The robin, not the turkey, is the real Christmas bird; you'll find him on cards, cakes and Christmas trees. But is Robin Redbreast having us on? Is he really the friendly and gentle little fellow he seems? Does he deserve his special Christmas place? Dr. Richard Collins, scientific adviser to Mooney Goes Wild, investigates! To read more about this special documentary, and to listen to the programme, click here.
On Mooney Goes Wild today...
Finally! Scientists from Trinity College have unlocked the key to a long life: grow wings and fly, burrow underground, or live in a tree! Mooney Goes Wild listeners talk to us about the most unusual bird nesting places they have found around the country. And Eanna ni Lamhna finds out why Christmas tree growers absolutely love ladybirds!
The Blue Tit laid the first egg on Friday, April 25th, and appears to have laid one egg each day since. It looks like there are six eggs in the nest but it's hard to count them. See how many you can spot!
The female seems to be incubating now, and if this is the case then we can expect the eggs to hatch on Thursday May 15th or Friday May 16th May 2014. We hope to have the live stream up on our site by the end of next week. Keep watching!
National Dawn Chorus Day will take part on Sunday, May 18th 2014. If you are part of a group who will be taking part in a Dawn Chorus event in your local area, and want to register your event with us, please send full details - name, contact number, what will be happening and where, to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line 'Dawn Chorus 2014'. And who knows, we may contact you during our Dawn Chorus broadcast!
Where will you be on National Dawn Chorus Day?
For more information on the various events that BirdWatch Ireland will be hosting as part of Dawn Chorus Day, click here.
Birds Nesting In Unusual Places
During the last couple of weeks, we've had a large number of e-mails from listeners describing the unusual places that birds have been building their nests in. Today, we chat to some of you about those unusual locations...
Terry telephoned to say she has starlings nesting under bath! This is a bath she and her husband use every day. She cannot actually see the nest, but she can hear the chicks, and she can see herons flying in and out with food. They have a vent in the bathroom that is not properly finished, so it provides access to the parents, and she was wondering if everything is going to be okay?
Another listener, Ann, e-mailed us from Cork:
I had a Robin nesting in the BBQ that was in my strawberry bed last year as it was redundant. It was a great find last year and I was babysitting the nest for six weeks. Needless to say, I could do not work in the house as I was fascinated with the Robin’s routine. Six little birds fled the nest and the last week was amazing, guarding the little chicks from the neighbour’s cat and not to mention my own King Charles.
Well I looked out the window last week and the little Robin is back again. She is going in and out of a vent in the BBQ and has built the most exquisite nest I have ever seen. Such a clever bird is all I can say. The photos attached show the nest and the bbq where she enters and leaves. The chicks you see are last years chicks.
It looks like 2014 is going to be another bumper year for ladybirds. Last year the good summer saw HUGE numbers of ladybirds – particularly in the South East – and already this year, we’re receiving massive numbers of ladybird sightings.
Irish people have a soft spot for ladybirds, and while many people wouldn't fancy a spider crawling over their hand, most people love it when a ladybird lands on them - and they do some good too!
We got an e-mail from Dermot Page who is the Chairperson of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association.
He said: "the ladybirds are waking up and taking over our Christmas Tree farms... it's not unusual to see hundreds of them on one tree. They are currently putting paid to the aphids which means no need for pesticide sprays. Happy Days! Last Christmas you received a call to say a ladybird was even found on a tree in December...Eanna reckoned it was due to the wonderful summer. Love the ladybirds is all I say!"
Well Dermot is a big fan of the ladybird as they’re saving him a fortune in pesticides - and we liked the sound of his Christmas Tree farm so we sent Eanna off to meet him...
Eanna with Dermot Page
The Irish Wildlife Trust Launches National “Citizen Scientist” Ladybird Survey
Ladybirds are often considered to be colourful, charismatic insects that assist in managing our gardens by controlling the numbers of plant pests such as aphids. Eighteen species of ladybird have been recorded in Ireland, but there is still a huge gap in our knowledge of what exactly is out there and where these species are distributed.
