Rogerstown Estuary (picture: Luke Geraty)

After a very satisfying session of viewing from the hide we headed back to the car-park. On the way, a flock of Long-tailed Tits, some Great Tits, and a pair of Reed Buntings were spotted while, in the background, there was the constant chatter of the local corvids and Starlings.

Some More Pictures

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Ruff in a hurry at Rogerstown Estuary. Picture by Luke Geraty.

Some more pictures taken on the day by Bill Rea and Luke Geraty.
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Curlew stepping through the mud at Rogerstown Estuary. Picture by Luke Geraty.
Great Tit in a bare tree at Turvey Parklands. Picture by Bill Rea.
Keep your eye on the birdy. Picture by Bill Rea.
Frank outlines the plan. Picture by Bill Rea.

The development and maintenance of the reserve at Rogerstown is a great tribute to the members, past and present, of the Fingal Branch of BirdWatch Ireland, and to the organisations and public bodies that have supported their voluntary work.

Frank Doyle

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