RSS Feed

Category Archives: wildlife

DIY – Fly Trap

Posted on
Fly Trap – or feed the fish !
Description; Original article; http://chestofbooks.com/home-improvement/woodworking/Community-Shop-Projects/Fly-Trap.html

This section is from the book “Shop Projects Based On Community Problems“, by Myron G. Burton. Also available from Amazon: Shop Projects Based on Community Problems.

Fly Trap

Materials

Basswood (Chap. III., Par. 31).

8 pcs. 3/8″xl”xl2 1/2″ S 2 S Sides. 8 pcs. 3/8″xl”x 7 1/2″ S 2 S Cross pieces. 5 pcs. 1/2″x3/4″x9″ S 2 S Top pes.

8 pes. 1/4″x3/4″x9″ S 2 S Trim. 3 dozen 1″ brads.

3 dozen 1/2″ brads.

1 1/2 dozen 3/8″ corrugated nails.

1 yard 24″ screen wire.

9 dozen small tacks.

1 piece 5/32″ Bessemer rod 8″ long.

2 screw eyes No. 114.

1 pair 3/4″x3/4″ brass hinges. 1 small clasp.

Introductory Statement

Recent investigation has proven that the common housefly is a very dangerous enemy to human life. The fact that it spreads disease and is in every way undesirable is sufficient reason why everybody should be as careful as possible to prevent its increase. One of the most successful ways to wage war on flies is to screen our homes so as to shut them out, and then leave no uncovered garbage pails or any other feeding places for them.

In cities where everybody has been interested in disposing of flies the results have been very encouraging. School children have helped wonderfully by engaging in fly-catching contests.

You can do a great practical good for your own home and community by making this flytrap carefully and using it throughout the fly season.

References:

The House Fly as Disease Carrier, L. O. Howard. Published by F. A.

Stokes Pub. Co., New York. U. S. Bulletin No. 459, and U. S. Bulletin No. 679, House Flies. Insects and Disease, Doane. Henry Holt & Co. Our Household Insects, Butler. Longmans, Green Co. Household Insects and Methods of Control, Bulletin No. 3, Ithaca, N. Y. U. S. Bulletin No. 155, How Insects Affect Health. Fly Traps and Literature. International Harvester Co., Chicago. Winter War on Flies, Willard Price, Technical World, February, 1915. Our Insect Friends and Enemies, John Smith. J. B. Lippincott Pub. Co.

Fly Trap

Suggestions For Original Design

Glass Fruit Jar

WlTh Opening In LlD

Fly Trap Specifications

The Side Strips

You will probably have to rip your material from stock; select the best surface of your stock for a working face (Chapter II., Paragraph 2); plane one edge for a working edge (Chapter II., Paragraph 4). With the marking gauge, gauge the width of the strips on both surfaces of the stock (Chapter II., Paragraph 6). Rip just outside the line; plane to the gauge lines. Prepare all the side strips in like manner. Saw them the required length. Notice that on two sides of the fly trap, the side strips are narrower than on the other two sides. This is done so the four sides will be equal when assembled. Miter the lower end of each strip, as shown in the drawing.

The Side Cross Rails

Rip out and plane the side cross rails in the same manner in which you have made the side strips. Cut all these rails the required length, as shown in the drawing. They may be easily and accurately sawed in the square cut of a miter box.

Assembling The Body Of The Trap

Each side is merely a rectangular frame. Lay two side strips flat on your bench top with the two cross rails in such position as to form a frame; make the angles square and fasten with corrugated nails(Chapter II., Paragraph 23). Assemble all sides in like manner. Cut screen wire the proper size and cover the inside of each frame; fasten the screen wire in position with small tacks. Assemble the four frames box fashion; they should be joined with a plain butt joint (Chapter II., Paragraph 60) at each corner; fasten with brads (Chapter II., Paragraph 21).

The Lid

The lid is a square frame (with a cross bar in the middle for the handle) joined at the corners with plain butt joints (Chapter V., Paragraph 60), fastened with brads. Square the stock for the lid (Chapter II., Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4); cut each piece the required dimensions; assemble as explained; cover with screen wire. Strips of wood 1/4″ thick are to be used as a trim on the lid, to cover the tacks and add to the appearance of the work; miter this trim at each corner (Chapter V., Paragraph 64); fasten it on with brads.

The Inside Wire Pyramid

In order to cut the screen wire for this piece you should make a pattern of paper; if you will draw fourtriangles (each of the size of one side, as shown in the drawing) adjoining each other, you will have a correct pattern. Allow about an inch to make the lap; bend into proper shape; with a piece of the wire weave the open corner securely together; place in position and fasten with tacks. These tacks may also be covered with a trim just as you did the lid.

The Handle

Bend the wire to form the handle; attach with two screw eyes. Fasten the lid in position with two small hinges and put on the fastening. Plane off uneven places if there are any. Stain some dark color (Chapter IV., Paragraph 54).

