18 Dec 2006

A Great Northern Diver and a very long drive to see an Iceland Gull

161. Great Northern Diver

Last week because the weather was so poor I had not taken the dog out for a decent walk and I was feeling guilty. So I pulled on my Paramo waterproofs ( I only mention the brand because I think they are absolutely brilliant waterproof clothing.) and headed out into a gale force winds and rain. I decided to go to Killard where the wind was blowing so strong that it was quite difficult to walk into. Because it was raining I left my camera behind but took the binoculars. There was virtually no bird life at all apart from a few Mallard and Teal sitting on the water and even the Oystercatchers were inland sheltering from the wind. Well Pickle was like a spring that has been just released she shot off in every direction. She was chasing seaweed that was being blown about and didnt stop for the forty five minutes that I was out there. On the way back I looked at what I thought was a cormorant in the distance and much to my surprise found it was a Great Northern Diver a bird I have never seen in Northern Ireland. I used to see them on Martha's Vineyard and have once seen them in Scotland. This photo was taken on the Isle of Man by Peter Hadfield. He has a nice bird photography website Here The Isle of Man is only 29 miles away as the crow flies from Killard.

On Saturday I had a very long day as I went to work at 2.00am finished at about five am and then drove home picked up my wife and then drove all the way to Dingle in Co. Kerry all in all about 325 miles. I parked on the Harbour front and went and met my parents and sister for lunch in a local pub. We were down there to celebrate a seventieth birthday of a family friend, who had no idea that a surprise party was being held for her.After lunch I went back out to the harbour and started to photograph a Rook and Jackdaw which were close by.
Then a very large spanish trawler came into the harbour surrounded by hundreds of gulls. I have been told with Gull identification to look out for the all white ones first. There were three. I am not very good at gulls but I reckoned they were Iceland Gulls
After taking the photos we headed to our guesthouse "Gormans Clifftop Guesthouse" which I would highly recommend. It is fabulously situated overlooking a bay. Its breakfast room cum restaurant has stunning views well worth waking upto. When I was having breakfast there was a stonechat just outside the window. On sunday we headed back to Northern Ireland and I stopped off for one last time at the harbour and took some more photos mainly herring gulls. I was trying flight shots. Not easy and the only one I really liked was this one

1 comment:

Caerphilly said...

I have only today discovered your blog but have added it immediately to my links. A splendid account of your passion for birds. Do carry on in 2007.

Andrew