Waterstown Park, Palmerstown - 8th January 2023.
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South Dublin Members, Waterstown Park, 8th January 2023 (picture: Ronan Browne)
We had a fantastic morning at Waterstown Park, Palmerstown. The outing was led by local expert, Ger Fitz, who offered to guide us and explain what conservation measures were taking place in the park. It was a calm sunny day, after all the storms, and we had about 25 participants, including some locals from the area who are passionate about the park and its natural history. Indeed, local enthusiasts have set up two Facebook accounts that are well worth a browse, one is for Waterstown Park and the other for Palmerstown Tidy Towns. It is great to such strong local support for a biodiversity oasis.
Buzzard, Waterstown Park, 8th January 2023 (picture: Bill Rea)
The park is on the site of an old dump and gravel pit on the south bank of the River Liffey and within sight of the West Link bridge. It has a mixture of trees, hedges, meadows and river bank habitats. We met at the car park and headed downhill towards the northeast corner. On the way we saw a Buzzard in a tree at close range, followed by a second soaring overhead. Ger told us to look out for Kingfishers, which nest in the river bank but none showed up on the day. Then we had two Ravens and a female Sparrowhawk, also soaring overhead.
Bullfinch, Waterstown Park, 8th January 2023 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)
We headed west along the river and were entertained by trips of Long-tailed Tits followed by a group of Siskins, feeding on Alder cones as well as the usual mix of Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird etc. Towards the end of the day some of us were lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of a Jay. Jays nest in the area in tall trees and it was a treat to see one out in the open on our side of the river. Finally we saw a male Bullfinch feeding on the ground at close range.
Some More Pictures
This was our first outing to Waterstown Park and it surely wont be the last. Perhaps an April or May outing to check it out during the breeding season, when there is a chance of Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs among others.