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Just 10 minutes to catch first salmon

The first salmon of 2011 in Ireland was caught yesterday within 10 minutes of the start of fishing in the new season on the River Drowse in Co Leitrim.

Ian Martin, 46, of Tullyroan, Dungannon, Co Tyrone, caught the 11lbs 7oz salmon with his second or third cast at the Drowse Salmon Fishery between Kinlough and Bundoran. It was reckoned to have been the fastest-caught fish of any new year.

Meanwhile, thousands of rare birds that arrived in Ireland to escape freezing temperatures in northern Europe are likely to starve to death if another cold spell arrives.

Flocks of waxwings, striking reddish-brown birds that make an appearance here from Arctic Russia and Scandinavia every four years, came to our shores last November.

But BirdWatch Ireland said their plight hung in the balance as the waxwings' food source had been wiped out.

A number of kingfishers have starved to death while small birds like the wren, which feed on insects, have also found the winter tough, as have seed-eaters like finches, and robins and blackbirds, which feed on worms.

Sunday Independent