Friday, 12 November 2010

Talk By Eric Dempsey,Riverfront Hotel, Virginia 25 November

Talk by Eric Dempsey

“A Year of Birds,” a Presentation by Eric dempsey will take place in the Riverfront Hotel, Virginia at 8pm on Thursday 25 November.Eric is a professional bird guide, author and a regular contributor to The Mooney Show on RTE radio This talk should be of interest to anyone who feeds garden birds or who enjoys the countryside and would like to know more about the birds they encounter while out and about. His new publication “The complete Field Guide to Ireland Birds” will be available to buy on the night for those who wish to purchase. His last visit to Virginia was a big success and we look forward to his return. All Welcome and admission is free!

Dundalk Bay 7 November

After meeting up at the Fairways Hotel, we headed out to Seabank where we joined up with Breffni Martin of the Louth Branch. A variety of waders were present including redshank, grey plover, ringed plover and dunlin. As the tide was still quite high, we decided to pay a visit to Hermitage where we enjoyed some close-up views of common scoter and red throated divers. We finished off the outing by returning to the town to visit the dockland area. Two little egrets were present along with a large flock of lapwing, some golden plovers, gulls, black-tailed godwits and a small flock of goldeneye.

After a great day’s birding, we called into the Spirit Store at the docks for a coffee. Many thanks to Breffni for joining us and for helping us to become more familiar with the excellent birding locations around Dundalk Bay.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Outing to Dundalk Bay

Our next branch outing will take place on Sunday 7 November to Dundalk Bay. Here we will have the opportunity to see good numbers of waders and wildfowl which have recently arrived to spend the winter months around our coast. Dundalk Bay is one of the most important sites in the country for wintering water-birds and well worth a visit. We will be joined by Breffni Martin from the Louth branch of BirdWatch Ireland and will visit a number of sites all within easy reach of the town.

If you are travelling via Bailieborough and wish to car share, meet at the Market Sq at 11am.or phone Elizabeth on 086 8336675 to arrange a meeting point in Dundalk.

If travelling west of Cavan to car share please phone Heather on 087 6699681.

Packed lunch and waterproofs recommended.

Blacklion Outing in September

The group enjoyed an upland walk in the Burren Forest on a sunny Sunday morning. Several ravens and a group of crossbills were the highlights of the birds seen and the group enjoyed great views of the surrounding countryside. Also present were some speckled wood butterflies and moorland hawker dragonflies

Saturday, 4 September 2010

September Outing to West Cavan

We will be resuming branch activities for the Autumn-Winter season on Sunday 12th September with an outing to West Cavan led by Heather Bothwell.
We plan to visit Lough McNean and upland sites in the area. The outing should last approximately 2-3 hours. Bring along a pair of binoculars and a packed lunch. Waterproof clothing and footwear are also recommended. Meet at the Market House, Blacklion, at 10:30am. If you would like to car share, please let us know prior to the event.

Contacts: (Cavan West) (Cavan East)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Castle Lake Woods Dawn Chorus

We were lucky to have good weather for both our dawn chorus events in May. The above picture shows some of the group from the Bailieborough dawn chorus having a well-deserved break after the early start! The dusk-chorus event in Jampa Ling was well-attended and it was great to see so many families turning out to enjoy the event in such a lovely setting.
We will be taking a break over the Summer and branch events will recommence in September.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Dawn/Dusk Chorus Events

Listen to the song of the song thrush and many more at a dawn/dusk Chorus Event in May.

Dusk Chorus Walk Saturday 8th May

Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre, Bawnboy.
Meet at 7 30p.m.
Light refreshment served prior to walk

Dawn Chorus Walk Sunday 9th May

Castle Lake Woods, Bailieborough.
Meet at 4.30a.m. at the main car park, Lear entrance

Dawn Chorus Walk Sunday 16th May

Lough Gowna,Dernaferst Bridge,Lakeshore Walk.
Meet at 4.30a.m. at Dernaferst Bridge which is 2 km south west of Gowna on Aughnacliffe Rd.

Garden Bird Talk by Niall Hatch BWI

On 22 April Niall Hatch who is the development officer for BWI visited the branch to give a presentation and slide show on Garden Birds. A large crowd attended this very informative and entertaining presentation. Those present were surprised to learn that their garden birds lived such short lives and that many winter visitors to their bird tables were migrants from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. He discussed the plight of the swallow and the hardship they face on migration. It was sad to learn that many don’t survive the long migration to Africa and back. He also passed on many interesting facts on members of the crow family and the prize for the most intelligent bird went to the Magpie. Niall explained to us that it was a sign of a healthy bird population if we had a sparrowhawk visiting our gardens and that we should learn to appreciate and respect this beautiful bird. Thank you very much Niall for visiting the branch and for an excellent presentation.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

< Cavan Branch events from April 09 to April 10

April Corncrake talk

A presentation, entitled “All about Corncrakes”, was given by Sandy Alcorn, the Donegal Corncrake Fieldworker. It was held in the Bailieborough business centre and was very well attended, with approximately 30 turning up. Sandy talked us through the plight of the corncrake, and explained to us the threats facing the corncrakes as well as the measures being taken to conserve these birds. This topic is one close to many people’s hearts, as some of us still remember hearing the distinctive call of the Corncrake in the Cavan countryside in the past. Thanks very much to Sandy for a very enjoyable talk.

Sunday 17th May National Dawn Chorus Day

Two dawn chorus events took place for national dawn chorus day, one in Cavan and the other in Bailieborough. The groups met at 4.30 a.m. and 4.45 a.m. respectively. Both events were well attended, and the birds did not disappoint! The highlight of the Bailieborough event was the sighting of the newly-hatched mute swan cygnets. At the Cavan event the song of the garden warbler was heard.

