Shanganagh Cliffs, Shankill - 9th June 2019.
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South Dublin Members in Shankill DART Station car park, 9th June 2019 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)
Twelve South Dublin members assembled in Shankill DART Station car park for our annual visit to Shanganagh Cliffs, where they were greeted by Frank Doyle who led the outing. Taking the short walk along Corbawn Lane to the cliffs avoids a scramble over the rocky shore further north and arriving at the beach on a falling tide we had an easy walk on clear sand and gravel.
Sand Martin, Tacumshin Lake, Wexford, 20th July 2011 (picture: Dick Coombes)
Sand Martins at Shanganagh Cliffs are doing well this year! Once again they have built their tunnel nests at eight or nine locations high in a seam of fine sand above the southern end of Killiney Beach. Judging by the intense activity we witnessed this morning, the many families of chicks are being well nourished by totally dedicated parents.
While it is clear that the cliff face is subject to constant erosion, the hardworking Hirundines are not pausing to meditate on the passing present; they are busy creating the future. None of us caught a glimpse of a little brown chick at a tunnel entrance, but the sheer volume of insect meals served during our visit to the colony was very impressive indeed.
Oystercatcher, Shanganagh Beach, 9th June 2019 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)
With plenty of space on the beach, we were able to view the feeding activities of the Sand Martins without any interference with their nest sites. Hopefully the rest of this rearing season will pass successfully, until the smallest of our Hirundines are all ready to head for their winter quarters in Africa, in the Sahel region below the great Sahara Desert.
There was a good show of familiar passerines in the surrounding foliage, including tits, House Sparrow, Wren, Goldfinch and Bullfinch, and the seaside was bathed in sunshine, very welcome after the recent dull wetness.
Ringed Plover, Shanganagh Beach, 9th June 2019 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)
There were Gannets and Black Guillemots resting on the calm surface, and Gannets and Razorbills flying-past. A young Grey Heron waited among the rocks, while an Oystercatcher and a Ringed Plover paused for a quiet moment. Further out some Dolphins, which seem to favour Killiney Bay, were rolling easily across the surface of the sea.
Some More Pictures
This was the last outing of the current season and we thank all those who come along with us each month. Of course many more events and outing are planned and details of these can be found on the Events page, which is updated from time to time.