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Old Monday 26th June 2006, 15:04   #301
ardnasx1
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I got a further email from the Co Co engineer today:

Since my last e-mail I have been advised that RPS Consulting Engineers of Elmwood House, 74 Boucher Road Belfast have been commissioned by Greenore Ferry Services to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment for a proposed development of Greenore Port. Planning application to LCC and Dept Marine (foreshore permit) expected in the Autumn.
They are inviting submissions.
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Old Monday 26th June 2006, 18:32   #302
MargaretM
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Little Egrets

Took some photos of the little egrets on Saturday, as Sandra said, they are growing at a very fast rate.
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2006, 11:22   #303
ardnasx1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
Birds of the Galapagos
A talk and slide show by Oscar Merne
The Spirit Store, Dundalk Quay,
Monday, June 26th, 8 - 9:30pm
Enjoyable evening at the Spirit Store.

Excellent photos Margaret.
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Old Tuesday 27th June 2006, 13:09   #304
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Talk on the Birds of the Galapagos

The talk last night in the Spirit Store was good - a very interesting evening with an excellent speaker, thanks Breffni.
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2006, 19:26   #305
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heard there was a ruddy shelduck at kilcoole today.might be the lurgangreen bird
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Old Wednesday 28th June 2006, 21:35   #306
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Seems to be a good year for the Herons breeding in the Drogheda area, see enclosed photos of chicks at nest, also Little Egret chicks, you can clearly see 3 chicks, the fourth can also be seen lower down in the nest.
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Old Friday 30th June 2006, 10:55   #307
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Balmer's bog

Checked out Balmers bog, just outside Dundalk, yesterday, in the vague hope of finding reed warbler or water rail, both of which have been recorded there in the past. No sign of either but its a great habitat: several pairs of sedge warbler and reed bunting nesting, a blackcap, greenfinches and linnets, sparrowhawk at one point halfheartedly pursuing a swift...also dozens of butterfiles, a few damsels and interesting botanicals (sedges, reeds, orchids). Given its proximity to Dundalk its a great resource, though hardly worth travelling for. It is unlikely to be developed given its low elevation - the area floods regularly and drains via a channel to what used to be the Blackwater river (now piped). Unfortunately the pond is completely overgrown so if there is a rail in there i couldn't find it. Balmers Bog is located just to the west of the N1 opposite Hill Street. Easiest way to get in is from Priorland road (ideally landowners permission should be sought).
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Old Friday 30th June 2006, 14:41   #308
ardnasx1
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Paid a visit to the little terns at Baltray at lunchtime. The one I'd seen nesting at the weekend was still there and while I was watching a chick emerged from under its wing. The other parent arrived and as they changed over I could see they had 2 chicks. Elsewhere I could see also another chick running around. In the photo (apologies for quality!) attached the one I'm talking about is in the centre, and on the lower right hand side you can see another which dug a scrape while I was there.
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Old Friday 30th June 2006, 15:08   #309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardnasx1
Paid a visit to the little terns at Baltray at lunchtime. The one I'd seen nesting at the weekend was still there and while I was watching a chick emerged from under its wing. The other parent arrived and as they changed over I could see they had 2 chicks. Elsewhere I could see also another chick running around. In the photo (apologies for quality!) attached the one I'm talking about is in the centre, and on the lower right hand side you can see another which dug a scrape while I was there.
Up to 90% of the hatched (and ringed) little tern chicks at Kilkoole were taken by foxes a few nights ago despite the presence of wardens 24/7, so a disasterous year for irish little terns (irelands rarest breeding bird) - the two chicks you mention only need another two weeks or so to fledge. If they make it through this weekend they probably have an excellent chance, possibly the biggest threat right now is dogwalkers . I can take a day next week (tue or wed) to keep an eye on them and try to persuade dogwalkers to steer clear...
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Old Friday 30th June 2006, 16:49   #310
ardnasx1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
Up to 90% of the hatched (and ringed) little tern chicks at Kilkoole were taken by foxes a few nights ago despite the presence of wardens 24/7, so a disasterous year for irish little terns (irelands rarest breeding bird) - the two chicks you mention only need another two weeks or so to fledge. If they make it through this weekend they probably have an excellent chance, possibly the biggest threat right now is dogwalkers . I can take a day next week (tue or wed) to keep an eye on them and try to persuade dogwalkers to steer clear...
We put up some extra fence posts and tied some string (no rope to hand) along the area a few evenings ago, and attached some extra signs asking people to keep their dogs on leads. I'll do what I can over the weekend. Another threat is grey crows, there are a lot of them hanging around there and I've seen the little terns chasing them off.
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Old Sunday 2nd July 2006, 19:28   #311
ardnasx1
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Spent quite a while at Baltray today, there seems to be 5 little tern chicks at the moment. The signs and "fence" seem have improved the situation there for them, people in general were keeping their dogs away or on leads. They had quite a time fighting off grey crows and gulls though. There are still some on nests, and plenty of courtship still going on, so hopefully those numbers will swell. They need every bit of help they can get.
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Old Monday 3rd July 2006, 16:18   #312
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Yesterday:
Off balaggan pb brent swimming - possibly flightless + a small flock of kittiwake, about 60 adults apparently loafing on the beach, juvenile black headed gulls...
At hermitage 367 rb mergansers, 3 razorbills, 20+ manxies and apparently a small flock of scoter roosting offshore
At seabank four common sandpipers...
Monday: common sand at hermitage, and another at carlingford lough
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Old Wednesday 5th July 2006, 09:04   #313
ardnasx1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
Monday: common sand at hermitage, and another at carlingford lough
8 common sandpipers at Hermitage yesterday evening.
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Old Wednesday 5th July 2006, 22:34   #314
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At Hermitage this evening there were quite a lot of RB Mergansers in different groups, some in quite close to the shore, also a few GC Grebes, a few scoters, gannets out at sea but closer that I've seen them before and a single black tailed godwit feeding in one of the little pools. Also a flock of gold finches appeared to be feeding on the seaweed beside the water and a couple of what I think are young pied wagtails larking about. Fabulous evening to be out there.
Saw some common sandpipers yesterday at Hermitage but my photos are not a patch on Breffni's.
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Old Sunday 9th July 2006, 13:58   #315
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The weather has brought huge numbers of seabirds near the shore. Storm petrels have been seen from clogher, balaggan and shelling hill (though not by myself despite hours searching), also manx shearwaters, many guillemots, razorbills, gannets, fulmars. At baltray 32 little terns are bravely still trying to nest, protect young - i suspect the hooded crows are the main problem (if you go there please chase them off)...otherwise a great variety of gulls, sambo and common terns, some passage dunlin and sanderling along on the shore...also common sandpipers at ballymac but no green sandpipers (that i could find).

