Thursday, 20 December 2012

January outing to West Cavan Lakes

Our first outing of the New Year will take place on Sunday 13 January to the  West Cavan Lakes. Local birder Tom Murtagh will join us on the day and we will visit a number of lakes in the area. We hope to see some whooper swans and and a variety of waterfowl. 

Meet at Swan Lake, Gowna at 11am. Car park is on the Granard Road.

Packed lunch and warm waterproof clothing and boots recommended.

Tom wrote a very interesting report on our visit to the area last year and to read it please click here :

Please note that winter events are subject to change. It may be necessary to cancel or change the time of an event on short notice due to bad weather. Please check the blog for updates closer to date for any possible changes.


The Garden Bird Survey

If you feed garden birds and would like to learn more about them visit the following Birdwatch Ireland link .You will find lots of very useful information and details on how you can take part in the Survey. It's a great way to learn your birds and you are sure to enjoy the time spent watching! 

Keep feeding the birds over the holidays and hope everyone has a lovely Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

I - WeBs Workshop at Ballybay Wetland Centre on Sunday 2 December

Some information on this event by Helen Boland

On Sunday 2nd December, we are holding an I-WeBS workshop at the lovely Ballybay Wetlands Centre, Derryvalley Farm, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan.

It will run from 10am - 1pm after which there will be a field visit to look at some of the wintering waterbirds on the wetlands near the centre.  
This is a completely free event and we will provide tea and coffee and some light lunch.

The workshop is aimed at anyone who either already takes part or who is interested in participating in the survey.  Everybody is welcome. We will provide information about wintering waterbirds, and about the survey itself, how to count, and a bit of waterbird ID, and hopefully we will be able to sign up a few new recruits. No wetland is too small! And there is bound to be one in your area.

We will be holding at least one other workshop this season which we will forward details of as soon as possible.

In the meantime let me know if you would like to come along to this one In Ballybay, Monaghanso I can gather some idea about numbers and how much refreshments to provide.

Helen Boland
I-WeBS National Organiser

BirdWatch Ireland
Unit 20, Block D, Bullford Business Campus | Kilcoole | Co. Wicklow 
Direct: 00 353 (0)1 2812410
Office: 00 353 (0)1 2819878

Irish Wetland Bird Survey
I-WeBS has been the mechanism for monitoring wintering waterbirds in Ireland for the last 18 years, with the results being used for site-protection and designation.  Hundreds of thousands of waterbirds migrate to Ireland each winter from breeding grounds in Arctic Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Siberia, Russia, and countless places in between. In order to try to conserve the many species that spend the winter here we need to monitor them to find out how many individuals there are of each species, if the size of each population is increasing, decreasing or stable, and we need to identify the network of sites that they use. With the help of thousands of hours of input from skilled volunteers and staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, this information is compiled and built-on every year.
The Irish Wetland Bird Survey  (I-WeBS) is a joint survey of BirdWatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Outing to Dundalk Bay Sunday 18 December

Some members of the group watching a flock of snipe

A very enjoyable day was had by all at our outing to Dundalk Bay on Sunday last.We started our outing at the Docks area and watched the birds there as the tide was rising. We had good views of a variety of birds including little egret, black tailed godwit, lapwing but the highlight for most was the flock of eight snipe and the two whooper swans.  We had a short stop at Blackrock before heading to Lurgangreen. 
This site is a really special place to be especially at high tide when massive numbers of waders fly in to roost. We were lucky to watch flocks of greylag and brent geese in the air along with wheeling flocks of knot.  As always it was very nice to enjoy the company of the Monaghan Branch and along with some good birding we also enjoyed lots of good chat.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Sunday 18 November Outing to Dundalk Bay with Monaghan Branch

Photo taken at Dundalk Docks by Michael Mc Nulty
Our next branch outing will take place on Sunday 18 November to Dundalk Bay.  This will be a joint outing with the Monaghan Branch and we will meet up at Dundalk Docks at 11am. We will visit a number of sites all within easy reach of the town and hope to see a good selection of waders and wildfowl. The event is timed to coincide with an incoming tide to enable us to get close up views of the birds as the tide comes in.
If you are travelling via Bailieborough and wish to car share, meet at the Market Sq at 10am. 
For more information contact 086-8336675
Packed lunch,warm waterproof clothing recommended. 