Building a picture of the distribution of our native ladybirds has become an urgent task as there is now a new ladybird in town, the Harlequin ladybird Harmonia axaridis. This is an invasive ladybird originating in Asia. It arrived in the UK in the summer of 2004 and is now found in all of England with a few isolated locations in Scotland. It was also introduced into North America in 1988 and is now a serious insect pest. It has subsequently invaded much of north-western Europe and arrived in County Down in 2009. It was first reported in Cork and Wicklow in 2010 and Carlow in 2011. The Harlequin causes problems in the natural environment in that it has a wide dietary range, outcompeting native ladybirds for their main prey of aphids and even consuming other ladybird species eggs and larvae. They can reproduce up to three generations per year whilst most other native ladybird species will only reproduce once.
This year the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) is launching a nationwide ladybird survey and will be running workshops in Counties Carlow, Cork and Wicklow. This follows on from a very successful survey piloted in Co. Cork by the Cork Branch of the IWT. “It is important that we build up a picture of native ladybird populations and the current distribution of the invasive Harlequin in these counties as we can monitor the impact that this invasive insect is having on our native species
“These kind of projects are a great way for members of the public to make a contribution to science and conservation” stated Daniel Buckley, Chair of the Irish Wildlife Trust. “Anyone can submit a sighting and you don’t have to be an expert!”. Sightings can be given via the website www.biology.ie which also shows identification pictures and links to additional information on ladybirds. There is also a Facebook Page IWTLadybirdsurvey where comments and information can be posted.
We get a lot of requests here on Mooney Goes Wild from listeners inviting us to view the wonderful wildlife, or flora and fauna in their local area or even in their back garden. One such e-mail recently, from Barry Curtain, said we ought to make a trip to his house in Co. Cork where he has a colony of smooth newts! So we sent Cobh man Jim Wilson along to take a look...
We had an e-mail into the programme during the week looking for help. Susan Sweeney works in the Institute of Technology in Tallaght and one of their residents has gone missing.
Her name is Nuala and she is a sika deer! Nuala moved onto the campus almost a year ago. Since then she has become a firm favourite with staff and students alike, but within the last week she has disappeared and the college are looking for help to try to locate her. Yesterday afternoon, Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan headed off to Tallaght to find out more...
Apparently, size matters when it comes to animals living longer. And nowadays, medical advances and a better awareness of diet and exercise mean that HUMANS are living longer than ever before. The oldest ever-recorded human was Jeanne Calment from France who died in 1997, aged 122.
But for animals, your size generally predicts how long you'll live. The bigger you are, the longer you'll live. However, there are some notable exceptions. Animals who seem to have 'cracked it' when it comes to the secret of living longer than their size should dictate.
The Naked Mole Rat was one of the animals referred to in the study
Dr Natalie Cooper is Assistant Professor of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin, and she has been doing research into these extraordinary animals. She joins us in studio to tell us what she's uncovered...
New Free Bus Service For The Burren National Park To Commence This Bank Holiday Weekend
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht's National Parks and Wildlife Service is delighted to announce the recommencement of the Free Bus Service for the Burren National Park, Co Clare, for the 2014 season. From Saturday 3rd May until Friday 29th August the bus service will operate between the Burren National Park Visitor Information Point located in the village of Corofin, Co. Clare and the National Park.
A sixteen-seater bus will operate, at approximately hourly intervals, beginning at 10.15a.m.at the park’s visitor information point, until 6.00p.m., seven days a week. It will drop off and pick up visitors at set locations around the National Park.
This service gives visitors the opportunity to explore the five scenic way-marked walking trails found within the park. Visitors may enjoy the unique Burren landscape at their leisure, before re-joining the bus at a later time and/or a different place and returning to Corofin.
The service is in its third year of operation. In addition to providing a unique visitor experience, it is also expected that the service will help boost tourism in North Clare and support local service providers. The Burren National Park Visitor Information Point in Corofin was opened in May of 2012 by Minister Jimmy Deenihan. Its aim is to provide information and interpretation to visitors to the National Park. A program of events, including guided nature walks and Art-in-the-Park activities, are provided from April until September by the guides who operate from the information point.
