This week sees a worthy international celebration – Thursday 2nd February is World Wetlands Day. To recognise the importance of this date, the Tipperary Branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust is holding an event at Cabragh Wetlands on Sunday 5th February, starting at 2.30pm. The meeting will explore the importance of wetlands and their associated habitats which allow such an important range of species to flourish.
The event is free, and will be led by a number of well-known local naturalists, including Tom Gallagher, Ann Lloyd, Vinny O’Meara and Anne Marie Fleming. All are welcome to what should be a stimulating and wide-ranging event.
In his recent outstanding talk on Birds of the Tipperary Wetlands, Kevin Collins made it very clear that even such a relatively small site as Cabragh Wetlands is of national significance.
A map of Irish wetlands showed a concentration of wetland habitats in the west, north around Leitrim and Cavan, and along the south coast. The midlands, in contrast, were relatively blank, with a few sites showing on the fringes of the Suir and Nore. These wetlands provide vital refuges for overwintering migrant birds, and safeish nesting grounds for birds that spend the breeding season in Ireland. You may drive past Cabragh and not see much, but within the last couple of weeks there have been 500 teal duck sheltering on the lake tucked out of sight at the rear of the Wetlands, and a flock of about 2,000 golden plover enjoying the worms forced by the rising water table up to the surface on the fields around the fringes of the reedbeds.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.