Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Irish Wetland Birds Training December 2012

On Sunday 2nd December, Birdwatch Ireland are holding an I-WeBS workshop at the lovely Ballybay Wetlands Centre, Derryvalley Farm, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan (www.ballybaywetlands.ie)

It will run from 10am - 1pm after which there will be a field visit to look at some of the wintering waterbirds on the wetlands near the centre.

This is a completely free event and we will provide tea and coffee and some light lunch.

The workshop is aimed at anyone who either already takes part or who is interested in participating in the survey. Everybody is welcome. We will provide information about wintering waterbirds, and about the survey itself, how to count, and a bit of waterbird ID, and hopefully we will be able to sign up a few new recruits. No wetland is too small! And there is bound to be one in your area.

We will be holding at least one other workshop this season which we will forward details of as soon as possible.

In the meantime let me know if you would like to come along to this one In Ballybay, Monaghan, so I can gather some idea about numbers and how much refreshments to provide. And do please pass this information on to anyone you think may be interested in taking part in I-WeBS.

Louth Biodiversity - An Occasional Newsletter August 2012


In Ireland, wetlands such as bogs, fens and the like, were traditionally seen as wasteful, and many were cut or drained. The last of the raised bogs (98% have been destroyed) are now belatedly well protected. In relation to other wetlands, the 2011 Planning and Development de-exempted drainage of an area of land greater than 0.1 ha, meaning that these now require planning permission. Concerns about drainage should be addressed to the council: environment@louthcoco.ie.


The closed season for the cutting of hedgerows, grassy verges and other vegetation ends on the 1st September. It is important to cut back hedgerows in winter to prevent them "legging up" which reduces their biodiversity value.


I am hoping to organise a pelagic from Greenore/Carlingford next week. The boat will go out from the mouth of Carlingford Lough for about 3 hours. The boat can take 10 people; assuming 8 sign up, the fee will be 50 euros per person. Date/time will depend on weather and tides. Please contact me if interested.

Hide/Bird Observatory

Thanks to Dundalk Town Council for ongoing development of the Soldiers Point area as a bird reserve. Please feel free to drop into the bird observatory there and sign the visitors book. We have high hopes of getting a hide in place at Lurgangreen near the mouth of the Fane in time for the winter birding season.


Our first talk of the year this year will be delivered by myself at the Spirit Store on Monday 3rd September at 8pm on the subject of Irish Waders. We will organise an outing along the Navvy Bank for the following Sunday.


It was a bad year for breeding terns in County Louth with relatively few fledglings at Baltray and none at Green Island. Generally the heavy rain during the nesting season made it a poor year. Similarly the black guillemot colony was hit by high tides, with only a single juvenile getting away. The Greenore and Clogherhead black guillemot sites did well.


A juvenile great spotted woodpecker was found in Ravensdale Forest Park strongly suggesting that they are breeding at that location - any further news on this very welcome!

Red Squirrels

Red squirrels ae present in the Cooley mountains, notably at Revensdale. But grey squirrels are expanding all the time. Those interested in red squirrel conservation shoudl contact the Gullion Red Squirrel Group:



An exhibition of local wildlife photographer Enda Flynn (Cooley Wildlife Photos) will hold an exhibition on 8th-25th August in the Watch-house which is opposite the Harbour in Carlingford. Further away, Eric Dempsey is also running an autumn series of workshops. See www.birdsireland.com for details.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wetlands of Louth

Our first talk of the New Year will be on the 7th of January 2013 and will be entitled Wetlands of Louth. The talk will be given by Faith Wilson, an ecologist who has recently completed a survey of the wetlands of County Louth along with Peter Foss, Patrick Crushell, and Barry O’Loughlin of Wetland Surveys Ireland.

The talk will be given in the newly refurbished Spirit Store on Dundalk Docks, Dundalk, County Louth.

As usual entry is free and all are welcome!


Louth Bird Sanctuaries

There are three bird sanctuaries in County Louth, at Ballymascanlon, Lurgangreen and The Boyne estuary. Maps are provided below. It is an offence to shoot or otherwise hunt birds in these areas. In my experience the sanctuaries have been generally respected by the local gun clubs, though sometimes hunters from outside the county do shoot them, maybe from ignorance.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Talk Cancelled!

Unfortunately we have to cancel the talk on waders scheduled for this evening (8pm, Spirit Store) because ongoing refurbishment of the venue upstairs means that the venue is unavailable - apologies for this and I hope nobody will be inconvenienced.

All the autumn talks are now deferred until the Spring starting early January.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dawn Chorus 2012

National Dawn Chorus day is next Sunday 20th May. This year we are meeting at Kilcurry Church at 5am. The outing will consist of a short walk in the immediate area of the Church for an hour or so. Weather looks OK as of today but probably best to bring a raincoat and a pair of binoculars.

See you there!

087 9145363


DIRECTIONS TO Kilcurry Community Resource Centre:  From North or South of Dundalk take the M1 Motorway to the Dundalk Town Centre / Castleblaney turnoff.  At the Dundalk Town Centre / Castleblaney Turn towards Dundalk and drive straight until the road reaches a T Junction with you the minor road.  Quinns Funeral Home on left and Harrys Bar in front of you.  Turn left, cross over the bridge and at the next traffic lights turn left onto R177 Armagh Road .  Travel out this road under 2 bridges approx 2 miles.  Turn left at a Big Tree just on the corner.  Signposted on the other side of the road for Kilcurry Community Resource Centre.

I will try to organise an evening chorus event near Drogheda next week. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Louth entomologist Don Hodgers will give an illustrated talk entitled "The Scaled Wings - Moths and Butterflies, with an update on recent discoveries in Co Louth". The talk will cover the lifecycles of butterflies and moths, as well as covering recent discoveries in County Louth.

Louth entomologist Don Hodgers will give an illustrated talk entitled "The Scaled Wings - Moths and Butterflies, with an update on recent discoveries in Co Louth" at 8pm on Monday 2nd March at the Spirit Store. The talk will cover the lifecycles of butterflies and moths, as well as covering recent discoveries in County Louth.
Entry is free and all are welcome!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What's Happening With The Badgers!

Padraic Fogerty of the Irish Wildlife Trust will give an illustrated talk on badgers at the Spirit Store on Monday 5th March 2012 at 8pm. the talk will cover the natural history and ecology of badgers, as well as various threats, including cruuent government policy in relation to badger culling - see http://iwt.ie/2011/11/iwt-badger-campaign/.

Entry is free and all are welcome!


Andrew kelly - Wildlife Phtoography

Andrew kelly gave a great talk on wildlife photography on February 6th at the Spirit Store - thanks to everyone for coming along - Andrew's website is here: http://akellyphoto.com/  - some fantastic shots for sale.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Easterlies and cold snap

Weather this week may bring in some eastern birds - look out for redwings and fieldfares, and maybe a few waxwings, though its late. With luck maybe something like the Ardglass Ross's gull might turn up - this bird is still present at Ardglass harbour: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-16728762... along with kumliens, iceland and glaucous gulls...

A few photos from a trip to Ardglass here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/breffni