Brianpen Birds - Dublin, Ireland Bird List from 26 May, 2010


Bird List, Dublin Ireland, 26 May 2010

Pasture w/ horse
Grain fields
Marshy stream
Vacant camp
We had an unplanned half-day layover in Dublin on 26 May, 2010, so of course, I went out birding. It was my first experience birding outside of North America so I'm sure I missed some species but using the Pocket Guide to the Birds of Britain and North-West Europe by Knightly, Madge and Nurney I was able to identify 26 species. We caught the hotel shuttle bus from the airport to the Hilton Dublin Airport via Stockhole Lane/Clonshaugh Road, a narrow 2 lane way which makes its sinuous way past fields and copses and humble cottages drowning in lilacs and hedges, and the N32, a divided roadway which meets Malahide Road at the hotel. Our driver grew up in Dublin, drove tour busses around Europe for years and liked to vacation in Spain, particularly Majorca. Anyhow, we reached the hotel around 9AM and my wife promptly went to bed (we'd taken the red-eye from Boston) while I went out looking for birds.
I followed Malahide Road south from the hotel then looped around to Darndale Park, returned to the hotel to get my camera then went back up the N32 to the entrance to the old Belcamp College. Apparently the property was purchased for development several years ago but either the deal fell through or the economy has prevented further work on it so it has remained vacant and officially unused. A small stream bordered by a narrow strip of woods runs south through the college grounds. North and east of the college are small fields, perhaps 20 acres each, separated by hedgerows of hackberry or elm, cherry, hawthorne, ash, maple, holly, blackberry and a couple of other shrubs I didn't recognize. In the woods were several large beeches along with yews, maples, a fir or spruce and others. Lots of English Ivy. Iris and maybe cattails in marshy places, familiar weeds in pastures. The fields are plowed and sowed somewhat sparsely with a cereal crop, perhaps oats. Trails and little camps in the woods show that the area gets plenty of use but to my relief no-one was around during the couple of hours that I was there.
SpeciesNotes Moorhen Adult and young in marshy pond Common Buzzard 1 over hedgerows and fields. High nasal call. According to the map in the book they aren't in the Dublin area, but this one was. Herring Gull Common large pale-mantled gull Lesser Black-backed Gull At least one dark-mantled (not black) gull the size of, or a little smaller than, the herring gulls Great Black-backed Gull A large, broad-winged and dark-backed gull seen in the distance Rock Dove Several flocks of multicolored doves, probably domestic Woodpigeon Abundant in loose groups and solo. They flushed noisly from trees as I approached and at least one was in sight almost all the time. Barn Swallow 1 over a field House Martin Loose flock at airport. Dark back, white rump. Pied Wagtail 1 on the pebbly hotel roof below the window of our room. Blackbird Common in woods and yards. Essentially an all-black American Robin. Song like Am Robin but a little hoarser, yet more musical too. Explosive call when startled. Wren 3 heard in woods and hedgerows. Song very similar to, but richer and less hurried than, the Winter Wren at home Blackcap 1 singing in woods. Song like Warbling Vireo at home. Chiffchaff 2 singing in treetops but not seen well. Song is a loud, sharp and repetitive tee-sweet tee-sweet tee-sweet tee-sweet tee-sweet. Great Tit 1 in hedgerow along N32. Greenish chickadee with odd dark vertical breast/belly stripe. Tree Creeper 1 on vine-covered tree trunk in woods Starling Abundant, seen often everywhere Magpie Common around the airport and our hotel, and in fields and pastures. At home it is a bird of arid country so it is odd to see it amidst all the greenery here. Jackdaw 2 smallish gray-naped corvids in mixed crow flock in a roadway meridian Rook Common corvid with crow-like calls Hooded Crow 1 over pasture, not recognized until I looked at my photos House Sparrow Common Greenfinch 3 in pastures and hedgerows Goldfinch Several in woods and park edges. Tried unsuccessfully for photos. Yellowhammer 3 in hedgerows. Song sounded like "zitzitzizizizizizizizicheeeeeee" Bullfinch 1 dark-headed finch in hedgerow hawthorne making soft "siew" calls, similar to bluebird calls at home.
Buzzard from above
Buzzard from below
Blackbird singing
Tree Creeper
Hooded Crow