I'm delighted to be taking part in the upcoming "Blog Tour" to celebrate the launch of the brand new bird field guide the Crossley ID Guide Britain & Ireland. I'll be reviewing a copy of the guide in the Book Review section of the site in due course... but the blog tour is something a bit different.Basically the publisher, Princeton University Press, has teamed up with … [Read more...] about All aboard for the Crossley ID Guide Britain and Ireland Blog Tour
Birding and Bird Watching in Ireland
Articles, features, blog posts and news items about birding and bird watching in Ireland.
Ireland is a great place for birders... and while we don't have as many resident or breeding species as some of our near neighbours we do have some of the world's most spectacular seabird colonies, great locations around the Atlantic coast for watching migrating seabirds, and huge flocks of overwintering waders and wildfowl.
Not to mention the fact that Ireland is often the first European port of call for rare American vagrants... and with birding as a pastime still in its relative infancy, you're free to enjoy the birds without the crowds you sometimes get at birding hotspots in the UK and other countries.
For many people a desire to identify the birds they see visiting their garden, or when they're out and about, is the first step to an enduring fascination with nature and wildlife. It was birds that infected me with the nature bug way back when, and I still remember my first bird field guide... a small hardback copy of "The Observer's Book of Birds" that I got as a birthday … [Read more...] about Book Review: The Birds of Ireland, A Field Guide
Bird watching, or “birding” as many people who watch birds have come to call it these days, is perhaps the most popular form of wildlife observation in the world. Birds, by their very nature, tend to be more visible, noticeable and accessible than most other forms of wildlife. It’s birds, more often than not, that first attract the attention of budding wildlife enthusiasts … [Read more...] about Bird watching in Ireland
Here's a run-down of some of the most useful websites and online resources for bird watching and birders in Ireland. Birding WebsitesBirdwatch Ireland -- Ireland's largest conservation charity. While the website is a bit dated, it is a treasure trove of Irish birding and bird conservation information if you dig a bit. Birdwatch Ireland has a network of local "branches" … [Read more...] about Birding Resources
One of the biggest problems faced by bird watchers visiting Ireland -- or indeed resident birders travelling to other parts of the country -- is finding the best places to look for birds and other wildlife. Sure, you can pick a likely looking piece of habitat and spend time exploring it, and discovering wild places for yourself is all part of the fun, but it can be a bit of a … [Read more...] about Book Review: Finding Birds in Ireland
Pros: Excellent high-contrast image with vibrant colours and good detail across the exceptionally wide field of view. Very bright optics that perform well across a range of challenging light conditions. Great build quality and finish for the price: feel very solid, without being overly heavy and excellent balance makes them comfortable in use. Good close focus to 2m coupled … [Read more...] about Hawke Frontier ED 8×43 Binocular Review
Swarovski Optik -- the renowned European premium sports optic manufacturer -- has announced a re-vamp of its venerable SLC (Slim-Light-Compact) binocular range.The SLC line received a major upgrade to its 42mm models back in 2010 with the release of the SLC 42 HD. Available in both 10x42 and 8x42 configurations, the SLC HD is my binocular of choice, and is an outstanding … [Read more...] about Swarovski Optik announces re-vamped SLC binocular range
Sunday was an exciting day.A late-night exchange on Viber as Saturday drew to a close had me scrambling to get organised for a very early start the next morning. It was half-past midnight by the time I was ready. I set the alarm for half-past-four, and proceeded to not get any sleep for four hours. Yikes!What on earth had possessed me?One of these... that's … [Read more...] about Early start for Ireland’s first Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus)
Summer in Ireland means long days, with sunny periods (sometimes quite lengthy ones) interspersed with showers and longer bouts of rain. Temperatures begin to rise in early summer, and the Irish countryside comes alive with a kaleidoscope of colourful wildflowers and the industrious hum of pollinating insects.It's a fantastic time of year... and there's no better way to … [Read more...] about Ireland’s Wildlife Calendar: Summer
Keen birder and Ireland's Wildlife contributor Colin Barton puts the Meopta MeoStar 8x32 through its paces, and is suitably impressed.Pros: Great image quality — can rival the best optics on the market today. Very sharp and crisp, with great low light performance and a good wide field of view. Binoculars feel very sturdy and well-built. 30 year warranty among the best … [Read more...] about Meopta MeoStar B1 8×32 Binocular Review
Brian Caffrey, co-ordinator of BirdTrack for Irish partner organisation, Birdwatch Ireland, introduces this new tool for recording and managing your personal bird records, and contributing to a body of data that helps inform bird conservation on a local, regional, national and international level.BirdTrack (www.birdtrack.net) is an exciting project that looks at … [Read more...] about BirdTrack… a smart new way to record the birds you see
Watching Wildlife in MayMay is a month when spring should be well under way -- although it's still unpredictable. We're on the cusp of summer, and days are lengthening, but they can also be unseasonably cold and wet. Resident birds and animals are getting on with the business of breeding and rearing young, spring migration continues as later arrivals join the vanguard … [Read more...] about Ireland’s Wildlife Calendar: May
I've just found out that Vanguard has slashed the price of its impressive ED binoculars, AND is offering a further £20 cash back between now and the end of July through UK retailers.The offer officially runs from 01 May to 31 July and the cash-back deal applies to all models in the Endeavor ED and Spirit ED line. However, there's a huge discount on the 10x42 and 8x42 … [Read more...] about Vanguard slash price of ED binoculars
Pros: Stunning optics, high quality materials (including eco-friendly lead- and arsenic-free glass) and contemporary design combine to put this Japanese binocular up there with the best of the European competition. Bright, clear, razor sharp image practically to the edge of the field of view, coupled with excellent balance and handling makes the EDG a superb binocular in the … [Read more...] about Nikon EDG 8×42 Binocular Review
When "Birds Through Irish Eyes" by Anthony McGeehan with Julian Wyllie arrived at IWHQ the first thing that struck me was its size. It is a monster of a tome. The next thing I noticed was it's shape... an unusual, almost square aspect ratio makes for a very attractive layout of text and images on the inside, but is perhaps a tad unwieldy for extended reading.And this is a … [Read more...] about Book Review: Birds Through Irish Eyes
Pros: tiny size, lightweight, outstanding performance and image quality. Amazingly packable -- ideal travel scope or second scope for birding and wildlife watching situations where you need to keep down the bulk.Cons: pearlescent green perhaps not the most flattering of colours for a scope (go for black), low light performance not as good as full size scopes (but does … [Read more...] about Nikon Fieldscope ED50 Review
West Cork, Ireland, 04 March 2013A new series of weekends aimed at helping people get closer to the wild side of Ireland have been launched by a team of wildlife specialists in West Cork.Discover Wildlife Weekends, run by the team behind Ireland’s Wildlife (www.irelandswildlife.com), are based at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery on the West Cork coast, and give … [Read more...] about Nature weekends get people closer to Ireland’s wildlife
Yesterday I dropped everything and went hightailing down to Mizen Head -- Ireland's most southerly point -- with a birding friend for an opportunity that was just too good to miss.Ducks.Yes, that's right, ducks. And pretty unusual ducks at that.While the two chaps in the photo (a very dodgy-scoped effort taken hand-holding my ancient 2MP iPhone3GS camera up to the … [Read more...] about American black duck… maybe I’m going quackers…!