A swallow on a wire in Kildare after making the journey from Africa
Availing of short, daily walks due to the Covid-19 lockdown and the summer-like weather has awoken everybody’s interest in the wonderfully diverse nature around us, according to Wild Kildare.
People have had the time and space to explore local areas they might normally speed past in a car on the school-run or going to the shops.
The Wild Kildare nature group on Facebook has reported a surge of interest from members of the public wanting information on new species of bird or varieties of flowers they have discovered.
Paddy Sheridan of the group told the Leader: “The onset of Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on people’s lives. Gone are the hectic daily routines of work and school. Socialising and recreation has stopped completely. Add in the current lockdown restrictions and it doesn’t leave the public with much to do.”
Paddy added that people are out walking off the beaten tracks which is good for our physical and mental health.
“This less hectic activity has afforded us with more time to look around us and notice nature. It seems to seasoned nature lovers that the nation has suddenly awakened to the joy of a bird singing or a butterfly fluttering past.
“People are curious when they see something for the first time and want to know what it is. In the last few weeks we have been inundated with pictures asking us what species it is.
“Somehow looking and listening to the natural world has brought some peace and sanity to the public in these uncertain times.”
Paddy Sheridan also commented that with less people and traffic out, wildlife has taken advantage of being left alone and are being given the opportunity to thrive somewhat.
He added: “The vast reduction of vehicles on our roads has surely led to there being far fewer animal and bird fatalities.
“Reduced cutting of grass verges in both urban and rural settings has allowed wildflowers to bloom providing much needed food for our pollinators (bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies etc), many of which are in serious decline and on the brink of extinction.
“This in turn provides food for other species further up the food chain such as birds.
“There have been many comments on how noticeable bird song has become over the last few weeks. Some even suggest that it is louder. The simple answer is that with the reduced noise of traffic and businesses, they can be heard. If anything, they are singing less loudly because they don’t need to overcome these noises.
“If we are to learn anything from this experience is that mankind needs to work in tandem with nature for us to survive on this planet.
“Instead of putting pressures on habitats by destroying them, we must start restoring them on a large scale, creating space for these species to live and breed as nature intended.
“Will all these observations and appreciation of nature continue after covid-19? Only time will tell.
“Perhaps people will be more sympathetic to our wildlife? Maybe they will turn their garden into a wildlife haven? Will they log their sightingws at the National Biodiversity Data Centre http://records. biodiversityireland.ie?
Will some join a nature and conservation group like Wild Kildare and actively help record and conserve species and their habitats in Co Kildare?
“We really hope there will be a new generation of nature lovers to come out of the mayhem that we are all suffering right now.”
Get in touch
Paddy urged people with questions or comments on the nature around them to get in contact via email@example.com.