It’s seems rather strange having just returned from our third trip to the Burren to be writing a post of our first.
Not to do so however would mean missing the learning curves which has brought us to where we are today.
Having had such a successful trip trapping abroad in Portugal it seemed to make perfect sense to plan another excursion this time to a different location.
Ireland was always going to be in the forefront of my mind as I had enjoyed numerous trips with work to Galway so much that the thought of returning was a temptation too good to miss.
After some research we decided that we would look for a location as close to the Burren National Park as possible as its diverse habitat was sure to produce some new records for us.
The only downside was that it appeared, from what we had read, that a licence is required to trap moths in Ireland.
Not wishing to do anything unlawful I filled in the forms and after much dialogue via email received my licence just in time for our trip.
As our aim is also to try to target a butterfly during our adventures we decided to focus on the Wood White which cannot be confused with the Real’s Wood White as they are absent in the Burren.
The plan was to drive to Holyhead and take the ferry across to Dublin continuing our journey from the east to the west coast of Ireland with our destination being the county of Clare.
It meant we could take our main 15w portable trap as there are no restrictions for our 12V 22Ah Li-Pol Battery Pack which I doubt would be acceptable in the hold or as hand luggage on a plane.
Our field guides for Moths of Great Britain and Ireland would also prove invaluable for identifications whilst there.
I was still over cautious with my new macro lens and would not let it out further than the moth house in case I has a recurrence of any dirt getting on my sensor so decided to take a Sigma 70-300mm f4-5.6 Macro DG Lens I had been testing on local field trips to good effect.
The only problem I had with this lens is that it is rather heavy and after several outings found myself leaning to the RHS due to the increased growth of the biceps and triceps in my right arm.
To limit the progression of this one-sided body building I managed to convince the wife that we needed to invest in a bridge camera for field trips which included a macro setting to prevent me becoming off balance whilst away, also after I had managed to lose my original trusty Canon on a walk. (Don’t ask!)
The Burren is truly a most spectacular location reminiscent of a moonscape decorated with hundreds of rare and precious flowers occupied and maintained by some of the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet.
It didn’t take long to understand however that any sort of weather forecast for this Atlantic coast was impossible, but even the times spent indoors were equally enjoyable as our many jaunts across meadows and limestone pavements in pursuit of new and rare species of butterflies and moths who make their home in this wonderous environment.
The highlight of our trip for me was a lone Marsh Pug which we recorded on the cliffs of Doolin whilst getting some exercise prior to indulging ourselves in best of a real Irish pub during a music festival.
We were always going to return to the Burren, but our subsequent visits will be the topic of future posts god willing.