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Thursday, 09 September 2010 21:20

Star 'returns' from summer trip to Northern Ireland

Stars trip to NI Stars trip to NI (c) Allan Mee

Star is back in the north-west after a month and a half touring Northern Ireland (see map). After exactly 4 months residency at Lough Gara on the Sligo-Roscommon border, male Star took off NE past the north end of Lough Allen on 12th July, over the Cuilcagh Mts to roost on Upper Lough Erne. Over the next 4 days Star roosted on the heavily wooded islands on the lake. Star headed off NE again on the 17th reaching the S shore of Lough Neagh. His next big movement was SE past Newry on 20th, onto the Cooley peninsula then to roost just south of Dundalk on the 21st. Star then headed back to L Neagh on the 23rd, foraging and roosting along the S shore over the next 6 days. On the 29th Star moved N along the west shore of L Neagh reaching Lough Beg on the Lower Bann river on the 30th.

After a sojourn on L Beg Star headed N along the Bann to roost 8km east of Coleraine on 5 August before returning to L Beg next day. On the 7th he moved south to the N shore of L Neagh, returning to L Beg on the 10th. Star then headed west to the Slieve Gallion mountains north of Cookstown on 14 August, staying in the hills until the 17th when he headed SE to the south shore of L Neagh yet again. On the 19th Star moved back N to L Beg, hanging out there for the next few days before moving back west to Slieve Gallion on 24 August, then on to the Sperrins Mts next day. On the 27th he retraced his steps (wing-beats?) to Upper Lough Erne before continuing on SW to reach Lough Key, Co. Roscommon on the 30th. Star then visited nearby Lough Arrow before finally returning to Lough Gara on 1st September. After 50 days on the road/airways Star was back at his adopted home.

Interesting to compare the roost locations Star favoured during his time in NI, almost all close to water either islands on lowland lakes or lakeside woods, to those used by Fiadhna in Donegal, almost all at sites in the uplands. Now over a year away from Kerry it will be interesting to follow Star's movements and see if he returns to Killarney over the next few months. Watch this space.....!!

Last modified on Friday, 09 March 2012 10:50