Monday, 6 February 2017

Lough Sheelin Report

Our branch outing to Lough Sheelin was held on Sunday Feb.5th. It was a chilly morning with a little fog, but for those who braved the conditions it was very rewarding. As the fog lifted and the sun came out the views of the lake were stunning.
The birds did not disappoint either. The little grebe, great crested grebe and coot were plentiful. The winter visiting ducks were enjoying a relaxing day without being shot at!!!. Tufted ducks would be the most common but we were treated to views of Scaup, Pochard and Goldeneye. Mallards were scarce. Mute swans, Cormorants and Grey Heron were also seen at a few locations. A Water Rail was heard in the reed beds and while there was a Northern Diver reported recently it was not to be seen on the day.
The Lake at Bracklagh while having the regulars at this stage was host to a Male Shoveller and three Gadwall ducks.
A special thanks to the Monaghan branch members who joined us on the day.
Michael McKiernan

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

P.J Byrne: A tribute

PJ Byrne ,who died in October was one of the longest serving members of the Cavan branch of Birdwatch Ireland, serving on the committee for many years  and laterally as Chairman.  He served in this role with enthusiasm and distinction and encouraged the members to have regular meetings and to participate in field trips to many parts of the country.

Born in Bailieborough Co Cavan PJ worked in Midland and Flair industries where he served in various capacities and was promoted to a Supervisory position where he remained until he retired.

As a dedicated member of Cavan Birdwatch PJ took a great interest in encouraging students to understand and appreciate nature and the environment by taking them on walks around the Castle Lake.  He was very enthusiastic about DIY and aside from ensuring that everything was in sparkling order around his home and garden he hand made a wide range of bird boxes which he put up around the area or gave to his friends.

PJ had a Back Belt in Judo and took part in competitions all around the country and gave lessons to the younger generation.

His other great passion was walking and he was a keen member of Bailieborough Walking Club ,and led many walks around the North East.

PJ will be greatly missed by all the people who came in contact with him.  We extend our deepest sympathy to Philomena his wife, his daughter Donna and his grandson Micah.

Peadar Reynolds

Friday, 27 January 2017

Lough Sheelin's shores

We will be meeting at Crover House Hotel, Mountnugent on Sunday, 5th February at 10.30 a.m.
From there we will drive to several points with good viewing of the lake and its birds.
Bring a lunch and dress warmly!
email or phone 087 7735487 for more information or if you have a query.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Drumlane Abbey and IWeBs

Hoping you are all well and enjoying the Christmas holidays!

The first branch outing of the New Year will take place on Sunday 8th January. We will meet up at 10am at Drumlane Abbey car park, Milltown. At Miltown lake, we hope to see a selection of waterbirds including some whooper swans. 
We will also carry out  I-WeBS (Irish Wetland Bird Survey) counts on Milltown Lake and other lakes in the area.

It is recommended to wear warm waterproof clothing and appropriate footwear. Beginners and non-members are very welcome to attend all events!

For information on The Irish Wetland Bird Survey click here

To become a member of Birdwatch Ireland click here

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Trip to Shannon Callows

Cavan Birdwatch are visiting the Shannon Callows on Sunday 11th December.
These lands along the shores of the  River Shannon are of international importance for wintering waders. Meet at Supervalu, Banagher, Co. Offaly at 11 a.m or contact 087 7735487 or to discuss travel arrangements.

I am attaching a few links about the callows so you can have an idea of what to expect while there.

If you are interested in going, it would be useful if i could get an idea of numbers so that car-pooling could be arranged if needed.  feel free to contact me either through this email address or phone 087 7735487.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Dundalk docks

The branch outing to Dundalk was held on a crispy midday meet at the docks. It was about mid tide but a good number of waders were feeding away on the mud flats. This area is great for close up views of teal which are there in abundance. Other species included redshank, greenshank, bar tailed and black tailed godwits, grey heron, cormorant, grey plover, curlew, lapwing, mallard, shelduck and even mute swans. A seal pup popped up every now and then.
We went up river to the other side of the bridge where the prize was seven snipe feeding away along with gulls galore at various stages in their maturity. A challenge for even experienced birdwatchers !!.There was definitely black headed gulls and common gulls. The little egret and ruff added to the list.
Out at Giles Quay the red breasted mergansers, great northern diver, common scoter, guillemot and a razorbill were good sightings on a nice calm sea.On the shore a small flock of ringed plover with some sanderling and dunlin kept moving about. The turnstones were busy and well camouflaged. There were linnets in the nearby fields and the starling was also enjoying a bath. Lots of brent geese and other birds were on the move.
As the tide was reaching its peak we went to Lurgangreen. The number of birds here were extraordinary, I would not envy anyone trying to count them. They included oystercatchers, brent geese, greylag geese, godwits, lapwing and golden plover. Some shelduck,wigeon and a few goldeneye. A buzzard kept an eye on things and a hunting peregrine resulted in great numbers of birds on the wing. Watching the flocks twist and turn in the evening sunset was spectacular.
While the glossy ibis and long billed dowitcher were not around, overall a very enjoyable day was had by all.A special thanks to our very knowledgeable guide for the day – Elizabeth. Without her a few species would have went undetected.

Michael McKiernan

photos: Elizabeth Mc Kenna

Grey heron and little egret




Dundalk docks

Sanderling and ringed plover at Gyles Quay

Dundalk docks

Sunset at Gyles quay