Monday, August 30, 2010

Seawatching and Pelagic

We would propose to run the seawatching outing on Wednesday from 6:30 - 8pm at Clogherhead meeting at the upper car park to walk out on the headland. Please bring telescope or binoculars. Nothing is guaranteed but we would hope to see good numbers of manx shearwaters as well as gannets, fulmars, terns, gulls and perhaps a skua or some storm petrels. There should be a few migrants on Clogherhead as well. All are welcome!
The pelagic is provisionally scheduled for next Sunday departing from Dun Laoghaire (the boat has unfortunately moved south for the summer and will not be back in Clogherhead until the winter). However this means we are further south and can check out the Kish bank. Several have reserved already, could they reconfirm this date, and could anyone else who is interested let me know. The pelagic will depart mid-morning and return late afternoon. If the sea is anything more than a Beauford 3, please be aware that we will cancel.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Seawatching and Pelagic 2010

We are organising a seawatching outing (viewing seabirds from the headland) from Clogherhead and a pelagic (trip in a boat out to Dundalk Bay to view seabirds closeup) during the next few weeks. For both outings we need to keep an eye on the weather, therefore dates will be announced here a few days before the outing (likely dates are 15, 22, 29th August or 5th or 12th September.

Little Terns at Baltray 2010

This years effort at Baltray produced 94 chicks from 43 pairs of little terns. Amazingly there was no predation at all, largely thanks to the effort of the many voluntary wardens; the overnight work in particular. We also had tremendous luck with the weather, with Spring tides arriving only after almost all fo the chicks had hatched (and so were able to move and avoid the water). The little tern protection scheme at Baltray is run by the Louth Nature Trust - full details of the season are here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ornithology Birdwatching Course O'Fiach Institute Dundalk 2010

Breffni Martin will be running a 10 week ornithological/birdwatching course at the O'Fiach Institute In Dundalk this Autumn. The details are here. Download the pdf brochure. Classes will begin in Septermber 21st 2010 and run from two hours, from 7 to 9pm. To sign up please contact the Institute.

The classes will be delivered in a relaxed manner and very much tailored to the interest and level of the attendees. We will try to include some outings. The following is the expected syllabus, this may be varied in accordance with interest and level of attendees.

Week 1
Introduction to birds: what are they and why are they important.
Identification of garden birds. Garden feeders, nesting boxes etc.

Week 2
Bird behaviour: what do birds do and why do they do it?
Identification of waders and shore birds.

Week 3
All about birds of prey.
Identification of birds of prey and owls.

Week 4
Territory, sexual behaviour and breeding.
Identification of countryside birds

Week 5
Bird migration: where do they go and why? Finding rare birds.
Identification of seabirds.

Week 6
Bird ecology: how birds interact with the environment.
Identification of wildfowl (ducks, geese and swans)

Week 7
Bird conservation: how are birds protected in Ireland.
Breeding birds in Ireland and the Irish bird atlas.

Week 8
Bird evolution: how did birds evolve?
Overwintering birds in Ireland - focus on Dundalk Bay and Carlingford Lough.

Week 9
Bird anatomy and health. How to deal with an injured or starving bird.
Rare and scarce birds in Ireland.

Week 10
Review of course
Bird identification quiz