Optional and Home Projects Employing Similar Principles.

1. A very satisfactory and convenient fly trap may be made of any ordinary glass fruit jar, as shown in the Suggestions. The entire central portion of the lid is cut out. A slender cone is made of screen wire with a small opening at the point. This cone may be attached to the lid by having a number of small holes punched around the opening in the lid, through which a small wire can be so woven as to bind the cone securely. A thin piece of wood, with four tacks or small nails, so driven as to extend slightly above the surface, will make a satisfactory base. In a trap of this kind the flies may be easily killed by pouring in boiling water.

2. An all-metal fly trap can be made from the lid of an old paint bucket, a few scraps of heavy fence wire and a piece of screen wire. The screen wire is rolled into a cylinder just as large as the bucket lid, which is to form the top. The screen wire cylinder is woven to the rim of the lid through small holes, as indicated in the drawing. A hoop of fence wire of the same diameter as the lid is attached to the other end of the cylinder, to hold it in shape. The inside cone of screen wire is attached to a second hoop of the same size as the first. The cone is placed in position, and if properly made will fit so closely that it will not require fastening. Small pieces of wire may be attached to form legs about a half-inch long. A sheet of tin, or an old pie tin will answer for a base.

Irish Radio Treasures

Posted on

New Natural History series on RTE 1 and Cape Clear courses

Subtitle for your message

IWDG were once again delighted to be invited to contribute to a Crossing the Line natural history production and the “whale” show recorded off Dunmore East on Martin Colfer’s MV Rebecca C back in Jan 2012 will air on Sun 9th June on RTE Radio 1 at 7:00 pm.  A full schedule of this 10 part series is given below.  For those of you who have missed the first two shows, they are available at:  

