Thanks to everyone who came out in the mist and drizzle for our Heritage Week Walk in conjunction with the Irish Wild Life Trust.
The Barrow was fresh and beautiful after the early morning rain and looked really well with the water looking good. By 2015 we have to have all our water up to what the European Union calls ,”good status”. Well done to all who are working to make the Barrow pass this hurdle. We are all well on our way thanks to good vigilance from Carlow Co. Council, farmers and industry, and responsible citizens respecting our water way. Carlow has no lakes and no foreshore but we have the Barrow and the Slane and we want to keep our rivers as pristine as possible.
This is a quiet time for bird life as the hectic period of mating and rearing young is over. Our migrants are begining to make their way South and today we saw some Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs feeding on insects on Willow. Soon they will make the long journey South to avoid our winters.
We also saw some Moorhens in the reeds and on the river bank. No sign of the screaming swifts, Swallows or Sand Martins. We saw where the Swifts breed in the parapet of the bridge and the sand banks where the Sand Martins nested.
We saw some Ladybirds some with six dots, some with seven. We saw Grasshopppers, lots of ants and Water Boatmen.
Berries are ripening on the track; Guelder Rose, Sloes, Haws and Hips all ripening and in the coming weeks will provide feeding for our Winter Migrants, Fieldfares, Redwings and maybe even Waxwings if the winter is harsh enough.
Along the way we saw lots of Purple Loosestrife, Rose Bay Willow Herb, Wild Thyme, Herb Robert, Himalayan Balsam which is so invasive on our river banks. Lots of vetches, Woundwort, Meadowsweet, from which we made lots of cordial, some late flowering Elderflower and plenty of Convolvulus or Bindweed. We saw Bittersweet and Marjoram and Comfrey
As we were returning we heard some pigeons cooing in the wood and the harsh sound of a Moorhen in the reeds.
There were plenty of Hover Flies, fat brown slugs and a fat black Caterpillar -An Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar feeding on Willow Herb. Definitely the star attraction!
Thanks to everyone who came and to all the children who were so quick to find the bees, bugs and ants.