Ireland, via Paris ~ June 17th 2002.
This was a trip that my Husband and I took. We were in Paris for a couple of days before going on to Ireland and we loved the city. However because of our sightseeing I did not bird there but was able to get a handful of some common British birds.
The other 21/2 weeks were spent in Ireland, driving from Dublin, up to Northern Ireland where we spent four days, then back into Southern Ireland, down the West coast through Gallway and Dingle, the South coast including Cork and Waterford and then back up through beautiful Glendalough in the Wicklow Mtns finishing once again in Dublin.
We were constantly moving, only spending a couple of nights in each place. Because this was not a birding trip as such there were many birds I missed due to time but was able to get a total of 83 species and 21 lifers. I would love to return to Ireland to cover the inland areas another time and to see more of its countryside and birds. Remember at this time of year most of the birds were up in Scotland and the Orkneys to the north, returning to Ireland for the winter.
A lot of the birds seen of course were those that lived near the cliffs and included those wonderful birds such as Puffins and Gannets, which I can never get enough of and Fulmars and Choughs. The Chough is a member of the crow family and was a lifer for me, a bird that is very local and can be hard to find, feeding on the insects that live on the grassland over the cliffs. Gulls included Greater and Lesser black-backed, Herring, Mew, Black-headed and Kittiwakes.
Surrounding many of the cliffs inland are the peat bogs and heather covered moors which attract Linnets, Twite, Stonechats, Common Snipe, Wheatears, Meadow Pipits and the beautiful singing Skylarks.
Typical British Garden birds were abundant and included Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Mistle and Song Thrushes, White (Pied) Wagtails, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon and the Eurasian Robin.
It was wonderful seeing some of my favorite birds again as well as new ones and I look forward to maybe returning there again someday. The people are very friendly, the seafood, pubs and Guinness was great and the scenery was spectacular! I certainly would recommend a trip there to anyone.
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