NATURE ON ONE 10 x 30min Natural History Radio Documentary Series STARTS SUNDAY 5th MAY 2013 on Radio 1 at 7pm Bringing the sounds of Ireland’s natural world to Radio 1 listeners This ten-part radio documentary series sees Emmy award-winning wildlife cameraman and television presenter Colin Stafford Johnson turn his talents to radio. Colin travels across the country on the hunt for some of our most remarkable animals and wild places. Tune in and allow yourself to be transported to Skellig Michael, with its noisy storm petrels, manx shearwaters and puffins; or into the midst of a grey seal colony on the windswept Inishkea Islands; venture below ground and imagine yourself being surrounded by swarming bats; or experience the sounds recorded inside a starling roost under a Belfast bridge. Over the course of ten weeks, Colin will guide his audience on an intimate tour of Ireland’s natural world. A Crossing the Line Production on behalf of RTÉ Radio One & BAI Sound & Vision   EPISODE 1  A Night on the Skellig Rocks In 600AD early Christian monks chose Skellig Michael, 11km off the Kerry coast, as a location for a monastery ‘on the edge of the known world’ which they believed would bring them closer to God. In this episode Colin Stafford Johnson spends a night on Skellig Michael, to record the wild sounds to be heard at this World Heritage Site – introducing the puffins, storm petrels and manx shearwaters who also choose to make their home on this rocky outcrop. In addition to meeting its wild inhabitants, Colin talks to OPW guides who spend the summer living on the island, and tourists who have made the day trip; as well as a local diver who describes the Skellig landscape below the surface.   EPISODE  2  The Burren: a special place for bumblebees, plants and people Colin Stafford Johnson visits Slieve Carron Nature Reserve in the Burren, Co. Clare. The Burren is unique and is known throughout the world for its vast limestone pavements, but far from being a barren landscape, as Dr Brendan Dunford explains, the Burren holds a diverse flora, a mix of Mediterranean and alpine plants found nowhere else in Ireland. It is also home to some of Ireland’s rarest bumblebees. When you hear Ecologist Dr Jane Stout’s take on bumblebees you will never see a passing bee the same way again, but as furry, endearing creatures! Colin learns about the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme and meets local farmer Pat Nagle. We also meet 13-year-old Jack McGann, graduate of Ecobeo, a course for young people on the natural, cultural and archaeological heritage value of this landscape.   EPISODE 3 The Seal Colony of the Inishkeas Colin Stafford Johnson joins grey seal expert Dr Oliver O’Cadhla on a visit to South Inishkea, off the Mullet Peninsula, home to one of Ireland’s largest grey seal breeding colonies. Having spent years researching the seals at this colony, Oliver is passionate about this place and these animals and explains their struggle to survive in this harsh environment. It’s mid-October and very cold. There are lots of pups on the beach, but they won’t all make it. The mothers are busy feeding their young, while the large dominant male seals protect their harem. On this remote wild island, we get a peek into the secret lives of the grey seals that are born there.   EPISODE 4  Species in Danger In this episode of ‘Nature on One’, Colin Stafford Johnson seeks out one of our most endangered species, the curlew. Searching across bog in Co. Mayo, Colin sets out to record the once familiar call of this iconic bird of Irish peatlands and Ireland’s largest wader. Anita Donaghy, from Birdwatch Ireland, explains why the curlew is in decline and their ‘Cry of the Curlew’ campaign. [see http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Ourwork/CryoftheCurlewAppeal/tabid/1106/Default.aspx] Colin also wants to find out how some of our smaller, lesser known species – our snails and slugs – are doing. With a third of Irish mollusc species facing extinction, Colin is delighted to hear some good news for one species in Co. Longford as he meets up with Evelyn Moorkens to investigate a recently discovered site for one of our most rare animals, Desmoulins Whorl Snail, Vertigo moulinsiana.   EPISODE 5  Rise of the Pine Marten Historically widespread throughout the country, the pine marten suffered serious population decline due to habitat destruction, hunting for the fur trade; accidental poisoning and persecution by game-keepers so that, by the 1950s, it had become one of our rarest animals. But now the pine marten is on the rise once again and sightings are increasing across the midlands. Colin visits a small school in Co. Leitrim, in which a female pine marten chose to set up home and the pupils explain how they felt about this new addition to their school. Colin also explores the impact of this spread of the pine marten on other animals, meeting up with Emma Sheehy from NUI Galway in an Offaly woodland, where she is studying the interesting relationship between the pine marten, the red squirrel and the introduced grey squirrel.   EPISODE 6   Sunday 9th May, 7:00 pm Whaling off Hook Head Colin Stafford Johnson heads offshore with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, to try to find the second largest animal on earth, the fin whale. No less than 24 species of whales and dolphins have been recorded in Irish waters, ranging in size from the harbour porpoise to the blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived. Will they manage to track down what is known as the greyhound of whale species, the fin whale?   EPISODE 7  The Secret Life of Irish Caves – from swarming bats to ancient bones Late one Autumn night, Colin Stafford Johnson heads underground to explore what wildlife might be found in Irish caves. Colin meets bat specialist Conor Kelleher in Dunmore Cave, Co. Kilkenny, where they hope to witness the autumnal swarming of Natterer’s bats. This phenomenon of Autumnal swarming in caves was only discovered in Ireland last year, and it is still not known why the bats do it – using up valuable fat reserves just as their winter hibernation approaches. In addition to this living wildlife spectacle, caves are also important repositories for our extinct fauna. To find out why this is and what has been found in Irish caves, Colin heads to the Natural History Museum to meet Nigel Monaghan, Curator, and to examine some of the ancient remains found in Irish caves.   EPISODE 8 The Wild Side of Belfast We tend to think of wildlife as living in pristine countryside, in woodland, rivers and bogs, but this week Colin Stafford Johnson heads to the bustling city of Belfast to find out what wild stories it might have to offer. The River Lagan flows right through the centre of the city. Ronald Surgenor, is a Wier operative, Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure, and RSPB volunteer, who knows the river intimately and Ronald kindly takes Colin out in his rib, to visit Albert Bridge, the site of an amazing wildlife display, a starling murmuration, and they venture right under the bridge for a close encounter with the birds as they roost for the night. Colin also meets Lucille Coates and some children from ‘Watch this Space’, a Belfast City Council monthly nature club; as well as a team of volunteers who are hedgelaying, with the Laganscape Project, which works to manage Lagan Valley Park, with involvement from local communities, school groups, businesses and volunteers.   EPISODE 9        Birdsong – why do birds sing and what does it mean to us humans? Colin Stafford Johnson explores that wildlife sound we often take for granted – birdsong. At the Devil’s Glen in Co. Wicklow, he meets up with Animal Behaviour expert and Head of the Zoology Department in Trinity College Dublin, Dr Nicola Marples, to ask her why birds sing, and how they learn their tunes. Colin also travels west to meet with Gordon Darcy, Natural History author, artist and environmental educator, to discuss what birdsong might mean for human beings and how it may enrich our lives, whether or not we recognise it.   EPISODE 10        ‘An Amphibian Love Story’ – Singing frogs and Nattering Toads How does one attract the opposite sex? It could be good looks, physical fitness, a nice home, or even how you smell! But what about how you sound? In some animals it’s all in the voice. Toads and frogs have developed impressive calls to attract a mate. In this episode, Colin Stafford Johnson looks at two of Ireland’s amphibians, the common frog and the Natterjack Toad, and sets out to record their unique calls. In February he explored a mass frog spawning site at Glendalough in Co. Wicklow with Rob Gandola, from the Irish Herpetological Society; and in April, Ferdia Marnell, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and local conservation ranger Pascal Dower visit a Natterjack Toad breeding pond at Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry.     IWDG Cape Clear Whale-Watching courses There are still some places left on the 1st of our summer weekend whale-watching courses May 31- June 2nd on Cape Clear, Co. Cork. These courses are available for members at a discounted rate of €70.  Over the weekend participants will learn both practical field-skills during land and boat based watches, as well as attend a series of talks covering cetacean ecology/biology, species identification and whale watching.  Given reasonable weather conditions these weekends generally provide sightings of porpoises, common dolphins and minke whales and at this time of year, we can’t rule out basking sharks, although admitedly this has been a very poor year to date for this species, due to the lower than normal water temperatures.   Enquiries to email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie or Ph. 353 (0)86 3850568   Whale Watch Ireland 2013, Sunday 18th August 2013, 2:00-5:00 pm We are once again delighted to announce that Inis, Cologne www.perfume.ie are providing funding support for All-Ireland whale watch day on Sunday 18th August. As always this event requires watch leaders willing to lead and promote your local watch.  If you have land- based whale watching experience, are good with crowds and have some energy and time to spare, we’d appreciate your contacting us, so we can start to compile a list of sites that we can cover on this event, which is one of the largest events on the Irish wildlife calender.  Please contact event organiser on email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie or Ph. 086-3850568

