Sunday, 6 March 2016

Two Unexpected Year Ticks

Jayne and I have just spent a couple of days in Dublin, celebrating a couple of friends' birthday, and, as well as having a very great time, we've also managed to add a couple of new, unexpected species to the "Year List"; Hooded Crow and Pale-bellied Brent Goose.

The first bird, Hooded Crow, was quite a surprise, as I hadn't even thought about this species being present in Ireland! Checking the Bird Watch Ireland website however, shows that it's the main crow species in Ireland (see website here). We saw this species a couple of times, including in the middle of Dublin. We also saw a few other corvids, namely Jackdaw, Rook and Magpie.

The second species, Pale-bellied Brent Goose, was an even bigger surprise, as we spotted these birds whilst driving back to the airport! Six birds were flying over, and then landed on the River Liffey. Again, the Bird Watch Ireland website shows this race of Brent Goose to be the commonest one in Ireland, with the Dark-bellied race being much less common (see website here). My only English records of this race is in  Holy Island, Northumberland, with these birds consisting of birds that breed in Svalbard. The Dublin Bay population breeds in Arctic Canada and Greenland, before spending the winter in Ireland. See this excellent Bird Guides article of the different races.

Year List update:
120 - Hooded Crow
121 - Pale-bellied Brent Goose

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