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Bird reports for April-May 2009

Waterford bird records April-May 2009 (details subject to verification or correction)
older records - archive

See migrant Lepidoptera page also (highlights below)

May 2009
Click here for further updates or extra details
Sun 31 May:
RAM HEAD:  50+ Common Dolphins, 3 Porpoises & a Basking Shark.
Nr CROHAUN:  3 or 4 Grasshopper Warblers singing.
PORTLAW / CURRAGHMORE AREA:  Dipper at Portlaw Bridge, Jay nr Lowry Bridge, & 90 Painted Ladies.
GREAT NEWTOWN HEAD:  STRIPED HAWK-MOTH & Bordered Straw trapped overnight 31.5-1.6.
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  30 Painted Ladies & 83 Silver Ys by day, 3 STRIPED HAWK-MOTHS trapped overnight 31.5-1.6.
Sat 30 May:
MAHON BRIDGE / LEMYBRIEN area:  3 Spotted Flycatchers - near Ballylinch (2) & SE of Mahon Bridge (1); total of 785 Painted Lady butterflies, mosttly flying NNW (including one sample count of 375 NNW across a field in 15 mins = 1500/hr).
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  138 Painted Ladies & 81 Silver Y moths.
Fri 29 May:
NIER VALLEY:  Dipper near Knockaunbrandaun & Jay near Graignagower.
Nr TRAMORE:  11 Choughs.
VARIOUS LOCATIONS:  Several dozen Painted Lady butterflies, Youghal east to Tramore.
Thurs 28 May:
CARRIGNAGOUR (nr Lismore):  Spotted Flycatcher.
Mon 25 May:
NIER VALLEY / COMERAGHS:  Spotted Flycatcher near Knockalisheen, Cuckoo near Moanyarha.
Sun 24 May:
KNOCKMEALDOWN MOUNTAINS:  Red Grouse & Cuckoo, Ballysaggart area.
BALLYVOYLE COVE:  Apparent SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPIT paired with local Rock Pipit & collecting food (presumably for chicks nearby).  There was a similar occurrence at Goat Island, nr Whiting Bay, in June 2008.
CARRIGCAUM FOREST (SE of Kilsheelan):  3 Jays, a Spotted Flycatcher & 7 singing Whitethroats.
DUNHILL CASTLE:  Spotted Flycatcher.
TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  15 Whimbrel at Ballinattin.
Sat 23 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  5 Spotted Flycatchers & 2 Chiffchaffs.
CLONEA STRAND:  2 late Brent Geese & a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver.
Nr KNOCKEEN DOLMEN:  A summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver flew west overhead (4-5 km inland from Tramore).
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Tree Sparrow & Wheatear on land, 2 Swifts west overhead; a Red-throated Diver, 740 Manx Shearwaters & 164 Gannets west in a 1-hr evening seawatch (20:10-21:10).
Weds 20 May:
Nr BALLYNAMULT:  Dipper at Priestown Bridge.
EASTERN KNOCKMEALDOWNS:  Grasshopper Warbler nr Broemountain.
Tues 19 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  Pomarine Skua, 2 unidentified skuas (probably Pomarine) & 4 Storm Petrels west (seawatch 18:45-19:15).
DUNGARVAN TOWN:  Tufted Duck again at the new town park.
Mon 18 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  8 Pomarine Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, 9 Storm Petrels & 2 Puffins west (seawatch 18:45-19:55).