New Year Events

January 13 -   Outing to West Cavan Lakes. Meet Swan Lake, Gowna at 11am
February 21 -  A Presentation on "Waders and Wildfowl" by Breffni Martin (Louth Branch) will take place in Bailieborough Business Centre at 8pm

Check blog for updates on above events closer to date.

All winter events are subject to change. It may be necessary to cancel or to change the time of an event on short notice. If weather conditions are very poor on the day of an event it is advised to contact a branch member before travelling. Branch contact details can be found on the Birdwatch Ireland website here.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bird Atlas Presentation by Brian Caffrey in Kilmore Church Hall

We were delighted to welcome Brian Caffrey, Birdwatch Ireland Atlas Coordinator to Kilmore Church Hall, Cavan on Wendesday 10 October last. Brian last talked to us back in June 2007 prior to the start of the Atlas survey work. He encouraged us all to get involved in the project and also joined us for a number of Atlas Roving Events locally during the four years of the project. We were all very eager to hear what he could tell us about the findings of the Atlas survey work and all present enjoyed Brian's very informative presentation. Brian sent on the following report.

Report By Brian Caffrey

I always look forward to meeting up with the Cavan Branch and was delighted to receive the usual warm welcome at Kilmore Church of Ireland Hall earlier in the month where I gave a talk on the Bird Atlas 2007-11 results.

With a staggering 1.3 million bird records entered to the Bird Atlas in Ireland, I was nice to meet with some of the 91 volunteers in Cavan who submitted an impressive 13,849 birds records during the project in the county.
 We soon moved on to the bit that everyone was waiting for; a sneak preview of the latest species maps. We started off with a selection of farmland birds: Yellowhammer, Corncrake, Curlew, Barn Owl, Redshank and Tree Sparrow. It was the decline in farmland birds that proved to be the big story in the last breeding atlas (1988-91), and sadly the maps showed the decline has continued at an alarming rate for many of these iconic species.
Yellowhammer map shows a large contraction in range in the north, west and south west of Ireland.
 Next we looked at a number of species that were showing very interesting, albeit concerning trends:  Willow Warbler, House Martin, Sedge Warbler, Cuckoo and Starling. A striking north-west/south-east trend is starting to emerge for a number of species (mainly summer migrants), which is possible related to climate factors. Will this be the big story of the 2007-11 Atlas?
 Willow Warbler Abundance Map
Willow Warbler Map: Red indicates an increase in numbers while black indicates a decline.
Then we finished up with Buzzard, Raven, Siskin, Blackcap, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Little Egret, a few good news stories of expanding species and new arrivals to our shores. It’s not all doom and gloom!

 There were no records of little Egret in Ireland in the last Winter Atlas 1981-84.

Before everyone disappeared off home, there was a quick reminder about all the BirdWatch Ireland surveys which require volunteer help the Autumn migration now well underway there was a  particularly focus on BirdTrack , a fantastic online system for entering all your bird sightings.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

"Latest Bird Trends in Cavan: The Bird Atlas Results"

"Latest Bird Trends in Cavan: The Bird Atlas Results"

A Presentation by Brian Caffrey, Birdwatch Ireland’s Atlas co-ordinator will take place on Wednesday 10 October at 8pm in Kilmore Church of Ireland Hall, Crossdoney Road, Cavan. (Hall is situated off the Cavan - Crossdoney road,signposted to the right from Cavan direction.)

The bird atlas was a joint project of Birdwatch Ireland, the British Trust of Ornithology and the Scottish Ornithologists Club. Survey work was carried out between 2007 – 2011 and results of this project will play a major part in setting the priorities for bird conservation for the next 20 years.
 Here in Cavan many branch members took part in survey work over the four year period of the project and it will be of interest to all to hear about what changes have taken place in Cavan since the last atlas was published 20 years ago.

We would like to encourage any new members or beginners to come along to this event to learn about the birds of Cavan, meet with the local group members and to hear about upcoming outdoor events that you might like to join.

