Niall Hatch at Birdwatch Ireland has send me details of two Nature reserves on the East coast which are, in one way or another accessible to wheelchair using birders.
I am compiling a list, using a Google document, hoping that this way it will be accessible to you, the readers of Birding on Wheels, and that way you can add your own information. At least I think that is how it works. I've no real experience with Google docs.
Also, Niall has given me contact numbers for the different ferry companies between (our) mainland and Cape Clear, the South western tip of Ireland, host to numerous rare species which often stand on the island.
One of these told me in late 2005/2006 he was planning to adapt his boat that spring. Later on, after another email, I understood his plans had not resulted in action yet.
The reserves which Niall has listed as being accessible, are:
The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve on the North Slobs.
This reserve, 10km north of Wexford town, check the The Heritage Ireland Website is listing an email address as well as telephone numbers, as contact details.
It has accessible hides, accessible visitor centre and wheelchair toilet. With many migrating Geese wintering here in Ireland, this reserve is well worth a visit between September/October and March.
Another accessible Reserve on the East Coast, not yet open to the public, is the East Coast Nature Reserve, owned and run by Birdwatch Ireland. The hides and visitor centre are being constructed at the moment and both will be wheelchair friendly. Niall will also suggest to get manual wheels and scooters for hire. None of others
However, top of the class of Irish Reserves has to be the Belfast Harbour State: it sounds as the birders heaven, to me.
Bear with me, that while trying to find a good link of this site, I first came upon Wild Belfast, then the Victoria Park Reserve, next in line was Belfast Lough, which looks like it is part of the latter and in the next sentence it is not.
Anyone, who is reading this, and who has been there, feel free to explain the location of the Belfast Harbour Estate, to me.
Anyway, the site(s) sound incredible appealing to me and I wish I had transport, this sounds like a very interesting birding/wildlife(ing?) city.
Getting back to the Belfast Harbour Estate; It is wheelchair accessible, and something Darlene will like, if the name of her website is anything to go by;
And I quote Niall here: "They have a fully wheelchair-accessible (and extremely comfortable) heated and double-glazed hide with extremely large, low windows and excellent views over the reserve ponds
(Niall, if you are reading this, I do love your choice of words!) It sounds really nice and I would love to hear from anyone who has been here and experienced this extremely comfy reserve.
Robin, Great Tit and Blue Tit in my garden. The Robin has claimed its pot of peanut cake, not allowing any-bird near. Whenever the Great Tit feeds on its own, the army of 4-5 Coal Tits arrive, start attacking the Great Tit, who then tries to hurry up. The Blue Tit, which usually chases the CTs, is bombarded similarly. She will start eating so fast as I had never seen her do before! The head kept going up and down so in rapid speed.
In the garden of rehabcare, I met this little flower, as well as Nasturtiums and white Roses.
LEAVE YOUNG BIRDS BE!!
Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!
The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.