This summary of the highlights from the middle of May is brought to you by BINS. Visit our website at http://www.birdsireland.com to see the latest May photographs on our gallery.
The highlight of the second part of May was undoubtedly a Little Swift, seen by one lucky observer on Saltee, Wexford on 16th. Unfortunately, this bird departed the island very quickly and is no doubt somewhere in the country waiting to be found!
The other major bird was a Waxwing sp. seen on Cape Clear Island, Cork on 14th. The bird was seen very briefly and the possibility that this might have been Ireland's first Cedar Waxwing cannot be ruled out. Other hot birds included three Red-backed Shrikes; a male at Tacumshin, Wexford on 15th, one at Helvic Head, Waterford on 16th and 17th and one on Dursey, Cork on 21st. An Alpine swift was reported over Dun Laoghaire, Dublin on 18th.
The Black Duck continued to be seen at Smerwick, Kerry while Garganeys were reported at Tacumshin and Lady's Island, in Wexford on 18th, at Castlespie, Co. Down and at Shannon, Co. Clare on 18th, at Lough Gash, Clare on 20th and also at Smerwick on 13th.
A Spoonbill was found at Tacumshin, Wexford on 13th, remaining until at least 19th when it had moved to Lady's Island. An Avocet was also a good find at the BP Pools, Belfast, Down on 19th, remaining to 23rd at least.
On 12th a Quail was seen on Saltee, Wexford with a Grey Partridge (of unknown origin) was seen in Bray, Wicklow. A Marsh harrier was seen at Smerwick, Kerry on 13th while in Wexford one was seen on Saltee on 17th with another at Tacumshin on 18th.
Big movements of Pomarine Skuas were noted off the Silver Strand, Galway with 115 on 14th and 114 on 22nd. Elsewhere, six were seen off Helvic, Waterford on 20th with 20 off Hook Head, Wexford on 22nd. A new Smithsonianus Herring Gull was seen at Smerwick, Kerry on 13th.
Turtle Doves were seen in small numbers with two on Cape Clear, Cork on 14th; three on Saltee, Wexford on 16th; three near Carnsore, and at Tacumshin, Wexford on 18th; one at Ballycotton, Cork on 16th with two reported near Midleton, Cork on 23rd.
A Tree Pipit was seen on Dursey, Cork on 21st with a Yellow Wagtail seen at Smerwick, Kerry on 17th.
Finally, late news referred to a Great Spotted Woodpecker seen near Annestown, Waterford on 18th and 19th April. Unfortunately this news broke too late for the local birders to see this bird.