Last edited by breffni : Monday 10th July 2006 at 16:20.
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Old Tuesday 11th July 2006, 23:02   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
The weather has brought huge numbers of seabirds near the shore. Storm petrels have been seen from clogher, balaggan and shelling hill (though not by myself despite hours searching), also manx shearwaters, many guillemots, razorbills, gannets, fulmars. At baltray 32 little terns are bravely still trying to nest, protect young - i suspect the hooded crows are the main problem (if you go there please chase them off)...otherwise a great variety of gulls, sambo and common terns, some passage dunlin and sanderling along on the shore...also common sandpipers at ballymac but no green sandpipers (that i could find).
Storm petrels are nearly guarenteed in bad weather in june/july of shelling hill which i think means they are from a breeding colony somewhere closeby any ideas ?isle of man perhaps or are they breeding off the north of ireland
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Old Wednesday 12th July 2006, 18:59   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enda
Storm petrels are nearly guarenteed in bad weather in june/july of shelling hill which i think means they are from a breeding colony somewhere closeby any ideas ?isle of man perhaps or are they breeding off the north of ireland
Finally had them today in the rain and mist this afternoon off cooley point - my first this year...some certainly breed on the Isle of Man (visible from Cooley on a clear day)...

[For those who may not have tried this out yet, pointing a telescope straight out to sea from anywhere between shelling hill and balaggan, or from clogher or dunaney in drizzley/stormey weather in summer is guaranteed to produce good action from gannets, manx shearwaters, fulmars, various gulls and terns, auks (razorbills, guillemots and black guillemots) and, as noted above, a good chance of european storm petrels - it is amazing to see the numbers of birds riding wind and wave, apparently perfectly relaxed in seemingly impossible conditions].