DUNGARVAN TOWN:  Tufted Duck at the new town park nr Lidl.
Sun 17 May:
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  6 adult Pomarine Skuas & a Storm Petrel east, 780 Manx Shearwaters & an adult-summer Great Northern Diver west (seawatch 07:30-08:30).
KILBARRY BOG:  Grasshopper Warbler.
HELVICK HEAD:  4 Spotted Flycatchers & 2 Blackcaps (male & female) on land; seawatching produced a Storm Petrel west (morning), & 2 1st-summer Little Gulls, 7 Storm Petrels & a diver species west (18:45-20:00).
Nr WHITING BAY:  c20 Tree Sparrows - 4 in Bawnacommera area, c16 Ballysallagh area.
Sat 16 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  Female Whinchat (first of year).  Adult SABINE'S GULL, 3 Storm Petrels, 11 Arctic Terns, 1 Great Skua, 3 unidentified skuas (probably Pomarine) & 14 light-phase Pomarine Skuas west during an evening seawatch (19:15-20:45).  The Pomarines were part of a larger total seen off Ballynacourty Point this evening, 14 of which rested in Dungarvan Bay before continuing west.  2 1st-summer Little Gulls, 5 Puffins & 940 Manx Shearwaters west during an earlier seawatch (13:55-14:55).
BALLYNACOURTY POINT:  22+ Pomarine Skuas.
CLONEA STRAND:  2 Spotted Flycatchers at Ballinclamper.
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  4 adult light-phase Pomarine Skuas west, 2 Great Skuas east, 495 Manx Shearwaters & 154 Gannets west, also a Black Guillemot on sea (seawatch 18:00-19:00).
Fri 15 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  2 Spotted Flycatchers.
CLONEA STRAND:  Spotted Flycatcher at Ballinclamper.
Thurs 14 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  6 Spotted Flycatchers.
Weds 13 May:
HELVICK HEAD:  Spotted Flycatcher.
Tues 12 May:
Nr PORTLAW:  Buzzard.
Mon 11 May:
WHITING BAY:  16 Whimbrel.
Sun 10 May:
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Small arrival of landbird migrants - Grasshopper Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher (1st of year), 2 Sedge Warblers & a Wheatear.
TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  20 Whimbrel at Ballinattin.
KILCLOONEY FOREST (east Comeragh foothills):  Grasshopper Warbler singing.
CLONEA STRAND:  Merlin (killed House Sparrow on feeder), 18 Whimbrel, 22 Sanderling & 3 Wheatears at Ballinclamper.
Sat 9 May:
FORNAGHT:  4 Whimbrel & 11 late Brent Geese on beach, Water Rail calling from bog.
DUNMORE EAST:  6 Whimbrel on rocks.
BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  2 Arctic Skuas & 627 Manx Shearwaters west (seawatch 11.35-12.35); also 3 Swifts, 3 Whimbrels & 2 Chiffchaffs on the head.
BALLYVOONEY:  Ringtail Hen Harrier.
CLONEA STRAND:  4 Wheatears at Ballinclamper.
DUNGARVAN TOWN:  2 Great Northern Divers flew west over town @ 6 a.m.
HELVICK HEAD:  Great Skua west (seawatch 5.05-5.35 p.m.).
RAM HEAD:  Great Northern Diver west.
VARIOUS SITES:  Several Swifts between Dungarvan & Knockaderry Reservoir via coast road.