Branch contact details and more information on events on the Birdwatch Ireland website

Friday, 3 August 2012

Monitoring Barn Owl nests in Cavan

barn owl chick photo by Eilish Mc Gowan

Following a talk on Barn Owls by John Lusby, Raptor Conservation Officer with BirdWatch Ireland in April, there has been growing enthusiasm to locate Barn Owl sites in the county. This enthusiasm has been well rewarded and now we are delighted to be able to add two active and successful nest sites of the elusive Barn Owl to the national distribution map. I myself followed up reports from the local Wildlife Trust of a potential site close to Bailieborough, which lead to nesting being confirmed in recent weeks. John Lusby visited this nest two weeks ago alongside the Wildlife Trust members and a single chick was ringed. However, the chicks had already fledged, and two other birds using a nearby tree were also very likely to be chicks of this year, meaning three fledged chicks in total. Given the fact that it has been a very poor breeding season for Barn Owls across the country, a brood of three is fantastic and well above the national average for the year, which gives good hope for the species in Cavan. On the same trip John also confirmed another nest site close to Cavan town, although the site has only become known to BirdWatch Ireland very recently, it is obvious it has been used for some time based on accounts of the landowner as well as the build up of pellets, which is also encouraging news. The nest itself was inaccessible, however it was confirmed that chicks were present via a roost watch and also with the use of a special nest inspection device.

So there are Barn Owls in Cavan! And probably many more sites than people may have previously thought. We encourage all branch members to send on any sightings and information and to assist with locating other sites in the county. The Raptor Conservation Project will continue to monitor both of these known sites in future years and hopefully we can help this work and add to the list. Please however bear in mind that Barn Owls can be very sensitive to disturbance and that nest site locations should be kept discrete for their own protection.

John would also like to express a very warm thanks to the enthusiastic reception he received at his talk in April and looks forward to further visits to Cavan in the future.
Visit the following link to The Mooney Show website to see an active barn owl nest here

If you think you may have breeding barn owls in your area contact John at
Visit a very informative blog with lots of information on birds of prey here

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dusk Chorus Walk Saturday 2 June

Report by Heather Bothwell

A group of brave souls headed out on a very wet evening in Killykeen, forest, Co. Cavan.  The hope  was to hear  Garden Warbler, but  we came away with a no show. The car parks in the forest are locked at 9 pm until 9 am,  because of trouble from vandalism and criminal groups. , so we thank Paddy Tighe of Coillte and Josie Smith for facilitating this evening walk. Birdwatchers ( known for  keeping odd hours) visiting Killykeen may park at the gate and walk in !
 We managed to hear a reasonable array of woodland birds, including Blackcaps. Blackcaps are on the increase at the moment and have been shown to compete with garden warblers for territories from research in England. Garden warbler prefer younger scrubby growth  and some of killykeen may be past this stage at the minute. Garden warbler are quite limited in there distribution the Cavan lake land being a stronghold.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Dusk Chorus Walk Killykeen Forest Park

Photo Heather Bothwell

A Dusk Chorus walk will take place at Killykeen Forest Park on Saturday 2 June. Meet at the main car park at 8.30pm.

The walk will be led by Heather Bothwell and it will be a good opportunity to enjoy birdsong before the birds settle down for the night. After this event we will be taking a break for the summer and resume branch activities in the autumn.

Visit the following link to hear the song of the garden warbler one of the birds the group hope to hear in Killykeen. 

Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Warm waterproof clothing and footwear recommended.
For more information on Birdwatch Ireland events visit

Garvagh Lough,Blacklion Dawn chorus

photo Heather Bothwell

report by Heather
Dawn chorus 2012 at Garvagh lough, which is in west Cavan, near Blacklion  was a very enjoyable morning.   Situated in an upland area we got fine views of Cuillcagh mountain and neighbouring hills. We compiled a diverse list of songsters with highlights of cuckoo, skylark, meadow pipit,whitethroat, stonechat and flocks of redpoll. (the total was 29 species) The area is to be highly recommended not just for the birds , but also the orchids , rare plants and rare butterflies. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Bailieborough Dawn Chorus Walk