Last edited by breffni : Wednesday 12th July 2006 at 19:24.
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Old Saturday 15th July 2006, 18:47   #318
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Little Terns

Spent a few hours at the Little Tern colony today. Good to see the string and signs up - certainly helps matters and a big "well done" to whoever erected them. Numbers have swollen since I was last there - counted 54 today - I wonder if any have arrived in from the Kilcoole colony? Despite the brilliant weather there were not too many people on the beach. I saw no chicks about, but that's not saying they were not there. Fingers crossed for a successful breeding season.
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Old Saturday 15th July 2006, 18:54   #319
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Urban Barn Owl

On Thursday night at approx 11pm I was surprised to see a barn owl flying over one of Dundalk's most housed areas! It came across Glenwood, flew directly over the roundabout at Tom Bellew Avenue and headed in the direction of the Avenue Road over the houses at Woodbury Gardens. Certainly not the type of bird I was expecting to see here.
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Old Sunday 16th July 2006, 11:05   #320
ardnasx1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Watters
Spent a few hours at the Little Tern colony today. Good to see the string and signs up - certainly helps matters and a big "well done" to whoever erected them. Numbers have swollen since I was last there - counted 54 today - I wonder if any have arrived in from the Kilcoole colony? Despite the brilliant weather there were not too many people on the beach. I saw no chicks about, but that's not saying they were not there. Fingers crossed for a successful breeding season.
I spent a good while there in the afternoon yesterday. When the tide is in it's a really good spot for watching birds, good numbers of gulls, terns, cormorants and waders come in nice and close. I've been counting the little terns over the last couple of weeks, the number seemed to be around 32, then during the last few days it was 50+, and when the tide came in yesterday afternoon I was very surprised to count an average of 130! They must be coming in from Kilcoole or other colonies. There were quite a few juveniles mixed in with them. There are still some chicks there from tiny to nearly fledged, not very many, and there is at least one still sitting on eggs, they will be due to hatch this week. It is very hard to count them unless the tide is in, the rest of the time they are very active.

A stroke of luck to see that barn owl in the town!

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Old Tuesday 18th July 2006, 20:44   #321
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lots of action off cooley today, shearwaters, 3 stormies in close, auks, confusing terns, gulls, gannets, a skua far out...razors wt juvs, one for a second like a little ak, nearly gave me a heartattack....
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Old Sunday 23rd July 2006, 15:07   #322
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Yesterday: checked out ballymascanlon bay for green sandpipers - saw none. Best was a common sandpiper, snipe, summer plumage knot + godwits (this one has a slight deformity of the bill, not that uncommon i think). At the mouth of carlingford lough storm petrels were coming within 30 yards of the shore. The little egrets are well fledged, were feeding in the estuary, flying about. Mute swans doing well - male raising five juvs. At Baltry one juv roseate tern, two juv little terns, kittiwake, great and lesser black backed gulls, common, black headed, herring in all ages. Also common + sandwich terns. About 50 sanderling, sundry dunlin and counted 20+ juv ringed plover. At mell famalies of tufted and pochard + little grebe. Great crested grebe family seems to have departed...
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Old Saturday 29th July 2006, 15:44   #323
ardnasx1
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Been out to Hermitage a fair few evenings over the past week, lots of gannets and shearwaters sometimes coming in nice and close, only managed to see storm petrels once. Had a large flock of knots and sanderlings one evening. High numbers of RB mergansers there in eclipse plumage.
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 17:52   #324
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weekend

Finally had 4 green sandpipers at dundalk harbour (#174) but attached gull, which i first thought to be a ylg (#175), is probably just a weird hg. Stormies still coming in very close, esp on a rising tide at the mouth of carlingford lough (fluttering arund an anchored trawler called the lady fiona - the anchor rope in the pic gives an idea of scale). Many manxies further out, possible med shearwaters also + two arctic skua during the week and a bonxie (the real #175). Also an influx of whimbrel, dunlin, sanderling. The black guillemots have all fledged from giles and greenore now. In August will be looking out for small american sandpipers on the mudflats (this time last year a pectoral sandpiper and a white rumbed sandpiper were found), and terns (maybe the sooty will come back?)...

I am being asked to organise something for "Heritage Week", which is Saturday 26th August to Sunday 3rd September...if anybody has any ideas pls email me.
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Old Monday 31st July 2006, 20:25   #325
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Went out to Baltray yesterday, there was a little tern still sitting on eggs which should surely have hatched by now, she is still being fed by her mate. The tide was in so there were good views of cormorants, dunlins, sanderlings and lots of ringed pluvers plus young. Also sandwich and common terns and plenty of gulls. Didn't see any little tern chicks and not so many adults either, hard to know if they have started leaving or if they were simply hidden by the sand banks.
Also saw 7 little egrets feeding together on the Boyne on Saturday - a sign of things to come, I hope.
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