South Dublin Branch - Outing Report

Bluethroat - Ballycotton, Cork (photo: Paul & Andrea Kelly)

Cabinteely Park - 10th December 2023.

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South Dublin members assemble at Cabinteely Park for our December outing. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

South Dublin Members, Cabinteely Park, 10th December 2023 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

We stayed local for our December outing, with a visit to the very familiar Cabinteely Park. About 40 South Dublin members took part, meeting in the main car park at 10:00, where they were met by by branch Chairman, Des Higgins, who led the outing. The Cabinteely outing is normally very well attended but the forecast was for rain and wind, which may have kept numbers down. The rain cleared early on but the wind persisted and there were gusts of 30km at times.

One of three Jays we saw in Cabinteely Park's woods. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Jay, Cabinteely Park, 10th December 2023 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

Departing the car park, we made our way to the eastern end of the Park's woodland. The wind made viewing difficult at times but we did manage to see some Goldcrests and Blue Tits. As the wind continued to cause us problems, Rachel Hynes decided to leave the main group and go check if the woods behind Cabinteely House were more productive? This turned out to be a wise decision, and Rachel discovered an active flock of mixed tits there and we were all treated to great views of Long-tailed Tits. Isabelle Walsh then found a Treecreeper, which unfortunately didn't cooperate and was soon climbing high in the canopy, where it proved very difficult to locate.

Just as the Treecreeper was becoming lost to view, we saw a group of three Jay and over a period of about ten minutes they gave us wonderful views. Mary Fitzgerald then heard what sounded like Ravens and sure enough we soon picked out two in flight that were being mobbed by Jackdaws.

Apart from Redwing seen in flight, this Mistle Thrush was the only thrush on the day. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Mistle Thrush, Cabinteely Park, 10th December 2023 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

We next headed towards the playing fields, normally a reliable spot for thrushes, but not today as on arrival we discovered a junior football match in progress, and all we saw was a single Mistle Thrush. At the nearby dog-park enclosure we saw a Chaffinch, a Bullfinch and some Goldfinches. A flock of about 20 Redwing flew over but we never managed to figure out where they went or came to land.

A visit to the pond near the old Bray Road produced a Grey Wagtail, a Moorhen and a pair of Mallard but no Little Grebes, probably because the pond had recently been extensively cleared. We worked our way along the stream, back towards the car park but the high wind meant we didn't see much else.

Some More Pictures

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Moorhen munching on some weeds. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Some more pictures taken on the day by Gustavo Zoladz and Des Higgins.
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At swim two Mallard. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.
There's usually the chance of a Jay in Cabinteely Park, this is one of three seen on the day. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.
Always great to find a Goldfinch. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.
Whatever it is, it's up there. Picture by Des Higgins.

As has become the custom with our outings to Cabinteely Park, we finished up the morning with a visit to the Stableyard Cafe for coffee and refreshments.

Des Higgins

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