Tolka Branch
Trip Report
Monaghan and coastal Co Louth

An hour and a half of easy road took us to Monaghan Tesco Carpark where 10 cars gathered for the Tolka Outing to Slieve Beagh in the north of the
county. Slieve Beagh is a range of moorland hills on the border with
Co.Tyrone. We had made an appointment with local birder Joe Shannon who
monitors the Hen Harriers breeding in the area.We had the usual
Meadow-pipits, Skylarks, Stonechats and Reed-buntings typical of the
habitat. A Buzzard put in an appearance and the Cuckoo was heard a few
times.We had views of Hen Harrier males on two occasions and then, while we
were having lunch, a Harrier pair performed a bit of an aerial display. We
thanked Joe for his kindness in guiding us in an unfamiliar locality and
well satisfied with our first visit to Sleve Beagh we began our return to Dublin via the Co Louth coastal sites of Lurgangreen, Annagassan, Salterstown,Clogherhead and Baltray. At each of these stops the birding wasinteresting and we finally called it a day after seven o'clock, twelve
hours, a long but satisfying day.

Whimbrel, Annagassan, Bill Quinn

Species List
Buzzard, Swallow, Pheasant, Reed Bunting, Sky Lark, Meadow Pipit, Snipe, Hen Harrier (m & f), Cuckoo.Redshank, Shelduck, Grt Crested Grebe,Brent Geese, Merganser, Golden Plover,Oystercatcher (v. lge flock), cormorant, Linnet, Lesser black-backed Gull,Black-headed Gull, Gannet, Blue Tit, Wren, Blackbird, Grey Heron, Common Sandpiper, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Kittiwake, Hooded Crow, Greenfinch, Dunlin, House Sparrow, Herring Gull, Mistlethrush, Grt Northern Diver, Ringed Plover, Curlew, Whimbrel, Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Wood Pigeon, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Little Egret, Mute Swan.