A trip to a turlough

Outdoor Living

STRIKING VISITOR A Greenland white-fronted goose, so named for the blaze of white feathers that adults boast behind their bills.

Birdwatchers invited to valuable Glenamaddy Turlough

Ciara Moynihan

Birdwatch Ireland Mayo Branch has organised an outing to Glenamaddy, Galway, on Saturday, November 12, visiting both the Glenamaddy Turlough and nearby Kiltullagh Lough.
Glenamaddy Turlough lies about 30k east of Tuam, and a kilometre east of the town of Glenamaddy, along the Creggs Road. In summer, when the water drains away, it becomes a rich grazing ground for livestock, but for now and into the winter, its vast expanse of water forms a refuge for winged wildlife, attracting a wide range of migratory and native wetland birds.
When full, the turlough covers more than 170 hectares. According to the Glenamaddy Boyounagh Heritage Project, ‘a very large turlough of high conservation value in close proximity to a vast expanse of raised bog is unique’: “Lough Lurgeen raised bog, which extends to over 1,000 hectares, lies immediately to the south of the turlough. The whole area is rich in plant life and flora and is considered a haven for migrating birds.”
Winter surveys have recorded mute and whooper swan, snow and Greenland white-fronted geese, teal, tufted duck, golden eye, great-crested and little grebe, lapwing, curlew, redshank, moorhen and much more.  
Those interested in heading along to learn more are asked to meet at the car park by the turlough (opposite the cemetery) at 12 noon. The idea is to swap sites at around 2.30pm, so  everyone has the chance to view any interesting species on both locations. Don’t forget to bring binoculars (and scope if possible) plus sandwiches and a flask of something warm.

George Keegan, PRO of Birdwatch Ireland Mayo Branch, has confirmed the branch AGM will take place on Wednesday, December 7, at 7.30pm, in the Regional Training Centre (part of Aras an Chontae) at the Mall, Castlebar.
All members of Birdwatch Ireland are welcome to attend, stand for election as officers, or seek to join the committee. However, only currently paid up members of Birdwatch Ireland may vote or stand for election at a branch annual general meeting. If you are interested in standing for election either to the committee or any officer position, such as chair, treasurer, secretary or PRO, send an e-mail to birdwatchmayo@gmail.com.