Monday, 22 July 2013

13th July Irelands Eye Trip

On 13 July the Dublin Branch of IWT we had wonderful and memorable trips to Ireland’s Eye. Some sixty people turned out in glorious sunshine to hear Conn Flynn talk about and identify the numerous bird species as well as some of the flora and fauna. The beautiful weather added to the magic of seeing the bird parents and their noisy little chicks.

blackbacked gulls and sailboats
Lunchtime al fresco

I wish I could fly

Monday, 8 July 2013

July 7th Bull Island Wildflower walk

On Sunday 7th of July, members of the Dublin Branch gathered at the causeway on Bull island for a wildflower walk led by Dublin Branch member Niall Mac Coitir. In glorious sunshine many different wildflowers were spotted, including four kinds of orchids (early purple, common spotted, pyramidal and marsh helleborine), various members of the pea family (restharrow, birds foot trefoil, kidney vetch, and meadow vetchling) and many other flowers including yellow rattle, eyebright, centaury, haresfoot trefoil and ladies bedstraw.  For the two months of June and July the grasslands on Bull Island between the dunes and the golf courses are a riot of colours, for those who keep their eyes open. As one person on the trip put it: 'this is as good as the burren!' Indeed it is, and we should be proud in Dublin to have such a jewel in our crown.

Photos courtesy of Joy and Eoin.

mind your feet!

Birdsfoot trefoil
Lotus corniculatus 

Pyramidal orchid
Anacamptis pyramidalis

Marsh helleborine
Epipactis palustris

Early purple orchid
Orchis mascula

Common spotted orchid
Dactylorhiza fuschsii

Centaurium erythraea

Ladies bedstraw
Galium verum

Ononis repens

Monday, 1 July 2013

July 2nd - Green Drinks Wild About Products

On Tuesday 2nd July the Irish Wildlife Trust Dublin Branch heard Fiona Falconer tell us all about her company - "Wild about " . Wild about is an innovative new Irish company making hand crafted Artisan foods from the wealth of native, seasonal and wild ingredients. Based in Co. Wexford Fiona and Malcom grow an array of wild native fruits, berries and herbs on their smallholding permaculture farm. "What we don't grow we get from neighbouring farms, we don't import anything that grows commercially here in Ireland, instead we work seasonally and we specialize in native wild ingredients like rose hips, haws, sloes, elderberries and my absolute favourite Nettles !"

Fiona was evangelical about the rich variety of foods and flavours that can be found in our native hedgerows and about how healthy and full of vitimins and minerals they are. If we all ate more of the bounty on our doorstep we would have far less need to buy expensive health foods and supplements from across the globe. Who needs goji berries when you have nettles and elderberries? The key to making the most of our native resources is accepting that they are seasonal, and our demand to have every kind of fruit and vegetable available 365 days of the year is what is environmentally unsustainable. That might seem limiting, but the point is - if you know your native plants well enough you realise that there is always something in season...

Wild about's products include Sloe margaritas, Nettle pesto, saucy haws adult ketchup ! . . . .

June 29th - Ireland's Eye Trip

Saturday June 29th saw the first of two of the Dublin Branch's annual trip to Ireland's Eye led by Sean Hogan. As usual a large number of people turned out for the short boat ride, and the weather was perfect. Lots of seabirds were seen including puffins, kittiwakes and great black backed gulls. However, along with the enjoyment of seeing so many amazing birds in their natural element there was the distressing sight of a herring gull with fishing tackle stuck in its mouth and foot. Although it is unpleasant, after a debate it was agreed to show the picture to highlight the issue of discarded fishing tackle causing death and injury to seabirds. Photos are by IWT member John Fox.

Puffins, also known as sea parrots


Great Black Backed Gull 

Herring Gull with fishing tackle caught in its mouth and foot