Are you wondering how to enjoy some truly high quality family time this coming weekend?
Why not bring the whole family along to Cabragh Wetlands from 9.00am to 12.00 noon this Sunday, 13th July, when Birdwatch Ireland will open their ‘ringing nets’ to the public and giving you a chance to look at and hear about the birds that have been caught and tagged that morning.
To view video in HD please click HERE .
Ringing nets are the process used to attach a small, individually numbered metal or plastic tag to the leg or wing of a wild bird. This later enables individual bird to be identified should it be recaptured or recovered.
It is common to take measurements during this capture for ringing. The subsequent recapture or recovery of the bird can then later provide valuable insight on migration, longevity, mortality, population studies, territoriality, feeding behaviour and many other aspects that are studied in detail by ornithologists.
There will also be a Star Systems television crew filming and recording, for public broadcasting later in the year and they would truly love to film your children busily active and engaged with ‘Mother Nature.’
Insect traps will be set up and the pond dipped, so there will be plenty to see and lots to learn from a team of experts under the supervisory and informative wing of senior Birdwatch Officer Alex Copland.
This will be a great family morning, and we advise that you come earlier rather than later, as trapped birds and insects can’t be kept for too long and must be released back into the wild as soon as possible after capture.
Trust me when I say that this educational primary source experience will be the total conversation around your dinner table for many days to come.
There will be a small charge of €5 for adults and €2 for children, with same being used as a contribution to the Cabragh Wetlands current and very important building programme.
Mountshannon, Clare, Ireland – Members of the public are now able to observe one of the first White Tailed Sea Eagles born in Ireland in over a century; courtesy of a new Viewing & Information Point that has been officially opened on the shores of Lough Derg in County Clare.
Located at Mountshannon Pier and operated by Mountshannon Community Council, the Golden Eagle Trust and Clare County Council, the new Viewing Point features telescopes and information and displays about the White Tailed Sea Eagles. The facility will remain open until the end of September.
Norway’s Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Roald Næss joined Mayor of Clare Cllr. John Crowe in Mountshannon today in recognition of his country’s close links with the Golden Eagle Trust’s programme to reintroduce the bird to Ireland.
The Mountshannon breeding pair, a six-year-old male and five-year-old female, were collected as chicks on the island of Frøya off the west coast of Norway by the Golden Eagle Trust. The birds were released in Killarney National Park before relocating to Lough Derg in 2011. The pair, named Saoirse and Caimin, created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in 110 years. The pair successfully hatched another chick in late April of this year.
Mayor of Clare Cllr. John Crowe welcomed the introduction of the Viewing Point which he said provides the general public with “a unique opportunity to view the birds at close quarters without disturbing them”.
He added: “The breeding success of the Mountshannon pair is in no small part down to the wonderful work of the Golden Eagle Trust, Clare County Council and Mountshannon Community Council, as well as the goodwill and support shown by the local community. This Viewing & Information Point will help to further safeguard these impressive birds and their nesting activities, as well as to promote their ecology and conservation.”
Norwegian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Roald Næss described the increase in the number of nesting pairs of White Tailed Sea Eagles in Ireland as “encouraging” and expressed his delight that Norway has played a central role in the reintroduction programme.
He continued: “Norway is home to one of the largest White Tailed Sea Eagle populations in the world and has been instrumental in helping organisations such as the Golden Eagle Trust to reintroduce the species to countries where the bird once flourished but is no longer found. Being able to view this breeding pair thrive here in County Clare is a tribute to everyone concerned and I hope the people who visit this Viewing Point truly value what is happening here.”
Welcoming the official opening of the Viewing & Information Point, Dr. Allan Mee, White Tailed Sea Eagle project manager, commented: “We are very conscious of the risk of disturbing the birds especially during nesting periods, so we warmly welcome this structure which is purpose built and designed specifically for the purposes as a Bird Viewing and Information Point. It will help put Mountshannon on the map as the destination to come and enjoy perhaps Ireland’s largest and most spectacular breeding bird. To have a nesting pair of eagles here on our doorstep is unique and one that the local community in Mountshannon will I’m sure help nurture into the future”.
The Viewing Point will be maintained by Mountshannon Community Council, whose Chairperson John Harvey said: “Since the White Tailed Sea Eagles first arrived here three years ago, members of the local community have given tremendous support to the Golden Eagle Trust to ensure the birds were given every possible opportunity to thrive. The Community Council looks forward to welcoming people to the village and the Viewing Point, which we regard as a wonderful addition to the local tourism infrastructure.”
A new invasive species of Shrew is spreading across our Tipperary landscape at a rate of more than five kilometres a year, according to new research.
The Greater White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura russula) was first discovered living on our Irish shores in around 2007, first spotted in the regurgitated food remains (pellets) from Barn Owls and Kestrels and collected at some 15 locations around Tipperary. Greater White-toothed Shrews have since been trapped at four different locations in Tipperary, providing compelling evidence that this new species has now become very firmly established.
This new immigrant species, normally found along the Mediterranean, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Portugal, can be identified by their greyish brown hair and a yellowish grey lower belly, together with distinctive bright white teeth, prominent ears and long white hairs on their tails. This non native mammal species possibly arrived here in Ireland hidden amongst horticultural imports such as the root balls of cheaply imported trees, to set up residents in our midst.