Fri 8 May:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Balearic Shearwater & 287 Manx Shearwaters west in an evening seawatch (7.25-8.25 pm); 207 Manx Shearwaters west in a earlier seawatch (10.40-11.40 a.m.).  21 Whimbrel on land.


Thurs 7 May:

BLACKWATER VALLEY:  3 Swifts at Dromana House.

HELVICK HEAD:  4 Great Skuas, an unidentified skua, 4 Red-throated Divers, 2 Puffins, a Common Tern & many Manx Shearwaters west (seawatch 6.40-7.50 pm),

Near KILSHEELAN:  16+ singing Blackcaps in woodland from Kilsheelan east to Coolnamuck, & 4 Swifts low over River Suir.


Weds 6 May:

DUNMORE EAST:  2 Black Guillemots east of the pier.

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  2 Tree Sparrows; a Pomarine Skua east, & 340 Manx Shearwaters, 125 Guillemots & 2 Whimbrel west during a 1-hr seawatch (7-8 pm).

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  7 Whimbrel at Clohernagh.

BALLYSHUNNOCK RESERVOIR:  Whooper  / Mute Swan hybrid (first recorded here in 2006) & a pair of Great Crested Grebes.


HELVICK HEAD:  2 Puffins on sea, a diver species & good numbers of Manx Shearwaters west.


Tues 5 May:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  An Arctic Skua E, 2 Puffins on sea & 206 Manx Shearwaters W (20 feeding close inshore) in a half-hr seawatch (7.20-7.50 pm). Also 19 Whimbrel.

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  14 Whimbrel on the spits.

CLONEA STRAND:  15 Whimbrel & 20 Sanderling at Ballinclamper.


Mon 4 May:

HELVICK HEAD:  Single Cuckoo, Wheatear & Sedge Warbler.

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND: Grasshopper Warbler singing at Kilmacleague inlet, 42 Whimbrel visible off Saleen. 

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Pomarine Skua (1st of yr) & Great Skua east during a 1-hr seawatch (10.18-11.18 am); also 39 Manx Shearwaters W (+ 15 feeding). 44 Manx W in 45 mins in evening (6.55-7.40 pm). Also 20 Whimbrel, 8 Swifts & 2 Wheatears.

RATHMOYLAN COVE: 3 Swifts in off the sea.

VARIOUS COASTAL SITES:  Whitethroats & Wheatears widespread today.


Sun 3 May:


BALLYSCANLAN LAKE:  1st/2nd-summer Iceland or Glaucous Gull flying west over the lake.

RIVER SUIR near POULDREW:  Reed Warbler singing from Co Waterford bank opposite Portnascully (1st county record of year); also 27 Whimbrel.

BELLE LAKE:  Another Reed Warbler singing here.

WOODSTOWN BOG:  2 Water Rails calling.

WOODSTOWN STRAND:  A late Brent Goose flying towards Duncannon.


Sat 2 May:

TOURIG RIVER:  6 CATTLE EGRETS (3 on Cork side, 3 on Waterford side).  Details.

RAM HEAD:  Buzzard, 9 divers (1+ Great Northern) & 5 Porpoises.

HELVICK HEAD:  3 Whitethroats.

BALLYVOYLE:  2 Whitethroats.

Nr COMERAGHMOUNTAIN / MAHON FALLS:  Grasshopper Warbler & Whitethroat singing.

Nr KILROSSANTY:  Dipper at Aughnacurra Bridge.




Fri 1 May:


ARDMORE BAY:  42+ Whimbrel, and Manx Shearwaters passing west at c170/hr in evening.

April 2009


Click here for latest update or further details (if available)


Thurs 30 Apr:

RAM HEAD:  300+ Manx Shearwaters in afternoon, good numbers passing west in evening.

ARDMORE BAY:  2 Great Northern Divers (adult summer plus winter/immature bird).

YOUGHAL BAY:  Great Northern Diver.


Tues 28 Apr: 

Near BALLYDWAN:  Male WOODCHAT SHRIKE still present.

CLONEA STRAND:  c110 Whimbrel & 5 Wheatears at Ballinclamper.

RIVER DALLIGAN:  Dipper near Killineen.

RINCREW (Tourig estuary): 8 CATTLE EGRETS on Waterford side of Tourig river, 1st-winter Mediterranean Gull off Youghal dump (both sides of Cork/Waterford border).


Mon 27 Apr: 

Near BALLYDWAN:  Male WOODCHAT SHRIKE still present at same location as previous days.

CLONEA STRAND:  40 Whimbrel.

DUNGARVAN:  95 Whimbrel at the Cunnigar.

CROHAUN:  Whitethroat.

CAPPAGH:  Red-legged Partridge (escapee from shoot).


Sun 26 Apr: 

Near BALLYDWAN:  Male WOODCHAT SHRIKE still present.