Add-ons;- Lismore area; http://youtu.be/GizCoPx45_Q

St Declan’s Way

 

Short clip on Tramore’s Metal Man; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7cTcenRev0&feature=youtu.be

NEW NATURAL HISTORY SERIES ON RTE 1 AND CAPE CLEAR COURSES

Posted on

New Natural History series on RTE 1 and Cape Clear courses

Subtitle for your message

IWDG were once again delighted to be invited to contribute to a Crossing the Line natural history production and the “whale” show recorded off Dunmore East on Martin Colfer’s MV Rebecca C back in Jan 2012 will air on Sun 9th June on RTE Radio 1 at 7:00 pm.  A full schedule of this 10 part series is given below.  For those of you who have missed the first two shows, they are available at:

NATURE ON ONE

10 x 30min Natural History Radio Documentary Series

STARTS SUNDAY 5th MAY 2013 on Radio 1 at 7pm

Bringing the sounds of Ireland’s natural world to Radio 1 listeners

This ten-part radio documentary series sees Emmy award-winning wildlife cameraman and television presenter Colin Stafford Johnson turn his talents to radio. Colin travels across the country on the hunt for some of our most remarkable animals and wild places. Tune in and allow yourself to be transported to Skellig Michael, with its noisy storm petrels, manx shearwaters and puffins; or into the midst of a grey seal colony on the windswept Inishkea Islands; venture below ground and imagine yourself being surrounded by swarming bats; or experience the sounds recorded inside a starling roost under a Belfast bridge. Over the course of ten weeks, Colin will guide his audience on an intimate tour of Ireland’s natural world.

A Crossing the Line Production on behalf of RTÉ Radio One & BAI Sound & Vision

EPISODE 1 

A Night on the Skellig Rocks

In 600AD early Christian monks chose Skellig Michael, 11km off the Kerry coast, as a location for a monastery ‘on the edge of the known world’ which they believed would bring them closer to God. In this episode Colin Stafford Johnson spends a night on Skellig Michael, to record the wild sounds to be heard at this World Heritage Site – introducing the puffins, storm petrels and manx shearwaters who also choose to make their home on this rocky outcrop. In addition to meeting its wild inhabitants, Colin talks to OPW guides who spend the summer living on the island, and tourists who have made the day trip; as well as a local diver who describes the Skellig landscape below the surface.

EPISODE  2 

The Burren: a special place for bumblebees, plants and people

Colin Stafford Johnson visits Slieve Carron Nature Reserve in the Burren, Co. Clare. The Burren is unique and is known throughout the world for its vast limestone pavements, but far from being a barren landscape, as Dr Brendan Dunford explains, the Burren holds a diverse flora, a mix of Mediterranean and alpine plants found nowhere else in Ireland. It is also home to some of Ireland’s rarest bumblebees. When you hear Ecologist Dr Jane Stout’s take on bumblebees you will never see a passing bee the same way again, but as furry, endearing creatures!

Colin learns about the Burren Farming for Conservation Programme and meets local farmer Pat Nagle. We also meet 13-year-old Jack McGann, graduate of Ecobeo, a course for young people on the natural, cultural and archaeological heritage value of this landscape.

EPISODE 3

The Seal Colony of the Inishkeas

Colin Stafford Johnson joins grey seal expert Dr Oliver O’Cadhla on a visit to South Inishkea, off the Mullet Peninsula, home to one of Ireland’s largest grey seal breeding colonies. Having spent years researching the seals at this colony, Oliver is passionate about this place and these animals and explains their struggle to survive in this harsh environment. It’s mid-October and very cold. There are lots of pups on the beach, but they won’t all make it. The mothers are busy feeding their young, while the large dominant male seals protect their harem. On this remote wild island, we get a peek into the secret lives of the grey seals that are born there.

EPISODE 4 

Species in Danger

In this episode of ‘Nature on One’, Colin Stafford Johnson seeks out one of our most endangered species, the curlew. Searching across bog in Co. Mayo, Colin sets out to record the once familiar call of this iconic bird of Irish peatlands and Ireland’s largest wader. Anita Donaghy, from Birdwatch Ireland, explains why the curlew is in decline and their ‘Cry of the Curlew’ campaign. [see http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Ourwork/CryoftheCurlewAppeal/tabid/1106/Default.aspx]

Colin also wants to find out how some of our smaller, lesser known species – our snails and slugs – are doing. With a third of Irish mollusc species facing extinction, Colin is delighted to hear some good news for one species in Co. Longford as he meets up with Evelyn Moorkens to investigate a recently discovered site for one of our most rare animals, Desmoulins Whorl Snail, Vertigo moulinsiana.

EPISODE 5 

Rise of the Pine Marten

Historically widespread throughout the country, the pine marten suffered serious population decline due to habitat destruction, hunting for the fur trade; accidental poisoning and persecution by game-keepers so that, by the 1950s, it had become one of our rarest animals. But now the pine marten is on the rise once again and sightings are increasing across the midlands. Colin visits a small school in Co. Leitrim, in which a female pine marten chose to set up home and the pupils explain how they felt about this new addition to their school. Colin also explores the impact of this spread of the pine marten on other animals, meeting up with Emma Sheehy from NUI Galway in an Offaly woodland, where she is studying the interesting relationship between the pine marten, the red squirrel and the introduced grey squirrel.

EPISODE 6   Sunday 9th May, 7:00 pm

Whaling off Hook Head

Colin Stafford Johnson heads offshore with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, to try to find the second largest animal on earth, the fin whale. No less than 24 species of whales and dolphins have been recorded in Irish waters, ranging in size from the harbour porpoise to the blue whale, the largest animal that has ever lived. Will they manage to track down what is known as the greyhound of whale species, the fin whale?

EPISODE 7 

The Secret Life of Irish Caves – from swarming bats to ancient bones

Late one Autumn night, Colin Stafford Johnson heads underground to explore what wildlife might be found in Irish caves. Colin meets bat specialist Conor Kelleher in Dunmore Cave, Co. Kilkenny, where they hope to witness the autumnal swarming of Natterer’s bats. This phenomenon of Autumnal swarming in caves was only discovered in Ireland last year, and it is still not known why the bats do it – using up valuable fat reserves just as their winter hibernation approaches.

In addition to this living wildlife spectacle, caves are also important repositories for our extinct fauna. To find out why this is and what has been found in Irish caves, Colin heads to the Natural History Museum to meet Nigel Monaghan, Curator, and to examine some of the ancient remains found in Irish caves.

EPISODE 8

The Wild Side of Belfast

We tend to think of wildlife as living in pristine countryside, in woodland, rivers and bogs, but this week Colin Stafford Johnson heads to the bustling city of Belfast to find out what wild stories it might have to offer. The River Lagan flows right through the centre of the city. Ronald Surgenor, is a Wier operative, Department of Culture, Arts, and Leisure, and RSPB volunteer, who knows the river intimately and Ronald kindly takes Colin out in his rib, to visit Albert Bridge, the site of an amazing wildlife display, a starling murmuration, and they venture right under the bridge for a close encounter with the birds as they roost for the night.

Colin also meets Lucille Coates and some children from ‘Watch this Space’, a Belfast City Council monthly nature club; as well as a team of volunteers who are hedgelaying, with the Laganscape Project, which works to manage Lagan Valley Park, with involvement from local communities, school groups, businesses and volunteers.

EPISODE 9       

Birdsong – why do birds sing and what does it mean to us humans?

Colin Stafford Johnson explores that wildlife sound we often take for granted – birdsong. At the Devil’s Glen in Co. Wicklow, he meets up with Animal Behaviour expert and Head of the Zoology Department in Trinity College Dublin, Dr Nicola Marples, to ask her why birds sing, and how they learn their tunes. Colin also travels west to meet with Gordon Darcy, Natural History author, artist and environmental educator, to discuss what birdsong might mean for human beings and how it may enrich our lives, whether or not we recognise it.

EPISODE 10 

‘An Amphibian Love Story’ – Singing frogs and Nattering Toads

How does one attract the opposite sex? It could be good looks, physical fitness, a nice home, or even how you smell! But what about how you sound? In some animals it’s all in the voice. Toads and frogs have developed impressive calls to attract a mate. In this episode, Colin Stafford Johnson looks at two of Ireland’s amphibians, the common frog and the Natterjack Toad, and sets out to record their unique calls. In February he explored a mass frog spawning site at Glendalough in Co. Wicklow with Rob Gandola, from the Irish Herpetological Society; and in April, Ferdia Marnell, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and local conservation ranger Pascal Dower visit a Natterjack Toad breeding pond at Glenbeigh, Co. Kerry.

IWDG Cape Clear Whale-Watching courses

There are still some places left on the 1st of our summer weekend whale-watching courses May 31- June 2nd on Cape Clear, Co. Cork. These courses are available for members at a discounted rate of €70.  Over the weekend participants will learn both practical field-skills during land and boat based watches, as well as attend a series of talks covering cetacean ecology/biology, species identification and whale watching.  Given reasonable weather conditions these weekends generally provide sightings of porpoises, common dolphins and minke whales and at this time of year, we can’t rule out basking sharks, although admitedly this has been a very poor year to date for this species, due to the lower than normal water temperatures.

Enquiries to email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie or Ph. 353 (0)86 3850568

Whale Watch Ireland 2013, Sunday 18th August 2013, 2:00-5:00 pm

We are once again delighted to announce that Inis, Cologne www.perfume.ie are providing funding support for All-Ireland whale watch day on Sunday 18th August. As always this event requires watch leaders willing to lead and promote your local watch.  If you have land- based whale watching experience, are good with crowds and have some energy and time to spare, we’d appreciate your contacting us, so we can start to compile a list of sites that we can cover on this event, which is one of the largest events on the Irish wildlife calender.  Please contact event organiser on email: padraig.whooley@iwdg.ie or Ph. 086-3850568

News from the animal world.

Posted on

There is a lot of discussion about wind-mills and their perceived threat to birds – and of great concern – bats.

Here are a few discussion papers one might like to peruse.

http://www.alternativeenergyprimer.com/Do-Wind-Turbines-Kill-Birds.html

Do Wind Turbines Kill Birds?

Every time the subject of wind farms comes up, so does the question “Do wind turbines kill birds?”

Even though wind turbines provide clean energy, some environmentalists object to them on the claim that they kill an extreme number of birds, especially raptors. It’s been a real hot button issue in some areas. The situation isn’t helped any by the fact that some not-in-my-backyard folks use a concern for birds to justify their objection to wind farms.

So the question is: do wind turbines kill birds? If so, how serious a problem is it?

I hope to describe the situation and put it into some perspective on this page.

The History of Wind Farms and Bird Kill – the Altmont Pass Problem.

——————————————————————————

Bats – considering bats in Ireland eat approx 3,500 insects per evening we can scarse do without them.

http://www.fort.usgs.gov/batswindmills/

Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines: Investigating the Causes and Consequences

Directly from FORT Science Centre  FORT Science Home
Find FORT Science by
  [SELECT AN OPTION]  Topic     State/Country     Species   

Wind energy facility in Colorado. Photo: Paul Cryan/USGSIn the push to develop new forms of sustainable energy, the wind power industry is at the forefront. Turbines that harness the power of wind already serve as effective power sources across the globe, and this proven effectiveness has led to vast increases in the number of turbines currently under construction. The general impact of wind turbines on the environment is likely far less than that of conventional power sources. However, recent evidence shows that certain species of bats are particularly susceptible to mortality from wind turbines. Bats are beneficial consumers of harmful insect pests, and migratory species of bats cross international and interstate boundaries.

Dead bats are turning up beneath wind turbines all over the world. Bat fatalities have now been documented at nearly every wind facility in North America where adequate surveys for bats have been conducted, and several of these sites are estimated to cause the deaths of thousands of bats per year. This unanticipated and unprecedented problem for bats has moved to the forefront of conservation and management efforts directed toward this poorly understood group of mammals. The mystery of why bats die at turbine sites remains unsolved. Is it a simple case of flying in the wrong place at the wrong time? Are bats attracted to the spinning turbine blades? Why are so many bats colliding with turbines compared to their infrequent crashes with other tall, human-made structures?

One research tool that is particularly well-suited to studying the origins of bats killed at wind turbines is stable isotope analysis. USGS scientists recently pioneered the application of stable hydrogen isotope analysis to the study of migration in terrestrial mammals and proved the efficacy of the technique for studying the continental movements of bats. Coincidentally, this groundbreaking research focused on the very same species of bat (the hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus) that is killed most frequently at wind turbine sites across North America. Efforts are now underway at USGS to expand the existing framework of stable isotope data on migratory tree bats and apply this technique toward uncovering some of the mystery surrounding bat fatalities at wind turbines.

Continuing on this prior trajectory, USGS scientists at the Fort Collins Science Center developed an active research program to investigate the causes and consequences of bat fatalities at wind turbines. Our specific focus is on (1) determining the geographic origins of killed bats and (2) assessing the potential roles of mating and feeding behaviors in the susceptibility of tree bats to deadly encounters with wind turbines. With expertise and experience studying bat migration and behavior, combined with an existing infrastructure that promotes collaboration between disciplines, the USGS is well-equipped to effectively address the problem of bat mortality at wind power facilities. Only through further research will we make progress toward minimizing the impact of this new form of sustainable energy on our Nation’s wildlife.

To learn more about this work or opportunities to collaborate, contact

Paul Cryan
USGS Fort Collins Science Center
2150 Centre Ave., Bldg. C
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118
Tel. 970.226.9389
Fax 970.226.9230
Email cryanp@usgs.gov

This is a very short cut from a longer paper follow link above to read more and find more links .

U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.fort.usgs.gov/batswindmills/Default.asp
Page Contact Information: AskFORT@usgs.gov

 

 

Sport

Posted on

Diving;
What lies beneath.

A few of Ireland's many many wrecks.

A plaque on the propeller of UC-42 reminds divers this is a war grave. Photograph: Graham Ferguson/oceanaddicts.ie

From Spanish Armada shipwrecks to sunken U-boats and Viking vessels, Ireland’s waters are a dream for divers of all abilities, writes BRIAN O’CONNELL

HMS Vanguard

HMS Vanguard was en route to Cobh, Co Cork, with its sister ship, Iron Duke , in September 1875. They were a new type of steamship, with full sails, heavy armour plating and ram bows. Outside Codling Bank, off Co Wicklow, a heavy fog descended. With visibility poor, Iron Duke rammed Vanguard , causing the ship to sink in an hour.

Where? 19km east of Bray.

Diving You’ll need a licence, as the ship is over 100 years old; divers can see where the ship was damaged, as well as its 9in guns. The mostly intact wreck is one of Ireland’s best dives, especially in May or June, when underwater visibility is at its best.

Lusitania

The best-known shipwreck off the Irish coast, Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat, in May 1915, resulting in huge loss of life. The sinking would prompt the US to enter the first World War and so change the course of history. The most recent diving expedition on the wreck took place this month; it was filmed by National Geographic . Some items relating to the ship’s navigational instruments were recovered.

Where? 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale, Co Cork, in about 90m of water.

Diving The wreck is owned by an American millionaire, Gregg Bemis, who bought it in the 1960s and has taken several court challenges to assert his rights to dive on it. Next year, the results of the most recent dive will be aired on US television.

Muirchú

Previously named Helga II, Muirchú , took part in the shelling of Liberty Hall during the 1916 Rising. After the foundation of the Coastal and Marine Service, in 1923, the ship was renamed; it continued in service until 1947. In May that year it set sail from Cobh for Dublin. A combination of temporary repairs and worsening weather meant the vessel took in water and sank. A group of local divers who bought the wreck have recovered the steering binnacle, among other items. The binnacle is on view in James Kehoe’s pub on Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford.

Where? East of the Saltee Islands, Co Wexford, in 57m of water.

Diving Permitted, but the ship is lying on its port side and is badly broken up, making it a tricky dive.

UC-42

In November 2010, UC-42 was discovered during a survey for pipelines to the Kinsale gas field. It was a U-boat that may have been laying mines at the entrance to Cork harbour in 1917 and subsequently went missing. It was later discovered and depth-charged, although the exact location was not recorded and the position was lost over time. When it went down, possibly after detonating one of its own mines, 27 crew were lost.

Where? Just off Roches Point, Co Cork, sitting in 27m of water.

Memorial plaque to the war-dead.

Diving UC-42 is in good diving range and is therefore popular with divers, who are entitled to dive on the wreck so long as they respect the fact it is a war grave. The wreck is in good condition, sitting upright on the seabed. Some of the mines are still visible, and reports from dives suggest human bones can be seen. It may still be dangerous to enter, but the hull is relatively intact, despite being pierced in places.

River Boyne shipwreck

This wreck was found during dredging of the River Boyne in Drogheda in December 2006. In 2007 the Underwater Archeology Unit spent six months excavating the ship’s remains and taking it apart, plank by plank. It dated from the 1530s and had overlapping planks, in the Viking tradition. The remains of 14 barrels were found on it and later analysed. At the time it appeared to be carrying wine or herring.

Where? It is undergoing conservation, and the hope is that the public will be able to view the partly reconstructed boat in a museum in the near future.

U-58

Pipeline work in Kinsale uncovered another vessel in 2010, U-58 , the first U-boat sunk by the Americans in the first World War. U-58 , which had been patrolling off the south coast, was lining up to attack another ship when the USS Fanning spotted it. The U-boat dived but was depth- charged and forced to surface. All on board surrendered to the Americans; a photograph of the scene was used on propaganda for decades. As the Germans left the U-boat, they scuttled it so it wouldn’t get into the hands of the US navy.

Where? In 60m of water, off the coast of Kinsale.

Diving The wreck is not subject to licence rights and is relatively intact. It appeals mainly to technical divers, as its depth puts it out of reach of sport divers.

