Friday, February 20, 2009

Events in March

Events in March and April include the following:

March 2nd 8pm - Review of Birds in Louth 2008 and Historical Review of Rare Birds in County Louth - Breffni Martin and Derek Watters

2008 was an exceptional year for rarities in County Louth with 183 species being seen in the county including two county records but over the last century we have had other even more exceptional rarities!

March 8th 11am - Navvy Bank Walk with the Cavan branch - all are welcome to this outing. Meet at Soldiers Point in Dundalk at or before 11am. There is a 4.8 metre tide at 9am so we will observe the waders on a receding tide.

View from Soldiers Point

April 7th 8pm - Louth Entomology Update - Don Hodgers

All events at Spirit Store, Dundalk Docks, Dundalk.
All are welcome!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Carlingford Birding Festival

Our birding weekend in Carlingford went down very well despite arctic conditions. We were fully booked for the weekend package with 20 participants mainly from the Dublin area with a few from elsewhere in the country. We started with dinner in the hotel on Friday evening, followed by a talk by Eric Dempsey on the winter waterfowl we were to see the
following day at Oxford Island. Although the Ferruginous Duck and Bewick's swans failed to make an appearance, the sight of thousands of ducks including Tufted, Pochard, Ruddy, Goldeneye, Mallard, Teal along with the Great Crested Grebes and others well made up for it. The high quality hides and walkways were welcome given the weather.

Great Crested Grebe

That evening Eric gave a second talk, this time covering the over-wintering waders we were to see on the Carlingford mudflats on the Sunday morning walk along the shore. We were joined by 15 or so local enthusiasts despite the now freezing esat wind. The usual array of waders showed, n many instances hiding behind rocks to get out of the wind: Brent geese, Curlews, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Dunlin and a Grey Plover. On the lough we found a Great Northern Diver taking shelter from the stormy sea. By now our group had whittled down to a hardcore dozen and were about to call it a day when an unusual looking grebe was seen off Carlignford Harbour. Initially misidentified by myself, it turned out to be a Red-necked Grebe, a siberian species that I, like several others, had never seen before - so a great finish to the weekend!

Distant view of the Red-necked Grebe

Other than that the theme of the weekend was animal rescue, with a Lapwing being rescued from a Grey Crow and a fisherman being persuaded to return a pike he had caught to Lough Neigh, then in Carlingford a distressed juvenile Common Shag was taken into care and successfully released the following day.