Eric Dempsey

11 results

Swans are fiercely protective parents and they see a dog as a predator

Every year there are several reports of swans being killed by dogs - but it is virtually unheard of for a swan to kill a dog, according to Birdwatch I(...)

Swift populations are free falling; in the last 15 years, they’ve gone down by 46 per cent. ‘My notebook goes back 40 years,’ says bird expert Eric Dempsey. ‘Their decline has been very dramatic.’

Last summer, ornithologist Will Hayes of Birdwatch Ireland spent four months walking the streets of Tipperary’s towns and villages in search of swift (...)

Curlew close-up. Photograph: courtesy of Derek Belsey and Cliff Reddick

The haunting cry of the curlew has long been embedded in Irish literary culture as well as in individual memory. Yet, with the breeding population dro(...)

Snipe: two flew up from the marsh, their long bills numbed from prodding ice at night, to try the softer ground under David Cabot’s window across the lake. Illustration: Michael Viney

The trick was not to look them straight in the eye, with a glint like a predator, but to enjoy them with sidelong respect. Then they might stay longer(...)

Starter binocular options at about €120 can greatly enhance your observations. Photograph: ZenShui/Odilon Dimier/Getty Images

Very few people are entirely indifferent to birds, and most of us find them an occasional source of some brief wonder and delight. Even the most comm(...)

A waxwing in Lucan, Co Dublin last Friday: the birds feed on berries. Photograph: Eric Dempsey/Birds Ireland

Freezing temperatures across Europe have sent exotic starling-sized birds, called waxwings, to Ireland in search of food. According to Birds Ireland(...)

A white swallow at Tacumshin from a photograph by Eric Dempsey. Illustration: Michael Viney

If I were going there this weekend – and I’m sorry I’m not, it’s too far – we would end up taking the road from Wexford to Kilmore Quay and then, a(...)

Off course: gales bring migrants within telescope range. Illustration: Michael Viney

It is usually enough for me to write about the weather to have it change utterly by the time the column appears. So it may be right to share a website(...)

Eric Dempsey: “I wanted to capture the influence of my wonderful parents, the Finglas of the 1960s and ’70s, and the days of travel, where I followed my dreams and experienced so many wonderful birds”

“Here…come look at the birds.” It’s a dull, wet day as I look out the window into our garden in Wicklow. Where has the sun gone? Yesterday was such a (...)

On call: the BirdSongID app

In recent days, I have noticed flurries of small twigs, moss, and strands of pampas grass being dropped on a particular part of my decking. Since the (...)

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