CLONEA STRAND: 42 Whimbrel, 110+ Turnstone, 26+ Sanderling & a White Wagtail at Ballinclamper.

BALLYVOYLE:  Whitethroat.


KILMOYLIN (nr Kilmacthomas):  Whitethroat singing.
CASTLECRADDOCKBOG (nr Dunhill):  2 Sedge Warblers singing.
BUNMAHON:  Common Sandpiper.
TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  2 Whimbrel at Clohernagh, 14+ at Lisselan / Ballinattin.
BROWNSTOWN HEAD: Swift, 4 Willow Warblers & a Chiffchaff.


Sat 25 Apr:

Near BALLYDWAN:  Male WOODCHAT SHRIKE refound at same location as on Tues 20th (grid ref X389987).  Seen carrying a Wren on one occasion.  Further details. Also 2 Sedge Warblers.

HELVICK HEAD:  Several Common Terns (first of spring).

DUNGARVAN TOWN:  Swift over the quay (2nd of spring).
CLONEA STRAND:  250 Brent Geese, 5 Common Scoter (flew west), Great Northern Diver, 38 Whimbrel, 26 Sanderling, Swift in off sea & a White Wagtail at Ballinclamper.
BALLYVOYLE COVE:  Common Sandpiper.

BALLYVOONEY COVE:  4 Common Sandpipers & 7 Whimbrel.

KILCANNON, DUNHILL:  Cuckoo (first of spring for Co Waterford), Grasshopper Warbler & many Sedge Warblers.

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  10 Whimbrel at Ballinattin & 3 at Clohernagh.

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Grasshopper Warbler, Whitethroat, 7 Willow Warblers & 2 Wheatears.


Fri 24 Apr:

BALLINCLAMPER to BALLINARD:  30+ Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, 6 White Wagtails, 11 Sanderling and 2 Gadwall (on sea with Shelduck).

HELVICK HEAD:  Noticeable arrival of common migrants including first Swift of the spring, 20+ Willow Warblers and 3 Sedge Warblers (2 in song).
ARDMORE:  30 Whimbrel at Curragh.

GREAT NEWTOWN HEAD:  Diamond-back Moth & 3 Painted Ladies.


Thurs 23 Apr:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Whitethroats & 5 Willow Warblers.

CLONEA STRAND:  3 White Wagtails, 1 Ruff, 45 Whimbrel, 30 Sanderling, 44 Bar-tailed Godwits, and 1 Basking Shark offshore, at Ballinclamper.


Weds 22 Apr:

CLONEA STRAND:  63 Whimbrel & a White Wagtail at Ballinclamper.

BROWNSWOOD (nr Fiddown):  House Martins back at last year's nests (occupied by roosting Wrens until recently).


Tues 21 Apr:

Nr BALLYDWAN (east of Stradbally):  WOODCHAT SHRIKE (4th county record) at grid reference X389987.

DUNGARVAN:  5 House Martins at Abbeyside, Grasshopper Warbler at Brickey canal.


Mon 20 Apr:

CLONEA STRAND:  5 White Wagtails & 26 Whimbrel at Ballinclamper.

DUNGARVAN TOWN:  Holly Blue butterfly.


Sun 19 Apr:

CLONEA STRAND:  Purple Sandpiper, 30+ Whimbrel & 3 White Wagtails at Ballinclamper.

Nr KILL:  2 Grasshopper Warblers & 5 Sedge Warblers singing from young forest and waste-treatment ponds just east of the village.


Sat 18 Apr:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Female Redstart, male Blackcap, 7 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs & 2+ Whimbrel.


Fri 17 Apr:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Grasshopper Warbler & 2 Sedge Warblers (first of year), several Blackcaps and lots of phylloscs.

CLONEA STRAND:  25 Whimbrel & 2 White Wagtails at Ballinclamper.


Thurs 16 Apr:

TRAMORE TOWN:  First Diamond-back Moth of the year.


