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Old Tuesday 27th March 2007, 20:18   #751
MargaretM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth2005
Anybody seen any Swallows ? Haven't seen any myself yet
No Gareth, haven't seen any swallows, house martins or sand martins as yet. Peter did see 2 sand martins on the 19th March.
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Old Wednesday 28th March 2007, 11:44   #752
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Swallows

Quote:
Originally Posted by MargaretM
No Gareth, haven't seen any swallows, house martins or sand martins as yet. Peter did see 2 sand martins on the 19th March.

Just checked Birdtrack http://blx1.bto.org/bt-dailyresults/...322-20-07.html. Swallows seem to be about a week later than last year and there are no reports yet on this site for Irish swallows. By the look of the spread of records across southern Britain they should be starting to reach Louth over the next few days.

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Old Wednesday 28th March 2007, 14:19   #753
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Breding Bird in Louth

I was recently looking at an old Breeding Birds Atlas 1972 and was fascinated at how the status of breeding birds in County Louth has changed.

While most of the generalist/ woodland species/birds of prey seem to be doing OK compared to 36 years ago Wetland/Coastal and some specialist breeding species have been severely affected with (at least I think) many going extinct over the same period (We had seven possible breeding wader species). Three of the four extinctions were from birds breeding on farmland. One small bright note is there has been the addition of at least five new species since then namely Tufted Duck, Fulmar, Buzzard and Black Guillemot, Little Egret.

Below is a list of 76 species I think still are certain breeders in the county.
A list of possible breeders is also included (these were possibly/probably or definitely breeding during the 72 Atlas). I would like anybodies comments on either or both lists

Current breeding Species (76 species)

Little Grebe; Fulmar Grey Heron; Little Egret; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Shelduck; Mute Swan; Black Guillemot; Buzzard; Sparrowhawk; Peregrine; Kestrel; Pheasant; Water Rail; Moorhen; Coot ; Ringed Plover; Woodcock; Great black-backed Gull; Little Tern; Stock Dove; Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Collard Dove; Cuckoo; Barn Owl; Long-eared Owl; Swift; Kingfisher; Skylark; Swallow; House Martin; Sand Martin; Raven; Hooded Crow; Rook; Jackdaw; Magpie; Jay; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Long-tailed Tit; Treecreeper; Wren; Dipper; Mistle Thrush; Song Thrush; Blackbird; Stonechat; Robin; Sedge Warbler; Blackcap; Whitethroat; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Goldcrest; Spotted Flycatcher; Dunnock; Meadow Pipit; Rock Pipit; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Starling; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Siskin; Linnet; Lesser Redpoll; Bullfinch; Chaffinch; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting; House Sparrrow; Tree Sparrow

Possible breeders (24 species)

Great-crested Grebe; Shag; Teal; Red-breasted Merganser; Red Grouse; Quail; Oystercatcher; Lapwing; Snipe; Curlew; Common Sandpiper; Redshank; Herring Gull; Black-headed Gull; Common Tern; Arctic Tern; Nightjar; Ring Ouzel; Wheatear; Whinchat; Grasshopper Warbler; Reed Warbler; Garden Warbler; Crossbill.

It is hard to tell from the map if some of these species were located in Louth or possibly just across the border i.e. in Meath, Down or Monaghan.

Reed Warbler was not breeding in 1972 but I seem to remember a reference to it breeding/present once in the county.

Extinct breeders (4 Species)

Hen Harrier; Grey Partridge; Corncrake; Corn Bunting

Both Hen Harrier and Corn Bunting were not breeding in 1972; however it has been suggested that they have previously bred.



