Inishowen Wildlife Club

Views and News 2023


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A random selection of pictures from club outings in the past.
Our Wanderings Through a World of Nature, Beauty and Joy.
Saturday 7th. January 2023. No club outing due to other commitments on this cold bright sunny day, a day with hints of spring in the offing. Next Saturday we resume the winter bird count on the Swilly, with assembly as usual near the Stone Jug, Buncrana.
Pictures From a Gray January Day.
Saturday 14th. January 2023. After a long Christmas/New Year break, we began our activity for 2023. Are some of our Nature loving members copying its ways, either by migrating to warmer climes or simply hibernating? In any case, today only three veterans faced the conditions to carry out our monthly Count. 
Although conditions slightly improved by early afternoon, in the main they were challenging and weather conditions coupled with a high tide meant that there were few birds feeding along the shore and most had sought whatever shelter they could find. Gulls, especially the Greater Black-backed seemed to enjoy the conditions but the fact that we saw only one Red Shank gives an idea of how unusual the results of this Count were. On the other hand we counted almost three hundred Dunlin at one spot. There were Curlew, Shelduck, a few Wigeon and Mallard and more than usual Great Crested Grebe but no Geese were seen.
Crossing The Causeway onto Inch we spotted an Otter hunting in The Lake and after several dives saw it emerge with a large Eel and torpedo off to the safety of the reeds to enjoy its meal minic.We in turn lunched Chez Boyd where we were entertained by the sight of a Yellowhammer and a Treecreeper on a nearby tree. With Met Eireann's promise of deteriorating conditions we followed our feathered friends' example and sought the comfort of our own homes.
Friday 20th. January 2023. Due to the very severe weather over the the past week, and consideration for the safety of our members, tomorrow's club outing has been called off. We look forward to a more Spring-like input for next Saturday.
The Beauty of a Sun-drenched January Day.
Saturday 28th. January 2023. After a spell of unfavourable weather, Nature pulled out all the right stops and welcomed us back with a show to delight the senses. All is forgiven.
We set out to visit the area around Trawbreaga Bay. The tide was well in at our first stop on the southern shore. The high tide meant few waders feeding along the shore. A few Curlew and Oystercatchers were noted. In the distance we could see a flock of more than 200 Barnacle Geese grazing contentedly. We had to content ourselves with the spectacular views as we drove through Tornabratilly. Below us lay The Isle of Doagh, picturesque in the sunshine, its features reflected in the still waters. This route, usually a splash of colour in summertime, presented a tweed of browns and russets, a silent sepia to calm the spirit. 
The same atmosphere pervaded The Isle of Doagh. A few Curlew, Redshank, and a Phalarope performed it's characteristic routine, while Wigeon and Mallard sifted through the still waters bathed by a warm sun. Turning north on The Isle we got a close up of our Barnacle geese, they too enjoying the conditions and still grazing contentedly in a field. The waters stretching from McSheffreys Bridge to The Bar Mouth was like a mirror broken here and there by individual Cormorants, Mergansers, a Great Northern Diver and a lone seal. Small flock of waders, chiefly Curlew and Redshank moved along the shore.
The contrast was noticeable when we reached The Castles at Carrickabraghy. Some force originating far out in the Atlantic sent waves crashing against the shore, resulting in spectacular eruptions of white spume and foam, teasing our photographers to capture the action at its epitome. Against this background we lunched and basked in this bright sunlit  ambiance. By our usual standards we did not spot wildlife in great quantity or diversity. But Nature reveals its bounty in different ways. Today it was directed at the spirit, several moments of restorative mindfulness.

29th. January 2023. Our member Brian Hegerty submitted this picture of an Egyptian Goose he recorded a few days past at the new lake Dunfanaghey.
A Winter Visit to the Roe Valley Country Park.
Saturday 4th. February 2023. Today, hoping that we might escape the worst of the forecast rain and in any case that we would have some shelter, we crossed the border to visit the tree-lined River Roe near Limavady. 
Setting out from the Visitor Centre we remarked on the welcome sound of birdsong. Chaffinch, Tits and Goldfinch played solos backed by the melodious babbling of the river. On the river we spotted an inaptly named Grey Wagtail and further on a pair of Dippers was feeding, bobbing on the rocks before going underwater in search of food. On the trees that border the river ,Grey Squirrels were visible making their way through the undergrowth, climbing trees and nonchalantly ignoring human intruders. There were signs of spring with Snowdrops in abundance and we recorded our first Lesser Celandine of the new year
Back at the Centre as we began our lunch the first drops of rain began to fall and despite our best intentions, as it got heavier, we were forced to call it a day. 

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