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Birdwatching in Galway and Connemara

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Old Sunday 21st April 2019, 19:49   #1
katastrofa
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Birdwatching in Galway and Connemara

Hi,

I will be going to Galway (city) and Connemara (national park, staying at the hostel) end of June. What spots do you recommend for bird and seal watching? I won't have a car.

Thanks in advance :)
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 06:03   #2
Gzoladz74
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The Galway branch of Brirdwatch Ireland has an ok website that lists the main sites and what you are likely to see there. The Connemara Nationan Park is deffinitely one of them. It has a very nice visitor centre (and very helpful and knowledgeable staff) that will also help you with local knowledge. I live in Dublin but spent 1 week there last October.

I noted that you will not have a car so not sure if these are options, but I personally recommend Inishbofin, hands down. It is a short boat ride from Cleggan and thr right season. You can get corncrake, puffin and many migrants. Also on the East border of Co Galway there is Lough Derg, that has White Tailed Eagles nesting in some islands (this year, near Portumna forest, I saw them in the past from Mountshannon).

Last, half way between Dublin and Galway there is Lough Boora, which has Grey Partridge and it is very good for Hen Harrier and other raptors. Definitely worth a day, I always try to stop there when I go West or if I am in the area.
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 08:52   #3
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Thanks! I found the website you mentioned: http://www.birdwatchgalway.org/whereto1.htm

I think it should be possible to reach Cleggan by public transport from either Galway or Letterfrack? Do the boats to Inishbofin leave regularly?

Ireland looks very interesting for watching birds!
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 17:07   #4
Gzoladz74
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If you Google Inishbofin Ferry or Inishbofin Island discovery you can get the up to date information about sailings.

There are buses from Galway city and you can get a taxi from Letterfack. Both may cost around the same but the travel time from Letterfack must be 15mins, where the bus from Galway could be 2 hours, and I dont think they have regular services. I would definitely do Inishbofin from Letterfack.

Inishbofin is worth spending the night, sunrise and sunset are outstanding if you get the weather and they are the best times for birdwatching too.
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Old Thursday 25th April 2019, 21:51   #5
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Thanks, we will definitely try Inishbofin from Lettercrack.
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Old Wednesday 26th June 2019, 19:50   #6
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Update:

Inishbofin was a real blast, we have gone there twice. We saw an abundance of meadow birds (skylarks, wheatears, stonechats), the standard crew (robins, sparrows, starlings) as well as ring plovers and oystercatchers. On the way by ferry we saw gannets, terns and (I think) mergansers. The highlight of the first trip to Inishbofin were the seals, and the second the fulmars and (heard but not seen) corn crakes. One crake was calling a few meters from us, hidden in the tall grass - we could hear him very well, but didn't see a single feather!

Next time we're in the area, we'll definitely stay overnight to try to catch a glimpse of corn crakes at dawn.
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Old Wednesday 26th June 2019, 19:53   #7
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PS. Comparing the numbers of gulls (which learned to find food on land) with other sea birds (which rely on the sea to feed them), one can see clearly how overfishing has starved the seas...
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