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.