Mooney Goes Wild, Sunday November 12th 2017

This year's Dawn Chorus programme took place on Sunday, May 6th 2018, and was a roaring success!  All India Radio producer Monika Gulati sent us a pic of herself sporting our Dawn Chorus beanie!!

May Events

Well whilst our Dawn Chorus programme may have finished for another year, throughout May, events are still taking place around the country to celebrate the beautiful birdsong that our feathered friends provide.  For more information on these events, and on the annual Burren In Bloom festival that takes place from May 18th - 20th, visit our events listings page!  And if you have an event you'd like to let our listeners know about, e-mail

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Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.

On Mooney Goes Wild tonight...

On Mooney Goes Wild tonight...

A busy show ... we find out about the Monarch Butterfly which landed on the head of an unsuspecting angler, and Ken Whelan explains why you should adopt a stream!  Eric Dempsey meets author Declan Murphy to find out how woodpeckers are making their presence felt in Wicklow.  And Eanna ni Lamhna travels to Clara Bog in County Offaly to learn about The Living Bog project, which plans to bring back to life an area the size of 7,000 Croke Parks!  PLUS we talk to photographer Tina Claffey about her new book of stunning photographs of Ireland's bogs - and we have a competition to win one of three copies!

Migration Of Monarch Butterflies & Adopting Streams

The annual mass migrations of Monarch butterflies across North America have been called "one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world".  No individual butterfly completes the entire round trip; female monarchs lay eggs for the next generation during the northward migration, and at least four generations are involved in the annual cycle.

After we featured this species on the programme recently, we got an e-mail from listener Greg Kenny from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, which read:

Hi Derek, I heard your piece on the Monarch Butterfly.  I have just returned from a wedding in South Carolina in the USA.  My brother, who is a marine biologist had a few of us out fishing in his boat.  While out a considerable distance from the shore, a butterfly landed on my sister's cap.  I looked it up after hearing your programme, and it would appear to be a Monarch, resting while on route to Mexico.  It's a fascinating nature tale!  Such a small creature going south over a distance of 5000 km to the same mountain in Mexico every year.  It was a privilege to have this fella visit us on the boat, if only for a few minutes!  I really enjoy your programme, keep it up!  Regards, Greg Kenny

Left and top right: Greg's sister Laura Doherty with the Monarch butterfly; bottom right: Greg's niece Fiona Kenny with the spot tail bass

Greg joins us on the line to tell us about this fantastic encounter!  If you've had a wildlife experience that you'd like to share with our listeners, do get in touch - e-mail

And to contact Greg's brother Paul about the eco-adventure business that is mentioned in the interview, e-mail  Greg says "he will guarantee any potential customers a wonderful day out in his boat to observe some spectacular and very interesting wildlife!".

Adopt A Stream

In recent years there has been increasing interest in the conservation and management of small streams.  This has led to a new initiative which involves training volunteers to adopt a stream to improve the overall health of our fisheries.  Marine and Freshwater Fisheries Consultant, Dr. Ken Whelan, joins us in studio to tell us more...

Prospective volunteers can find out more about the Small Streams Course by visiting  SSCS is now available to River Trusts and other groups who wish to organise small stream assessment training programmes. Contact

Wicklow's Woodpeckers

That is of course the them to The Woody Woodpecker Show, which enjoyed great popularity from the 1940s, right through to the 90s.  If you’re young enough you may remember fondly his trademark "Guess Who?" and that trademark woodpecker drumming sound. 

Let’s have another listen, this time to a recording of real woodpecker drumming:

Video: Peter Alfrey / YouTube

Unlike Woody Woodpecker, that drumming sound is not a fading memory.  And for residents of counties Down and Wicklow is becoming an increasingly common occurrence.  That’s because the Greater Spotted Woodpecker has made a return to Ireland in recent years, and "Guess Who?" might even be heard in your neighbourhood soon!

So intrigued was Declan Murphy at the comeback, that he set up an observation post to study a nesting pair in woods in County Wicklow.  His observations have been gathered in a new book called A Life In The Trees.  This unique and personal account, of a family of woodpeckers raising their young, draws the reader deep into the world of this fascinating species. 

Ornithologist Eric Dempsey recently walked through those woods with Declan, to the spot where he had observed the nesting family...

A Life In The Trees, by Declan Murphy, costs €20 and is available from the BirdWatch Ireland store - click here to find out how to order it.  It's also available from a number of bookstores in Co. Wicklow: The Bridge Bookshop in Wicklow Town, Blessington Bookshop, The Village Bookshop in Greystones and Magpie's in Enniskerry.  The ISBN is 9-781911-180739.

For further information, visit

PODCAST - Woodpeckers: A Life In The Trees

Author Declan Murphy reads an extract from his book 'A Life In The Trees'. For more information about the book, and to listen back to Eric Dempsey's interview with Declan, visit

The Living Bog & Tapestry Of Light

Ireland's boglands are like a living history book, telling us the stories of the Irish landscape and the people who have lived here for thousands of years.  These rich peatlands have always been intricately linked with Irish culture and tradition - until, that is, mechanical turf-cutting and the demands for peat as a fuel for electricity caused untold damage to every raised bog in the country.

But there’s good news, thanks to Ireland's largest single raised bog restoration project – The Living Bog – which plans to bring back to life an area of raised bog, the size of which will be the equivalent of 7,000 Croke Parks!

Eanna ni Lamhna visited Clara Bog in County Offaly, where she met with geologist, botanist and broadcaster, Dr. John Feehan, Ronan Casey from The Living Bog and photographer Tina Claffey, with her new book Tapestry Of Light – a publication of photographs of Ireland’s bogs and wetlands, which also features poetry by John Sheahan...


Tapestry Of Light – Ireland’s Bogs And Wetlands As Never Seen Before, by Tina Claffey, is published by Artisan House; the ISBN is 9-780992-690861 and the RRP is €25.  It is an absolutely stunning book of breathtaking photographs of our boglands - and we have THREE signed hardback copies to give away!  To enter, just e-mail us the answer to this question:

Which type of bog plant features on the front cover of 'Tapestry Of Light' - is it:

a) Sundew 

b) Moondew

c) Stardew

(Click here for a hint!)

E-mail your answer, along with your name, address and phone number, to  Entries close at midnight on Saturday, November 18th.  Good luck!

For more information about The Living Bog, visit  For further information about Tapestry Of Light, visit or to view more of Tina’s images, visit her website,, or her Facebook page.

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.

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

Music Played on the Show

Oceanus: Ocean Journey

Oceanus: Ocean Journey

No Details


Woody Woodpecker Song

Woody Woodpecker Song

Mel Blanc




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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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