Saturday, 20 April 2013

National Dawn Chorus Day.Events in Cavan on Sunday 19 May

Blackcap photo by Michael Mc Nulty
Listen to the song of the Blackcap and many more at a Dawn Chorus Event in May!
To celebrate National Dawn Chorus day two events will take place in Co. Cavan on Sunday 19th May.This will be a great opportunity to learn more about birdsong and enjoy an early morning walk at dawn. Follow this link to read more about the Dawn Chorus here
Walks will take place at the following locations:
Meet at the car park of veterinary surgeons, Hoffman & Kaufmann,Tyusker,Arva at 5.00am.
 Contact Heather on 087 6699681 

 Bailieborough,Castle Lake Woods.
 Meet at the Lakeshore car park, Lear entrance at 4.30am.
Directions: take the Shercock Rd out of Bailieborough. Turning left at Lakeland Daries, proceed for 2km approx and the forest entrance is on your left.

River Bird Survey

By Brian Caffrey.

We are looking for breeding records of river birds (between mid-March and mid-June) from 2004 up to the present season to help us examine links between water quality and biodiversity.

 Ireland supports a rich and diverse network of river systems. They are often not so easily accessible, making it difficult tomonitor the health of this habitat for biodiversity. However, Ireland's river are highly attractive and are well visited by tourists, anglers and other recreational users. 

 Please visit our River Birds page for further details about this group of birds. This spring/ summer, we urge you to keep your eyes peeled if you are out and about on a river or its banks. We are looking for details of your sightings of all riverine species, but especially Kingfisher, Dipper, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and Sand Martin. But we would also like to know about rivers where these birds were absent.
Completing it is really easy. And please complete the questionnaire even if you
saw no riverine bir

Launch of the Bird Atlas 2007 - 11

 by Brian Caffrey.

I am delighted to announce the launch of the Bird Atlas 2007-11 pre-publication book offer (please see attached).Order now at our special pre-publication price of €54 and save a third off the retail price!

Be one of the first to receive Bird Atlas 2007–11, the most important British and Irish bird book for decades. The most complete and comprehensive overview of bird distribution and change in Britain and Ireland. Over 1,300 maps describe patterns of distribution, abundance and change for nearly 300 species.

Discover the changing fortunes of the birds of Britain and Ireland, with the help of authors Dawn Balmer, Simon Gillings, Brian Caffrey, Bob Swann, Iain Downie and Rob Fuller. Have the latest scientific findings about distribution and change at your fingertips, including chapters telling the atlas story and highlighting the factors influencing our changing bird fauna... all to be revealed when the book is published in autumn 2013.

How to order:
2)      By Post: send the attached order form to: BirdWatch Ireland, Unit 20, Block D, Bullford Business Campus, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow
4)      By Phone: call us on 01 2819878

Don’t miss this great offer – order by the 31st July 2013

Presentation By Dick Coombes on 9 April in Virginia

Dick Coombes Birdwatch Ireland
A presentation by Dick Coombes took place in the Riverfront Hotel, Virginia on Tuesday 9th April at 8pm after the AGM. Dick is the Countryside Bird Survey co-ordinator with Birdwatch Ireland and has studied great-spotted woodpeckers closely since they were first recorded breeding in Ireland back in 2009. A few years prior to this they had been recorded breeding in Northern Ireland and in 2008 a juvenile bird was sighted at a bird feeder in Co. Wicklow! It was confirmed that great-spotted woodpeckers were breeding in the woodlands of Wicklow in 2009 and since then the birds have been gradually spreading along the eastern side of the country.
Are they breeding here in Cavan? To date there have been a few reported sightings of woodpeckers in the county but breeding has not yet been confirmed. We have lots of suitable habitat here. Their favourite nesting habitat is mature woodland where they can find trees with some element of rot, preferably an oak. Dick described what signs we should be looking out for:
 Between March and April we should listen out for the sound of woodpeckers drumming- a very distinctive sound that indicates a woodpecker is holding a territory. To hear an example of what a woodpecker drumming sounds like, follow this link: 

Also keep an eye out for the presence of feeding holes or evidence of nest hole excavation in mature trees.  The nest holes can be difficult to spot as they are generally located quite high-up on trees but if you keep looking up and listening who knows what you might discover! Please pass on any records of sightings to Dick Coombes at

A special word of thanks to Dick for a most enjoyable and informative presentation. It was evident that Dick has put in a lot of work over the last few years studying these birds and that although it has been demanding he has enjoyed it all very much and has a great affection for these very special birds!

Cavan Branch Committee

The following people were elected to serve on the committee for the coming year at the AGM which took place prior to the Woodpecker Presentation on Tuesday 9 April in the Riverfront Hotel, Virginia.

Chairperson Heather Bothwell, Killeshandra
Secretary     Elizabeth Mc kenna, Bailieborough
Treasurer    Sean Callaghan, Virginia.
PJ Byrne, (Vice Chairperson), Michael Mc Kiernan (Vice Secretary), Peadar Reynolds (Vice Treasurer) Tom Broe and Yvette Von Cramon.

Cavan Branch contacts details can be found on the Birdwatch Ireland Website here