Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Sunday 12 January outing to Miltown Lake and I-WeBs Event

Whooper Swans on Parkers Lake

The first branch outing of 2014 to Miltown Lake will be held on Sunday 12th January. We will meet up at 10am at Drumlane Abbey car park, Milltown. At Miltown lake, we hope to see a varied selection of waterbirds including whooper swans ( in photo above). Following the main outing we will also perform an I-WeBS (Irish Wetland Bird Survey) count of Milltown lake and other lakes in the locality. Those interested in taking part in the survey will be divided up into small groups. Each group will be assigned a few local lakes to visit in order to record the number and variety of bird species present at each site. If you are interested in visiting Miltown Lake ,or would like to know more about the survey, come along and find out what it's all about. Lots of information about this survey and why it is so important to monitor waterbirds during Winter can be found on the Birdwatch Ireland website here  This event will be lead by Olivia Crowe who is the Conservation & Science Officer with Birdwatch Ireland.

In the event of poor weather/road conditions on the day, be sure to check this blog to ensure the outing is going ahead as planned!

Drumlane abbey is South of Milltown village and located up a small lane- it is signposted from the crossroads in the village.

Happy Christmas to all and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!


More information on I-WeBs by Niall Tierney.
BWI Conservation Officer - Waterbirds

The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) is the scheme that monitors wintering waterbirds across Ireland. It is jointly run by BirdWatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife service. Wetlands of all types and sizes are monitored, and each winter more than 250 wetland sites are covered by over 300 enthusiastic volunteers.

I-WeBS is simply a monthly count of all the wintering waterbirds at a wetland. The data is recorded on count forms provided by the I-WeBS Office or entered onto the online data entry system at the end of each visit. More detail on the methods can be found at the link below.

The objectives are to assess: population sizes, the importance of individual wetland sites, and changes in abundance and distribution over time.

The type of sites covered range from small ponds and river stretches with small numbers of birds that can easily be can covered by one observer with a pair of binoculars, to large complex estuaries that hold thousands of birds and require a team of experienced observers with telescopes. Many of the sites that require coverage in Cavan are manageable with a pair of binoculars.

Olivia Crowe will be running an I-WeBS day in Co. Cavan on the Sunday 12th January in order to introduce I-WeBS to a wider audience and to get some of Cavan’s many wetlands covered. Despite a number of dedicated I-WeBS counters in Cavan, it is always tricky to achieve full coverage due to the sheer number of wetlands in the county!

Getting involved with I-WeBS is a great way to make your birding count, and we’re always looking out for new recruits! By taking part, you’ll be helping us to fulfil our legal obligations to the EU Birds Directive to monitor the trends in our waterbird populations and to identify the most important sites for them. It’s also good fun and a great way to brush up on your waterbird ID skills!

Black Swans visit Mullagh lake

Photo Michael Mc Kiernan

A pair of black swans have recently appeared on Mullagh Lake. These birds are native to Australia and are likely to have escaped from someone's private collection. Committee member Michael Mc Kiernan contacted Birdwatch Ireland about the sighting and was informed that black swans have now started to breed in parts of  the North of the country-  with no ill effect on our own native mute swans noted to date. 

Wing-tagged Buzzard Sighting

In November, a buzzard with coloured wing-tags was spotted by Michael in the Virginia/Mullagh area. Michael reported the details of the sighting and wing-tag colours to the  Raptor Study Group. It was very interesting to discover that the bird was ringed as a chick back in June 2009 in Argaty in Scotland and is now here with us in Cavan!  Thanks to Dr. Eimear Rooney of the Raptor Officer N.I. for supplying this information.

If you want to learn more about Irish Raptors visit the BWI Irish Raptor blog here

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Good news story Birds of Prey

Lother Muschketat with Gerry Mc Connell
 Photo Heather Bothwell

Report by Heather Bothwell 

Cavan branch Birdwatch Ireland was impressed with the efforts made by Belturbet community,  to care and rehabilitate an injured buzzard.   The injured bird had been found by local  farmer,  Gerry McConnell. With the help of George Morrisey and Shelly Cole , the bird was taken to Eagles Flying centre, in Ballymote  Co. Sligo .  There Lothar Muschketat, was able to rehabilitate buzzard, over the next ten weeks.

Pupils from St Mary's Photo Heather Bothwell
On the 27th of November the bird was released back to the wild in Belturbet  and  the community and pupils from St. Mary’s National school came to see the bird up close.
Raptor expert , Lothar ,happily answered  the children’s’ questions and shared his knowledge of birds of prey.
Irish Birds of Prey need your help Birdwatch Ireland raptor appeal

Garden Bird talk by Jamie Durrant Tuesday 26th November

Report by Heather Bothwell

The wonderful world of birds outside your window.
Jamie Durrants talk on feeding winter birds.

To those who missed Jamie’s talk it is hard to transmit the energy and enthusiasm that Jamie brought to an every -day topic.  Jamie has long experience working in bird conservation and ecological surveys. He has also worked bringing the world of birds to the general public as Birdwatch Ireland membership officer.  The full house in the County Museum ,Ballyjamesduff enjoyed an informative and entertaining talk on feeding birds in winter.  Jamie’s talk was very practical and to get some handy advice on feeding birds follow the link.
For those that want to go a bit further and increase your enjoyment of garden birds why not share your information and contribute to the garden bird survey?
For those that are interested in making their patch a garden bird habitat  follow the link
And for those interested in a free garden bird pack when they support Birdwatch Ireland  visit;