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Old Wednesday 28th March 2007, 14:59   #754
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Very interesting Peter. One comment so far, great crested grebes bred in Mell quarry last year so they can move to your definite list.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 09:12   #755
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Had my first chiffchaffs of the year this morning in Beaulieu.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 12:53   #756
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Seen first Swallow of season flying over Beaulieu house and lake at 12-20pm-to-day 29th March2007.Beats by one day my previous earliest sighting which was on the 30th March at 3-30pm 2006.The harbinger fo summer has arrived and lets hope for lots more of these beautiful birds.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 12:57   #757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Phillips
I was recently looking at an old Breeding Birds Atlas 1972 and was fascinated at how the status of breeding birds in County Louth has changed.

While most of the generalist/ woodland species/birds of prey seem to be doing OK compared to 36 years ago Wetland/Coastal and some specialist breeding species have been severely affected with (at least I think) many going extinct over the same period (We had seven possible breeding wader species). Three of the four extinctions were from birds breeding on farmland. One small bright note is there has been the addition of at least five new species since then namely Tufted Duck, Fulmar, Buzzard and Black Guillemot, Little Egret.

Below is a list of 76 species I think still are certain breeders in the county.
A list of possible breeders is also included (these were possibly/probably or definitely breeding during the 72 Atlas). I would like anybodies comments on either or both lists

Current breeding Species (76 species)

Little Grebe; Fulmar Grey Heron; Little Egret; Mallard; Tufted Duck; Shelduck; Mute Swan; Black Guillemot; Buzzard; Sparrowhawk; Peregrine; Kestrel; Pheasant; Water Rail; Moorhen; Coot ; Ringed Plover; Woodcock; Great black-backed Gull; Little Tern; Stock Dove; Feral Pigeon; Wood Pigeon; Collard Dove; Cuckoo; Barn Owl; Long-eared Owl; Swift; Kingfisher; Skylark; Swallow; House Martin; Sand Martin; Raven; Hooded Crow; Rook; Jackdaw; Magpie; Jay; Great Tit; Blue Tit; Coal Tit; Long-tailed Tit; Treecreeper; Wren; Dipper; Mistle Thrush; Song Thrush; Blackbird; Stonechat; Robin; Sedge Warbler; Blackcap; Whitethroat; Willow Warbler; Chiffchaff; Goldcrest; Spotted Flycatcher; Dunnock; Meadow Pipit; Rock Pipit; Pied Wagtail; Grey Wagtail; Starling; Greenfinch; Goldfinch; Siskin; Linnet; Lesser Redpoll; Bullfinch; Chaffinch; Yellowhammer; Reed Bunting; House Sparrrow; Tree Sparrow

Possible breeders (24 species)

Great-crested Grebe; Shag; Teal; Red-breasted Merganser; Red Grouse; Quail; Oystercatcher; Lapwing; Snipe; Curlew; Common Sandpiper; Redshank; Herring Gull; Black-headed Gull; Common Tern; Arctic Tern; Nightjar; Ring Ouzel; Wheatear; Whinchat; Grasshopper Warbler; Reed Warbler; Garden Warbler; Crossbill.

It is hard to tell from the map if some of these species were located in Louth or possibly just across the border i.e. in Meath, Down or Monaghan.

Reed Warbler was not breeding in 1972 but I seem to remember a reference to it breeding/present once in the county.

Extinct breeders (4 Species)

Hen Harrier; Grey Partridge; Corncrake; Corn Bunting

Both Hen Harrier and Corn Bunting were not breeding in 1972; however it has been suggested that they have previously bred.
Peter
interesting - did it mention where the snipe were supposed to be breeding? also red grouse bred in cooley in the 60s and there is a remote chance that there is still a pair up there (there was an unconfirmed sighting a few years back). also i reckon gropper has to be breeding at mulahattin and maybe elsewhere...
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 13:06   #758
james mullen
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Swallows

Seen first swallow of season to-day 29th March flying over beaulieu House out at Queensboro at 12-20pm.Beats my previous earliest sighting by one day, last year 30th March at 3.30pmThe harbinger of summer has arrived and lets hope for lots more of these beautiful birds.

