Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Green Drinks 5th February - Kildare Animal Rescue

This month we heard from Kildare Animal Foundation Wildlife Unit. They follow the principle of the 'Three Rs' - Rescue, Rehabilitate and return to the wild. No animal is turned away - from a badger to a dormouse, or from a swan to a pigeon!

Dan and Aideen offered advice for if you find an injured or orphaned wild animal - PLEASE DO NOT touch or pick it up unless it is in immediate danger. Please phone them (087 620 1270) or your local rescue centre first. If you need to move the animal place it in a quiet, dark and warm place. Then call for help. Offer only water – no other fluids.

Covering an injured animal will help reduce stress and keep it warm, but do not over handle the animal or bird. Put it somewhere quiet, dark and warm. Wild creatures are not calmed by contact with humans. Talking to them and stroking them can only increase their stress.

January 6th - Bull Island Bird Watching

The January outing of the Dublin Branch was the ever popular bird watching event on Bull Island. There was a good turn-out for the event, with benign weather conditions and a calm surface on the water. Led by the expert  John Fox of Birdwatch Ireland we saw plenty of birds: apart from 5 different varieties of gulls, there were geese (mainly Brent), ducks (shelduck, widgeon, teal, shoveler, pintail, mallard), all sorts of waders (redshank, black-tailed godwit, dunlin, curlew, turnstone, lapwing) and, of course, herons. All in all a good day out.

Black Tailed Godwit


December 16th Botanic Gardens

The December outing of the Dublin Branch was a trip to the Botanic Gardens to see what they are like in winter. Our guide for the day, Glynn Anderson showed us that there was still plenty to see, from mistletoe in the branches of a poplar tree, to the beauty of the evergreen yew trees with their attractive reddish bark. After a tour of the grounds, it was welcome to get out of the cold by stepping into the warmth of the tropical glasshouses. Glynn told us all about the tropical trees there from many kinds of palm trees to bananas. The trip showed that the Botanic Gardens are well worth a visit at any time of year!

Balls of Mistletoe growing on a poplar tree

An avenue of yew trees 

Green Drinks December 4th - Extinction Crisis

December's Green Drinks featured the IWT’s Pádraic Fogarty who gave an overview of the extinction crisis facing Ireland and the world. In light of the recent report from WWF/ZSL showing how the world has lost 60% of its large animals in the past 40 years, there can be no doubt that we find ourselves at the centre of an extinction crisis. How does it affect Ireland? What is the relationship between the extinction crisis and climate breakdown? What can individuals and communities do to prevent the crisis deepening?

Pádraic told the meeting that the extinction crisis is equally important to the climate change crisis. Carrying on with business as usual won’t help, instead there needs to be a radical change to the management of fishing, farming and forestry. It’s important to understand that species loss is caused by habitats destroyed by pollution and intensive farming not just by climate change, and a complete change of mindset is needed by everyone, from government agencies to the local community to end this. In the end, restoring nature - rewetting bogs, planting trees and developing nature friendly farming is the cheapest and easiest tool to tackle climate change.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Green Drinks Tues 4th Sept - Bees and other pollinators, a vital role

Orla ní Dhúill of the Irish Wildlife Trust and DCU gave a talk on the role bees and other pollinators play in maintaining a healthy environment around us. The declining numbers of bees internationally has starting to break into mainstream news stories, but many people do not know much about the various species of bees and pollinators that are effected or what's causing these declines. This is of vital importance to us humans, as most of the plants we grow for food rely on bees to pollinate them.

Orla talked more about what's going wrong and what can be done to help. Habitat loss is a major factor, and we can all do our part. First we can grow lots of flowers that bees like, but also we can preserve habitat for our bumblebees who are all under pressure. Leaving a grassy bank or piece of earthen bank free for the bumblebees to make their nests would be a great help. Having things too tidy leaves no room for our bumbles!

Know your bumblebees: the following diagrams can help you to identify them.

Rockpooling Event - Sept 2nd

There was a great turnout for the IWT Dublin Branch's rockpooling event in Portmarnock. The weather was sunny and the kids (and adults too) saw lots of little sea creatures, including lion's mane jellyfish, barnacles, limpets, winkles and whelks, shrimps, crabs and brittle stars. A lovely day out!

Lions Mane jellyfish

Monday, 30 July 2018

Bull Island Wildflower Walk - July 8th

The Dublin Branch held its annual Bull Island Wildflower Walk on July 8th led by branch member Niall Mac Coitir. The walk was very successful despite the drought, and as usual lots of wildflowers were seen. The elusive bee orchid evaded us this year as well, but several other species of orchid were spotted. Thanks to Brendan for the photos.

Marsh Helleborine

Common Spotted Orchid


White Pyramidal Orchid

Haresfoot clover with its fluffy flowers