Members Reports and PhotoS


SATURDAY 31st OCTOBER 2015                                                BUSHY PARK  

Leader: James Noonan    
Bird Watching
The River Dodder flows in a north just to the north of the river and north east of Templeogue Village.

The DNFC group met amid the hustle and bustle of Saturday morning shoppers at Rathfarnham Shopping Centre and soon repaired to in aeasn terly direction past Templeogue and Rathfarnham. Bushy Park is located relative tranquillity of the Dodder riverside walk. Birds were not too much in evidence initially along this section – a Robin was heard, but remained concealed among the magnificent colours of the trees in their autumn attire.

On entering Bushy Park, we first explored the long, narrow Bushy Park Lake. Here we found Grey Herons, both at water level and roosting in the trees; Blackbirds, Goldcrests, Magpies and Mallard Ducks busy feeding under the vegetation overhanging the water’s edge. One of our group spotted the blue flash of a Kingfisher, but unfortunately it didn’t return. This area of the Park contains some specimen trees, including a large Giant Sequoia or Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and numerous Yew and Holly trees, creating at times quite a dark understorey.

Heading east, we passed the ruins of the ‘Shell House’, which was built as a folly on the Shaw Estate, and saw Grey Squirrels cavorting high up in the trees. A Bullfinch was spotted feeding among the red stems of Dogwood (Cornus spp.) on the edge of the Lake; and while Treecreepers could be heard, they remained elusive and out of view.

Continuing further north and east we came to Bushy Park Pond, the largest open expanse of water which played host to the ubiquitous Mallard, some Moorhens and a large group of Black-headed Gulls sporting their winter plumage.  We also saw a solitary Tufted Duck and several exotic looking Mandarin Ducks which are native to south-east Asia.

Some of the group went downriver to the stepping stones across the River Dodder, and were finally rewarded with the sight of a Grey Wagtail, which was well camouflaged among the grey stones and yellow leaves at the edge of the river. Many thanks to James for leading us through the autumnal splendour of Bushy Park and the Dodder Valley on a fine Hallowe’en morning.


Bushy Park                             Lake Birdwatching I                      River Dodder


Tufted Duck (m)                      Mandarin (m)                                  Mallard (m)


Moorhen                         Grey Heron                       Shell House


                                   Sequoiadendron I                        Birdwatching II               Sequoiadendron II                           


Photographs © C Shier

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