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Old Saturday 3rd February 2007, 17:38   #601
Peter Phillips
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfd
Hi Peter,

What's the story re access to Loch Fea at present. As far as I know it's on the Shirley Estate and I remember them being sniffy about access previously.

Thanks,

Dave

Gerry,

The LBD turned in about 13.15 today as the tide dropped a bit more.
I did not see (or look for) anybody to formally ask for access. I accessed the lake as follows. If your driving drive out keeping the estate on the left. There is a left turn for descart lough. Take this and about a kilometer down the road is a double gate on your left and room for a car to park. If you walk straight down this track about 100 yards there is an ornate bridge and the lake gives good views from here. There is access around the side of the gate between the hedge and there seems to be a good bit of foot traffic at the site.
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Old Saturday 3rd February 2007, 20:19   #602
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Thanks Peter, may give it a whirl tomorrow...

Dave
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Old Sunday 4th February 2007, 16:52   #603
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Lough Fea

[quote=dfd]Hi Peter,

What's the story re access to Loch Fea at present. As far as I know it's on the Shirley Estate and I remember them being sniffy about access previously.

I not sure, I did not look for anyboby to ask first. Heading for Kingscourt from carrick, I took the left turn after the estate with sighposts for two lakes(Descart lough). About 1km up this road(the estate still on your left) there is a double silver gate I parked here and walked 100 metres straight up the track to the ornate bridge and viewed the lake from here.
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Old Monday 5th February 2007, 17:12   #604
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Originally Posted by Peter Phillips
Do you think it would be possible to get sponsership for some platforms for Dundalk Bay? The fishing must be good judging by the number of birds that pass by that are seen and unseen. It would be a great coup for the county!
Fully agree - there is excellent hunting especially when tide is out as fish get trapped in pools. One thing osprey like is a high spot to look down from and perching posts to eat from. Attached a pic from a recent US trip...
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Old Monday 5th February 2007, 17:16   #605
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Originally Posted by Peter Phillips
Hello again,

Does anybody know who owns Keenan's Cross Pond? At least I think thats what its called. About 10 acres in size a few miles north east of Dunleer, with a six foot wire fence in front of it, with room for parking. It would make a nice small nature reserve with a hide, artifical burrows for Kingfisher and Sand Martins and maybe some floating islands for nesting waterfowl. Not to mention nestboxes for Kestrel or Barn Owl.

I mentioned it to some teachers from Dunleer and they seemed very excited by the prospect.
The word is that the place gets shot up on a regular basis - though i have never seen this. I have checked the place out a few times but never found anything except a few very wary few mallard. I think its actually a designated sanctuary.
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Old Monday 5th February 2007, 17:57   #606
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
Fully agree - there is excellent hunting especially when tide is out as fish get trapped in pools. One thing osprey like is a high spot to look down from and perching posts to eat from. Attached a pic from a recent US trip...

Are they Pigmy Osprey, or is that just a very very big nest.
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Old Monday 5th February 2007, 21:51   #607
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Keenan's Cross Pond

Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
The word is that the place gets shot up on a regular basis - though i have never seen this. I have checked the place out a few times but never found anything except a few very wary few mallard. I think its actually a designated sanctuary.
I am not surprised if it is shot up, it just looks like waste ground. I have seen over thirty Tufted Duck on the pond and half a dozen Goldeneye and I think about 18 Pochard is the most. Its alive with Swallows, Sand and House Martins in the summer. Is it the largest freshwater pond in the county? It also usually has half a dozen snipe and up to seven Little Grebe. I think with some TLC,signs,planting and habitat management and possibly an artificial Sand Martin and Kingfisher bank close to a hide it would be a fantastic spot. I am sure it would be possible to get the local schools involved. How do I find out if its a designated nature reserve. I suppose the Louth NPWS Officer will know. I will send him an e mail. Is it privately owned? Does anybody on the forum know anything about its history?

