Monday, 29 May 2017

Lough Beg, Church Island to Paddy's Dubh

I've long held the opinion that Lough Beg is one of the finest birdwatching sites in Ireland. I always seem to do well here, and so with a bit of free time late afternoon I decided to have a walk to the south west corner which along with the adjacent Mullagh is the part I know best.

I was delighted to find this osprey fishing near Church Island, whilst at Paddy's Dubh a pair of garganey flew past, and waders included two summer plumage ruff and seven dunlin.

Access is always difficult when visiting this Lough, my book tells me to park at Annagh farm and walk out to the banks of the Lough, then north along the shoreline to Coney Island and Church Island. Sounds easy, but last time I was here in winter 2015 the water was nearly up to the point I was standing when I took this photo! It has receded considerably since then and it is now almost a mile walk across very boggy ground to the shore of the lake.

However this is a normal occurance in summer, because the Lough is actually a flood plain, and it leaves behind some wonderful water meadows with breeding redshank and lapwings, and drumming snipe.

I was surprised to find at least 25 whooper swans still present at this time of year.

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