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Trip Reports

Inishmore September - October 2008, by Dermot Breen

A total of 113 species recorded between 7th September and 28th October 2008 on Inishmore. The island got about 19 days coverage between the above dates by thirteen visiting Irish and British birders. This by far the highest number of coverage days and visiting birders that Inishmore has ever received and this has clearly the reason for such a good collection of records, a lot of whom are a very scarce in Galway.

Sixteen species were recorded for the first time on Inishmore during this time. The Inishmore list now stands at la minimum of 158 species. Eight rarities were also recorded; Blue-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck (15), Hobby, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Rose-coloured Starling and "north-western" Redpoll.

Annotated list of noteworthy records

Irish Rare Bird Committee description species underlined.
Abbreviations: IF = Island First.

Barnacle Goose (IF) 9 heading south, Bun Gabhla, 5th October, DB.
Gadwall (IF) Female, Portcowrugh Lough, 6th October, DB.
Pintail (IF) Eclipse male, Portcowrugh Lough, 27th September to 5th October, DB.
Blue-winged Teal (IF) Female/immature, turlough behind Kilmurvy beach, 10th October, AL & RMo (only one accepted record for Co. Galway).
Shoveler (IF) One, Portcowrugh Lough, October, PB.
Ring-necked Duck 15 (11 males & 4 female-types), Portcowrugh Lough, 8th to 10th October; 12 (9 males, 2 adult female & 1 juvenile) remaining until 11th October; One male remaining 17th to 28th October, JG et al. (one previous unsubmitted record from the same site on 12th March 2004, there have only been 3 accepted records for Co. Galway to date).
Common Scoter (IF) Pair in Killeany Bay, 11th October, RV.
Black-throated Diver Adult summer, Kilmurvey Bay, 12th October, RV.
Merlin One, Trawmore, 4th October, DB.
Hobby (IF) Juvenile, Kilmurvey, 5th October and at Creggacareen, 6th October, RV & DB (currently no accepted records for Co. Galway).
Ringed Plover c.200, Trawmore, 4th October, DB, JC & TC.
Knot (IF) Recorded by the Punkbirders during their visit.
Sanderling c.200 recorded by the Punkbirders at Trawmore.
Semipalmated Sandpiper (IF) Juvenile, Kilmurvy Beach, 13th September, HD (one previous Co. Galway accepted record, of two individuals).
Jack Snipe One, Barr an Phointe Lough, 6th October, four on 9th October, DB & RV.
Long-billed Dowitcher (IF) First-winter, Barr an Phointe Lough, 4th to 10th October, DB (first recorded American wader for the island).
Grey Phalarope Nine feeding off Barr an Phointe, 7th September, DB. Two, Killeany Bay, 28th October, HD.
Arctic Skua 15 off Barr an Phointe, 7th September, DB.
Pomarine Skua One pale adult off Barr an Phointe, 7th September, DB.
Mediterranean Gull (IF) First-winter, Portcowrugh Lough, 17th October, DC.
Kittiwake c.200 (including two colour ringed in Finistčre, France), Barr an Phointe, 7th September, DB.
Sabine's Gull (IF) Adult from Aran ferry, 6th October, RV.
Sandwich Tern c.100, Barr an Phointe, 7th September, DB.
Turtle Dove One, Killeany, 6th October, MB (previous records - 9th October 2007, 22nd May 2004 & 6th to 10th October 2000).
Tree Pipit (IF) One near Kilmurvy, 6th October, JG (three previous records for Co. Galway).
White Wagtail One, Portmurvy, 7th September, DB.
Yellow Wagtail (IF) One flying west over 'Blackpoll Jungle', The Seven Churches, 11th October, RV.
Grey Wagtail (IF) One, Kilmurvy Wood, 6th to 10th October.
Whinchat One on 5th and 7th October, AL & RMa.
Reed Warbler Singles seen at Bun Gabhla, Creggacareen and Eochaill on 28th September, DB (previous records - 7th October 2007 and 9th October 1999).
Blackcap One on 5th and 6th October, PB; Three on 8th October, PB.
Garden Warbler About six seen between late September and early October between following sites; Bun Gabhla, Creggacareen, Gort na gCapall, Eochaill and Fearann an Choirce, DB & PB (previous records - 5th October 2002 and 14th October 2001).
Lesser Whitethroat One, Seven Churches, 5th to 8th October, JG & AL (previous records - one on 6th October 2000, 3 7th to 16th October 2000).
Yellow-browed Warbler Maximum of seven seen on 7th October. Probably about ten different individuals involved. Seen from Creggancareen to Kilronan (previous records - one on 11th October 2003, three on 9th October 2004, one on 11th October 2004, one on 6th October 2007 and nine on 7th October 2007).
Chiffchaff High count of 17 on 7th October.
Spotted Flycatcher Five individuals seen between late September and early October.
Pied Flycatcher One female/first-winter, Eochaill, 28th October, DB (previous records - 9th October 2007 and 20th October 2001).
Red-breasted Flycatcher First-winter, 'Blackpoll Jungle', Seven Churches, 12th October, DB (previous records - 20th October 2001 and 8th October 1999).
Blue Tit One, Kilmurvy Wood, 11th October, RV.
Coal Tit c.50 present on island on any given day in first and second week of October.
Rose-coloured Starling Juvenile, Kilronan, 7th October, DB (previous records - August 1837 on "one of the islands of Arran" and one from Kilronan in the early 20th century).
'north-western' Redpoll (IF) One, Creggacareen, 6th to 8th October, JG.
Siskin 30 on 9th October, PB.

