Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Dundalk Bay

Outing to Dundalk Bay on Sunday 15th November.

We left for Dundalk from Bailieborough at 9 am on what was a very wet November morning. By the time we reached our first stop, Annigassin Harbour, the weather conditions had improved considerably. At Annigassin, we spent a short time observing the many waders and gulls before moving to our next stop, Seabank at Castlebellingham. Seabank is a great site to watch waders- as high tide approaches the views of lapwing, golden plover and black tailed godwits in flight can be stunning! We were not disappointed and enjoyed watching the birds gather here as the tide came in. En route to our next destination, the Oscar Merne hide at Lurgangreen, we stopped to view the large flocks of geese in the fields close by. Here we viewed graylag and white-fronted geese and large numbers of curlew, some ruff and golden plover. Also present amongst the geese flocks was a pink-footed goose- a real treat! The tide was high when we arrived at the Lurgangreen hide. It was nice to have shelter from the elements and to view the birds from the comfort of the hide! After a short stop for coffee we finished up the day at the Dundalk docks. Here we enjoyed watching cormorants feeding and lapwings returning in to feed as the tide levels dropped. A special thanks to Gerry O' Neill for keeping us posted on what birds were present in the area and to both Gerry and Peter for meeting up with us at the hide.

Report and photos Elizabeth Mc Kenna

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Dundalk outing

Cavan Birdwatch branch are travelling to Dundalk on Sunday 15th November.
All are welcome to join us.
To car share, meet at Bailieborough Market Square at 9am sharp.
To meet with the group at Dundalk Bay contact Liz on mobile or by email in advance to arrange a meet up point.

Monday, 9 November 2015

An unusual sighting!

Michael photographed this blackbird lately and sent it on with a helpful attachment from Birdwatch Ireland.
It seems that colour aberrations like this are unusual but albinism is more common in blackbirds than most other species.
Many thanks for the interesting picture and the helpful info Michael!

I've also added an RSPB link to their page on similar colour variations; (complicated words that you get bonus points for pronouncing correctly!)

Albinism in birds

Monday, 19 October 2015

Trip to Sligo

We gathered in Cartron car park on a cold but clear Sunday morning to explore the favoured sites of Sligo birdwatch.
Michael Bell met us with a booklet of local birds published in association with Sligo Tidy Towns.
In Cartron we saw great black backed gull, herring gull and wigeon.
Our next destination was to Bunduff lake where there was a flock of whooper swans, one or 2 mute swans as well as mallards exhibiting un-mallard-like behaviour!
To Mermaid's Cove where a flotilla of eider caused great delight, cormorants, oystercatchers, great northern divers, black guillemot and a trio of brent geese.
At Raughly we spotted heron, sanderling, turnstone, curlew and rock pipit.

It is entirely possible that we spotted a great many more than these! We shall wait for more detailed reports from those who weren't desperately turning down corners in their books to remember what they saw!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sligo outing

On Sunday 18th October we are meeting up with the Sligo branch to visit some of their favourite sites at this time of year. 

Regarding transport: 
If anyone has room for one more in their car or someone does not have transport please let me know as soon as possible so I can try to arrange something. email

Bring a lunch and hopefully we'll have somewhere scenic to have our sandwiches!

They have asked us to be there for 11 a.m. to make the best of the tides.
We have arranged to meet at Cartron Car Park, which is just off the main N4 as it travels over Hughes Bridge in Sligo. You take a left for Rosses Point rather than going on to Donegal. Cartron is on the left just before the road narrows with the seashore also on the left. There is a viewing platform there as it is a good spot for waders.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Buzzard on the wing

Clare sent in this great photo of a buzzard in flight.