Tues 14 Apr:

BELLVIEW PORT (Waterford/Kilkenny):  Whitethroat singing (first of spring).

LITTLE ISLAND:  Common Sandpiper near the ferry.


Mon 13 Apr:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  Merlin, 10 Willow Warblers & 2 Chiffchaffs on land; 3 Puffins, 2 Common Scoters & 16 Manx Shearwaters flew east during a 1-hr seawatch (1025-1125).  Other seawatch totals:  Fulmar 4E/2W; Gannet 34E/4W; Kittiwake 7E/1W; Sandwich Tern 2W; Razorbill 3E/1W; Guillemot 1E.

BROWNSWOOD (nr Fiddown):  Pair of Swallows back at last year's nest.

CLONEA STRAND:  2 SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPITS (littoralis subspecies), 22 Sanderling & 2 Great Northern Divers, & an Arctic Skua flying west, at Ballinclamper.

GOAT ISLAND (nr Whiting Bay): House Martin.


Sun 12 Apr:

FIDDOWN:  10 Blackcaps singing (9 on Waterford side of river) & 2 Little Egrets.

BROWNSWOOD (nr Fiddown):  Jay.

TIBBERAGHNY BOG (Co Kilkenny):  2 House Martins.


Sat 11 Apr:

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  2 Tree Sparrows.

SLIEVNAMONA (nr Kill):  10 Willow Warblers singing.

KNOCKADERRY RESERVOIR:  2 Little Egrets & a late Gadwall.

VARIOUS SITES:  Blackcaps, Willow Warblers & Chiffchaffs widespread.


Fri 10 Apr:

BELLE LAKE:  Water Rail calling, 3 Blackcaps & 8 Willow Warblers singing.

BROWNSTOWN HEAD:  13+Willow Warblers, 2 Swallows & a Wheatear; also a Red Admiral.

TRAMORE BAY:  Great Northern Diver, 7 Red-throated Divers & 2 Great Crested Grebes in NE corner.

Nr TRAMORE:  Buzzard.

WHITING BAY:  Swallow, 60 Sand Martins & 2 Willow Warblers.


Thurs 9 Apr:

CLONEA STRAND:  A Great Skua flew west


Weds 8 Apr:

DUNGARVAN:  Willow Warbler singing at GlaxoSmithKline.


WATERFORD CITY:  An early fledged Robin at King's Channel.


Tues 7 Apr:

DUNGARVAN:  An early Garden Warbler singing at Knockmaun, near Brickey River.


Mon 6 Apr:

KILMURRAY (nr Dungarvan):  Male Merlin.


Sun 5 Apr:

Nr CAPPAGH:  Several Stock Doves near quarry.

KNOCKMAON area (nr Dungarvan):  2+Swallows, Willow Warbler, 4+ Chiffchaffs, 3+ singing Blackcaps, & 13+ Redpoll.

FENOR:  Willow Warbler singing & 3 Swallows.

ANNESTOWN:  Gannets feeding close inshore.


Sat 4 Apr:

WATERFORD CITY:  Blackcap in Waterford Regional Hospital grounds.

DUNMORE EAST:  10 Purple Sandpipers & 6 Sandwich Terns.

TRAMORE BACKSTRAND:  2 Sandwich Terns at Saleen.

DUNHILL:  Blackcap & 5+ Willow Warblers.

BALLYSHUNOCK RESERVOIR:  Swallow, singing Blackcap & 3 Otters.

CLODIAGH RIVER (Portlaw):  Green Sandpiper.

CLONEA STRAND:  11+ Whimbrel (early, first obvious arrival of spring), 3 Purple Sandpiper, 10+ Sandwich Terns & a Wheatear.

Nr DUNGARVAN:  Woodcock roding.

BALLYLEMON WOOD:  Blackcap, Willow Warbler & 4+ Chiffchaffs singing, 2 Stock Doves, 2 Jay and a late Redwing.

