Monday, December 8, 2008

Before The Beginning - 2006

This website is about the North Louth Branch of Birdwatch Ireland. Centred on Dundalk, North Louth is on the East coast of Ireland bordered by Carlingford Lough to the North and Clogherhead to the South. In encompasses Dundalk Bay, the single most significant area for overwintering birds on the east coast of Ireland hosting over 60,000 wildfowl and waders at peak population. Other important bird areas are Carlingford Lough, Ballymascanlon Bay, Lurgangreen and Clogherhead. Inland are several bogs, marshes, mountain areas, rivers, ponds and woodlands. In fact all important bird habitats are present with the exception of a large freshwater lake. Despite this the national bird protection NGO did not have a branch in the area and many localpaople are unaware of the tremendous wildlife resources at their doorstep. This is what led a group of local birders to propose to set up a branch to try to generate more interest locally. To test the idea a tread was started on Birdforum in 2005 and several events were organised during 2006, notably an outing and illustrated talk by Eric Dempsey in Carlingford that was covered by the Nationwide TV show (click on link to see clip).
Other events during 2006 included the following:

- Field trip, talk and slideshow by Eric Dempsey

– Demonstration of birdwatching for beginners at Quay wall, Dundalk Harbour

Dundalk Docks
- Talk by Eric Dempsey and bird photo competition in Carlingford
- Field outing by Eric Dempsey
- Repair and refurbishment of Black Guillemot nesting holes at Giles Quay

Black Guillemots parading at Giles Quay

– Dawn Chorus event at Park Hotel Omeath

– Talk by Oscar Merne on Galapagos trip

- Field outing at dusk to Mulahattin to look for Long-Eared Owls, Woodcock and Grasshoper warbler (we had all three at the same time!)

– Talk at Monksland National School on Owls
– Field trip to Lurgangreen

- Talk by Niall Hatch on work of BWI

– Talk by Lorraine Benson on Gambia in Dundalk


- Talk by Niall Hatch in Carlingford

Dundalk Bay from Rockmarshal

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