Thanks

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Old Monday 5th February 2007, 22:07   #608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phillips
I am not surprised if it is shot up, it just looks like waste ground. I have seen over thirty Tufted Duck on the pond and half a dozen Goldeneye and I think about 18 Pochard is the most. Its alive with Swallows, Sand and House Martins in the summer. Is it the largest freshwater pond in the county? It also usually has half a dozen snipe and up to seven Little Grebe. I think with some TLC,signs,planting and habitat management and possibly an artificial Sand Martin and Kingfisher bank close to a hide it would be a fantastic spot. I am sure it would be possible to get the local schools involved. How do I find out if its a designated nature reserve. I suppose the Louth NPWS Officer will know. I will send him an e mail. Is it privately owned? Does anybody on the forum know anything about its history?

Thanks

Peter
Peter
As well as NPWS it's also worth checking with the Local County Council re designation/ownership Peter
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Old Tuesday 6th February 2007, 14:11   #609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phillips
Hello again,

Does anybody know who owns Keenan's Cross Pond? At least I think thats what its called. About 10 acres in size a few miles north east of Dunleer, with a six foot wire fence in front of it, with room for parking. It would make a nice small nature reserve with a hide, artifical burrows for Kingfisher and Sand Martins and maybe some floating islands for nesting waterfowl. Not to mention nestboxes for Kestrel or Barn Owl.

I mentioned it to some teachers from Dunleer and they seemed very excited by the prospect.
Sounds like a good idea, as does the idea about the ospreys. Not sure what the history of Keenans Cross pond is but it could have been an old cement quarry, I'll see if I can find out any more about that. It might be a bit hit and miss but when I checked it out a couple of weeks ago and there were a few mallards, moorhens, several little grebes, one gc grebe, and one tufted duck. Several snipe too. A ring necked duck had been reported there a couple of weeks previously.

I took a look at 2 local resevoirs today,Barnattin and Killineer. Barnattin just had some little grebes but there wasn't a single bird to be seen on the other one. Last year it had a reasonable selection of grebes, tufted ducks and pochard. What we did notice though was that there were a nice few tall old trees covered in ivy which could be good sites for barn owls and it isn't too far from where one has been sighted, worth keeping an eye on.

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Old Tuesday 6th February 2007, 18:04   #610
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I took a look at 2 local resevoirs today,Barnattin and Killineer. Barnattin just had some little grebes but there wasn't a single bird to be seen on the other one. Last year it had a reasonable selection of grebes, tufted ducks and pochard. What we did notice though was that there were a nice few tall old trees covered in ivy which could be good sites for barn owls and it isn't too far from where one has been sighted, worth keeping an eye on.[/quote]


Is Barnattin the resevoir you can see driving south on M1 towards Drogheda with the quarry nearby? I had a Barn Owl there last Spring.
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2007, 08:39   #611
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Is Barnattin the resevoir you can see driving south on M1 towards Drogheda with the quarry nearby? I had a Barn Owl there last Spring.
Yes that's it. It's accessed from the old N1, travelling north to south it's the first turn right after the pope's monument. The other resevoir is just a bit further south along the N1 on the right hand side. Myself and Tommy took a look at some derelict buildings closer to Drogheda a while back to see if there were any signs of owls but there was a person asleep in one of the buildings so we didn't get too far. Within a week of that those buildings were all knocked so now we'll never know...
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Old Wednesday 7th February 2007, 13:21   #612
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Question

There used to be a Barn Owl in the Stephenstown house area of Knockbridge, havn't seen or heard of any sightings myself lately. There are some Owl and Tit Nest Box's erected around the Pond in Stephenstown but I'd doubt if they are maintained or inspected to any degree.
I have often wondered if the council would give funding to some some sort of voluntary group to erect suitable nest boxes around the area. After all, there are plenty of people who would dedicate a few weekends erecting nestboxes if they were provided and thought they would be of some benefit.
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Old Thursday 8th February 2007, 18:06   #613
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There used to be a Barn Owl in the Stephenstown house area of Knockbridge, havn't seen or heard of any sightings myself lately. There are some Owl and Tit Nest Box's erected around the Pond in Stephenstown but I'd doubt if they are maintained or inspected to any degree.
I have often wondered if the council would give funding to some some sort of voluntary group to erect suitable nest boxes around the area. After all, there are plenty of people who would dedicate a few weekends erecting nestboxes if they were provided and thought they would be of some benefit.
Can access be obtained to look at the old house? It might be worth a look for Barn Owl pellets, to see if the site is still active.

