Young Robin - taken 2009 in back garden - Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


When was the last time you actually watched wildlife in your back garden?

Today? Last week? Can't remember? In today's modern world, we are finding it increasingly difficult to relax and take time out from work or family. This blog is to remind you all of the free entertainment that we can enjoy each and every day - WILDLIFE!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I always go on to a website called every day just to see what's been reported in our locality whilst I've been at work.
Almost every day there are sightings of species I've never seen in a place called Tacumshin in County Wexford, so this weekend we decided to pay a visit to this lake.
So, what did we see.......?
Hmmmmm........ a dead whale (pilot whale we think) on the beach, not a very good start (quite sad really).
If you don't like gruesome pics then look away now!

So, continuing our walk we cut across the dunes to reach Tacumshin Lake, passing more remains of what looked like a wader along the way!

Thankfully when we reached the waters, there were live birds out there! Was beginning to think I was the grim reaper :-(

The place was full of waders, of which I'm no good at ID'ing (surprise surprise!), below is a picture of a Redshank (I think), although there have been sightings of a Spotted Redshank at the lake.

And I have no idea what these are....

In fact, I think the only waders I know are Turnstones.

We sat watching a flock of them not far from where we were sitting when a small bird dived at them before landing on a concrete post to the side of us.
The flash of bright turquoise and orange confirmed it was a Kingfisher! My new species for this month, as hard as it is to believe I have never ever seen this gorgeous bird! And I only saw it this time for about 15 seconds before it flew off (so no photo)!
We waited for about an hour in the biting sea breeze for it to return, hoping that it would land on the post that was conveniently positioned in front of us

but it didn't! I never even thought of seeing a Kingfisher at the beach, I still find it bizarre! Another first for me today was a Hen Harrier which came up from behind the dunes on the left of the picture above and flew over the water. Again, no photo as we were busy looking for the Kingfisher so missed the close up view of the bird of prey!
Just got a poor distance shot.

All in all it was a very good day, I've missed out the section about how bad the roads are and the fact there are no signs telling you how to get to the lake, or about how bad the parking is and the fact that ideally you need a 4x4 to navigate through the sand/mud/water!!

Just out of interest, yesterday sightings recorded at Tacumshin were:-
2 Buzzard
1 Hen Harrier
1 Spotted Redshank
1 Green Winged Teal
1 Glossy Ibis

And whilst we were there today, we missed 2 Red Kites and a Fan Tailed Warbler back at home in Wicklow!
We just can't win!


Bob Bushell said...

A shame for the whales. But, you came good in end with seabirds.

Anonymous said...

lol that's funny the red kites showed in wicklow when you left to go to wexford.
First few photos seemed like you were in a gruesome episode of Lost or something.
The waders are black tailed godwits coming into summer plumage (I think!).

Phil said...

Hi Sharon. Looks like the sort of desolate, wild and deserted place I would like. You don't get many places like that in my neck of the woods. You don't get many whales either, alive or dead!

The Early Birder said...

Hi Sharon. Some excellent sightings for you including the Black-tailed Godwits, kingfisher & Hen Harrier for a trip into the unknown. BTW Kingfishers often migrate to the coast in winter when fishing inland is poor due to weather and flooding. FAB.

Warren Baker said...

Well done Sharon on seeing the Kingfisher and Harrier, its a nice buzz to see new species isn't it!

Jenny said...

From a grisly start, the day definitely got better Sharon! You saw some quality birds there. I hope you get to go back later in the year.

Chris said...

Hi Sharon,
I see that Frank has said it all for the ID, so no point to repeat it. This place looks like a nice place to visit and to see dead things on the way can only be good, as it means it might be a living place... This is just a natural thing you know to find dead animals!!

Phil said...

Looks like you had a good day out Sharon. I love watching Black-tailed Godwits, more so soon when they get better colours. A very elegant bird. Nice to see Hen Harrier too, haven't seen one all winter, guess they all went to Ireland whehn we had all the snow here.