RMS Justicia

RMS Justicia was owned and run by White Star Line, the British shipping company most famous for the ill-fated Titanic . It made several trips carrying US and Canadian troops between Europe and the US. On July 19th, 1918, the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat. It survived the attack, but, while being towed to Lough Swilly, Co Donegal, it was again attacked and sunk by a U-boat. The wreck is in poor condition, but its majestic bow remains intact.

Where? 70m underwater, off the coast of Malin Head.

Diving Permitted, although the depth makes it more appealing to experienced divers.

Empire Heritage

The cargo area of Empire Heritage holds army tanks that it was transporting from New York during the second World War. The ship was sunk on September 8th, 1944, by a single torpedo from a German U-boat, as was a convoy ship, Pinto , that was sent to rescue survivors. Rediscovered in 1995, tanks and trucks are still visible, scattered to the starboard side of Empire Heritage . Pinto lies nearby, with only its engine block visible.

Where? Almost 30km off the coast of Malin Head, Co Donegal, in 67m of water.

Diving This is one of Ireland’s best wreck dives.

Possible Armada wreck

An excavation was carried out this summer on a potential Spanish Armada shipwreck off Co Donegal. It is one of the biggest finds in years, and all the information so far indicates it dates to the time of the Armada. After fighting in the English Channel, the Spanish ships tried to retreat the long way around; many took refuge on the west coast of Ireland. The weather battered some; others were scuttled or lost during a storm in September 1588. Part of this ship’s lower hull, rudder and keel have been found. Bricks from the galley, which would have housed ovens, were also located, as well as musket balls and a large amount of pottery.

Where? Off Rutland Island, close to Burtonport, in 4m of water.

Diving You’ll need a licence from the Department of Heritage. Because it is over 100 years old, the site is protected under the National Monuments Acts.

Weedkiller To use or not to use??

Posted on

From the Garden Trail: The Lesser of Two Evils

Friday, 10 June 2011 11:28
Mike McKenna, Blackwater Garden Centre
Hits: 53
  • Email
  • Print
http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itsafeeling.com%2Fblog%2F417-from-the-garden-trail-the-lesser-of-two-evils.html&layout=button_count&show_faces=1&width=450&action=like&colorscheme=light&font=arial

 

Sometimes our use of weedkillers is like being hooked on oil – it’s just so hard to go the long way round and find a more environmentally friendly alternative. So, a bit like our use of oil, I have been thinking about ways in which we can make weedkillers effective while minimising their impact on everything else including our food chain. 

Roundup is probably the weedkiller that we use most widely, and it is very effective. It’s at its most effective on really troublesome weeds like docks and thistles and bindweed and nettles and willowherb when those weeds are in flower. But that is the time when bees most frequent those weeds and bees can ingest the Roundup from contact with the flowers. Roundup residues, and mites and climate change effects are all calculated to contribute to reduced bee numbers. It is possible that bees in turn could pass Roundup residues up along the food chain in pollinating other food crops.

For the thinking home gardener struggling to control difficult weeds, one way is to bruise the weeds then spray Roundup, and to do this before the weeds come into flower. In this way the bees will not come into contact with the sprayed Roundup. Bruising the weeds means going over them with a light roller, walking on the weeds, beating them with a stick, or in the case of bindweed, pulling the flowers off before spraying. Bruising the weeds, just before they flower, allows the Roundup weedkiller to enter fully into the weed and to kill it ahead of when you would normally expect to get the best kill. It enables you to kill off troublesome weeds while reducing significantly the risk to bees – and other pollinating insects.

There is a final twist to this story: the best time to kill brambles with Roundup is not when they flower. It is when the flowers and fruits have gone and while the leaves are still a healthy green. This is usually in late September to mid October. I have found that the safest thing is to wait until the birds have eaten the fruits then spray the leaves. In this way you are protecting both bees and birds!

The attached photo is of rosebay willow herb ( willow herb) the flowers of which are much loved by bees.

Mike McKenna writes his blog from Blackwater Garden Centre, part of the Waterford Garden Trail.

Canoeing in Blackwater/Glenribbeen

Posted on

From Catherine Mack in ”’The Southern Star” Sat 21st May 2011

Best kept secret
Another recent discovery
from a canoe was the River
Blackwater in CoWaterford. It
was the recommendation of
the owner of charming, ecofriendly Glenribbeen Lodge
(www.glenribbeen.com), and
what a top tip it was. The afternoon on the water drifted by in
the delightful company of Cappoquinman, DennisMurray of
Blackwater Boating
(www.blackwaterboating.ie)
who, having spent his life on
the river, knows every bend,
bridge and building on it. His
gentle charm totally engaged
us all, my eight-year-old included, regaling us with history
one second, and heron spotting
the next. Usingmore traditional Canadian canoes this time,
this river must be one of Ireland’s best kept secrets, and no
better man than Dennis to
show it at its best.