Friday, October 17, 2014

Dundalk Bay Sunday 12th October

Joint Cavan and Monaghan Branch Outing.

 Dundalk Docks photo Heather Bothwell

Report by Heather Bothwell.

We met at 11 am at the docks, Dundalk . The tide was low at this time and birds were still feeding as the tide rose. Flocks of golden plover, lapwing, redshank,  greenshank, black-tailed godwit., curlew, dunlin, cormorant, teal and mallard , could be seen in their full glory,  as the light could not have been better and the water as still as a mill pond.

Teal photo by Clare Donoghue

Lapwing photo Clare Donoghue

Black-tailed godwit photo Clare Donoghue

Redshank Photo Clare Donoghue

Golden plover flock photo Clare Donoghue

 On leaving the Docks we moved on to inspect the new hide at Lurgangreen.

 The hide at Lurgangreen
 As we sunbathed !!!! eating our lunch, the tide came in . This moved the birds away from the hide, so at high tide few birds were to be seen. Despite this lack of numbers we did get views of the newly arrived Brent geese,  little egret, oystercatchers and a kingfisher put in an appearance in front of the hide .  The high-light of the day was when a female Merlin came in from behind the hide and landed on the other side of the Fane river.   We all delighted in excellent views of a very accommodating  little falcon . The height  provided by the new hide  helped this. Thank you  Louth, Birdwatch 
Ireland, we wish you  many long years in the comfort of the hide. 

Click here to visit the Louth Birds Blog

Upcoming events in November.

Sunday 9 November: Outing to the Bull Island Nature Reserve and Rogerstown Estuary, Dublin. (More details on the blog closer to the date).

 Thursday 20 November: A presentation entitled "All about Raptors" by Birdwatch Ireland’s Raptor Conservation Officer John Lusby will take place in   Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff at 8:00pm.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dundalk Bay Outing Sunday 12th October

little egret at Dundalk Docks
An outing to Dundalk Bay will take place this coming Sunday 12th of October
Meet at Dundalk Docks at 11am. If you wish you can park at Lidl, which is situated across the road from the docks. The group will car pool from here and visit a number of sites in the Dundalk area. Of special interest, will be a visit to the new bird hide at Lurgangreen.
The event should last a couple of hours. Bring along a packed lunch and it's recommended to wear warm waterproof clothing.Beginners very welcome!

The event will be lead by Heather Bothwell. Contact number of the day if needed is 087 669 9681,

 To visit the Louth Bird Blog for updates on sightings,click here

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Upcoming Branch Events

Tuesday 19th August

The Branch will have a stand at the family community show day at Esker Lodge Nursing Home, Cathedral Road,Cavan from 1.30pm to 5.30pm. 

 Sunday 12th October - Outing to Dundalk Bay

Sunday 9th November - Outing to The Bull Island, Nature Reserve and Rogerstown Estuary, Dublin.
Thursday 20th November - A presentation " All about Raptors" by John Lusby, Birdwatch Ireland Raptor Conservation Officer, will take place in the Cavan County Museum, Ballyjamesduff at 8pm.

More information re events will be posted closer to the date.
Beginners and new members very welcome!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Outing to Loughanleagh on 12 June

Information board with maps at the picnic site

An evening walk around Loughanleagh Mountain took place on Thursday 12th June, led by committee member and local walking guide P.J. Byrne. The walk lasted for approximately one and a half hours, commencing from the parking area and finishing up at the Cairn on the mountain top.

 We stopped along the way to listen to birdsong and enjoy the lovely views of the surrounding countryside.


 From the mountain top we enjoyed clear views of the Co. Louth coastline and the Mourne mountains.

 meadow pipet

  We also spotted some meadow pipits displaying and it appears that this species, which is a species of conservation concern, is successfully breeding in the area. However, it was disappointing to find no evidence of breeding skylark: a species that has bred here in the recent past.
Loughanleagh mountain is a lovely location for a walk at any time of year and there is the possibility of seeing snow bunting while walking in the area at migration time or over the winter months.

On our return to Bailieborough we carried out a swift survey to help us locate breeding sites for this species and we hope to erect some nest boxes in the area for the next breeding season.

To read more about the Swift Conservation project click here

To become a member of Birdwatch Ireland click here

We will be taking a break over the summer and details of Autumn events will be posted in September.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer evening walk on Loughanleagh

View of the surrounding countryside from LoughanLeagh

A walk will take place on Loughanleagh Mountain on Thursday 12 June.  This walk will be led by branch committee member PJ Byrne. Meet at the Market Square, Bailieborough at 7.30pm.
Waterproofs and walking boots recommended. This nature walk will last for 1 and a half hours approx.

All welcome! Children under 14 to be accompanied by an adult.

Ireland's Swifts need your help

Appeal for sightings - Brian Caffrey , Birdwatch Ireland.

The incredible sound of a party of screaming Swifts speeding overhead is one of the most iconic sounds of an Irish summer. However, the future of the Swift is under threat and there is growing concern for their populations both here in Ireland and across Europe.

This summer, thanks to funding from 
The Heritage Council and Dublin City Council, BirdWatch Ireland is undertaking a number of Swift surveys, and we need your help! To take part, simply let us know where you see Swifts and where their nest sites are.

Click to enter your Swift sightings or to get information about our upcoming Swift events

To learn more about Swifts click here

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dawn and Dusk Chorus Events

 Dawn Chorus Walk in Bailieborough.

We met up at 4.30am at the car park of the castle-lake woods for our annual dawn chorus event on Sunday 18th May.  It was still dark, blustery and threatening to rain as we set out on our walk. We had just left the car park when the first bird of the dawn chorus began to sing- a song thrush! Blackbirds soon joined in, followed be robins and then wrens.

 As we proceeded on our walk and it started to brighten up the song thrushes and blackbirds became less vocal and we were able to tune in to the songs of chaffinches, goldcrests, and the summer visitors that come to breed in the forest: willow warblers, chiffchaffs and blackcaps.

 Before finishing up, we stopped at the lake to view the great crested grebes, moorhens and mute swans. The resident female mute swan remained on her nest, but we suspected that the chicks may have been in the process of hatching. She looked to be very busy and the male was nearby paying close attention! At the lakeshore we also enjoyed the song of the sedge warblers, another species that migrates here from Africa to breed. 

 We finished the event with a cup of tea and some refreshments at the car park area and were all very glad that the rain just about managed to hold off until we were finishing up!
Thanks to everyone who brought along refreshments to share. It was much appreciated!

All above photos taken by Michael Mc Kiernan.

Dusk Chorus Walk In Killeshandra

photo Heather Bothwell
 Looking for tree creepers on the giant sequoia castle Hamilton

Report by Heather Bothwell
A Dusk Chorus Walk concentrating on birdsong took place in Killeshandra on Sunday 27th April. This was a short walk highlight of which was grasshopper warblers. We retreated after an hour before the midges got too hungry.