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Old Thursday 26th September 2013, 19:13   #1
squidge
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Cape Clear bird observatory

Myself and Peter Phillips decided to spend three days birding on cape clear.

We arrived on Monday and the bird obs was locked. We were then told the key was in the shop. When asked for the key Peter was informed that the key holder was gone on holidays for two weeks and that the key was not available plus you can only stay if it was prebooked. (so if I tried to book for next week the obs was still unavailable as the key was with the person on hols)

I also found out subsequently that an environmental surveyor was able to stay in the obs the following day as a key miraculously appeared.

After a long journey from Louth I was fuming to say the least. I also find it very sad and dissapointing that the obs is unavailable for birders to use especially during migration period. What is the observatory if birders can't use it.

I appreciate people are entitled to holidays but could alternative arrangements not be made for such occasions?

I had a nice few days birding after I got settled at Ard an Gaoithe b&b who were very friendly and welcoming.

Birdwatch Ireland need to have a look at this as it would be a shame for the observatory to close completely or be made unavailable to birders.

Regards Gerard.
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Old Friday 27th September 2013, 12:44   #2
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Birdwatch Ireland need to have a look at this as it would be a shame for the observatory to close completely or be made unavailable to birders.

Regards Gerard.[/quote]

I was thinking of Cape clear as a possible autumn week's birding and relaxing location for next year, but the Cape Clear Obs website direct you to Birdwatch Ireland's website shop for booking, but when you click on Cape Clear it says 'product unavailable', all a bit confusing. Can anyone give us a bit of info/guidance?

Cheers

Richard
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Old Saturday 28th September 2013, 14:51   #3
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I doubt you'll get any feedback from BWI on here, if i were you i'd be booking alternative accommodation.
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Old Saturday 28th September 2013, 21:19   #4
Richard Prior
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Cape Clear

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Originally Posted by Hugh Delaney View Post
I doubt you'll get any feedback from BWI on here, if i were you i'd be booking alternative accommodation.
Thanks Hugh

Richard
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Old Sunday 29th September 2013, 11:43   #5
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There is no Observatory on Cape Clear anymore.

BWI own the building of course. And I am told that it will be made available for birders to stay there. But there is no warden managing it anymore. So basically it is just a house on the island now. You take your chances.

Owen
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Old Sunday 29th September 2013, 15:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pariah View Post
There is no Observatory on Cape Clear anymore.

BWI own the building of course. And I am told that it will be made available for birders to stay there. But there is no warden managing it anymore. So basically it is just a house on the island now. You take your chances.

Owen
Very sorry to hear that. It is a real loss for the Irish birding community.
Did they not recently celebrate their 50th anniversary?
Have fond memories of a fall birding course given by the Observatory.
Hope it can be revived.
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Old Sunday 29th September 2013, 15:37   #7
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Very sorry to hear that. It is a real loss for the Irish birding community.
Did they not recently celebrate their 50th anniversary?
Have fond memories of a fall birding course given by the Observatory.
Hope it can be revived.
I completely agree. It was the only Obs in the country. Now gone. Tragic really.

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Old Monday 14th October 2013, 11:54   #8
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I just spent the week there. It does not have a warden but it is still running. You cannot turn up and get a key unless you pre-book. The people you get a key off have a list of who is booked in. It is sad not to have Steve and Mary there after all these years but it is still running.
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Old Tuesday 15th October 2013, 12:35   #9
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Originally Posted by Deshiggins View Post
I just spent the week there. It does not have a warden but it is still running. You cannot turn up and get a key unless you pre-book. The people you get a key off have a list of who is booked in. It is sad not to have Steve and Mary there after all these years but it is still running.
Hi Des,

By definition though, it is not an observatory. No daily log, no ringing, no warden. It is just a BWI owned building you can stay in.

Owen
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Old Tuesday 3rd March 2015, 16:02   #10
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BWI owns the building and has been leasing it out to the people doing the construction work on the harbour - BWI have no plans at present to reopen it as a bird observatory (ie as Owen says, with a warden and log book etc). Its a pity because apart from anything else the heritage value is likely to be lost and with climate change the type of phonological records that bird observatories produce are increasingly important.
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Old Tuesday 3rd March 2015, 22:27   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deshiggins View Post
I just spent the week there. It does not have a warden but it is still running. You cannot turn up and get a key unless you pre-book. The people you get a key off have a list of who is booked in. It is sad not to have Steve and Mary there after all these years but it is still running.
That is just a shame.
The Observatory was a treasure of Irish birding. I took a course there in '08,
quite extraordinary place, run on a shoe string, but to high birding standards. The records were very carefully maintained and provide a solid baseline of data. It is a real loss to ornithology if this series is permanently discontinued.

Any chance of reversing the closure?
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Old Thursday 5th March 2015, 06:04   #12
Pariah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etudiant View Post
That is just a shame.
The Observatory was a treasure of Irish birding. I took a course there in '08,
quite extraordinary place, run on a shoe string, but to high birding standards. The records were very carefully maintained and provide a solid baseline of data. It is a real loss to ornithology if this series is permanently discontinued.

Any chance of reversing the closure?
No word on any re-instatement to my knowledge.

Owen
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