Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Having not had a proper day off for some decent R&R in quite a while, I decided to head into Dublin last Friday to go see a friends concept garden that was on show at Bloom, catch a film & reacquaint myself with one Arthur Guinness. It was all going lovely until I received a text from local birder, Tommy Cardiff to say that himself & Justin Ivory had a Hobby fly through BirdWatch Ireland's East Coast Nature Reserve which may well have been heading for Kilcoole. Brian Haslam got in touch later that evening with news of the bird in question, which was now sitting on the fence right beside the Little Tern colony. TYPICAL!!! 

Whilst heading back on Saturday afternoon, Laura rang to hurry me along as the Hobby was perched beside our caravans! Sure enough as soon as I was on site there it was, on show less than 100m from the camp. Superb views to say the least & it even made a few half-hearted attempts at catching moths, just to show off it's aerial prowess. Easily aged as a 2nd calendar-year (i.e. a 1st-summer) based on the two generations of feathers in the upperparts & rusty orange 'trousers'.

A fantastic bird & great to get such a good look at it 'on the deck' as they're normally zooming around, catching insects high up over reedbeds on hazy summer afternoons. The fact that the views were so good & that it was showing little interest in hunting for the most part was slightly worrying. The bird also sat out in the rain for a good 3 hours & got fairly waterlogged before roosting in the Sea Buckthorn at about 8pm on Saturday. I haven't seen it since so I fear the worst...

In any case, here's the best pics I could manage on a dull, grey afternoon.

2nd calendar-year Hobby © Niall Keogh
Dick Coombes getting a few snaps in © Niall Keogh

1 comment: