Another outdoor trip for the new academic year, on 12 October, was to the Bull Island UNESCO Biosphere wetlands to do some birdwatching. The Bull Island, as part of Dublin Bay, is protected under Irish legislation as a designated SPA/SAC.
About 25 of us met on the causeway at 11h00 with our two birdwatcher colleagues, Aidan Kelly (Physiology) and Patrick Veale (Environmental Engineering). Aidan and Patrick led us on the Booterstown marsh trip back in 2019. They brought two powerful ‘scopes and some binoculars, so we all got a chance to identify and see the birds up close. They gave us a wildfowl/wader identification sheet. This list, with marking-up, to show some of the birds that we saw is here.
The highlights were seeing a critically endangered Curlew calling and feeding on the marsh, the sparrow hawk hovering over the open water looking for a ‘meal’ and the Shelducks.
We didn’t have to get our feet wet or muddy as all sighting was done from the causeway. The forecast wasn’t great, but the rain held off.
Our Geographers were out operating a large drone filming the marshland.
Aidan and Patrick prepared well for this trip and were a mine of information and experience. We really did learn something about this wonderful amenity on our doorstep.