Commenting on the service, Minister Deenihan said:
“The recommencement of this free bus service at the Burren this bank holiday weekend makes it the perfect time to visit one of Ireland's magnificent national parks. I am delighted that this free bus service will be available for the summer from this bank holiday weekend. The Burren is one of our great natural resources, and is home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna. With this free bus service, I hope that greater numbers of people can enjoy the natural beauty of Burren National Park this summer.”
Mooney Mentors Ballyduff Drama Group
The Ballyduff Drama Group: Seated (left to right): Aoife Walsh (Emma); Valerie O’Leary (Ella); Pat Sheehan (Emerson); John Power (Malcolm); Standing (left to right): Richie Walsh (Weston); Courtney Canning (Wesley); Killian Collins (Ellis); Ian McGuirk (Taylor)
GOOD LUCK TO BALLYDUFF DRAMA GROUP!
This week, Mooney will be supporting the Ballyduff Drama Group, from Co. Waterford, at the All Ireland Drama Festival. They will be performing The Curse Of The Starving Class by Sam Shepard.
Rehearsals for the Ballyduff Drama Group production of 'The Curse Of The Starving Class'
For the first time in the Festival’s 62-year career, a carefully-devised mentor scheme pairs nine of RTÉ’s well-known faces and voices with this year’s finalists. Each mentor will offer support to their respective drama group, in the hope that it will be the one to perform the winning play in front of the thousands of visitors the Festival attracts. The nine mentors are; Miriam O’Callaghan, Derek Mooney, John Murray, Damien O’Reilly, Ronan Collins, Joe Duffy, Mary Wilson, Seán O’Rourke and Seán Rocks.
The RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival was founded in 1952, and is one of the most prestigious event of its kind in the country. Nine finalists, representing Kildare, Tipperary, Waterford, Leitrim, Donegal and Waterford, will showcase their productions on stage in the Dean Crowe Theatre & Arts Centre in Athlone. Ballyduff Drama Group's date of presentation was last night!
Can you believe it? It's Mooney Tunes time again, and astonishingly, we are approaching our tenth concert!
It all started in September 2009, at the National Concert Hall. The very first Mooney Tunes featured music such as Send In The Clowns, The Anvil Chorus and even the theme from Hawaii Five-O.
Over the last nine concerts, there hasn't been any genre of music we haven't covered. We've done a lot of classical favourites, we've had arias and choruses from some of the greatest operas ever written.
In the last concert, Mooney Tunes 9 in December last year, we did some incredible jazz, like Jack L singing My Way, and the big band orchestra performing Sing Sing Sing by Benny Goodman.
We've had pop, traditional Irish, even country music - Daniel O'Donnell went down a treat at Mooney Tunes 7!
All in all, over the nine concerts so far, we have brought you a total of 152 pieces of music. They were performed by some of the cream of Irish and international talent, accompanied by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.
Everybody from sopranos Cara O'Sullivan and Claudia Boyle, tenor Paul Potts, baritone John Molloy have performed. We've had Brian Kennedy, Jerry Fish, Chloe Agnew, John Sheehan from the Dubliners. We also did a special Eurovision tribute, with Niamh Kavanagh, Linda Martin, Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan.
Anyway, the good news is, we want to bring you another gem of a show. And, since it's our 10th concert, we've decided to a kind of "best of".
We would like you, our listeners, to tell us your favourite moments from the last nine shows. Now, you don't have to have been to the shows to nominate a favourite moment. All of the concerts have been broadcast on RTÉ Radio One shortly after the live performances.
And to help, here's a list of every single piece of music that we have featured!
