© Michael Hogan

The Kingdom

Valentia

Kerry in south west Ireland is call the Kingdom and it is a title it richly deserves. I recently spent a week just outside Portmagee, near Valentia Island on the Iveragh Peninsula home of the famous Ring of Kerry. It is an amazing part of Ireland especially when you get the weather.

The Skelligs

We did a bit of walking but not much bird photography. However did get some nice shots of Ringed Plover and some nice Orchids. Saw some Otters - mother and 3 kits. They were not close enough to get nice photos though.

Ringed Plover

Wicklow Head

Things are getting hectic on Wicklow Head. All the auks are pairing up and getting ready for egg laying. Still congregating in large number on the water and rock, they have not quite settled down to tending eggs yet.

Peregrines passing food

Peregrines still there, the male passing beheaded birds to the female. Hopefully they will nest this year. it is looking good.

Guillemot
StonechatStonechat

Great Saltee

Saturday, June 1st headed off to the Saltees. This year the weather was not wall to wall sun so I had great hopes that photography would be good and I was not disappointed. Got the early (10am) boat over and took my usual route on the right side of the island.

This bring you away from the main cliffs on the south side of the island and along a much flatter side through a gull and Oystercatcher colony. This year there were a pair of Grey Log geese here and were very upset to see me - are they nesting? I did not spend time looking for the nest as there were loads of gulls and I did not want to keep them off the nest if it existed. Past this area the land rises and it is a good place for Razorbills, Guillemots and Puffins. The nice thing here is that there are no cliffs and it is very easy to get level with the birds. Also when photographing the birds in the morning the sun is at your back. This year it did not disappoint with some nice shots of Puffins

Puffin