Last edited by james mullen : Thursday 29th March 2007 at 19:37.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 13:11   #759
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business trip to vienna produced four woodpeckers(black, green, great spotted and middle spotted), black redstart, red crested pochard (i presume wild), red squirrels...only 95 euros return on aer lingus and great food and drink!
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Last edited by breffni : Thursday 29th March 2007 at 16:23.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 16:07   #760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james mullen
Seen first swallow of season to-day 29th March flying over beaulieu House out at Queensboro at 12-20pm.Beats my previous earliest sighting by one day, last year 30th March at 3.30pmThe harbinger of sunmmer has arrrived and lets hope for lots more of these beatuiful birds.
Well spotted James. It is indeed wonderful to see the swallows back - its a great time of the year.

That list of Current and Possible Breeders is very interesting Peter. Lets hope we can move some more from the 'Possible' list to the 'Current' list this year.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 16:34   #761
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I'll redo that walk along the navvy bank on sunday - though would suggest moving time to 2pm as high tide is about noon (adjusting for summertime)...weather looks great...anyway I'll show up either way.
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Old Thursday 29th March 2007, 21:38   #762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
interesting - did it mention where the snipe were supposed to be breeding? also red grouse bred in cooley in the 60s and there is a remote chance that there is still a pair up there (there was an unconfirmed sighting a few years back). also i reckon gropper has to be breeding at mulahattin and maybe elsewhere...
Snipe seemed to be breeding in just about every 10km square in 1972. In fact they common country wide!There must be a few pair still knocking about? I must look out for them this spring. I think your right about groppers. Do the Oyster catcher pair still nest along the coast some where up near Ballagan?. I know I read a paper recently about breeding Oystercatcher on the east coast I will try to dig it out. Now that you mention it there have been recent national surveys for Red Grouse and Ring Ouzel so that should be easy to find. Did Red breasted Merganser/shag ever nest in or around Carlingford lough? Also Teal seemed to have been breeding in or around Dundalk. Best guess so far we had about 100 species breeding in 1972 and about 80 now, a decline of 20% in less than 40 years. Scary stuff.

I have offered to Dick Coombes that I will right a short paper on it for the Irish East Coast Bird Report. I have contacted Paul Hillis of the Rare breeding panel to see if he can shed some light on the possible breeding species.

If anybody has any other thoughts/ records they can put them up on the forum

Thanks

Peter
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Old Friday 30th March 2007, 18:46   #763
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
I'll redo that walk along the navvy bank on sunday - though would suggest moving time to 2pm as high tide is about noon (adjusting for summertime)...weather looks great...anyway I'll show up either way.
Sorry, I cant make the walk, I have to work

Peter
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Old Saturday 31st March 2007, 20:30   #764
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Quote:
Originally Posted by breffni
interesting - did it mention where the snipe were supposed to be breeding? also red grouse bred in cooley in the 60s and there is a remote chance that there is still a pair up there (there was an unconfirmed sighting a few years back). also i reckon gropper has to be breeding at mulahattin and maybe elsewhere...
Peter, Breffni

Interesting stuff lads, nice (if somewhat depressing) to see time-series analysis. By way of further info Reed Warbler bred in Bellurgan in 1981 and were also present in Balmer's Bog the same year. They bred in Down and Antrim same year and have bred since in both (infrequently in Down; seem to have colonised Portmore Lough though). They must be passing along Louth coast at least on way back up!!

Also Lapwing would have been categorised as probable breeders (using Atlas conventions) when I lived up that way in the mid 80s - early 90s. Pairs mobbing corvids out Carrick Road, Castle Roche & Kilkerley directions noted in some years during breeding season. I haven't been up in these areas lately but there's always the possibility.

Grey Partridge also out towards Mullyash - Lochantarbh area.The general area also seemed a likely spot for Quail in good years but I never noted them.

I'd be surprised if Grasshopper Warbler was confined to Mullaghattin and as Snipe are still breeding down Fingal way I'd expect them to be reasonably widespread in suitable habitat in Louth.

