Past Events

2023

Sunday 22nd January 2023

The Turloughs of South Mayo

Eleven branch members attended this outing on a pleasant cloudy winter’s day.  After gathering at Roundfort Community Centre we decanted into 3 cars to drive down the lanes by Kilgasson and Greaghan’s Loughs.  There was little wind and no rain so use of a telescope was feasible.  Kilgasson was disappointing but five breeds of duck were identified on Greaghan’s including a few pairs of shoveler which some of the group had not seen before.  Mallard, teal and lots of wigeon and tufted ducks constituted the others. After returning to Roundfort and a quick lunch break we drove in convoy to Ballyglass and walked down to the bird hide which is in need of a little TLC.  Again there was a variety of ducks plus a few lapwing and curlew on the far shore.  The group then split up to return home.  Nathy and I (Graham) decided to investigate the turloughs at Balla and Tawny Lough.  On the latter now in a little late afternoon sunshine were a few shovelers, tufties and wigeon.  The turlough on the north side of Balla in front of the hide had minimal activity.  About 30 whooper swans were on the turlough south of Balla.  It was wonderful to see that they were in family groups and each adult pair had between two and four juveniles which indicates that they had a successful breeding season.

2022

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Announcement :

Notice is hereby given that the AGM of the Mayo Branch of Birdwatch Ireland will take place on Wednesday December 7th at 7.30pm at the Regional Training Centre (part of Áras an Chontae), The Mall, Castlebar.

All members of Birdwatch Ireland are welcome to attend, stand for election as officers and/or seek to join the committee.

Please note that only currently paid-up members of BirdWatch Ireland may vote at Branch AGMs, stand for election to a Branch committee or serve on a Branch committee.

If you would like to stand for election to the committee or indeed one of the officer positions (Chair, Treasurer, Secretary or PRO), please get in touch via message to our Facebook page, Twitter account or email birdwatchmayo@gmail.com.

Saturday 12 NovemberGlenamaddy Turlough & Kiltullagh Lough

A group of eleven met in the carpark overlooking the turlough at Glenamaddy.

We were delighted to see some new faces and gain some local knowledge, with thanks to Galway Birdwatch for sharing our event across social media.

The weather was grey and windy again, but no rain thankfully. At Glenamaddy all the birds were on the far shores, but with our telescopes we identified mallard, wigeon, lapwings, a black headed gull and then a large flock of white fronted geese arrived. A kestrel hovered over a field behind us.

Moving on to Kiltullagh, where the view is distant due to an intervening field, there were a few swans, whooper and mute, mallard and wigeon and in the distance high in the sky an enormous flock of golden plover (a few hundred). We were just thankful that we were not counting for IWeBS!

Finally, John and Nina, two locals who had been with us, showed the group a raised bog nearby which is being improved for the benefit of red grouse. Here we saw a second kestrel hunting and then mobbed by crows.

Sunday 9 October – Sea Loughs south of Louisburgh

A small group of hardy watchers proceeded from Louisburgh to Loughs Baun, Roonah and Cross to look for waterbirds wintering in the relatively mild weather of the West of Ireland.

Braving wind and rain, we observed Whooper and Mute Swan, Little Grebem, Kestrel, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Golden Plover, Herring, Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Curlew, Starling, Swallow (yes, one still around!), Rock Pipit, Cormorant and 4 Grey Seals at Roonagh.

Sunday September 4 – Seabird Migration at Kilcummin Head

Autumn time can bring large numbers of migrating birds along the North Mayo coast. For this outing at Kilcummin Head, unfortunately, numbers weren’t great.

It was a glorious sunny afternoon, with a light offshore breeze, as 7 people attended, including a member from the Sligo branch. No one had visited this site before, so we all had difficulty finding it! On arrival there was a lady watching for whales and dolphins who confirmed that there was little to be seen. The occasional passing gannet, a large group of cormorants and smaller groups of oystercatchers were the highlights of what was seen. A little disappointing, as Kilcummin Head regularly features on the Irish Birding website, but it is clearly a good spot to look out for passing migrants.

Saturday August 13th – Lough Carra at Moorehall

We visited the beautiful Lough Carra to observe its bird populations, meeting at the main carpark for Moore Hall, beyond Carnacon.

The birds weren’t great today, but the weather and location were superb.

Thanks to Kieran for leading this outing.

Wednesday June 15th – Swifts Talk & Observation

Lynda Huxley of Swift Conservation Ireland and ATU Mayo Campus PhD student, Jarek Majkusiak, gave a very informative and enjoyable talk in the meeting room of Castlebar Swimming Pool at 8pm, followed by an outside viewing of swift boxes on the exterior of the building.

Huge thanks to Lynda and Jarek.

Sunday June 12th – Downpatrick Head Seabirds

This was a joint event along with our colleagues from Birdwatch Ireland’s Sligo branch.

We met at 1pm in the carpark to visit wonderful Downpatrick Head and view the seabirds that nest on the cliffs.

The cliffs are accessible across a grassed sloped area and can be slippy when wet. The cliffs area itself is not fenced, so if you plan to visit, children should always be closely supervised by their parents / guardians.

Graham was the leader on this outing, so a big thanks to him.

Sunday May 8th – Dawn Chorus at Enniscoe House Woods, Crossmolina

We met at 7.30am in the main car park by the Heritage Centre. This was a ‘dual accessible’ event, where our lovely large group took a gentle, easy walk to the lakeside. Participants then decided to return to the Heritage Centre by one of two alternative routes.

See https://www.northmayo.ie/enniscoe-loop-walk

Saturday March 26th – Belleek Woods, Ballina

Our trip to see the woodland birds of Belleek and those of the River Moy estuary took place on a beautiful Saturday morning. While we didn’t get to spot any of the resident Red Squirrels, we did enjoy excellent views of both Treecreepers and Goldcrest. Other birds encountered included Cormorants and Mute Swan on the river, with Wren, Song Thrush, Coal Tits, Great Tits and Blackbird in the trees, along with Mallards and one mysterious duck hybrid on the duck pond.

Many thanks to Hazel, the local ranger with NPWS, for leading this stroll and for helping the group learn to identify the songs and calls of various woodland birds.

Sunday March 6th – Murrisk Abbey & Bertra Beach

Not the greatest selection of birds, but a gorgeous sunny day by the sea. We saw Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Teal, Stonechat, Wigeon, Great Northern Diver and various gulls.

Saturday February 26th – Gordon D’Arcy Presentation at Westport Woods Hotel

We had a wonderful crowd of almost 50 people, including lots of children, at Gordon’s illustrated presentation on the birds of Mayo.

A big bualadh bos to our new member, George, for organising this event and to the wonderful Gordon for facilitating.

Sunday January 30th – Mulranny

Birds seen at the salt marsh and from the pier included :

Cormorant, Razorbill, Brent Goose, Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Merganser.

Big thanks to long-serving member, Helen, for leading on this occasion.

You can read a report on a past outing to Killala Bay during November 2008 here.

Please note:  

  • All events are open to the general public (unless stated).
  • Events are free of charge (unless stated), although we ask for a donation from non-members of BWI towards the costs involved (this is, of course, optional).
  • All outdoor events are subject to weather. Therefore, please check our social media (Facebook and Twitter) to ensure that the event will take place. However, it will automatically be cancelled if there is a storm warning in place.
  • Ensure you wear suitable clothing and footwear for outdoor events.
  • We encourage well-behaved children to most of our events (unless stated). However, responsibility for the safety of children remains solely with their parents / guardians.

If you have any ideas for outings or events, or would be willing to arrange one, please let us know, by emailing birdwatchmayo@yahoo.com.