10th December 2008

Class surveys wetland in Cork Harbour

Today 5th Class at Scoil Iosaef Naofa went by train to Glounthaune, here in Cork harbour to look for godwits and survey the wetland there for the BTO/BirdWatch Ireland Bird Atlas 2007 -2011. They were surprised to see so few godwits on the mud flats but this time of the winter they often leave the mudflat to hunt for food on wet grassland. Despite the low number present, and the absence of colour ringed birds they saw 17 species of wetland birds and all got close views of roosting Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits alongside Bar-tailed Godwits, their Russian cousins, as well as the large flock of Dunlin. The final counts for our visit were as follows: 60 Black-tailed Godwits, 33 Redshanks, 364 Black-headed Gulls, 814 Dunlin, 1 Little Egret, 2 Cormorants, 10 Wigeon,1 Lesser Black Backed Gull, 29 Oystercatchers, 9 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Mallard Ducks, 45 Teal, 22 Shelducks, 9 Common Gulls, 33 Curlews,1 Little Grebe and 5 Lapwings. Not a bad selection all seen from the new railway platform at Glounthaune. The pupils took lots of notes and did some excellent sketches and even did some videoing for a video they are making on the project. The class hopes to do the Bird Atlas survey at the school from now on and again at Glounthaune in the spring to see if there will be any change in the number and species of birds using the wetland. A special thanks to Billy Arnold and all the staff in Irish Rail on the Cobh - Cork line.

5th Class pupils waiting for the train with teacher Mr. Willie McSweeney and Ms MacMahon (photo © Jim Wilson)


Pupils looking at Black-tailed Godwits at Glounthaune Station.(photo © Willie McSweeney)


Pupils taking notes from the East Cork Bird Trail display board. (photo © Willie McSweeney)

Some of the happy pupils on the train after their morning with the godwits. (photo © Jim Wilson)

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