Tuesday, 14 January 2020

12th January 2020 - Bird watching Bull Island

IWT Dublin Branch went bird watching at Bull Island this January. Our guide was the excellent John Fox and there were lots of wintering birds to see along the causeway. We saw plenty of ducks, including pintails, shovelers, shelduck and teal. Other birds included curlews, godwits, lapwings and of course brent geese. There was a good turnout, and the weather was cold but dry. A satisfying morning's birdwatching was had by all.

7th January 2020 - Green Drinks Ireland through birds

January's Green Drinks was a drinks reception to celebrate the publication of 'Ireland through Birds' by Conor W. O'Brien. This fascinating and insightful book on some of Ireland's most elusive birds was launched by Dr. Tim Stott, TU Dublin. There was a great turnout on the night, and Conor sold a fair few copies! You can buy a copy of Conor's book from Merrion Press

The book launch was then followed by a talk by author and bird expert Anthony McGeehan on the birds of Inishbofin, which is a crossroads for migratory birds where unusual species such as North American warblers can be found. Inishbofin also has another advantage in that there are no magpies on the island!

5th November 2019 - Green Drink Forum on Natural Capital

November's Green Drinks talk was by Jane Stout of the Irish Forum on Natural Capital. The Irish Forum on Natural Capital (IFNC) brings together a diverse range of organisations and individuals from academic, public, private and NGO sectors who are interested in the development and application of the natural capital agenda in Ireland.

Jane explained the concept of Natural Capital as follows:

'Nature underpins our very existence on this planet, but it’s being destroyed at an accelerating rate. Although we have ethical and moral reasons for protecting it, public and private bodies often make decisions that affect nature, without taking it into account. The natural capital concept uses the language of business and accountancy to make the case for nature – to make it and its many benefits visible in decision-making processes, and so that we can account for our impacts and dependencies on nature. It’s not about putting a price on nature or commodifying it, it’s about making nature count.'

It comprises the world's stocks of physical and biological resources, including air, water, minerals, soils, fossil fuels and all living things. These stocks work together to deliver ecosystem goods and services that in turn provide benefits to society. 

You can learn more about the Irish Forum on Natural Capital through clicking on this link.

The IFNC Team

Monday, 13 January 2020

10th November 2019 - Fossil hunting in Portmarnock

In November the Dublin Branch went fossil hunting in Portmarnock near the Martello Tower. Led by Aodhán Ó Gógáin of TCD there was a good turnout to see some of the brilliant fossil beds next to us in Dublin.

27th October 2019 - Deer Rut, Phoenix Park

The Dublin Branch had its annual outing to see the fascinating annual deer rut in the Phoenix Park, led by Margaret McGuirk of the OPW. In late Autumn each year the Fallow Deer bucks mate, with a spectacular display of 'maleness'. The fact that the Dublin City Marathon organised their event the same day did not prevent a good turnout. Those attending saw some good scenes of bucks locking horns in their quest to secure a mate. You can learn more about the deer from the Phoenix Park's website

1st October 2019 Green Drinks - Cherish Project

The October Green Drinks talk was by Kieran Craven of CHERISH (Climate Heritage & Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands).  CHERISH is an EU funded Ireland - Wales project, that will increase cross-border knowledge and understanding of the impacts (past, present and near-future) of climate change, storminess and extreme weather events on the cultural heritage of reefs, islands and headlands of the Irish Sea. This will be one of the most important ways that Ireland will be affected by climate change, so it is important to understand its impact.

Monday, 9 September 2019

25th August 2019 - Rockpooling in Portmarnock

The August outing of the Dublin Branch of IWT saw us rockpooling in Portmarnock, led by our knowledgeable volunteers Kevin and Leyla. Overall there were some 35 participants - mainly young kids, and the weather was fine, but a bit dull. Kevin and Leyla were absolutely wonderful, and helped everyone to find lots of really cool things. As well as both brittle starfish and a common starfish, some fish species were found including Rock Goby, blenny, butterfish and a 5 bearded rockling.

Other highlights included a nudibranch - orange clubbed sea slug (Limacia clavigera), which was feeding on the sea mats (bryozoans) attached to rocks in the rock pools. We also found Elysia viridis, or the sap-sucking slug (photo below).

Some of the birds that hung around with us during the rockpooling included cormorants, common tern, heron gulls, greater black-backed gulls, oystercatcher and turnstones.

As well as all the wildlife, Kevin and Leyla talked to the children about marine pollution (plastic), and sure enough several kids picked up plastic items which they found in the rock pools. a very enjoyable and enlightening day was had by all.