Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, a feast day started in America by Irish immigrants who missed all the drinking and carousing back on the Emerald Isle. Being descended from those immigrants myself, I dream about taking a trip across the Pond someday and seeing the places of legend and beauty in the Old Country.
Of course, if I go to Ireland, I will spend some of my time looking at birds. It just happens, whether I plan a trip or not. I will also see if I can contact some parrot owners there to discuss the differences in aviculture between the two countries.
I better do some studying so that I can recognize the wee songbirds. I used this link and web site to start. http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/IrelandsBirds/tabid/541/Default.aspx
House sparrows can be found throughout Ireland all year round, and tree sparrows in more isolated spots, but also all year round. Chaffinches are everywhere, as are greenfinches, goldfinches, linnets, lesser redpoll, and reed buntings, all year round. Bramblings, a pretty finch, is a winter resident, while the twite winters to the north but is all year around along the coast to the west. Snow buntings winter along the coasts, and siskins are found year round but in limited areas. The beautiful yellowhammer is the same way as the siskin.
Got that? That’s only lesson one! At this point, I realize I will need to know when I am going there to know which birds to look for. Let’s try raptors, as they don’t often migrate. Well, the white tailed eagle has been reintroduced to Ireland, and was expected to start breeding in 2013. Hopefully that went well.
The marsh harrier has an even more restricted area where it can be seen, and is seen more often in the summer. The beautiful hen harrier summers inland and winters on the coast. Tiny but successful, the sparrowhawk is the most often seen bird of prey in Ireland, and does stay year round. I can see why the vultures of America were sometimes called buzzards, as they have similar wing tips to the Irish buzzard. But their eating habits do not match. The buzzard inhabits northern areas in Ireland year around.
The golden eagle lives there year round, but the population is very small, the much smaller in size kestrel is more successful all over the country and lives there all year. The little Merlin falcon winters at the coast and summers in land, and has a small population. The peregrine falcon has been successful, too, and is found nearly everywhere all year long.
To my great relief, there is at least one bird club that welcomes finches and parrots, and has a monthly meeting. http://irishparrotfbc.com/pictures-video/ All part of what I need to consider before I book my trip. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.