Monday, 16 April 2018

April 3rd Green Drinks - Sustainable Fisheries

This month Dublin Green Drinks heard Debbi Pedreschi of the Marine Institute talk about 'Real-time incentives fisheries management' . Debbi is working to develop a new way of managing fisheries, that takes the ecosystem into account, and would use smart technologies to improve the information coming from fishing activity to help make the science more accurate, while keeping the system simple to use and understand and provide incentives for sustainable activities and methods.Providing real time information to fishermen on where they can catch the correct species of fish should help to reduce wasteful by catch, and help fishermen fill all their more effectively.

In this project the team are working together with fishermen to co-design the system, to make it work practically for them, and to gain their insights, opinions and ideas. They have also started to work with eNGOs to incorporate their ideas and gather their thoughts. For more information on this very useful and potentially 'game-changing' initiative see

Thursday, 5 April 2018

March 24th Wicklow Woodpecker Walk

On Saturday March 24th the Dublin Branch met at the bridge at Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, bright and early at 8am to go on a woodland walk. What brought us out at such an ungodly hour was the chance to  hear one of Ireland's newest arrivals, the Greater Spotted Woodpecker drumming, and perhaps even to see one. The walk was led by author Declan Murphy, whose recent book 'A Life in the Trees - a personal account of the Great Spotted Woodpecker in County Wicklow' has been praised by many.

Our efforts were successful, as we did indeed hear the woodpeckers drumming. Woodpeckers are small birds and difficult to see high up on the trees, but we saw some fluttering in the trees that was probably them. The woodpecker is an extraordinary bird, with muscles in its head extending all the way down its back. This allows it to peck at the wood with its beak without getting the mother of all headaches! All in all the group was satisfied with its encounter with this amazing bird. Photos courtesy of Brendan (except for the woodpecker picture, which is Wikimedia commons).

March 6th Green Drinks - Folklore of Irish Trees

The March Green Drinks Talk was given by Branch member and author Niall Mac Coitir about the myths, legends and folklore of Irish trees. Did you know that the birch tree was the best tree to make a cradle out of, as it would protect the child from the fairies; while the elderberry tree is the worst, as the fairies would come and pinch the baby black and blue? Or that the oak tree was associated in ancient Ireland with royalty and kingship and an oak tree often stood outside the rath or dĂșn of the chieftain in Gaelic times? The oak tree was also sacred to the druids, and some Christian sites were probably located at sacred groves of oak trees, such as Derry - Doire Colmcille 'the oak wood of Colmcille' and Durrow - DarĂș - 'the oak plain'. Another important tree is the ash, which is of course used to make hurleys. A mature tree is needed to make the hurley, and Ireland is now so denuded of mature broadleaf trees that ash has to be imported from Europe to make them! All in all, a very interesting and informative talk.


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

January 7th - Birdwatching Bull Island

The Dublin branch of IWT went birdwatching again on Bull Island, and despite cold weather some 40 people turned up for the event. Led by our ever knowledgeable guide John Fox, lots of different birds were seen, including the following: Grey Heron, Little Egret, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Shelduck, Pintail, Brent Goose, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Kestrel, and Peregrine Falcon. The usual suspects such as Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull and Hooded Crow were also in evidence. All in all a very interesting day.

Monday, 20 November 2017

18th November Otter Walk

Early on a cold and wet Saturday morning in November, over thirty Dublin Branch members turned out at the Dodder to see if we could see any otters. Led by naturalist Tim Clabon,we spotted no otters, but learnt lots about them, and also saw plenty of birds on the Dodder, among these kingfishers, dippers, long-tailed tits and goldcrests. A worthwhile morning's excursion!

Monday, 13 November 2017

28th October - Creepy Crawly Event Phoenix Park

Armed with sweep nets and pooters a happy bunch of youngsters set off in search of creepy crawlies in Phoenix Park on Saturday, 28 October. IWT member Kevin Delahunty had explained to them what to look for and how to handle the insects, spiders, worms, centipedes, or whatever else they might find in the grass and under logs and stones. Plenty of these ended up in his viewing trays and were marvelled at through magnifying glasses before they were released again.

A truly eerie specimen had ended up in a trap which Kevin had set the night before; this was a devil’s coach-horse beetle. Kevin has a wonderful way of getting the youngsters’ attention and educating them in a playful way. A big thank you from the Dublin Branch is due to him.

22nd October Phoenix Park Deer Rut

Dublin Branch had its annual outing to the Phoenix Park on October 22nd to see the Deer Rut. We had a great turn out with around 60 people showing up, and as usual Favel was on top form. It was very cold though and the wind eventually drove the last few people away at about 1pm. However we saw the stags doing their thing and locking horns to gain the attention of the females.

All in all a great event with lots of positive feedback.