Wexford Coach Outing - 8th March 2020.
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South Dublin Members assembled and ready for the coach trip to Wexford, 8th March 2020 (picture: Bill Rea)
The trip started out with some Goldfinches at the old Dún Laoghaire ferry terminal. Once everyone was inside the coach, we set off on a fine but blustery March day ably led by Robert Busby. On the journey south a Red Kite flew over the bus and later on a soaring Buzzard was seen from the bus. As is our custom on trips to Wexford we stopped off at the Ferrycarrig Hotel where we enjoyed tea, coffee and scones, as well as great views of the River Slaney.
Black-headed Gull, Our Lady's Island, 8th March 2020 (picture: Bill Rea)
Departing Ferrycarrig our first stop took us to Rosslare Europort, where we had Ringed Plover scuttling along the beach and just offshore a Red-throated Diver and a few Great Northern Divers. Among the supporting cast at Rosslare we had a lone Razorbill and Shag, Cormorant and Black-headed Gull.
We next traveled to Our Lady’s Island, but on arrival we discovered much of the island walk to be waterlogged, so we had to settle for setting up our scopes on a dry grassy patch we found near the lake. From here we enjoyed some good birds, like a pair of Gadwall on one of the islets across from where we stood. Then we had several Mediterranean Gulls, all of these back at Our Lady’s Island Lake for the breeding season, and we were treated to their nasal ‘miaow’ calls. This is one of the few places in Ireland where Mediterranean Gull nest and was the site of the first ever successful breeding of this handsome gull in 1996. Other birds seen at the lake were Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Tufted Duck, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit and Greylag Goose.
Whooper Swan and White-fronts, WWR, North Slob, 8th March 2020 (picture: Bill Rea)
We had planned to go to Tacumshin Lake after lunch, but as dark grey skies descended on the horizon we decided instead to go to the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve on the North Slob. This change of plan did not disappoint as we were treated to wintering Whooper Swans and Greenland White-fronted Geese. Niall Hatch also picked out several Slavonian Grebes on Wexford Harbour, and one of them was already moulting into its summer plumage, which was a treat for the many of us who saw them.
Walking from the visitor centre to check out the other hides, we saw Dunnock and Robin, and a lucky few of us spotted an Irish Hare, a pleasant sight. Later on, we went to the Pat Walsh Hide, where we saw Little Grebe, Goldeneye, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan and a lone Lapwing resting.
Our final stop on the outing was at Curracloe where we had some good views of a Common Scoter. At half-past-five we were ready to call it a day and as we headed back to the coach we saw a Mistle Thrush on top of a tree to round off the day.
Some More Pictures
Places & South Dublin Members
As we made our way back to Dun Laoghaire we took a tally of the species seen on the outing, which produced a total of 73. All in all, it was wonderful day out for all who went on the trip. Thank you to everyone who came along.