(A) Dense Wood. This wood is mainly deciduous but also has conifers such as Fir and Larch. Varieties to be found include Birch, Maple. Oak, Beech and Willow. Around the edges there are Hawthorn, Holly. Hazel and Brambles. Towards one end there is an old planted Beech wood which used to support red squirrels. As this wood is within a private estate it is not known if any remain but during brief visits none were seen and further studies will be made. Positively identified however, is the rare Jay in small flocks. This is a striking but elusive bird and can only usually be identified with the aid of binoculars or cameras with zoom lens. There are some other species of birds which have added to the annual species list

(B) Dense Wood. This wood contains much the same species of trees and shrubs as its nearby neighbour already described but also some Scots Pine It is smaller and slightly more elevated. It has an abundant population of rabbits and apart from their own importance are also key to the survival of other species such as birds of prey, the Stoat and Fox. Overhead and often soaring very high Buzzards are a common sight and up to three have been sighted together at one time.

(C) Open Wood. This is a small open wood surrounding a railway bridge. The tree varieties include Larch, Horse Chestnut, Oak. Ash and Beech. There are also some Scots Pine upon which the rare Tree Creeper has been seen pecking for insects in its bark as it ascends each tree. It also supports Badgers and Rabbits

(D) Open Wood. This is a narrow stretch of wood that borders the canal. There are many varieties of trees and shrubs which include Beech, Birch, Ash, Pine, Holly,Willow,Ivy and Hazel. It is always busy with bird life including flocks of Long Tailed Tits, Finches and Pheasants. There is a good population of Badgers , abundant Rabbits and also a sighting of a Sika Deer with one antler missing making it easier to trace in future.

(E) Open Wood. This stretch has similar tree species to (D) except for a considerable amount of Willow. It is a common area of shelter for foxes.

Together with the tree lining of the opposite side it provides good shelter and launch for the feeding of bats which hunt for insects after sunset. Several species of Bats were identified at this sight during a recent “Bat night” Also seen here is the Long Eared Owl

(F) Open Wood. This is across the canal from (E) and adjoins the Ardclough canal bridge. It has a marshy base and varieties include Scots Pine, Willow, Horse Chestnut, Ash, Maple and Hawthorn.The wood is on private ground but can be easily viewed from the roadside or as you begin the popular canal walk route. For years this area has been used as a nesting site by Sparrow Hawks

(G) Managed Area. Located near the canal this is a small area of dense shrubbery but unique in the concentration of food bearing varieties such as Blackthorn, Elder, Hawthorn. Brambles, Ivy, Pheasant Berry and Snow Berry. It is bordered by a stream on one side and nearby is an example of the rare and native Spindle Tree which is now tagged. At one side a natural compost heap has been added for insect generation and Nettles and Thistles grow on one edge. Many species of birds and insects are attracted to the site and bird boxes have been added close by. One of Irelands smallest birds the Wren and our smallest, the Goldcrest, can be found here, the stream is visited by Snipe and both Pied and Grey Wagtails.At night Hedgehogs emerge from the undergrowth. Extra feeding stations for bird life have been added in an adjoining garden

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s