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Good birding sites in West Ireland? (1 Viewer)

markpie

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Hello,

I'm going to Ireland in the summer for 2 weeks. I'd like to know of some good places to go birding.

In the 1st week we're staying in the south-west, near Dingle, so anywhere near there that's good for birds and landscape would be cool. I think we're willing to travel anywhere in the south-west really. Also, we wonder whether Clear Island (off Baltimore) is a good place to go, and if so whether we can book a ferry in advance.

In the 2nd week, we're staying near Ballyvaughan, on the Galway Bay. Again we're willing to travel quite far, maybe a bit further north. Any places in that West bit we should go to?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,
Cheers, Mark
 

Padraig

Well-known member
mini-colster said:
Hello,

I'm going to Ireland in the summer for 2 weeks. I'd like to know of some good places to go birding.
Cheers, Mark

Hello there Mark.

Dingle to Baltimore is a fair drive-roads are bad so expect up to three hours. No need to book the ferry to Cape Clear as it runs regularly. You can stay at the bird observatory on the island but I think they expect you to have prebooked through Birdwatch Ireland-they're on the net.
At this time of year, you're getting towards sea watching season, although August/September is best. Cory's, Great and Sooty Shearwaters are regular.

In Galway, Nimmos Pier in the town itself is good for Gulls in winter: Iceland, Glaucous, Kumlein's American Herring and Ring Billed. Not sure what they've got in at the moment.
Corncrakes inhabit one or two of the islands off Clifden off the far west of Galway. Clare Island is the largest island but the crakes are on one of the smaller ones near there-cannot remember the names. They should keep calling for another few weeks.
Choughs are still fairly numerous in the small sea-side mountains in Connemara. I last saw them in the hills behind Roundstone.
Other than that, there's not alot to see at this time of year. As you may know, the number of bird species seen in Ireland is far less than in Britain.
Apart from relatively 'sedentary' birds like Woodpeckers, Nuthatches etc. the reason for this relative dearth isnt all that clear to me.

anyway, happy birding.

Padraig.
 

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