Sunday 7th June Bird Atlas roving event

The group met in the car park of the Kilmore Hotel near Cavan town. Under the direction of Brian Caffrey, atlas co-ordinator, we decided on what areas needed most coverage and allocated an area to each of the three groups. After collecting records in our assigned area we met back at the hotel to compare notes on what we had seen and to discuss the progress of atlas work in Cavan to date with Brian.

Sunday 14th September outing to Swanlinbar

Eight attended this outing along the Hawkswood walk near Swanlinbar. The scenic walk, lovely sunshine and views of Cuilcagh Mountain were enjoyed by all. Birds of note included kestrel, buzzard and reed bunting.

Sunday 1st November outing to Dundalk Bay

Despite very poor weather conditions, five turned up for our outing to the Dundalk bay area. Thankfully, the rain cleared upon arrival in Dundalk. We met up with Breffni Martin and visited various sites in the locality. The first site visited was Seabank where we noted a variety of waders, including large flocks of black-tailed godwit, brent geese and greenshank
Next, we paid a visit to Navvy Bank. Notable birds here included a small number of scaup and we also enjoyed lovely views of wheeling flocks of golden plover. Unfortunately, a sharp wind prevented us from staying long at the site. We finished up at the docks where an abundance of waders were present, including a highlight of little egret. On the way home, we made a short detour to Lurgan Green as spotted redshank had been seen in the area. We observed many waders here but unfortunately no spotted redshank was seen. We would like to thank Breffni Martin for joining us.

Sunday 29th November Bird Atlas Event

The group met at the Lakeside car park in Virginia for the branch’s roving Bird Atlas event. Seven braved the icy road conditions to turn up for the outing. Unfortunately, Brian could not join us for the day due to the bad weather conditions. Niall, one of the atlas fieldworkers, came along to help us out on the day. We decided to split into three groups and to head off to areas in the county that had been poorly covered to date. Niall supplied us with the necessary information and maps to help us on our way. The first group headed for Canningstown, another to Ballyjamesduff and the third group, along with Niall, remained in the Virginia-Mullagh area. All who took part enjoyed the opportunity to explore new areas of the Cavan countryside and the remarkable numbers of redwings and fieldfares seen on the day made being out in the wintry conditions worthwhile.

Sunday 24th January Outing to Milltown Lake and the Belturbet waterways

Twelve people attended our outing to Milltown Lake and the Belturbet waterways. After meeting up at Drumlane Abbey car park we first went to Milltown Lake. Unfortunately, the foggy conditions meant that visibility was quite poor but nonetheless we managed to see large numbers of mute and whooper swans. We decided to move on and visit the waterways in Belturbet. Here we managed to get closer to the birds and were treated to views of greylag geese, black-headed gulls and little grebes.

Sunday 28th February Outing to Carlingford.

The group met up with Breffni Martin from the local Louth group at Templetown Beach on a lovely sunny Sunday morning.

We observed a number of cormorants and shags at this site. The birds had just come into breeding plumage and were looking very well. A few distant divers were also present. We than proceeded to the Carlingford Shore where we had the opportunity to see a selection of roosting birds close up due to a very high tide. Curlew, oystercatcher, bar-tailed godwit, dunlin and ringed plover were seen as well as a variety of waterfowl species and some brent geese. As we were leaving the site to move on, a carrion crow was spotted. The final Carlingford site visited was Ballagan where we saw some more brent geese and a selection of gull species. On the way home we called to Dundalk Docks and were lucky to finish up the day with close up views of two ruff. Thanks very much to Breffni for his time and for a very enjoyable first branch outing to Carlingford.

Wednesday 3rd March Talk in Killeshandra

Fionbarr Cross from the RSPB gave a presentation about the birds of Co. Fermanagh and his work with the RSPB in the Lough Bawn Hotel, Killeshandra. He discussed reserve management, habitat protection and the problems faced trying to protect the small population of breeding waders on the reserve from predators, for example gulls and badgers.Fionnbarr’s enthusiasm for this demanding work was evident. Thanks to Fionnbarr for a very informative and interesting talk.

Joint outing with the Monaghan Branch to Sliabh Beagh on Sunday 18th April

The group met at Monaghan Shopping Centre and then proceeded to Sliabh Beagh. We were greeted on arrival by the song of the skylark and were lucky to have good weather which allowed for clear views of the surrounding countryside. A Hen Harrier appeared in the distance after a short time of scanning the skies. We were happy to know that they were in the area and were optimistic that they would make another appearance before long. Luck was on our side and we were fortunate to get some fantastic close up views of a male. We also enjoyed some interaction in the skies between the pair of hen harriers and a pair of ravens. Buzzards were also present and some hooded crows. A small flock of golden plover was also present and a wheatear, perhaps on migration, stopped on a nearby post for a short rest to allow some good views. Thanks very much to Joe Shannon and the Monaghan Branch members for making us very welcome and we were also glad to have the company of some Birdwatch members from Dublin and Wicklow who had travelled up for the outing.

New Blog for Cavan Branch

The Cavan Branch AGM took place on Thursday 22nd April in Bailieborough Bussiness Centre, Co. Cavan. The committee for the coming year was elected as follows:

Chairperson: Heather Bothwell, Killeshandra. Secretary: Elizabeth Mc Kenna, Bailieborough. Treasurer: Sean Callaghan, Virginia.
General committee: Michael Mc Kiernan, Paddy Ronaghan, PJ Byrne and Peadar Reynolds

We decided to set up this blog and follows is a report on our branch activities for the last year.