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WILDLIFE WALK (JUNE 2012)

A wildlife walk took place on Sat June 18th 2012 with talks, live exhibits and a visit from Birdwatch Ireland. This was free to all with a good deal of emphasis on the younger members of the community. The short canal walk is one that most of the attendance would have done many times, but this time it was brought to life and hopefully gave a new perspective which could be applied to future walks anywhere in our countryside.

Along the way , plants, shrubs and trees were identified with lots of interesting information provided. We looked at the many native Scotts pine trees and found that some cones had been stripped in a manner that the red squirrel would do so when feeding, providing possible evidence that this species may still be present as in times past.. Although not seen on the day, this stretch is where the family of otters are most often spotted.

Next up was a display of water trays containing lots of live specimens of small creatures found in the canal and surrounding areas. This was put together by Paddy Madden who did a great job on the day sharing all his knowledge. Apart from the great diving beetle the star of the show, at least among the young , was probably the native smooth newt, a fascinating creature which most people would not have seen before. About this time a Kestrel made an appearance and hovered by the side of the canal.

There was an optional barbeque held in the Village at Lyons but before this a brief visit was paid to the old graveyard adjoining the village in which some local people were buried up until recent times. A short and informative talk was given by Eoghan Corry. The barbeque proved very enjoyable for those who attended and Nial from Birdwatch Ireland displayed lots of DVDs, books and information about Birdwatch Kildare including membership details for anyone interested.

Finally a fun wildlife quiz was held which included a few tricky questions so it was great to see that the youngest present accounted for most of the prizes. Apart from those mentioned above many thanks to Barbara Christion for the excellent sound system and the committee of ACC.

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