I recently paid another visit to one of the best birding sites in the country, Bull Island on the north side of Dublin city. The day was cold but bright and high tide was due at about one. I was excited as I drove over the causeway to see rafts of ducks and geese on both sides of the road. I was aiming to get some good painting reference of pintail and therefore concentrated on taking photos and sketching them most of the afternoon. The pintail were very obliging staying close to the causeway most of the day. Most of the afternoon they were in the company of teal.
The shoveler and shelduck were to be found further out on the mud flats accompanied by scores of waders. I did not see a single mallard all afternoon though. I found this surprising.
The highlight of the afternoon came when I saw a peregrine chase a redshank from the clouds to sea level. The redshank managed to take evasive action and the peregrine in his annoyance swooped low over the mudflats and vented his frustration on anything that moved. The marsh came to life as flocks of waders took to the sky and ducks ducked low in the marsh cover!
The falcon flew off into the distance and I finally lost him.
I returned home with a headful of exciting ideas for paintings. I began a painting today which depicts pintail and teal. I shall try to keep you all posted with its progress.