ARDMORE / RAM HEAD:  4 Red-throated Divers & a Manx Shearwater (first of spring).

INCHINLEAMA to KNOCKANISKA (nr Araglin):  2  Blackcaps & a Willow Warbler singing, also a Jay.

VARIOUS SITES:  Sand Martins & Chiffchaff widespread today.


Fri 3 Apr:

LISMORE:  Swallows (earlier than usual for this location).


Thurs 2 Apr:

CROHAUN:  Male & female Long-eared Owls calling.


Weds 1 Apr:

WEST WATERFORD:  Probable Nightjar (albeit very early in season) seen feeding in a garden near the Knockmleldown foothills.

.click below for larger images

Scandinavian-type Rock Pipit, Ballyvoyle, 24/05/2009 M Cowming



Meadow Pipit, Ram Head, 23 May 2009 T Kennedy

Four-spotted Chaser, Knockbrack quarry, 20 May 2009 L Cahill

Stonechat, male, Ram Head, 19 May 2009 T Kennedy

Spotted Flycatcher, Ballinclamper, 16 May 2009 D Clarke

Meadow Pipit, Ram Head, 11 May 2009 T Kennedy

Kittiwakes, Ram Head, 10 May 2009 T Kennedy - part of a rapidly declining colony

House Martins at nest, Kilmeaden, 6 May (fully built 1 May) 2009 D Clarke

Swallow collecting mud for nest, 2 May 2009 A Malcolm


Ravens recently fledged, Ram Head, 30 Apr 2009 M Cowming


Red-legged Partridge (escapee from shoot), Cappagh, 27 Apr 2009 D Clarke

Woodchat Shrike, nr Ballydwan, 26 Apr 2009 R McLaughlin

D Clarke

M Cowming

R McLaughlin

R McLaughlin

White Wagtail, Ballyshunnock Reservoir, 26 Apr 2009 M Cowming

Mallard variants (with domestic duck genes), Ballyshunnock Reservoir, 26 Apr 2009 M Cowming

Whimbrel, Ballinclamper, 26 Apr 2009 M Cowming

Woodchat Shrike, male, near Ballydwan, 25 Apr 2009 M Cowming

Whimbrel, Ballinclamper, 25 Apr 2009 D Clarke

Dunlin, summer plumage, Ballinclamper, 25 Apr 2009 D Clarke

Meadow Pipit, Ballinclamper, 25 Apr 2009 D Clarke

House Sparrow with mouthful of maggots (yum!), Ballinclamper, 25 Apr 2009 D Clarke

Just a selection of the wader & passerine species feeding recently on fly larvae in the masses of rotting seaweed at Ballinclamper

White Wagtail, Ballinclamper, 23 April 2009 D Clarke

Sandwich Terns, Ballinclamper, 19 Apr 2009 M Cowming

Whimbrel, Ballinclamper, 19 Apr 2009 M Cowming

White Wagtail, Ballinclamper, 19 Apr 2009 M Cowming

Goldfinch, Brownstown Head, 18 Apr 2009 P Dwan

Grey Heron, Tramore Backstrand, 18 Apr 2009 P Dwan

Brent Geese, Tramore Backstrand, 18 Apr 2009 P Dwan

Scandinavian Rock Pipit (littoralis subspecies), one of two, Clonea Strand, 13 Apr 2009 PM Walsh



Robin, Brownstown Head, 10 Apr 2009 PM Walsh

Willow Warbler, Brownstown Head, 10 Apr 2009 PM Walsh

Note: Sightings listed here are reports, not necessarily authenticated records.  * = species for which the Irish Rare Birds Committee currently requires substantiating descriptions or photographs.  Records are regularly updated, and older records added or amended where necessary .  Many thanks to observers who provided records above - any further records (current or older) would be appreciated.  
Please email any sightings, or text details of scarcer species to 0861701599; to report sightings of rarities to the national  Birds of Ireland News Service (BINS), phone 01-8307364.

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