South Dublin Branch - Outing Report

Bluethroat - Ballycotton, Cork (photo: Paul & Andrea Kelly)

Shanganagh Cliffs, Shankill - 13th June 2021.

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South Dublin members enjoying the sun at Shanganagh. Picture by Ronan Browne.

South Dublin Members at Shanganagh, 13th June 2021 (picture: Ronan Browne)

Today we went to say thank you.... 15 months ago nobody imagined that our full day outing to Wexford would be the last one for more than a year... then suddenly the world came to a halt. Those who are not normally bird listers, started counting their garden birds, then checking within two kilometres that after a while became five, and finally throughout the county.

In the last 15 months almost everything we always took for granted wasn't there anymore, except for our birds and they were always there, always. Their presence became one of the most powerful coping mechanisms, even for non birders, in these very challenging times.

Sand Martin at Shanganagh with Killiney Hill in the background. Picture by Ronan Browne.

Sand Martin at Shanganagh, 13th June 2021 (picture: Ronan Browne)

So this outing to Shanganagh was about celebrating the return of our outdoor events, but more important, to thank each and every one of the birds we met for being there for us when we needed them most.

  • To the Jackdaws and Rooks that entertained us at Shankill DART station.
  • To the Herring Gulls that kept us company throughout the whole morning.
  • To the discreet, calm and somewhat clumsy Woodpigeons.
  • To the Robins who jumped out to great us as we walked past.
  • To the pair of Linnets pair perched on an Umbellifer.
  • To the Dunnocks and their fantastic thin and tinkling song.
  • To the recently fledged Starlings, already rehearsing for the winter murmuration.
  • To the Common Terns and Shags going and coming from Dalkey Island.
  • To the House Sparrows and their constant chirping.
  • To the newly wed Collard Doves perching on the cliffs.
  • And to the restless Sand Martins doing outstanding work feeding those hungry chicks.
Mr & Mrs Collared Dove on the cliff at Shanganagh. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Collared Doves at Shanganagh, 13th June 2021 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

The Sand Martin colony has been under significant threat over the last few years, due to planned developments. Its destruction would not only be a blatant and embarrassing breach of EU and Irish Laws, it would also be morally wrong.

Some More Pictures

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If you look hard enough you will always find a Dunnock. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Some more pictures of birds taken on the day by Ronan Browne and Gustavo Zoladz.
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Sand Martin on the wing over Shanganagh. Picture by Ronan Browne.
Eleanor makes an important point. Picture by Ronan Browne.
The sweep of Shanganagh Cliffs and Beach with Killiney Hill and Dalkey Island in the background. Picture by Ronan Browne.

It was such an enjoyable outing, a common theme among the participants was how much we are all looking forward to future branch outings. Its great to be back, enjoy the summer everyone and stay safe!

Gustavo Zoladz

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