Although I have been back from Ireland for a few weeks now I still wanted to finish blogging about my experiences, I just had to write the final paper first.
Weeks 8 & 9 were lots of fun for me. My duties with Coastwatch came to an end so I had a bit of time to do things that I wanted to do. Here are a few of the highlights from my final weeks in Ireland.
I had the pleasure of traveling south of Dublin to Wexford for a Ramsar meeting where I learned about issues affecting wetlands in Ireland. The name “Ramsar” comes from a city in Iran where the first International convention on wetlands took place in 1971 . Ramsar sites are specially designated wetlands that are critical habitats for waterfowl.
While at the meeting we saw a presentation about Tacumshin Lake where a variety of impacts are affecting the sustainability of the wetlands and habitats of the area. The condensed version goes like this, human impacts are causing the lake to dry up which is destroying the wetlands and reducing habitat space for waterfowl. Other human impacts such as twitchers (extreme birders) and people driving vehicles in the dried up lake are causing further damage.
Over the weekend I visited the Dublin Botanic Gardens with my housemate Emma from France. We saw lots of amazing flowers. My favorites were the orchids and the carnivorous plants.
I had the chance to see a falconry show at Trinity College, thanks to the Zoology club, and it was fantastic! The falconer brought a buzzard, two Harris Hawks, a Barn Owl, an Eagle Owl, a Long-Eared Owl, and two Peregrine Falcons (my favorite birds). It was so amazing to see the bond that he had created with the birds. While he was there we got to pet an owl, and he also flew the harris hawks and barn owl.
Donabate, County Fingal
I also traveled north of Dublin to an area named Donabate. This beach was by far the cleanest beach that I saw during my internship. I found just a few pieces of rubbish while surveying and there was lots of biodiversity. While Surveying I saw Lug worms and Sand masons, Dog Whelks, Sea Anemone, a few different species of birds, and amazing views.