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Flora & Fauna in Lusk

A little bit about the nature in and around Lusk

Flora & Fauna in Lusk

Be proud of our countryside

We are very lucky in Lusk to be surrounded by beautiful countryside , estuaries and coastline. We live in one of the most diverse eco-systems in the country and home to an abundance of wildlife and fauna.

The hedgerows in Lusk are usually comprised of Whitethorn mixed with a variety of other species such as Dog Rose, Elder, Blackthorn, Holly and Hazel. Many of our hedgerows have trees growing in them. The most common hedgerow tree is Ash, followed by Sycamore, Elm, Willow, Wild Cherry and Oak. Most of our Hedgerows were planted over 100 years ago.

If you haven’t done so already, take a walk along one of the many country lanes off the ring road and enter another world. There is little traffic on these roads which makes them ideal for walking.

Hedgerows are important landscape features for wildlife. They provide food and shelter for wildlife within the intensively farmed countryside. They also act as corridors for animals to move from one area to another. Keep your eye out for Pygmy Shrews, Irelands smallest mammal measuring 5.5cm. You will also see red fox’s, badgers, hedgehogs, rabbits, hares and if you are lucky Irelands only reptile, the common lizard.

In the skies above you will regularly see birds of prey such as Red Kites, Buzzards, Kestrel, Sparrow hawks, Kestrels and Long-eared Owls. Peregrine Falcons can also be seen, they are the fastest bird on the planet reaching speeds of 240KM/Hr.

There are five bat species; Brown long-eared bat, Leisler’s bat, Common and Soprano Pipistrelle and Whiskered bat.

Rogerstown Estuary is a nature reserve, home to some of Europes rarest seabirds. Every year, up to 40.000 migratory birds spend the winter feeding and resting in the Fingal estuaries. Wading birds such as Godwits, Curlew and Snipe probe in the mud to look for the millions of tiny creatures that live in the estuary mud. Other birds such as the Brent Goose and Greylag goose will feed on the algae growing on the mudflats, while birds such as Cormorants feed on fish.

In summertime, the estuaries are fairly quiet, but you may see a Shelduck with their crèches. Underneath the water though, there is still lots going on. Estuaries are important nursery areas for many fish species that live out in the sea such as Herring, Seabass, Cod and Pollack. 25 different species of fish have been recorded in the estuaries so far.

In the seas off our coast Harbour porpoise, common dolphin, striped dolphin, minke whale, fin whale and basking shark are occasionally seen. Killer Whales and Humpback Whales have also been spotted.

A little further out we have Lambay Island. Did you know it is home to wild populations of two mammals not found anywhere else in the country?, the black rat and red-necked wallabies. The marsupials are not usually found on the western edge of Europe, but are native to Australia. Introduced by Rupert Baring  ( of the Baring Bank family who owned the island) in the 1950s, and augmented by a surplus from Dublin Zoo in the 1980s, numbering perhaps around 100 .

Rogerstown Estuary near Lusk is made up of saltwater marshes, raised salt marsh, wet meadows and riverine shallows and creeks. It covers an area of 3.63 km2 , and is divided by a causeway and bridge built in the 1840s to carry the main Dublin–Belfast railway line. It is internationally recognised as one of the most important east coast sites and is vital for wintering wildfowl and waders and birds on passage. Birds come to the estuary from the Arctic. It supports an internationally important population of Brent Geese and a further 14 species in numbers of national importance. The site is a statutory Nature Reserve and a candidate Special Area of Conservation under the E.U. Habitats Directive.

The estuary’s mouth separates the beaches of Portrane and Rush; and the mouth is so narrow, it is theorized that a person would be able to cross from Rush to Portrane at gradual walking pace, within a timespan of less than a minute, if there was no water. According to local legend, there was once a bridge across the mouth, however, it was dismantled after various suicides. An apparent remain of this bridge still exists today, on the Portrane beach

Rogerstown estuary is designated as a Special Area of Conservation and a Special Protection Area as it is an important waterfowl site, with Brent Goose having a population of international importance. A further 16 species have populations of national importance: Greylag Goose, Shelduck , Teal, Pintail, Shoveler, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Dunlin, Sanderling, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank and Greenshank. The presence of a significant population of Golden Plover is of note and this species is listed on Annex I of the E.U. Birds Directive. The estuary is a regular staging post for autumn migrants, especially Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank. Little Tern has bred at the outer sand spit, but much of the nesting area has now been washed away as a result of erosion. The maximum number of pairs recorded was 17 in 1991. Ringed Plover breed in the same area. The outer part of the estuary has been designated a Statutory Nature Reserve and a Special Protection Area under the E.U. Birds Directive. The inner estuary has been damaged by the refuse tip which covers 40 ha of mudflat. This site is a good example of an estuarine system, with all typical habitats represented, including several listed on Annex I of the E.U. Habitats Directive. Rogerstown is an internationally important waterfowl site and has been a breeding site for Little Terns. The presence within the site of three rare plant species adds to its importance.
Disturbing birds while roosting and feeding should be avoided. They can easily be viewed from the hides so do not approach on foot or on the water by canoe, kayak or other means. It is advisable not to enter the inner estuary on the water at any time 

Bird of Rogerstown Estuary

Some of the birds that can be seen in Rogerstown Estuary

Bird of Rogerstown Estuary

Did you know there are bird hides in Rogerstown to watch these magnificent birds?
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