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.

Monday, 9 October 2017

3rd October - Ireland's Groundwater

This month the Dublin Branch of IWT heard Alex Russell (PhD researcher at UCD) give a talk to about groundwater in Ireland. Alex gave a general overview of the quality of groundwater in Ireland (natural water chemistry and geology). In Ireland, up to 25% of drinking water supplies are sourced from groundwater, with a particular importance in rural areas where public supplies are often unavailable. However, in Ireland private wells remain unregulated for quality testing, potentially leading to significant unknown exposures to contaminated waters, including arsenic, which occurs naturally in may parts of Ireland.

Globally groundwater is a finite and precious resource, which is being used up at a far greater rate than it is being replenished. This is yet another unsustainable use of the planet's resources whih will lead to severe water shortages worldwide in the future.

Monday, 28 August 2017

August 26th - rockpooling in Portmarnock

On Saturday August 26th Dublin Branch member Kevin Delahunty led a rockpooling expedition along the coast at Portmarnock, north Co. Dublin to see what kind of creatures could be found. Lots of starfish, shellfish and 'pinkeens' were discovered, and another generation of kids got hooked on the wonders of nature!

Photos courtesy of Brendan

August 19th Walk in Carrickgolloghan Woods

On Saturday 19th August Dublin Branch member Niall Mac Coitir led a walk in Carrickgolloghan Woods near Kiltiernan in the Dublin mountains. Along the way we saw trees like birch, rowan and scots pine, and wildflowers like yarrow and St. Johns wort. The walk included a visit to the chimney of the old lead mine that used to be in the area, and a trip to the viewing point where a spectacular view of the Dublin and Wicklow mountains can be had, and also a great view north to Killiney Hill. The walk finished up just before the rain came down, so all in all a success.

Photos courtesy of Brendan

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