LIST OF MUSIC PLAYED AT MOONEY TUNES CONCERTS
01. Begin The Beguine 02. Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye 03. Lizst Rhapsody No. 2 04. Beat Out That Rhythm 05. O Mio Babino Caro 06. Pink Panther Theme 07. Chiqitta 08. Pure Imagination 09. Silent Night 10. Che Gilida Manina 11. Nessun Dorma 12. My Way 13. Under My Skin 14. When A Child Is Born 15. Sing Sing Sing 16. Let It Snow 17. Strauss 18. Also Sprach Zarathustra 19. Bridge Over Troubled Water 20. E il Sol Dell Amina from Rigoletto 21. Donizetti – Una Furtiva Lagrima 22. Superstar 23. Tchaikovsky-Polonaise Onegin 24. Roll Back The Clouds 25. She's Out Of My Life 26. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me 27. Bond Theme 28. Moonraker / Diamonds Are Forever 29. Minuet & Badiniere from Orchestral Suite No. 2 30. Edelweiss 31. My Heart Will Go On 32. Lonesome Boatman 33. O Holy Night 34. Mediation from Thais 35. That's Amore 36. In Paradisum 37. Gabriel's Oboe 38. The Way We Were 39. Last Christmas 40. Hark The Herald Angels Sing 41. As Long As He Needs Me 42. Soul Bossa Nova 43. Marriage Of Figaro: Duettino Sul Aria 44. One Day Like This 45. Jerusalem 46. Swan Lake: Introduction 47. Send In The Clowns 48. I Left My Heart In San Francisco 49. My Heart Will Go On 50. Les Mis: Bring Him Home 51. Carmen: Intermezzo 52. Ain't No Mountain High Enough 53. South Pacific - Some Enchanted Evening 54. Verdi - La Traviata - Siempre Libre 55. Have I Told You Lately 56. Time To Say Goodbye 57. True Friends 58. Hello Dolly 59. Daydream Believer 60. Requiem - Pie Jesu 61. Someone To Watch Over Me 62. The Sound Of Music: Climb Every Mountain 63. The Producers 64. Nessun Dorma 65. Star Of Bethlehem 66. Nowhere Man 67. Marino Waltz 68. The Christmas Song 69. Hope from 'Irish Destiny' 70. In Your Eyes 71. Why Me? 72. Rock 'n' Roll Kids 73. O Holy Night 74. Dances With Wolves 75. Wind Beneath My Wings 76. Old Man River 77. Fields of Athenry 78. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head 79. O Mio Babbino Caro 80. Suite from The Quiet Man 81. Over The Rainbow 82. Libertango 83. Adagio from Spartacus 84. The Bridge (An Droichead) 85. Theme from JFK/West Wing 86. Memory from Cats 87. Un Bel Di 88. Ave Maria 89. Elizabethan Serenade 90. Born Free 91. Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (You're Just Too Good To Be True) 92. As Long As He Needs Me 93. Por Una Cabeza 94. Troika 95. When A Child Is Born 96. I'll Be Home For Christmas 97. Baby, It's Cold Outside 98. Trepak from The Nutcracker Suite 99. Once Upon A Time In The West 100. Vilia from The Merry Widow 101. Jingle Bells Forever 102. Va Pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) 103. Song Of Bernadette 104. Harry's Wonderous World 105. Lament 106. You Raise Me Up 107. Silent Night 1915 108. Do Re Me 109. Somewhere Over The Rainbow 110. O Holy Night 111. A Christmas Festival/ Sleigh Ride 112. Theme From Dragnet 113. Fiddler On The Roof 114. Nella Fantasia 115. Flower Duet 116. Champagne Polka 117. One Fine Day (from Madame Butterfly) 118. The Coolin 119. Hymn To Hope 120. Everybody Hurts 121. 80's TV Themes Medley 122. We Have All The Time In The World 123. 633 Squadron 124. Star Trek 125. Le Basque 126. Cavatina 127. We Shall Overcome 128. It's For You 129. When I Fall In Love 130. Hallelujah 131. Cinema Paradiso 132. Impossibly Beautiful 133. Danny Boy 134. You'll Never Walk Alone 135. Riverdance 136. Hawaii Five-O 137. William Tell Overture 138. A Summer Place / Music To Watch Girls By 139. Everybody’s Talking 140. Sunday Miscellany theme 141. Onedin Line / Spartacus 142. Gabriel’s Oboe – The Mission 143. Radetsky March 144. Anvil Chorus 145. Mise Eire 146. Classical Gas 147. If 148. Ravel’s Bolero 149. Barccarolle - O Sole Mio 150. Chariots Of Fire 151. Hallelujah Chorus 152. Cavalleria Rusticana
Mooney Tunes 10 will take place on Friday, June 13th at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre at 8pm. Tickets will go on sale the program is finalised. We want people to nominate from the list of tunes on the website. And we may even include a couple of surprises. It will be the middle of the summer, so why not think of some of your summer favourites!? E-mail email@example.com, with the subject line 'Mooney Tunes 10'!
