11th April 2013

Godwits and a Fish Trap

On the 11th April teacher Willie McSweeney and his class went to Glounthaune to look for colour ringed Godwits. Here is the class report on that trip:

Scoil Iosaef Naofa pupils and their teacher Willie McSweeney and Rosemarie Doherty (SNA) waiting for the train at Glounthaune after a great morning godwit watching.

(photo © Jim Wilson)

Our Trip to Glounthaune, April 11th 2013

We left the school about ten to ten and arrived at the train station at 10:20. The train arrived at 10:30
Our train trip the Glounthaune was short. Here is a list of the birds we saw:
180 black-tailed godwits, 5 curlews, 2 flamingos on the way to Glounthaune (in Fota Wildlife Park), 200 oyster catchers, 4 jackdaws,
1bar-tailed godwit(cousin of the black-tailed godwits ), 2 rooks, (the rest are ducks or geese), 2 teal (duck), 1 shelduck, 1 Brent goose
We also saw some swallow nests in the shed in Glounthaune railway station.

An image taken by Marc Jones showing the line of what might be the top of stakes used to make the fish trap.

(photo © Marc Jones)

After about an hour Jim Wilson spotted what we think might be an old fish trap with his telescope. We are not sure if it is one yet. One of my classmates, Marc, took a photo of it with his digital telescope and we are going to send it to friend of Jim who is an archaeologist. We hope it is one if it is it must be at least 800 years old. We came back on the 12:15 train to Cobh. - Loic

Post Script: The class emailed Dr. Aidan O'Sullivan from UCD, who is an archaeologist and expert on fish traps, and he sent the following reply:

'Yes, this looks like a fishtrap to me. It's V-shaped and on an eroding shoreline - and by the size of the bird, those look like small stakes. It looks medieval to me. Have a look at our fishtraps on the Fergus estuary and go through our images on Picasa and Youtube to get a sense of what we're looking at there. http://www.ucd.ie/archaeology/research/researcha-z/fei/ Click on the images and it will take you into Picasa directly. Incidentally, do be very, very careful, that looks like a soft shore. I wouldn't approach that site without local knowledge.'

A closer look would be needed to confirm this but it made for a very exciting morning!