Heritage Week Walk on the Barrow

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.

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet

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.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

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.

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam

 

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