Saturday, 23 May 2015

Curlew Appeal

   BirdWatch Ireland are currently undertaking a survey of breeding Curlew and are appealing for your records. While the focus of the survey is in the north-west, west and south-west of Ireland, we want records from around the country.

 The aim of the survey is to get an improved estimate of the number of breeding pairs of Curlew in Ireland and identify important breeding grounds. This information will help monitor long-term populations trends and aid in the design and application of new conservation measures for this threatened, enigmatic and well-loved species.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

"Save our Nature" campaign

Save our Nature
There is an article in the Summer edition of Wings on the campaign to defend the Birds and Habitats Directives.
The European Commission has been tasked by its President Jean-Claude Juncker to undertake a review of the Directives. We believe, (as does BirdLife International, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and the European Environment Bureau) that this is in fact an attempt to weaken the Directives as the push is for economic growth at all costs.
We would not have the nature laws in Ireland that we currently have it were not for the Directives. An example of the effectiveness of the Directives is that the Corncrake has been saved from the brink of extinction in Ireland as small numbers grow slowly in the north west of the country.
It is probably one of the most important campaigns BirdWatch has conducted.

We are asking everyone to get involved, to read and sign the petition, share it, spread the word and to encourage as many people as you can to sign it too.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Dawn Chorus

We met up at the Castle Lake forest lakeshore car park on Sunday 17 May at 4.30am for our Dawn Chorus walk. As we gathered in the car park to set off on our walk around the lake, we had the pleasure of listening to the beautiful songs of the blackbird and song thrush who were already in full song by 4.30am!

There were still a few bats on the wing as we set off, and it was not long before we started to also hear the song of the robin and wren. As it brightened up, we were able to observe nesting great crested grebes,moorhen, mallards and mute swans on the lake. No sign of any cygnets just yet but hopefully they should hatch any day now! Further on, we stopped  to listen to a variety of bird song including goldcrest, chaffinch, willow warbler, blackcap and chiffchaff. It was a lovely surprise for us all when we encountered a red squirrel during the course of our walk as this species is on the list of endangered species for Ireland! 

A special thanks to PJ Byrne for adding an additional interesting route to our walk this year. We finished up with a nice cup of tea and a chat in the car park before heading home. Thanks to all for bringing along refreshments to share.

Click here for more information on Castle Lake Forest. It's a lovely place to visit at any time of year. Other interesting birds that can be seen in the forest include buzzard, Jay, Dipper, Kingfisher and in summer whitethroat and sedge warbler.

report and photos Elizabeth Mc Kenna

4.30 a.m. saw a slightly smaller group of birdwatchers (4 to be exact!) congregate at Town lake in Killeshandra. Bats swooped overhead and 2 herons flew to shore to investigate as we started off along the lake. The earliest singers were the robin, song thrush and blackbird, joined later by a whole host of birds; willow warbler, wren, blackcap, wood pigeon, chaffinch, goldcrest, chiffchaff, moorhen, sedge warbler, grey wagtail, collared dove, swallow, starling, coal tit, treecreeper, blue tit and great tit. The woods varies from native trees to coniferous plantation and one of our group remarked on the noticeable difference in levels of birdsong leaving the former and walking through the latter.
The slightly less musical tones of the jackdaw was dominant as daylight brought us from our loop through Derrygid woods back to the lake. Things were busy on the water with a flock of juvenile mute swans, some great crested grebes, a black-backed gull, an unidentified duck in the distance with a brood of ducklings as well as a Canada goose. Town lake has numerous colourful birdboxes built by local Cub Scouts which brighten up the trees!
Garden warblers have been sighted in these woods in previous years, these are a scarce summer visitor so a trip to Killeshandra might be rewarding! birdwatch/GardenWarbler

Friday, 15 May 2015

Dawn chorus

We are hoping for good weather as we rise with the lark to hear our birds in all their magnificence!

The nesting season is now in full swing. Everywhere you look birds are singing, displaying , nest-building or carrying beakfuls of food. Every morning male birds announce in song they have survived the perils of the night. What is more they proclaim to rival males and local females that they are in peak condition ready and willing to rear the next generation.

Listen to the birds welcome the new dawn in fine voice and identify which birds' song you are hearing. 
Birdwatch Ireland organises Dawn chorus events nationwide to celebrate this rite of spring.
Cavan are hosting 2 events, we are hoping for some mild and dry weather for Sunday morning, it's looking good so far!
1) Bailieborough Castle Lake Forest. Meet at the Lake shore car park, Shercock rd at 4.30am. Contact Elizabeth 086 8336675
2) Killeshandra. Meet at the Town Lake car park, Belturbet Road at 4.30am.
Please wear sturdy footwear and bring warm waterproof clothing.

The RSPB have a section where you can listen to the song of individual birds so you might get a head start on identification.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Dowra outing

Apologies for the delay in showing the photos and report from our Dowra outing at the end of April. 
Many thanks to Freddy for the photographs!
A perfect habitat for dippers and kingfishers: both were spotted today!

The Cavan Way, from Dowra

One of our group is a writer/birdwatcher and she wrote an article Mudlarking! on our outing, luckily there is no photographic evidence of the mud she mentions!