Monday, 14 August 2017

15th July - Bull Island Wildflower Walk

On Saturday 15th July Dublin Branch member Niall Mac Coitir led a walk to see the amazing wildflowers on the Bull Island. There was a good turnout and the weather was perfect for a walk - nice and warm, but not too sunny. As usual lots of flowers were seen, including four kinds of orchid - common spotted orchid, pyramidal orchid, marsh helleborine ,and twayblade. Among the other flowers spotted were restharrow, ladies bedstraw, tufted vetch, bird's foot trefoil, hare's foot trefoil, yellow rattle and eyebright. So all and all a good day!

Photos courtesy of Brendan


Ladies Bedstraw

Common Spotted Orchid

Marsh Helleborine


Twayblade has an unusual green coloured flower

Restharrow

Monday, 24 July 2017

4th July Green Drinks - Gardening for Wildlife

This month Dublin Green Drinks heard Ricky Whelan of the IWT Laois Offaly Branch give a talk on Gardening With Wildlife In Mind - in other words how to develop any space to be more friendly and inviting to wildlife and wild plants. This could involve habitat creation like having a pond in your garden, or a wild space for the nettles, or it could involve planting pollinator friendly plants, native species.

Ricky gave a very informative talk, full of amusing anecdotes, and stressed how easy it was for even the person with the least knowledge of gardening or tiniest space to contribute to wildlife. Even a window box can be a help! Hopefully  those attending were inspired to go home with a fresh enthusiasm for gardening with wildlife in mind!

Ricky Whelan also works as a Project Officer for BirdWatch Ireland and is heavily involved in the Abbeyleix Bog project in south Laois. 



Ricky showing us a bat box

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

2nd May Green Drinks - Raised Bog Conservation

On Tuesday 2nd May 2017 Green Drinks Dublin heard Dr Maurice Eakin, Senior Wetland Ecologist from the NPWS, talk about the ongoing efforts to maintain and restore raised bogs in Ireland. Finding a compromise between the obligations of the Habitats Directive and the rights of domestic turf-cutters was always going to be difficult, but considerable progress has been made in recent years.

Maurice is also working with Bord na Mona who are engaged in a programme of restoring some of their cutaway bogs to their previous state. This involves first and foremost blocking the drains and allowing the bogland to rewet itself, and then primarily allowing nature to take its course. Further details can be found on Bord na Mona's website:

http://www.bordnamona.ie/company/bord-na-mona-story/biodiversity/archive/






Tuesday, 27 June 2017

10th and 18th June Ireland's Eye trips

Dublin Branch went on its annual trips to Ireland's Eye this month on the 10 and 18th June. As usual there was great interest in the trips and a good turnout. The weather was good for us and a lot of wild birds were seen including guillemots, cormorants, gannets and great black backed gulls. The views of Howth and the island were also amazing! Thanks to Brendan for the photos.
At Ireland's Eye's Martello Tower


Gannets



Great Black Backed Gulls - adults and chicks 

Guillemots




Cormorants

Monday, 3 April 2017

26th March - Birdwatching at Irishtown Nature Reserve and Poolbeg lighthouse

On Sunday 26th March the Dublin Branch went birdwatching in Irishtown Nature Reserve and walked out to Poolbeg lighthouse. John Fox was our guide, and with his sharp eyes we identified many birds including brent geese, cormorants, turnstones, herring gulls and various waders such as redshanks. Most of the waders had gone at this time of year, but we were compensated by the glorious weather which made it such a pleasant day out. Highlight of the day for some of us was seeing the peregrines nesting on the Poolbeg towers!



Monday, 6 March 2017

26th February - Visit to The Murrough, Co. Wicklow


On Sunday the 26th of February a group of some 40 people went for a walk just outside Wicklow town. Even though the weather was challenging, we made our way up the coastal walk. The erosion was striking, with nearly a football pitch washed away in the last 20 years. After a bit of a walk we crossed the Dublin rail line and went into the Murrough. Unfortunately, between the wind and the high tide, all the pathways were under water. The area is unusual for its flora, with a mixture of seawater and fresh water plants. The area is also rich in wild fowl and is really worth a visit.  There is also a cliff walk going south from the black castle to the lighthouse. Anyone who is interested to know more can look up the Friends of the Murrough face book page.






Monday, 13 February 2017

February 7th Green Drinks - Common Sense and the Common Fisheries Policy

In February Green Drinks Dublin heard Edward Fahy of www.eatenfishsoonforgotten.com talk about the EU's Common Fisheries Policy and the effect it is having on our Fish Stocks. Edward explained to us how fish quotas are regularly being assigned at higher than sustainable levels for political reasons. This is to suit the big fishing interests who dominate the fishing industry, and squeezes out smaller fishermen. As a result fish stocks are falling all across Europe.

However, creating sustainable fishing is complicated and not an easy matter to achieve. For instance, the well meaning policy of banning fishing discards now means that there is a market for non quota fish, and is actually encouraging the production of more 'discards' than previously existed. The current model of fisheries in Europe cannot continue, and will result in collapse in fish stocks, like cod in Newfoundland, if change does not occur. Ed was pessimistic that change will happen in time to prevent this, as progress is too slow. Altogether a sobering talk that brought home how short sighted our society is when it comes to managing nature.