This same importation of tree saplings brought us the fungus named Chalara fraxinea, which now has been confirmed as responsible for killing our native ash trees. All of the ash trees affected by this latter fungus are understood to have also been imported as saplings from continental Europe over the same time period.
While there are no known positive effects of the Greater White-toothed Shrew upon humans; the impact on the ecology of habitats in which it is found, remains presently unclear but may turn out to be considerable. These invasive miniature mammals are three times the size of its nearest rival, (weighing in at 8g – 14g) the native well established Pygmy Shrew, (Latter only 3g – 6g).
The Irish native Pygmy Shrew has existed in wild isolation here in Ireland for at least 5,000 years. Therefore, the sudden introduction of this new species, requiring both a larger shared habitat and similar dietary overlap, could now have serious consequences for our Pygmy Shrew. It has already become apparent that the Pygmy Shrew has been rapidly declining here in Co.Tipperary, where as the Greater White-toothed Shrew has instead become well established, spreading at a rate of more than five kilometres per year.
Researchers from University College Dublin (UCD) have warned that within the seven years since these creature were first discovered, it has colonised an estimated 7,600 square km in nine Irish counties, namely Tipperary, Westmeath, Limerick, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Offaly, Laois, and Cork. The reason for this rapid spread is due to the habit of the female of the genus leaving the nest early and moving away to newer territory, possibly to instinctively avoid in-breeding amongst their own species.
This recent influx and rapid growth of this non native mammal is yet another reason for calling a sudden halt to the often wanton destruction of our native birds of prey who feed on this quarry here in Co Tipperary.
For Thurles people currently not yet aware; as and from January1st 2013 last, local individuals can report issues of ‘non emergency’ concern and bring same to the attention of their Local Authority by going on-line. The publicly accessible web-site “fixyourstreet.ie,” is now an ‘All Ireland’ service, launched initially since August 2nd, 2011.
This new programming now supports a publicly functional and accessible web-site on which non emergency issues such as vandalism, unsafe road defects, issues regarding street lighting, serious water leaks, drainage issues, severe littering or indeed illegal dumping, can be immediately reported by any observer to their Local Authority.
The on-line programming is still continuing to be further developed, hence the site and it’s associated services offered, continues to remain at ‘beta’ status. This allows the functionality being offered to the public presently, to change and be further developed where necessary, eventually meeting the highest aspirations of the programmers now attempting to deliver this welcome on-line package.
As promised in the ‘Programme for Government’ it is hoped that issues raised on “fixyourstreet.ie” will, eventually, be responded to within 2 working days, however since presently ‘fixyourstreet.ie,’ is a programme moderated service, this means that when you report a local issue through the site, it may take just a little while for same to become visible on the public listings presently being highlighted at local level.
The site can be contacted nationally by sending an email to:- firstname.lastname@example.org, or by sending a Tweet with the hashtag/s #fysie or you can submit a ‘New Report’ by simply clicking HERE.
Tipperary’s Lough Derg shore line.
Residents in Dublin city can expect to get their fresh water supplies direct from the River Shannon in Co Tipperary, when they turn on their taps no later than 2022. Well that will be the case if our present so-called Fine Gael / Labour government gets its way.
It is understood that a plan to extract Shannon water from the Lough Derg and Parteen Basin and to store same in a reservoir at a Bord na Móna interim storage facility, formerly a major sod peat production facility, situated at Garryhinch, Co Laois, is in the pipeline.
This proposed project, plans of which are expected to be announced shortly, will swallow the biggest part of Irish Water’s infrastructure planned finance, which will now be paid for by a tax on ‘God given water,’ latter to be imposed nationally, beginning in 2015.
Irish Water has already received or borrowed €240 million from the proceeds of the 2014 Property Tax, €490 million from the 2014 Local Government Fund, €250 million from the National Pensions Reserve Fund 2013, €190 million from local businesses and soon will be handed €500 million from ordinary over burdened householders / taxpayers, through a tax on water from 2015.
This proposed interim storage facility in Laois will also be marketed to double up as a high quality outdoor recreation and educational facility and Bord na Móna is actively engaging with Dublin City Council on both the planning and delivery of this new intended water source.
Without this new planned 6 to 8 year project coming into fruition, which will cost well over €600m, Dublin will have no further capacity for the development of housing and business. The current water supply in the greater Dublin Region is described as using between 96% – 99% of its daily current capacity, with 40% of this capacity leaking daily from unrepairable faulty mains infrastructure.
The planning stage for this intended development is expected to take some three years from current date to 2016, but same plans can expect to be vigorously opposed.
People residing along the river Shannon basin and indeed the broader hinterland of the Irish Midlands, under this present Fine Gael / Labour government, see daily their heavy burden of taxes as being extracted solely for the benefit and upgrading of Dublin city residents and associated business. Dublin city is observed also as the sole beneficiary of almost all newly created employment, while rural economies like Tipperary are being completely ignored, but nevertheless still required to pay exorbitant taxes without any consideration as to people’s ability to pay, even remotely being taken into consideration.