Lakeshore Castle Lake Woods
Watching  goldcrests

Report by Elizabeth

The group met up at the car park of the castle-lake woods at 4.30am on Sunday 20th May.  The sun was already beginning to rise, and the song of blackbirds and song thrushes and the sight of mist rising over the lake made for a very atmospheric start. We enjoyed the song of a variety of birds including sedge warbler, willow warbler, chiffchaff but possibly the most impressive singer was the blackcap, quite a few of which were noted during the walk. We got great views of a pair of bullfinches and also some lovely views of a goldcrest before pausing along our route to observe the lakeside birds - a mute swan on the nest along with good numbers of great crested grebes, one of which was observed on a floating nest. The real treat of the morning was a sighting of a red squirrel which distracted our attention away from the birds for a few moments. All agreed that a walk in the forest at dawn is certainly a worthwhile experience! We enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and a good chat before heading home. A special thank you to all who brought along  refreshments.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

National Dawn Chorus Day: Sunday 20th May

The blackbird: a star of the dawn chorus

To celebrate National Dawn Chorus day two events will be held in Co. Cavan on Sunday 20th May. This will be a great opportunity to learn about birdsong and enjoy an early morning walk. Come along and join a walk at one of the following locations:

Castle Lake woods. Meet at lakeshore car park, Lear entrance at 4.30 am

meet at the car park at the chapel at Gowlan crossroads, Moygashel at 6 am

Appeal for Curlew Records

BirdWatch Ireland is urgently appealing for records from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan of the now rare and endangered Curlew.  They breed mostly on bogs and rushy pastures and at this time of year when they are nesting, they may be seen displaying over moorland or farmland and making their distinctive bubbling call as they circle their territories.  Once common throughout the north and west of Ireland, indications are that the species is on the verge of extinction in the country.  Daniel Moloney, Curlew Fieldworker, is asking people to phone him with any records of breeding pairs on 085 7398411 or to email him at  Records can also be submitted via the Cry of the Curlew page of the BirdWatch Ireland website ( where you can also listen to the bird’s call.

Hoopoe visits Kilcogy,Co. Cavan

Photo Paul and Laura O' Reilly

 This hoopoe spent a couple of days in Kilcogy in late March! A great sighting for the county and thanks to Paul and Laura O' Reilly for the lovely photos!  

Cuckoo photo below taken by Michael on 6th May in Mountnugent.

Cuckoo by Michael Mc Kiernan

Raptor presentation by John Lusby in Bailieborough

report by Elizabeth

“Raptors of Ireland”, a presentation by Birdwatch Ireland’s raptor conservation officer John Lusby took place in Bailieborough on Thursday 26th April. John spoke to us about the raptor conservation projects he is currently involved in including work with long eared owls, kestrels and barn owls. We were informed on the recent findings of the Barn Owl Conservation Project and on how with the aid of satellite tracking and ringing much has been learned about the feeding and nesting habits of these birds in Ireland. Although the population has declined dramatically since the 1970’s, we still have many suitable nesting sites here in Ireland and it is quite likely we may have breeding barn owls in Cavan. The project has shown the stronghold of the present population to be the south west of the country and analysis of owl pellets has shown the bank vole and the recently discovered white-toothed shrew to be the main prey of barn owls. However secondary poisoning from eating poisoned rats and mice is a major threat to the barn owl. John showed us footage of barn owls in flight and played the calls we would be likely to hear this time of year if there are breeding birds in the area.
If you think you may have breeding barn owls in your area or if you would like information on  putting up a nest box please contact John at Visit this very informative blog for lots of information on birds of prey here

The Branch AGM took place prior to the talk and the committee for the coming year is as follows:
Chairperson: Heather Bothwell, Killeshandra.
 Secretary: Elizabeth Mc Kenna, Bailieborough.
 Treasurer: Sean Callaghan, Virginia.
General committee: Michael Mc Kiernan, Paddy Ronaghan, PJ Byrne, Peadar Reynolds and Tom Broe.
For Branch contact details please visit the Birdwatch Ireland website

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

"Raptors of Ireland" A talk by John Lusby in Bailieborough

"Raptors of Ireland" 

A presentation by John Lusby will take place in the Business Centre, Bailieborough on Thursday 26th April at 8 pm. John is Birdwatch Ireland's Raptor Conservation Officer and his talk will be of great interest to anyone with an interest in learning about Ireland's birds of prey,the problems that they face and conservation efforts to help protect them. To learn about Birdwatch Ireland's Wing and a Prayer Raptor Appeal and how you can help visit this link
 All are welcome and admission is free!
Members AGM will take place prior to the talk at 7.30pm.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Photos from Dundalk outing

