Tuesday 30 June 2015

WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY - Tory Island (Part 2)

These are some of the birds I came across on my first day walking round Tory Island in May this year.  Enjoy.

Oystcatchers breed on the island (above) as do the Lapwing (below).

Ringed Plover are also found (not easily due to the terrain as seen in yesterday’s post) but they do breed here.

There are lots of Wheatear and nearly always out of range of my camera for descent shots.

This is a young Rock Pipit (I think)  Anyone confirm this for me please?

Near the harbour on the beach there is always loads of seaweed with plenty of Gulls scavenging on it as well as Starling, Pipits, both Rock and Meadow, Pied Wagtail and even Wheatears.  I will show you a video at the end of this post with this Gull pretecting this fish and also a Pipit that I videoed in another part of the island.

There are Tree Sparrows on the Island breeding and I am also told only 1 House Sparrow!

This time I believe this is a young Meadow Pipit but let me know if that is not correct please.

CLCIK HERE if the video does not appear below.

I will be showing you more birds over the next 2 weeks in this series however I hope you enjoyed the ones I showed you today.

Tomorrow as promised I will show you the Lighthouse and grounds.

I am linking this post with WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

Many thanks for visitng and also to those who leave comments.

Monday 29 June 2015

Tory Island Beckons (Part 1)

I was still in bed when I received a phone call from Chris, my friend who lives in Donegal to tell me the ferryman had decided to take us over to Tory Island that day.  The ferry left at 11.00am and I now had to repack and make a 11/2 hour journey to Magheroarty Pier to catch the ferry.  No time was wasted and I was thrilled that I was going to have 1 night on Tory Island to explore.  Only Chris came as the rest of the group had made other plans by now.

Chris and myself arrived along with the King of Tory (above) and 6 other men who were here for 1 night to fix the Lighthouse.  Two of them were from New Zealand.  After leaving my luggage at the Hotel, Chris and I when out bird watching.  Today I am going to show you some scenic shots of the island to give you some idea of the landscape.

After going up to see the King at his home(below), I invite you to come with me on the route that lead me round part of the island and you will see the kind of landscape I came across.

King of Tory's house.

Tory Island, also known as Toraigh Island, has been populated for nearly four thousand years, since the time of the Neolithic farmers. This tiny, barren land mass is situated nine miles off the shore of Ireland’s northern peninsulas. It is about three miles wide and one mile long.

There are very few small trees or shrubs on the island and the ones that are there have heavy foliage on them so the birds are not easily seen.  Some of the trees were behind the houses and we found Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler with Swallows flying around.  There were quite a number of Corncrack calling around this area and quite a number of tree Sparrows.

In the far off distance is the only Lighthouse on the island and the 6 men had been taken up there as soon as we landed to start the work.  On Wednesday I will show you many more shots of the Lighthouse.

There was a huge area where gulls were nesting and we looked for a good while to see how many the Little Gull were nesting however we only saw one pair but an Islander called Anton who studies the birds told me later that he had seen 12 pairs which was better news.

 There were quite a number of Ringed Plover.

There are quite a number of seats by the roadside to rest on.

This is the view from the seat.

Come on we still have quite a bit to walk.

This hut/studio belonged to Arthur Derek Hill, CBE, HRHA (6 December 1916 – 30 July 2000) who was an English portrait and landscape painter long resident in Ireland. CLICK HERE for more infomation.

We are nearing the hotel again but not 
before we pass the only round tower still standing in Ireland.

The belfry in An Baile Thiar is the most impressive structure to have survived the destruction of the monastery. Built of granite, in the sixth century the tower is 15.7m in circumference and 12.8m in height. St. Colm Cille's Bell hung in the tower until the late eighteenth century when the cornice was badly damaged by a bolt of lightening.

We have arrived back at the harbour just opposite the hotel.

Tory harbour.

I decided to walk toward the East Town 
and this is the small school above and the only shop below.

The Torpedo 
A torpedo can be seen midway between West and East Town. It washed ashore during World War II and was defused and erected at its present location.

Ah!  Now this is rush hour on Tory Island!

Don’t think this boat would be very safe in water anymore.

This is one of the RC shrine with a Herring Gull on top.

I will leave you there today with this little chap which is at the beginning of the East Town. 
I don’t know who put him there or what his purpose is. 
He was not there last year.

I hope you enjoyed coming with me and I thank you for joining me.

Tomorrow, I will show you the birds I came across and were able to photograph.

Many thanks for visiting my post and 
also to those who leave comments.