Expert gets closer look at Foyle

Claire Ferry of the RSPB and Adrian Harkin of Just Kayak pictured making their way from Castlederg to Moville
Claire Ferry of the RSPB and Adrian Harkin of Just Kayak pictured making their way from Castlederg to Moville

A conservation expert has had an ‘up close and personal’ look at bird life on the River Foyle.

Claire Ferry of the RSPB spent two days on the Foyle as a guest of Just Kayak, a canoeing centre based at Moville and the Loughs Agency, observing the rich and varied life on the river.

“The two days were such a great experience, and being on the river gave me a whole new perspective on the countryside in this area,” Claire said.

“The short stretches of white water were exciting and then it was so quiet and peaceful on the calm stretches.

“We saw some great wildlife including river birds like kingfishers and dippers, but the highlight had to be getting close up views of an otter rolling and diving just in front of the boat – wonderful!”

Claire, who is currently walking around the North to raise awareness about bird reserves, was guided along the Foyle by Adrian Harkin of Just Kayak.

He said; “I met Claire on the upper Derg and we quickly made progress down this beautiful valley. Andy from the Loughs Agency met us at Abercorn Estates fishing lodge with coffee and scones.

“While there, Claire had an interesting conversation about the interaction of fish and birds with local ghillie Robert Freeburn.

“That afternoon, we paddled the River Mourne as far as Lifford, seeing kingfisher, sandpiper and other birds along the way.”

The pair followed the Foyle Canoe Trail, a Loughs Agency project developed in conjunction with CAAN (Countryside Access and Activities Network). This trail follows the Foyle from Lifford to Moville. More information is available online at www.canoeni.com/canoe-trails/