(photo: Daniel Downey)
Brian Caffrey from Birdwatch Ireland presented a very interesting and well-attended talk regarding the birds of the towns and villages of county Cavan in the Johnston library recently.
He spoke of how urban areas contained important habitats such as parks, rivers and buildings for several bird species.
Swifts, dippers and grey wagtails are all likely to be found in populated areas but have suffered population decline due to several factors; climate change and building renovation being two.
In Northern Ireland saveourswifts.co.uk have championed the cause of these birds, giving lots of information regarding how to attract them, build nest boxes and lots of links, videos and things swift-related.
Brian gave many interesting examples of the popularity of swifts worldwide, These photos have been taken from this dedicated swift blog:
Barn owls are almost unheard of in Cavan; Birdwatch Ireland has only a record of 2 pairs in the whole county. Their population is being decimated by the misuse of rodenticides. Find out more about responsible rodenticide use at this link...www.thinkwildlife.org
Nestboxes close to or over water will be useful to our dipper and grey wagtail populations; trials have shown that they are readily using boxes under bridges, provided they are above flood levels.
(permisson must be obtained before putting boxes up on bridges).
Here is an article about success with dipper nestboxes.
Brian asked that any owl sightings be submitted to John Lusby (Birdwatch Ireland) firstname.lastname@example.org
and that sightings of swifts, dippers and grey wagtails be submitted on Birdtrack.
A previous talk on swifts by Michael Casey is linked here cavanbranch.blogspot/swifts