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Portmarnock, Co. Dublin (1 Viewer)


Dance the ghost with me
Being lucky enough to live here, I see the regulars every day. Admittedly, most of these regulars are common Irish species, but Portmarnock is lucky enough to have high numbers of bird species. The birds here seem happy, healthy and don’t seem to be in too much trouble, despite urbanization.

Here is a WINTER report, based on simply walking around the area and observing. It’s a general report on what’s here, and is by no means a comprehensive, definitive list. Actually, a proper study may be appropriate here at some point.

Portmarnock is a coastal location, with a fine sandy beach. There are no mudflats, so wader numbers aren’t great, but Curlews and Oystercatchers frequent the GAA playing fields. There is also a small marsh nearby, and this unique habitat should be recognized as a conservation hotspot. Good numbers of Mallards, Mute Swans, Herring Gulls, Black-Headed Gulls and Grey Herons can be seen all year here. Little Egrets have also recently colonized here, and seem to be becoming used to people and traffic around here.

In Winter, huge numbers of Brent Geese and some waders fly over and the geese settle in the estuary and my school field. Yesterday I was also lucky enough to see an Iceland Gull, although not spectacular, they are scarce enough and it’s good that they’re at least in the area.

Most of the birds in Portmarnock are songbirds and garden regulars. Sparrowhawks and loads of Kestrels hunt all kinds. Early morning you can hear Blackbirds, Woodpigeons, Collared Doves, Robins and Song Thrushes. The rest included: Pied and Grey Wagtails, Dunnocks, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Linnets, Bullfinches, Great, Coal and Blue Tits, Blackcaps in Winter, Goldcrests, Magpies, Jackdaws, Wrens, Mistle Thrushes, Skylarks and House Sparrows. There are also small numbers of Hooded Crows and a massive Rookery beside the Hotel. That’s pretty much it… (Phew!)

Like I said, this is not a comprehensive list. This is what can regularly (by which I mean, daily) be seen here in the dreary Winter months. For such a small area I feel it is important to recognize its importance to the local birds and to the local environment as a whole.

It sure is worth visiting!

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