Also mountain-walking neighbour had Red Grouse in Cooleys in Feb(?) 2006; he's not an out and out birder but knows RG from Wicklow - I've no reason not to believe him. Any releases going on by gun clubs up there?

Regards,

Dave
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Old Sunday 1st April 2007, 11:58   #765
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Originally Posted by dfd
Peter, Breffni

Interesting stuff lads, nice (if somewhat depressing) to see time-series analysis. By way of further info Reed Warbler bred in Bellurgan in 1981 and were also present in Balmer's Bog the same year. They bred in Down and Antrim same year and have bred since in both (infrequently in Down; seem to have colonised Portmore Lough though). They must be passing along Louth coast at least on way back up!!

Also Lapwing would have been categorised as probable breeders (using Atlas conventions) when I lived up that way in the mid 80s - early 90s. Pairs mobbing corvids out Carrick Road, Castle Roche & Kilkerley directions noted in some years during breeding season. I haven't been up in these areas lately but there's always the possibility.

Grey Partridge also out towards Mullyash - Lochantarbh area.The general area also seemed a likely spot for Quail in good years but I never noted them.

I'd be surprised if Grasshopper Warbler was confined to Mullaghattin and as Snipe are still breeding down Fingal way I'd expect them to be reasonably widespread in suitable habitat in Louth.

Also mountain-walking neighbour had Red Grouse in Cooleys in Feb(?) 2006; he's not an out and out birder but knows RG from Wicklow - I've no reason not to believe him. Any releases going on by gun clubs up there?

Regards,

Dave
Hi Dave

I checked the reed beds between bellurgan and tippins estate and balmers (and a few other places) for reed warbler last year but nothing could i find - part of the belurgan area is inaccessable.

A survey for red grouse scheduled today was called off - apparently there is a "dispute" between various parties regarding the RG (validity of hibernicus sub-species, habitat destruction, regulatory compliance etc) see http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/ire...528657278.html and http://buckplanning.blogspot.com/200...al-action.html - the record is interesting - three pairs were found in the mournes a two years ago and the whole of NI is estimated to hold no more than 212 pairs - no official releases in Cooley anyway...habitat in cooleys is perfect for RG...where exactly in the Cooleys was the bird seen?

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Old Sunday 1st April 2007, 21:16   #766
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Quote:
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Peter, Breffni


Also Lapwing would have been categorised as probable breeders (using Atlas conventions) when I lived up that way in the mid 80s - early 90s. Pairs mobbing corvids out Carrick Road, Castle Roche & Kilkerley directions noted in some years during breeding season. I haven't been up in these areas lately but there's always the possibility.

Grey Partridge also out towards Mullyash - Lochantarbh area.The general area also seemed a likely spot for Quail in good years but I never noted them.

I'd be surprised if Grasshopper Warbler was confined to Mullaghattin and as Snipe are still breeding down Fingal way I'd expect them to be reasonably widespread in suitable habitat in Louth.

Also mountain-walking neighbour had Red Grouse in Cooleys in Feb(?) 2006; he's not an out and out birder but knows RG from Wicklow - I've no reason not to believe him. Any releases going on by gun clubs up there?

Regards,

Dave
Thanks for that Dave very interesting. Another small piece of the puzzle.

Peter
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Old Sunday 1st April 2007, 23:06   #767
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I have heard reports of Reed Warbler breeding around Cortial Lake in Kilcurly a few years ago. I've seen Reed Warblers when fishing about 18 months ago on Brothers lake in Carrick( The one on the right as you enter Carrick)
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Old Monday 2nd April 2007, 09:51   #768
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At Clogherhead yesterday they have 4 more nest holes put into the old pier. There were 2 pairs of black guillemots hanging around, one pair seemed to be checking out the first set of nest holes in the outer pier.

Still haven't seen any swallows, the weather seems to have brought out a nice few butterflies though.

