Adult male Goldfinch

Wildlife Sightings - Co. Wexford February 2012

3 Mar 12
Female Blackbird
Female Blackbird

I’m not sure whether March really came in like a lion, in fact here in Wexford it was really pleasant with mild temperatures and sunshine – the perfect start to spring and long may it last. Of course with the start of March comes the start of the Bumblebee Monitoring Season and for those of you that have Bumblebee Transects, now is the time to start planning your season - see: http://pollinators.biodiversityireland.ie/recording-schemes/bumblebee-monitoring-scheme/bumblebee-monitoring-scheme-march/ .
Sunday the 4th March is also the start of National Tree Week which runs through to Saturday 10th - see: http://www.treecouncil.ie/treeweek/treeweek.html. There are plenty of activities all round the County and Country so do enjoy.

Long-tailed Tit
Long-tailed Tit

Many thanks to all those that contributed to the February natural history records shown below – these records are those wildlife sightings passed to the Wexford Naturalists’ Field Club and myself at records AT wexfordnaturalists.com and info AT wildside.ie – do please keep those records coming. They are all interesting as well as a historical record.

Shoulder Stripe
Shoulder Stripe

WILDBIRDS: Grebe: Slavonian Grebe: Curracloe 1on 4th. Wexford Harbour 1 on 4th. Rosslare 1 on 24th. Divers: Black-throated Diver: Curracloe 2 on 4th.  Heron: Common Crane: Cahore 1 on 12th, 2 on 25th. Kilmuckridge 2 on 24th. Great Egret: Ballycarney 1 on 3rd and 5th. Glossy Ibis: Cahore 1 on 2nd. North Slob 1 on 6th.  Cormorant: Rosslare Strand 102 in a feeding frenzie on 2nd. Geese: The Greenland White-fronted Goose flock on North Slob was just over 9000 by the middle of the month. The age census taken during the month was a disappointing 7% juveniles in the flock.  Russian White-fronted Goose: North Slob up to 20 present through the month.  Pink-footed Goose: North Slob 17 through the month. Cahore 5 on 12th. Barnacle Goose: North Slob 1 present through the month. Cahore 1 on 9th and 12th.  Brent Goose: North Slob up to c3000 through the month. Black Brant: Rosslare 1 on 2nd. Fethard-on-Sea 1 on 14th. Ducks: Green-winged Teal: Tacumshin Lake 1 on 3rd, 9th and 26th.  Velvet Scoter: Rosslare 1 on 5th and 19th with 2 on 24th. Long-tailed Duck: Hook Head 6 on 2nd. Eider Duck: Rosslare 6 on 24th. Goosander: Bannow Bay 1 on 1st. Ballycarney 3 on 3rd, 2 on 6th. Jamestown 2 on 15th. Birds of Prey: Merlin: Fethard-on-Sea 1 on 18th. Buzzard: North Slob between 2 and 3 present through the month. Ballycarney 4 on 3rd. Coolcotts 1 on 19th. Woodgraigue 1 on 19th. Tacumshin Lake 1 on 25th. Lodgewood, Ferns 1 on 26th. Sparrowhawk: Forth Mountain 1 on 28th. Johnstown Castle 1 on 26th – checking out one of the bookcases inside the shop. Hen Harrier: North Slob up to 3 present through the month. Fethard-on-Sea 1 on 15th. Tacumshin Lake 1 on 16th,  9 on 25th, 6 on 26th and 2 on 27th. The Ballagh 1 on 28th. Gulls: Ring-billed Gull: Kilmore 1 on 20th. Bonaparte’s Gull: Tacumshin Lake 1 on 25th. Yellow-legged Gull: Tacumshin Lake 1 on 5th. Iceland Gull: Rosslare 4 on 1st and 2 on 4th.  Rosslare Strand 2 on 1st. Duncannon 1 on 18th. Owls: Short-eared Owl: Fethard-on-Sea 2 on 18th and 19th. Tacumshin Lake 1 on 27th. Waders: Long-billed Dowitcher: The Cull 2 on 8th and 18th with 1 on 26th. Bannow Bay 1 on 26th. Green Sandpiper: Ballycarney 1 on 3rd. Pigeon: Stock Dove: North Slob c150 on 9th. Lark: Skylark: North Slob 110 on 5th. Irish Sea 1 travelling east on 25th. Pipit: Water Pipit: The Cull 2 on 26th, Tacumshin Lake 1 on 26th. Dipper: Randallsmill 2 present through the month. Thrushes: Fieldfare: Barmoney 10 on 18th. Warblers: Chiffchaff: Castletown 1 singing on 23rd. Bearded Reedling: Tacumshin Lake 6 on 25th and 10 on 26th. Ring Marsh 2 on 19th with 3 on 25th. Bunting: Lapland Bunting: Tacumshin 1 on 4th and 4 on 26th. Finches: Twite: Bannow Island 1 on 5th. Crossbill: Forth Mountain between 2 and 4 noted on 5th. Linnet: North Slob c1200 on 5th. Siskin: Killinierin 9 on 11th. Redpoll: Forth Mountain 5 on 21st. Coolcotts 15 on 27th.  Killinierin 30+ on 24th. Sparrows: Tree Sparrow: Tacumshin 1 on 5th. Bannow Island 25 on 5th. Corvids: Leucistic Magpie still present in Ballinamorragh through the month.

Scarlet Elf Fungus - unusual orange colour
Scarlet Elf Fungus - unusual orange colour

MAMMALS: Fin Whale: Hook Head 6 on 2nd with 2 on 5th.  Humpback Whale: Hook Head 1 on 5th and 1 on 12th. Risso’s Dolphin: Hook Head 1 on 12th. Common Dolphins: Cetacean survey Rosslare to Pembroke 16 on 25th. Harbour Porpoise: Cetacean survey Rosslare to Pembroke 3 on 25th. Pipistrell Bat: Lady’s Island 1 seen flying on 10th, 15th and 17th. Fox: Ballinamorragh 2 present on 6th (1 a vixen).

AMPHIBIAN: Frog: Reports from all round the County of particularly high numbers. Frogspawn: Appears to have been a very good year for frogspawn. Tadpoles: Lady’s Island on 10th and Gorey on 11th.

BUTTERFLIES: Clouded Yellow: Raven Nature Reserve 1 caterpillar 17th.  Speckled Wood: Yoletown 1 on 24th. Small Tortoiseshell: Castletown 1 on 23rd.

MOTHS: The following species were trapped in the County during the month: Dotted Border; Early Moth; Early Thorn; Hebrew Character; Clouded Drab; Common Quaker; Shoulder Stripe; Dark Chestnut; Early Grey; Double-striped Pug; Diurnea fagella and Twenty-plume Moth. 

INVERTEBRATES: Ichneumon Fly: Seen flying in Ballinamorragh on a number of dates.

BUMBLEBEES: The following Bumblebees were recorded in the County from 13th onwards. Bombus lucorum (White-tailed Bumblebee) –Bombus terrestris. (Buff-tailed Bumblebee) Bombus pascuorum (Common Carder Bee).

PLANTS: Blackthorn in flower Woodgraigue and North Slob on 26th. Whitethorn in leaf North Slob and Coolcotts on 19th. Herb Robert in flower in Coolcotts. Dandelions with ‘seed heads’ in Ballymitty.