Resident on Irish streams, rivers and canals.

Very distinctive when seen well with its brightly coloured plumage. The underparts are a bright orange-red, while the wings and back of the head are dark blue. The back, rump and tail are a bright, almost "electric" blue and usually draw attention to a flying bird. Despite these bright colours, can be easily overlooked perched motionless on a branch beside a stream or river on the look-out for fish. During the breeding season, females have a small red patch at the base of the bill, which is not shown by adult males.

Credit: BirdWatch Ireland


Flag Iris Plant

Along damp ditches and riverbanks, in marshes and bogs, around lakes and ponds, this handsome plant shows its large, bright yellow flowers from June to August.  The large blooms (8-10cm) are unmistakeable.  In clusters of twos and threes, each flower has three erect standard petals below which there are three petals which curve downwards.  The lower petals are beautifully marked with purple veins leading into the mouth. The sword-shaped tall leaves have prominent ribs and rise from the base.  In autumn the seedpods are large, three-segmented capsules which contain numerous seeds.  This is a native plant belonging to the family Iridaceae.

Credit: Wildflowers of Ireland