Clare Bird Sightings

Colour Ringed Birds in Clare

National Hen Harrier Winter Roost Survey 2007/2008 News
Volunteers across the country are now at the half way point in the
National Hen Harrier Winter Roost Survey. After beginning in October (many even in
August and September), a large amount of information has been built up, giving a
greater knowledge and understanding of what Irish Hen Harriers get up to during the
other 6 or 7 months of the year when not engaged in the breeding season.
Fixed roost watches and casual sightings continue to pour into co-ordinator Barry

O’Donoghue at and 087-9110715. I would like to take this

opportunity at the half way point to thank those who have got out there and filled the
forms and/or submitted casual sightings. From Strangford Lough to West Kerry,
Longford to Limerck, Inisowen to West Cork, Connemara to Dublin, it has been a
pleasure hearing from you all and learning of the whereabouts of Hen Harriers during
the winter. Some have had the pleasure of sighting some of the youngsters which we
tagged in Cork, Kerry, Clare and Galway this year. Anyone that has seen harriers

tagged or untagged will agree it is a most enjoyable survey, and even those who have

gone out in search of new roosts but have not seen harriers on a particular evening

have usually been entertained by the wealth of bird life at these wetlands at sunset.

Marsh Harriers, Peregrines, Barn Owls just some of the other Birds of Prey sighted in

this years survey for example, not to mention the thousands of starlings and various


Indeed a good number of new Hen Harrier winter roosts have been discovered this

winter – places heretofore unknown. Furthermore, old traditional roosts which have

not been watched for years are being returned to in aid of this survey. It cannot be

stressed enough how important it is to keep Hen Harrier winter roost locations secret.

In reports which will be generated for the whole country out of this survey, roost

locations are not mentioned – most often they are masked by giving the nearest town

name or a name of the observers choosing (as per record sheet).

People can fill roost record sheets (and casual sightings forms) as they go along and

submit to or to Barry O’Donoghue, Ballynabrennagh, Tralee, Co.

Kerry bit by bit or together at the end of season. It is important to fill the roost details

sheet (just once for each roost) as it will let us know what harriers require for their

roosting habitat. It is further important to log watches where no harriers have been

seen. This will allow trends to be drawn at a roost as the winter progresses e.g. maybe

all harriers gone by January, or maybe they don’t come until November etc.

This Saturday 1st December is roost watch day (1st day of month). Being a weekend, it

is our best chance at co-ordinating a mass roost watch across the country. I urge

everyone to get out there this weekend either Friday, Saturday or Sunday from

3.45pm to 4.45pm (or alternatively for morning watches from 07.30am to 08.30am).

Anyone with queries or comments please do not hesitate to make contact with me at or 087-9110715.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh go léir.


Barry O’Donoghue, the National Parks & Wildlife Service Ranger for South

and West Clare is organising a new winter Hen Harrier Roost Survey this
year and is looking for some help across the county and beyond. The
first of these counts will take place this weekend 1st – 2nd October or
a close as possbile to this date.

Anyone interested should contact Barry @ 065-9051640

Barry O’Donoghue, the National Parks & Wildlife Service Ranger for South

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