It is always amazing to stumble upon a wildlife event, something unplanned not sought after and unique. This evening, I witnessed a stunning aviation display by a flock of swifts diving over the yellow gorse on the mountain side. Individual birds past my head and glided along the contours of the peak, hunting airbourne insects in the fading russet light.
At other times they stretched high into the sky whirling in great arcs high above my head. The unseen behaviour cues, the acrobatic elegance of these birds all captivated me and has lead me to a new fascination with these lithe and swarming birds.
The East Coast Nature Reserve at Blackditch Wood, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow is an important refuge for wetland plants and birds. There are three main habitats on the reserve: calcareous fen (a rare type of bog), grassland and woodland. The fen is the most important habitat for rare flora, whilst the grasslands and pools provide crucial nesting and feeding areas for birds.
This week in the last of the summer sunshine I am going to explore the three main areas and investigate the wildlife! On today's walk the dragonflies had me captivated!