I am not sure if the council would provide funding for nest boxes, but I think Birdwatch Ireland were erecting Barn Owl boxes in some areas of the country.
I think there was some kind of committee formed to develop Stephenstown Pond. If its still active they might be able to provide funding fot nest boxes.
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Old Thursday 8th February 2007, 18:13   #614
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Originally Posted by ardnasx1
Yes that's it. It's accessed from the old N1, travelling north to south it's the first turn right after the pope's monument. The other resevoir is just a bit further south along the N1 on the right hand side. Myself and Tommy took a look at some derelict buildings closer to Drogheda a while back to see if there were any signs of owls but there was a person asleep in one of the buildings so we didn't get too far. Within a week of that those buildings were all knocked so now we'll never know...

I hope he woke up in time! In all seriousness though that area looks quite good. It might be worth putting up a nest box in the area at some point.
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Old Thursday 8th February 2007, 21:49   #615
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Yeah the house and out buildings can still be accessed just across the road from the pond or walk upstream along the Fane from the Ardee road bridge. The stephenstown trust have put up some Owl boxes as far as I know I'll have a look to be sure at the weekend.
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 16:58   #616
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Barn owl roosting site can be told by the copious white droppings - like whitewash, and the presence of pellets, which in the case of barn owls are black, shiney and compact, unlike long eared owls. During the nestling period the nestlings make a lot of noise - mainly a sort of rasping hiss if memory serves (more than 35 years since hearing one) - I checked a norman tower south of dundalk (on the left approaching dundalk on the M1 - a few jackdaw nests below - couldn't acces the top part.

Chiffchaff in my garden today.

Quick reminder for tomorrow's outing in Carlingford - meet at the tourist office at 2:30pm and then at the Fjords Bar, Newry Street for the talk by Eric Dempsey. Weather is drizzley in the morning but should have cleared by 2pm (fingers crossed!)
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 17:35   #617
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A week or two ago we checked an area between Termonfeckin and Baltray which used to be a roost for barn owls and I couldn't find any pellets but did find areas with droppings which were quite like what you describe, an awful lot of white splattered around a small area and very noticeable. It might be worth another look as I didn't have very long. Do any other birds have droppings like that, would it be easily mistaken?

Hope to make the outing tomorrow.
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 20:08   #618
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New Camara

Out for my first trip with coolpix today at the zoo. See photos attached. Working tomorrow, so will not make outing. Cant make february meeting with Steve Newton. I am away for a few days. Will try to get out tuesday to photograph Ring -necked Duck.

Peter
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Old Friday 9th February 2007, 21:38   #619
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On the subject of barn owls, fellow birder and superb angler Gerry Keenan and I have been treated to some wonderful views of barn owls over the years while fishing the evening rise on the river Dee at Stabannon/Richardstown. The evening rise occurs when female (mainly) sedge flies alight on the river surface to oviposit following the mating game. This usually happens at dusk from late April/early May onwards, weather dependent. This is also barn owl time! Still fresh in my memory is one such evening when a barn owl, totally oblivious to the fact that I was thigh deep in the river, landed on a post beside me and began to eat its catch with amazing gusto. I didn't move a muscle for what seemed like ages as I reckoned it was one of those 'once in a lifetime' events. Gerry and I still fish the river but sadly the sightings of barn owls are now a rarity. One small consolation occurred early in the new year when I heard the characteristic 'screech' while standing at my back door late one evening. Unfortunately though I didn't manage to see the bird but it was nice to hear and then take a trip down memory lane.
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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 07:20   #620
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I have been treated to some wonderful views of barn owls over the years while fishing the evening rise on the river Dee at Stabannon/Richardstown.

