Summary of our TG4 nature series.
Ag Dul in Éag
"Ag Dul in Éag" is a new six part series, which will be broadcast on TG4 in 2011. The series will be aired every Tuesday starting 8th Nov and repeated every Sunday thereafter. Whereas "Chiomhtiocht gan Cuireadh" (see below) dealt with new species to Ireland, "Ag Dul in Eag" concerns the species we are currently losing, and have already lost, from the Irish landscape.
See Previous Work page for excerpt from episode 1 of "Ag Dul in Eag". http://www.waxwingfilms.ie/default.asp?p=portfolio
Episode 1 is about Cranes and Wild Boar. Grey Herons are often mistakenly called Cranes in Ireland. However, as with the Wild Boar, the Crane was hunted to extinction from our island nation. The Wild Boar was hunted for its valuable flesh. The Crane on the other hand was hunted out for its magnificent feathers, as well as it's tasty meat. This large bird was an easy target.
Episode 2 is about the Brown Bear, which went extinct in Ireland centuries ago, and the Great Spotted Woodpecker (pictured) which is currently making a comeback. The only evidence of bears having lived in Ireland are bones found in caves. Woodpeckers, which ceased breeding in Ireland years ago, are starting to make a come-back here. Also featured in this episode is the turkey-like game bird called the Capercaillie.
Episode 3 is about Beavers, Common Eels, and a member of the heron family, the Bittern (pictured). The Bittern is called the Bonnan Bui in Gaelic. There were poems and songs written in Irish about this reclusive bird. Indeed there are pubs called after it throughout the country. However all this didn't stop us hunting it to extinction in Ireland.
Episode 4 is about the endangered fish species; Arctic Charr and Pollan. Also featured is the Little Tern (pictured). The Charr and the Pollan are Ireland's most ancient fish species. However the Charr has disappeared from thirteen Irish lakes and the Pollan is on the brink of extinction from Lough Derg. Pollan used to be fished commercially at one time. Only a couple of hundred Little Terns now breed in Ireland.
Episode 5 is about the Wolf, Lynx, Badger and Red Deer. When Man started farming in Ireland the fate of the Wolf and Lynx was sealed. We have to be careful to preserve our remaining native herd of Red Deer in Killarney National Park. Also featured is the Red-throated Diver, Great-northern Diver and Black-throated Diver. A handful of Red-throated Divers breed in Glenveagh National Park, Donegal. This is the most southern point of their northern European breeding range.
Episode 6 is about the Red Squirrel and the Grey Partridge. The Red Squirrel is under enormous pressure from the Grey Squirrel. The Grey Partridge is the rarest game bird in Ireland. They only exist in Ireland on the Boora Bog nature reserve in Co. Offaly. Grey Partridges have recently been reintroduced to farmlands in Co. Dublin.
Chiomhtiocht gan Cuireadh.
"Chiomhtiocht gan Cuireadh" (a six part series) was first broadcast by TG4 from the 26th September 2008, and was thereafter repeated a number of times.
Accelerated global warming evidenced by record temperatures and rainfall levels, along with other factors, is having a profound impact on Irish wildlife. Our six part documentary series, "Ciomhtioch Gan Cuireadh", features over a dozen foreign species never before seen on Irish television."Ciomhtioch Gan Cuireadh" or "Alien Invaders" takes a broader look at Irish wildlife and recounts the fascinating stories of how some of Ireland’s alien species ended up on our island nation.
Episode 1 deals with amphibians and reptiles. The story of how the Natterjack Toad may have arrived in Ireland is explored. The Slow Worm (pictured), resident in the Burren is also highlighted. It is believed the Slow Worm was introduced by people who relocated to the Burren from the UK. Our native reptile, the Common Lizard, is also shown extensively in this episode.
Episode 2 is about marine creatures. Trigger Fish and Slipper Lobsters (pictured) are dealt with, as are sea birds such as the Fulmar and the Great Skua. The tarantula-like Slipper Lobster was pulled up in lobster pots by fishermen. The warm water species, the Grey Trigger Fish, are now common around our shores. Dead specimens are often found washed up on beaches in the winter.
Episode 3 is about alien birds in Ireland such as the Little Egret (pictured), Collared Dove and Blackcap. The Little Egret is now common in southern Ireland and is working its way northwards steadily. They nest in trees in colonies called heronies. They use the nests of Grey Herons that have already completed their breeding cycle.
Episode 4 is about freshwater aliens like the Chinese Mitten Crab, the Zebra Mussel and the Emperor Dragonfly (pictured). The Emperor is the biggest flying insect in the British Isles. It is a superb aerial predator, devouring any insect that might come its way. They have started breeding in ponds in the very south of Ireland, but no doubt will colonise most of the country eventually.
Episode 5 deals with alien plants such as Giant Hogweed, Gunnera, Japanese Knot Weed, Fuchsia (pictured), Spruce plantations and Spartina Grass. Alot of these alien plants were brought into Ireland originally in order to make gardens appear more exotic. They have spread across the countryside and displaced our native vegetation. Spartina Grass is taking over alot of our coastal mudflat areas.
Episode 6 highlights our alien mammals such as the American Mink, the Bank Vole and our newest arrival the Great White-toothed Shrew (pictured). This new species of shrew appears to have arrived here from Europe hidden in the roots of large plants imported by garden centres. They will surely displace our native Pygmy Shrew in their march across the nation. Our native shrew is much smaller than their interloping cousin.