Thursday, 21 April 2016

Curlew Walk Day 1

Its 7.15 and I'm just doing the final packing. Its been a whirlwind few days but the day has finally arrived.  Nothing more to do now other than walk and talk.  Attached are some photos of recent media and and you can see a couple of short films I made with the great guys from RSPB N Ireland.
The photos from the Fermanagh Herald and from filming below.

Conor Macauley, presenter, Brad Robson, RSPB

Irish curlews are in a terrible state, heartbreaking.  An email from a bird wtcher who monitors them in the South sent me such a sad email: 

I did the curlew survey with 2 other people last year in co kildare,where once they would have bred on all the bogs and wet grassland we found only 8 pairs,all on bogs.4 of these were on private bogs and as soon as the machines came the birds disappeared.2 were on lodge bog,a protected bog managed by the ipcc,one of their members thinks he saw a chick but i personally think the nests were predated as there are a large number of hooded crows in the vicinity.The saddest part of it all was the 2 pairs on mouds bog.This bog is an sac protected under eu law but unforunately illegal turf cutting goes on there.I visited there 7 times last year and on the second last visit i could not get to within 300 metres of the bog as i had 2 birds constantly mobbing me,i hadnt the heart to look for the chicks and distress them anymore so i left them alone.To me it is an amazing feeling and sight to see this spectacle right above your head.Sadly when i went back 6 days later illegal turf cutting had taken place,a portion of the bog was burnt and the birds were gone.
I had a meeting with the district conservation officer of the wildlife service this morning and he told me that they have been ordered by hq to stay away from the bog this year,so the cutting will continue.The npws,the guards,kildare county council,the irish goverment dont care,nobody does.We lost red grouse and grey partridge in the late 1990s and the curlew is rapidly getting there.

Someone asked me yesterday if I thought this walk would actually make any difference.  I don't know, although I think already more people know about the plight of curlews than before - but I do know that doing nothing is not an option.

21st April is the feast day of St Beuno and the birthday of John Muir - the synergy of the universe in action!

I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people - the offers of accommodation, the donations and messages of support. Thank you to everyone.

1 comment:

  1. It is obvious that this walk means a great deal to look determined with a wonderful smile too;love the sweater...and the reason you are doing this.Of course it makes a difference.carry on!pam