Saturday afternoon there was a good show of geese at Lurgangreen again, I counted a 590 greylags, 38 white fronted and 28 pinkfeet. Lots of brent but they were very flighty.
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Old Monday 2nd April 2007, 11:19   #769
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I have heard reports of Reed Warbler breeding around Cortial Lake in Kilcurly a few years ago. I've seen Reed Warblers when fishing about 18 months ago on Brothers lake in Carrick( The one on the right as you enter Carrick)
Brothers Lake; Is this the small lake ( a couple of acres in size) with parking access at the northern end? It is visable as you exit from the main Derry road heading towards Carrick on the right just before the roundabout. To access it you take the right off the roundabount and the car park is a couple of hundred metres on your right.

Do you have directions for Cortial lake?

Thanks

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Old Monday 2nd April 2007, 22:18   #770
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Enjoyed the good weather over the week-end, though out and about it was fairly quiet. Grey wagtails here and there, buzzards around Mulahattin, otherwise very quiet there. Greenshanks and Ruff at Seabank.
Must remember to be careful when parking at the Quay in Dundalk!!
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Old Monday 2nd April 2007, 22:38   #771
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Brothers Lake as its known locally also known as Lisanisk Lake as far as I know is the first lake on your left as your leaving Carrick on the Dundalk road.
http://www.fishingireland.net/fishing/pike/monaghan.htm

Cortial Loch is as far as i'm aware this one http://www.iolfree.ie/~srameen/html/Cortialintro.html

This one is interesting http://www.iolfree.ie/~srameen/html/BirdWatch.html
There was a Mr Mullen that was an avid birdwatcher that lived there these might be his sites. Note the record of as Hen Harrier there in 1999!
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Old Tuesday 3rd April 2007, 20:45   #772
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Brothers Lake as its known locally also known as Lisanisk Lake as far as I know is the first lake on your left as your leaving Carrick on the Dundalk road.
http://www.fishingireland.net/fishing/pike/monaghan.htm

Cortial Loch is as far as i'm aware this one http://www.iolfree.ie/~srameen/html/Cortialintro.html

This one is interesting http://www.iolfree.ie/~srameen/html/BirdWatch.html
There was a Mr Mullen that was an avid birdwatcher that lived there these might be his sites. Note the record of as Hen Harrier there in 1999!
Thanks Gareth,

I learn more about this small county by the week!

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Old Tuesday 3rd April 2007, 20:57   #773
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[quote=gareth2005]Cortial Loch is as far as i'm aware this one http://www.iolfree.ie/~srameen/html/Cortialintro.htmlQUOTE]

Hi Gareth,

Do you know which road from Dundalk you take for Cortial Lake and is there access/ parking?

Peter
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Old Tuesday 3rd April 2007, 23:03   #774
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[quote=Peter Phillips]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gareth2005
Cortial Loch is as far as i'm aware this one http://www.iolfree.ie/~srameen/html/Cortialintro.htmlQUOTE]

Hi Gareth,

Do you know which road from Dundalk you take for Cortial Lake and is there access/ parking?

Peter
Its hard to explain, what I call call Cortial lake is located just south of McElroys eggs yard if your familiar with them.
If you drive to Hackballscross on the Blayney road out of Dundalk and take the turn to the left for Knockbridge. Drive on this road and go through the first crossroads you will come to a fairly blind hill on a corner which has a red brick house on the right hand side with a large yard at the rear( this is McElroys ) the lake is on the right hand side after this house. There are a few trees around it and the lake is not visible from the road but the reeds are. Access is limited, there is a Deer farm on one side of it also.
I was trying to find you a map but the NASA worldwind version it was on no longer contains detailed maps of this area.
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Old Wednesday 4th April 2007, 09:58   #775
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Peter, I've scanned the os map showing Cortial lake and emailed it to you in case it helps. Haven't been there myself either but looks interesting.
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