Wildlife can be seen all around us. You can watch the wildlife in your garden from the armchair in your sitting room. A short walk through the countryside, your local park or along the beach can also provide exciting sightings of Irish wildlife. These chance encounters can be used to increase our knowledge of plants and animals living in Fingal.

Most Irish nature conservation bodies organise surveys or simple recording schemes that you can become involved in. The surveys generally cater for all ages and training is provided when necessary, so you don’t need to be an expert to participate in these surveys.

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  Why not participate in one of these schemes and learn more about the wildlife on your doorstep?

The Garden Bird Survey - Birdwatch Ireland

The Garden Bird Survey is a popular bird survey that helps to keep track of the fortunes of Ireland’s garden birds. The survey takes place between December and February each year and the public is asked to keep note of the bird species visiting their garden each week. Garden birds are ideal subjects for a volunteer-based survey. They are among our most familiar and easily observed bird species, are easily attracted to feeders and bird tables, and can be watched from the comfort of our own homes.

If you want to participate in the Garden Bird Survey please contact Bird Watch Ireland on 01 281 9878 or e-mail info@birdwatchireland.ie.

Spring Alive - Birdwatch Ireland

The Spring Alive project is a birdwatching survey that records the first sightings of three symbolic Spring birds: the Swallow, Cuckoo and Swift. Children and adults all around Europe send in their sightings which enables scientists to track the arrival of spring every year. This information will help us to find out lots about bird migrations right across Europe. Taking part is very simple. All you need to do is register your first bird sightings on-line every year.

If you want to participate in the Spring Alive project please check out www.springalive.net or contact Bird Watch Ireland on 01 281 9878 or e-mail info@birdwatchireland.ie.

I-WeBS - Birdwatch Ireland
The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) is the scheme that monitors wintering waterbirds such as Geese and Waders in Ireland. The survey runs from September to March each winter. Bird counters go out once a month and count all waterbirds present in their local wetland. Within Fingal, the local branch of Birdwatch Ireland focuses on the three estuaries: Rogerstown, Broadmeadow and Baldoyle and a number of coastal sites.

If you want to participate in the I-WeBS scheme in Fingal please contact Julie Roe on bwifingal@gmail.com or visit www.bwifingal.ie.


Iscope - Irish Whale & Dolphin Group
Harbour porpoise, common dolphin, striped dolphin, minke whale, fin whale and basking shark are occasionally seen along the Fingal coast. Have you seen any of these sea mammals along our coast, then report your sightings to the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group! Their ISCOPE scheme aims to promote better awareness and knowledge of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Irish waters. The initiative is open to everyone and appropriate training is provided by the IWDG on how to observe, identify and record whales & dolphins. The best places to see Whales & Dolphins in Fingal is around Howth Head, Skerries and the islands off the Fingal coast.

For more information please contact the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group on sightings@iwdg.ie or visit www.iwdg.ie.

Purse Search Ireland
Purse Search Ireland is an exciting marine outreach project that encourages the Irish public to report their observations of mermaids’ purses, which are actually the eggcases of sharks, skates and rays! The purses are laid by the adult female in a suitable habitat on the seafloor, with the young embryo developing within the eggcase for up to 15 months. The baby shark or ray then hatches out of the purse and swims away, leaving the discarded eggcase behind it. Observations of mermaids’ purses on the seashore can provide valuable information on the location of nursery areas for Ireland's skates and rays, some of which are endangered or rare.

For more information please visit www.marinedimensions.ie and follow the links for Jay the Ray or contact Sarah Varian on (01) 282 8876.


Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme - National Biological Record Centre
The Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme was set up by the National Biological Record Centre in 2007. This project aims to set up a network of volunteers across Ireland to monitor the abundance of butterflies on a regular basis. Why not set up a transect in a park near you and start recording the various butterflies you see there during the year?

For more information please contact Eugenie Regan at the NBRC on 051 306 240 or eregan@biodiversityireland.ie, visit
www.biodiversityireland.ie or


Lizard Survey - Irish Wildlife Trust
Did you know that we have lizards in Fingal? Go and have a look in your locality if you can find these quick little creatures sunning themselves on a rock or in the sand. The lizard survey gathers sightings from all over the country from the general public to gain a better understanding of its distribution in Ireland. Rocky and sandy beaches seem to be the most likely places to encounter a lizard, so keep an eye out for them the next time you visit your local dune and beach.

For more information and survey sheets please contact Joanna Pender at the Irish Wildlife Trust on 01 860 2839 or enquiries@iwt.ie or visit www.iwt.ie.

Hop To It Frog Survey - Irish Peatland Conservation Council

The Hop To It Irish Frog Survey aims to find out more about the status and distribution of the common frog in Ireland. The common frog is widespread and common in Ireland but vulnerable in the rest of Europe. They can be found in many damp places including your garden and garden pond. The survey gathers frog sightings from all over the country and the IPCC is always on the look-out for new records from Fingal.

For more information and recording sheets please contact Irish Peat Conservation Council on 045 860 133 or bogs@ipcc.ie or visit www.ipcc.ie.


Seashore Survey - Coastwatch

Have a local beach nearby? Why not carry out a seashore survey and see what animals and plants you can find. Coastwatch Ireland is collecting this ecological information from beaches all over Fingal to get a better picture on how our coastal plants and animals are doing. The seashore survey is open to everyone and training can be provided by local Coastwatch volunteers on identification of coastal plants and animals.

For more information and recording sheets please contact Karin Dubsky on 086 811 1684 or kdubsky@coastwatch.org or visit www.coastwatch.org.

Dublin Naturalists Field Club
If you are a budding naturalist wishing to know a bit more about your natural environment and increase your recognition and identification skills for organisms such as flowering plants, lichens, mollusks and butterflies, or if you wish to share your expertise with others, you may enjoy being a member of the Dublin Naturalists Field Club.

For more information please contact Gerry Sharkey on dnfc@
eircom.net or visit www.dnfc.net.

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