Dundalk Docks by Michael Mc Nulty

brent geese by Michael Mc Nulty

black tailed godwit in summer plumage by Michael Mc Nulty

Monaghan and Cavan Branch Members by Martin Mc Kenna

Monday, 26 March 2012

March outing to Dundalk Bay

Report by Elizabeth

A joint outing to Dundalk bay with the Monaghan branch of Birdwatch Ireland took place on Sunday 25th March. We met at the Dundalk docks at 11am, where we were joined by Gerry O’Neill of the Louth Branch. There was a great turnout, with the lovely March weather providing ideal conditions for the photographers of the group. Birds sighted included little egrets, brent geese, teal, ruff and black-tailed godwit (one of which had coloured leg rings). Details of the leg rings will be sent on to Jim Wilson who is  involved with the black-tailed godwit ringing project and we look forward to learning about the birds history to date.
After about an hour and a half at the docks we left for Blackrock in search of twite. Unfortunately the twite failed to make an appearance but we took advantage of the opportunity to take a few group photos! Our next stop was Lurgangreen where we spotted pintail, a buzzard and large flocks of gulls, godwits and brent geese, as well as a few greylags. After taking in the atmospheric scene of geese flocks flying in to feed in the Spring sunshine, we enjoyed a late lunch before heading home. Thanks to Gerry O Neill for his help on the day and to Joe and all the Monaghan Branch members for their good company. We look forward to planning a future joint event later in the year!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Joint Cavan and Monaghan Branch outing Sunday 25 March

Brent Geese flock at Soldier's Point, Dundalk

A joint outing with the Monaghan Branch to Dundalk bay will be held on Sunday 25th March. Meet at Dundalk Docks at 11.00am. We will also be joined by Breffni Martin of the Louth Branch for the outing. If you wish to car share from Bailieborough email Elizabeth at in advance. The outing is timed to coincide with an incoming tide to maximise our chances of getting close views of waders and other waterbirds. This time of year is our best opportunity to see Black-tailed Godwits coming into their stunning summer plumage before they leave for their breeding grounds in Iceland. To learn more about the migration of the Black-tailed Godwit and the International Schools Godwit project check out the following link:
Packed lunch and waterproof clothing recommended! 
More information on branch events can be found on the Birdwatch Ireland website.

Friday, 24 February 2012

" Extraordinary Survivors: Wildlife of The Antarctic" Talk in Mullagh

Jonathan and some Birdwatch Ireland Branch members

Photo Jonathan Shackleton

Report by Heather

A full house in St Killian’s heritage centre Mullagh greatly enjoyed Johnathan Shackleton's talk.
Johnathan, an experienced Antarctic expedition leader, first entertained with tales of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, when men such as Scott, Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton  explored Antarctica
 The talk was beautifully illustrated with shots of whales, orcas , seal species, skuas, albatrosses, petrels, and  the carrion feeder the snowy sheathbill.
Johnathan admitted he was a bit of a penguin fanatic and described the different species and how the distribution is being affected by climate change.
We also saw photographic evidence of the Cavan County Flag unfurled in Antarctica!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Photography Workshop by Des Connors

photo Des Connors

 "Photographing the Kingfisher"

A photography workshop by Des Connors will take place on Thursday 23 February from 7pm -  8pm, Johnson Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan.

This event is hosted by the Irish Wildlife Trust Cavan Branch and should be of interest to anyone with an interest in wildlife or nature photography. Admission free and all welcome.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Talk by Jonathan Shackleton,Mullagh

 " Extraordinary Survivors: Wildlife of The Antarctic" 

Photo by Jonathan Shackleton

A presentation by Jonathan Shackleton will take place in
 St Killian's Heritage Centre, Mullagh on Wednesday 15th February at 8pm.

Jonathan has visited Antarctica numerous times, partly because of the obvious family interest but also for the extraordinary wildlife and magnificent scenery. His talk will be  well illustrated and all are welcome to attend.
 No admission charge  but a small donation to cover costs would be welcome.