Nathan Carter House Party!
How would you fancy a little bit of country star Nathan Carter in the front room of your house? The really good news is Nathan Carter has agreed to do a house party for a Mooney listener anywhere in the country on Tuesday, May 13th.
That's the one and only Nathan Carter, who topped the Irish charts despite stiff competition from international artists including Kodaline & One Direction, and who will play for one lucky listener. In our Mooney House Party shows, top Irish entertainers come into your home and sing exclusively for you, your friends and family.
They have been tremendously success with entertainers such as Brian Kennedy, The Furey Brothers and Davey Arthur, Paul Harington, Jack L and Daniel O'Donnell! Our singers have performed in a listener's kitchen, front room and even in a barn.
Well if you fancy the wonderfully talented Nathan Carter in your home, all you have to do is e-mail Mooney and tell us why you want Nathan with you? Are you his number one fan? Have you travelled the lent and breath of the country to see him sing? Have you a special anniversary or celebration coming up? Or simply, would you just like a knees up in your own home?
Whatever the reason, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you want Nathan there and who you’d have there, and why you deserve to have him - and don’t forget to give us your phone number!
The date again is Tuesday, May 13th - so get in touch now!
Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.
UPDATE: February 29th 2016 - Press Release From BirdWatch Ireland:
Putting the record straight: Dates for burning and hedge-cutting have NOT changed
BirdWatch Ireland, Ireland’s largest conservation charity, is very concerned about misinformation that is currently circulating regarding the dates within which the burning of vegetation and cutting of hedges is permitted. It would like to remind landowners that all burning and cutting must cease on 29th February this year and that burning and cutting remains prohibited from 1st March to 31st August.
Despite attempts by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., to change the laws regulating these dates by introducing the Heritage Bill 2016 earlier this year, it is important to note that the proposed date changes were ultimately NOT made. This is because the bill failed to pass through both houses of the Oireachtas before the recent dissolution of the Dáil in advance of the general election.
The laws in place governing the dates for hedge-cutting and upland burning therefore remain unchanged. The period within which cutting and burning is prohibited are set down in Section 40 of the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended in 2000), which states that:
(a) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy, during the period beginning on the 1st day of March and ending on the 31st day of August in any year, any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated.
(b) It shall be an offence for a person to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing in any hedge or ditch during the period mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection (above).
The existing law provides exemptions for road safety and other circumstances and should be read carefully to ensure compliance.
Section 40 of the Wildlife Act exists to protect nesting birds. Many of our upland bird species are in decline and are in danger of extinction in Ireland; amongst them is the Curlew, which has declined by 80%. Many birds which nest in hedgerows into August are also in serious decline, including the endangered Yellowhammer. The changes to the cutting and burning dates which had been proposed in the now-defunct Heritage Bill 2016 would have caused serious impacts to these birds. A petition launched by BirdWatch Ireland in conjunction with several other national conservation organisations to stop these changes attracted more than 16,200 signatures and rising.
BirdWatch Ireland would also like to advise members of the public that if they see hedges being cut or fires in the uplands on or after 1st March, such activity could be illegal. In such cases, we would encourage people to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service (www.npws.ie) to report such activity.
BirdWatch Ireland warmly welcomes the demise of the Heritage Bill 2016 and sincerely hopes that any future administration will consider the importance of Ireland’s natural heritage and will not attempt to reintroduce such a flawed and damaging piece of legislation.
To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.
Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.
If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit www.irishwildlifematters.ie