Sound promising. The birds may have lost their roost/nest site. Its not to far from where I live. Which side of the M1 is it on? I might meet up with you there some evening if it suits?

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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 08:54   #621
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Originally Posted by fredbern
Still fresh in my memory is one such evening when a barn owl, totally oblivious to the fact that I was thigh deep in the river, landed on a post beside me and began to eat its catch with amazing gusto. I didn't move a muscle for what seemed like ages as I reckoned it was one of those 'once in a lifetime' events. Gerry and I still fish the river but sadly the sightings of barn owls are now a rarity. One small consolation occurred early in the new year when I heard the characteristic 'screech' while standing at my back door late one evening. Unfortunately though I didn't manage to see the bird but it was nice to hear and then take a trip down memory lane.
Wow, you were so lucky to have such a great view of the owl Freddie. I am hoping that there might be a barn owl nesting in Parsonstown (close to Cruictown). One was sighted at the end of the Summer and apparently they have nested at this site for many years. Its a mucky spot, I nearly lost my wellie in a lake of mud when I tried to access the field yesterday. I will check it out over the next week or so.
Hope the weather lifts for the outing in Carlingford today.
Re the bird seed, the shop in Castlebellingham only has a few of the small bags left and Goldcrop in Dunleer don't stock it. There are shops in Drogheda and Navan that do sell birdseed, I will put the prices up when they get back to me. Sorry for the delay Gareth.

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Old Saturday 10th February 2007, 15:07   #622
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Wow, you were so lucky to have such a great view of the owl Freddie. I am hoping that there might be a barn owl nesting in Parsonstown (close to Cruictown). One was sighted at the end of the Summer and apparently they have nested at this site for many years. Its a mucky spot, I nearly lost my wellie in a lake of mud when I tried to access the field yesterday. I will check it out over the next week or so.
Hope the weather lifts for the outing in Carlingford today.
Re the bird seed, the shop in Castlebellingham only has a few of the small bags left and Goldcrop in Dunleer don't stock it. There are shops in Drogheda and Navan that do sell birdseed, I will put the prices up when they get back to me. Sorry for the delay Gareth.

Its no problem i'll probably buy some at that pet store on the Newry road that was mentioned earlier in the thread, but thanks for looking anyway.
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 17:55   #623
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the scope on sale at aldi today is well worth the 36 euro. bought one for the young fellow and was suprised at the quality( for the price) would recommend for a first scope for anyone starting
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 18:48   #624
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[quote=Peter Phillips]
Quote:
Originally Posted by dfd
Hi Peter,

What's the story re access to Loch Fea at present. As far as I know it's on the Shirley Estate and I remember them being sniffy about access previously.

I not sure, I did not look for anyboby to ask first. Heading for Kingscourt from carrick, I took the left turn after the estate with sighposts for two lakes(Descart lough). About 1km up this road(the estate still on your left) there is a double silver gate I parked here and walked 100 metres straight up the track to the ornate bridge and viewed the lake from here.
Peter,

Caught up that RND this morning - thanks for info.

Dave
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Old Sunday 11th February 2007, 20:51   #625
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[quote=Peter Phillips]

Sound promising. The birds may have lost their roost/nest site. Its not to far from where I live. Which side of the M1 is it on? I might meet up with you there some evening if it suits?

Peter,

I would be delighted if we took a walk or two along the river. A bit early in the season yet but let's pencil that one in the diaries for later on. I still have your mobile number so I will contact you. If Margaret and Sandra are interested it might be a good idea to stake ourselves out along a stretch of the river and that way cover more ground.

The river Dee runs almost parallel to and not far from the N33 link road from the M1 to Ardee. A point of interest - since that road was built I have not heard one quail calling in the evenings. This was once part and parcel of the evenings fishing. On a calm sultry evening the characteristic pit-pill-it call can be heard fields away.
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