South Dublin Branch - Outing Report

Bluethroat - Ballycotton, Cork (photo: Paul & Andrea Kelly)

Fernhill Park and Gardens - 12th March 2023.

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South Dublin members on our March outing to Fernhill Park. Picture by Des Higgins.

South Dublin Members, Fernhill Park, 12th March 2023 (picture: Des Higgins)

So far in 2023 the branch made its first visit to Waterstown Park back in January and our first attempt at spotting owls at Turvey Nature Reserve was our February outing. We continued this theme of breaking new ground with a first visit to Fernhill Park and Gardens, Dublin's newest public park. Despite a question mark over the weather, almost 40 South Dublin members attended and as things turned out it was a pleasant mild morning.

The park and its gardens dates back to around 1823 and covers 34 hectares of land near Stepaside in southeast County Dublin. Situated where it is near the base of the Dublin Mountains provides visitors with views overlooking Dublin Bay.

A male Bullfinch doing its best to stay hidden. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.

Bullfinch, Fernhill Park, 12th March 2023 (picture: Gustavo Zoladz)

Some of those that arrived early had very good views of a Jay jumping from tree to tree. To begin with and for the first 15 or 20 minutes birds were hard to come by with just the odd displaying Woodpigeon and a few Hooded Crows and Jackdaws going about their business.

Fortunately that changed and a few Goldfinches, Blackbirds and Robins began to appear and were heard calling. A pair of Bullfinches kept us entertained for some time and as the sun made an appearance, a Buzzard delighted us all soaring over some nearby hills.

A Buzzard soaring over Fernhill Park. Picture by Bill Rea.

Buzzard, Fernhill Park, 12th March 2023 (picture: Bill Rea)

We moved on towards some hedgerows and as we got closer we could hear the high-pitched si-sissi si-sissi si-siswee call of Goldcrests and we soon managed to pick up a few of these tiny birds, which is Europe's smallest. They are even smaller than the Wren, Goldcrest weighs in at between five and seven grams and measures only about nine centimetres in length. It was shortly after this that we saw three Jays together.

Some More Pictures

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Magpie at Fernhill Park. The unique black and white pattern makes it unmistakable. Picture by Bill Rea.

Some more pictures taken on the day by Bill Rea and Gustavo Zoladz.
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Male Chaffinch at Fernhill Park. Picture by Gustavo Zoladz.
Fernhill House. Picture by Bill Rea.

All in all we had enjoyed a very nice Sunday morning's birding at a new location. A place we will surely visit again some time in the future.

Gustavo Zoladz

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