Friday, October 11, 2013

er fins and a dragon

Had a leisurely hoof-about on Galley today with lots of non-birdy action. As I wandered down the top lane I could see a heap of gannets out at sea so had a quick scan - some blubber blowing! Hoping that they were yesterdays humpback whales I hurried home for the scope and returned in time to see some leaping about as well as lots of blows - humpbacks fins all right! I dunno, did see a couple of animals leap right out of the water but in retrospect I think they were probably breaching minke whales as fins very rarely breach. I was reasonably convinced that they were humpies but Mr Barnes was out in the Holly Jo & could only see fins so best retract that record! Moving on...

Retracing my steps up the lane I flushed a pale looking dragonfly with a very obvious blue patch just at the base of the abdomen. I took a few shots and confirmed later that it was a vagrant emperor - a bit of a mega with only a handful of Irish records. There's been a small influx lately with 2 in a moth trap near Red Strand and a couple more further afield but this one appears to only be the 7th Irish record - amayzing! Rarest thing I've found on Galley for a while!

male Vagrant Emperor, Galley Head 11/10/2013
Did finally track down a few migrants at Shite Lane, but couldn't do better than blackcap, a handful of goldcrests, and a chiffchaff or 2. However, the year list was blessed with a fine whooper swan on the lake this afternoon, taking it to a heady 139.

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