Monday, May 26, 2008

Birds and Bats, The Garden Blooms 26.5.08

Last night we went on a bird and bat walk at Coole Park, a lovely wooded area with a great cafe and walks, a lake and river. They do free walks occasionally and we thought this could be good. So many people turned up that it was a bit difficult to hear the different bird songs, but we did our best and this morning, having not been to bed at all last night, I tested my new found knowledge by going on a dawn chorus walk around our land. I'm not sure how I did, but I definitely identified a song thrush, robin, blackbird, swallow and blue and great tits. I'm sure there were lots more but that's all I could be sure of. Oh and a magpie, crows and pheasant! They don't really sing though, more like make rather an awful noise!

The bird walk was followed by a bat walk. Coffee or tea and complimentary biscuits revived us for this next exercise. We walked down to the turlock again, having taken the same route for the bird walk. The turlock is a lake that fills and empties according to the water levels. We divided into groups and each had a bat sound recorder. These pick up the bats' sonar and convert it into audible noise for us to hear. I have done this before but it's still fun. We didn't see that many, some pipistrels and some we could hear but not see. The midges were biting a bit too. It was getting a bit cold and the promised bats over the river didn't materialise so we walked back to our car and were surprised to see it was almost 11pm! The bird walk was scheduled for 7.30pm so it was a full evening.

We hadn't had dinner before we set off, having watched the final of a rugby trophy between Munster and Toulouse, which finished at 6.45. Munster won, hoorah!! So, after our walks, we decided to stop in Gort and gobbled down some very hot freshly cooked fish and chips. Not a great ambiance to the place, but good food! We managed to avoid getting any of the little army of ants that marched across the table onto our plates! Then it was home for a much needed cup of tea.

The garden has gone mad the past few days with rain and sun alternately. One of the newly planted roses is about to flower! I have taken some photos to show the changes. I took quite a few this morning and some of a lovely sky yesterday evening.

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