For information on branch events visit the Birdwatch Ireland website

Outing to Swan Lake and Lough Gowna

Report By Tom Murtagh

A squally westerly breeze with occasional, but all too short, spells of sunshine greeted Cavan Branch members and some locals of the area who assembled on the shoreline of Swan Lake, Lough Gowna village, on the morning of Sunday 22nd January for the Branch’s first outing of 2012.
Swan Lake is situated beside Lough Gowna village in south west Cavan and is a wildlife sanctuary providing refuge for a number of duck species during the shooting season on the nearby Lough Gowna lake system. On this visit, Mallard was the predominant species present (c.250+) with smaller number of Wigeon.
Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Duck were also present in small numbers as was a solitary Great Crested Grebe, a Great Black Backed Gull, a pair of Mute Swans and some Moorhen. The ducks were concentrated on the northern shore of the lake and best views were obtained through the scopes. The lake is a great natural amenity for the village and easily viewed from the Granard Road.
After viewing Swan Lake, some members proceeded to do a quick tour of the Lough Gowna lake system, with good views of the lake from Dernaferst Bridge, Aghakine Road and Erne Head (the latter two locations being in Co. Longford). Lough Gowna itself lies on the Cavan Longford border and is surrounded by a mixture of farmland, coniferous and deciduous woodland, with some reed bed cover and a few islands, the largest being Inchmore Island at the southern end of the lake. Viewing of the lake is well served from a network of local roads with a number of public access points, and some good roadside viewing where a scope comes in handy.  On our visit, we spotted  small parties of Goldeneye (with some displaying males) and Wigeon at Aghakine Point on the west side of the lake, a Kestrel hunting over Woodville Forest and, at Inchmore Island (Culray), a small flock of Curlew, some Coot along with Great Crested and Little Grebes, Tufted Duck and a pair of Mute Swans.
The Lough Gowna/Swan Lake catchment area has a good diversity of habitat – farmland, bog, woodland etc. with a number of well-developed public walks and pathways which make for an interesting area for exploration from a bird watching perspective in any season.  This was the first winter outing by the Cavan Branch to this area and all agreed was an enjoyable and worthwhile venture, despite the sometimes inclement weather conditions on the day.

For further information on birding in the Lough Gowna area see:
Birds in County Cavan – JK Lovatt (2006),
Finding Birds in Ireland – Eric Dempsey & Michael O’Cleary (2007)
Ireland’s Wetlands and their Waterbirds: Status and Distribution – Olivia Crowe/Birdwatch Ireland (2005)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Outing to Swan Lake, Gowna Sunday 22 January

The First outing of the New Year will take place on Sunday 22 January to Swan Lake,Gowna. Meet at the car park on the Granard rd at 11 am. If you wish to car share coming from the Bailieborough or Virginia area or if you wish to have soup and sandwiches after the outing in the Piker’s Lodge, Gowna please email by Saturday 21st
Local Birdwatch Ireland member Tom Murtagh will join us on the day and has supplied the above photo and following information and directions to  the site.

Swan Lake is a wildlife refuge and is protected from shooting/hunting, thus leading to transient populations of duck species, mainly Mallard but with some Wigeon,Teal and Shoveler present. Gadwall and Pintail have been recorded here this winter.
As well as checking out Swan Lake,if time and weather permits, it may be possible to visit the Lough Gowna lake system itself, viewing from vantage points at Church Lake, Dernaferst, Erne Head Wood and Dring. Lough Gowna holds the usual duck species in small numbers and also Mute and Whooper Swan,Great Crested and Little Grebe, Cormorants, with Golden Plover, Curlew and Lapwing on its shorelines from time to time.Hen Harrier, Buzzard and Raven have also been spotted in the area. The woodland at Erne Head has Jay,Treecreeper, Siskin and Redpoll. Brambling was recorded here in 2010.Car pooling for this part of our outing (if we have the time) would be helpful.
 Directions:Gowna village is approx. 23km from Cavan town and is accessed from Cavan via the N55  (signposted Athlone),On arriving at Ballinagh village (on the N55) follow the signage for Granard/Athlone. On leaving Ballinagh, after approx 4km, take a right turn off  the N55  on to the L2514 signposted Loch Gowna . Arriving in Loch Gowna village (coming from Ballinagh/Cavan direction),turn left – signposted Granard and Swan Lake is visible on left on the outskirts of the village.. Wellies /walking boots and waterproof clothing recommended for this event.
Visit the Birdwatch Ireland webpage for more information on branch events here