Contributors: Mark Baynes (MB), Punk Birders (PB), Dermot Breen (DB), John Carey (JC), Tom Chadwick (TC), Derek Charles (DC), Hugh Delaney (HD), Aonghus Ó Dónaill (AOD), James Gilroy (JG), Alex Lees (AL), Rob Martin (RMa), Rich Moores (RMo), Paul Troake (PT), Rob Vaughan (RV).

Complete list of birds recorded on Inishmore from 7th September and 28th October 2008:

Common Name Scientific Name
1 Mute Swan Cygnus olor
2 Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
3 Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
4 Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
5 Gadwall Anas strepera
6 Eurasian Teal Anas crecca
7 Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
8 Northern Pintail Anas acuta
9 Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
10 Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
11 Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
12 Common Scoter Melanitta nigra
13 Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
14 Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata
15 Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica
16 Great Northern Diver Gavia immer
17 Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
18 Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis
19 Manx Shearwater Puffinis puffinus
20 Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus
21 Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
22 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
23 Northern Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis
24 Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
25 Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
26 Eurasian Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
27 Merlin Falco columbarius
28 Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo
29 Peregrine Falco peregrinus
30 Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
31 Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
32 Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
33 Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
34 Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
35 Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
36 Knot Calidris canutus
37 Sanderling Calidris alba
38 Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla
39 Dunlin Calidris alpina
40 Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
41 Snipe Gallinago gallinago
42 Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus
43 Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
44 Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
45 Curlew Numenius arquata
46 Redshank Tringa totanus
47 Greenshank Tringa nebularia
48 Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
49 Turnstone Arenaria interpres
50 Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius
51 Great Skua Stercorarius skua
52 Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus
53 Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
54 Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
55 Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
56 Common Gull Larus canus
57 Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
58 Herring Gull Larus argentatus
59 Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
60 Sabine's Gull Xema sabini
61 Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
62 Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
63 Guillemot Uria aalge
64 Razorbill Alca torda
65 Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle
66 Rock Dove Columba livia
67 Woodpigeon Columba palumbus
68 Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
69 Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
70 Skylark Alauda arvensis
71 Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
72 Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
73 Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
74 Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
75 Pied/White Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrellii / alba
76 Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
77 Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
78 Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
79 Dunnock Prunella modularis
80 Robin Erithacus rubecula
81 Stonechat Saxicola torquatus
82 Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
83 Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
84 Blackbird Turdus merula
85 Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
86 Redwing Turdus iliacus
87 Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
88 Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
89 Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
90 Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
91 Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
92 Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
93 Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
94 Spotted Flycathcer Muscicapa striata
95 Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
96 Red-breasted Flycatcher Ficedula parva
97 Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
98 Coal Tit Periparus ater
99 Magpie Pica pica
100 Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
101 Jackdaw Corvus monedula
102 Rook Corvus frugilegus
103 Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
104 Raven Corvus corax
105 Rose-coloured Starling Sturnus roseus
106 Starling Sturnus vulgaris
107 House Sparrow Passer domesticus
108 Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
109 'North-western' Redpoll Carduelis flammea rostrata / islandica
110 Siskin Carduelis spinus
111 Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
112 Linnet Carduelis cannabina
113 Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus

Species recorded on Inishmore before autumn 2008:

Common Name Scientific Name
114 Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii
115 Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris
116 Pale-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota
117 Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
118 American Wigeon Anas americana
119 Green-winged Teal Anas carolinensis
120 Common Eider Somateria mollissima
121 Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
122 Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca
123 Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
124 White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
125 Coot Fulica atra
126 Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
127 Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
128 Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
129 Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
130 Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
131 Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus
132 Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
133 Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
134 Little Tern Sterna albifrons
135 Common Tern Sterna hirundo
136 Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
137 Long-eared Owl Asio otus
138 Swift Apus apus
139 Wryneck Jynx torquilla
140 Sand Martin Riparia riparia
141 House Martin Delichon urbica
142 Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
143 Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
144 Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
145 Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
146 Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
147 Icterine Warbler Hippolais icterina
148 Barred Warbler Sylvia nisoria
149 Whitethroat Sylvia communis
150 Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
151 Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
152 Great Tit Parus major
153 Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
154 Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
155 Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata
156 Lapland Bunting Calcarius lapponicus
157 Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
158 Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella

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