Birdwatching spots

Winter birdwatching spots

Our Ornithologists are located nationwide and know all the best birding spots in the land! Along with our dedicated GIS and Digital team, we have created a list of some of our ornithologists’ favourite locations to go bird-watching in every county over the winter season to see resident and migrant winter species. Peak numbers tend to occur through December and January, so the Christmas season is a perfect time to grab your binoculars and enjoy some birding!

CountyLocationThis location is good for spotting…
CarlowOak Park Forest Park, Carlow TownSmall Passerines and some waterbirds. Doubles up as an arboretum.
CavanKillykeen Forest ParkWaterbirds
ClareLoop HeadSeabirds
ClareMount ShannonGood chance of seeing White-Tailed Eagles
CorkRosscarberyWaders, Ducks, Geese and Swans at low tide
CorkCork Harbour (walkway from Rochestown to Blackrock Castle)Waders, Ducks, Geese, Swans, Gulls and Kingfisher at low tide
CorkThe GearaghDucks, Geese, Swans and Songbirds
DonegalMalin HeadWintering Barnacle Geese
DublinBull IslandWaterbirds in general, including Red-Breasted Merganser, Pintail, Shelduck and much more. Kingfisher can be seen where the Santry River enters the mudflats, with Peregrine often hunting nearby.
DublinPhoenix ParkRaptors like Buzzard, Long-eared Owl, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel, with various ponds in the park good for Gulls, Heron, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot and Mute Swan with water rail seen infrequently. Great for Treecreepers! Lots of Badger activity in the park as well.
DublinHowth Cliff Walk Gulls, Divers, Cormorant, Shag, Common and Black Guillemot, Razorbill as well as Harbour Porpoise, Grey and Common Seals.
GalwayBelclare Turlough (there is a hide build east of the Turlough)All Winter Wildfowl, with Wigeon and Teal in large numbers, some Greenland White-Fronted Geese, Lapwing and Curlew.
KerryTralee BayWaders, Wildfowl and Gulls
KildarePollardstown FenWaterbirds
LaoisShanahoe WetlandsPintailed Ducks and Egrets
LeitrimLough ErrillGoldeneye
LimerickWestfields WelandsDucks such as Gadwall, Pochard, Teal and Tufted Duck
LongfordLough GownaGreat Crested Grebe
LouthOscar Merne Memorial Bird Hide at LurgangreenWaders and Merlin
MayoKillala Bay (Parking and Viewing point from car park on Steeple Hill)Brent Geese, Wigeon, Red-Breasted Merganser, Shelduck and Teal
MeathMorningtonGulls and Waders
MonaghanDromore LakesWildfowl and Waterbirds including Goldeneye and Lapwing
OffalyLough Boora Discovery ParkHen Harrier, Merlin, Whooper Swan, Golden Plover, Lapwing and curlew.
RoscommonLough ReeTufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Whooper Swan and large murmuration’s of Starlings
SligoBallygilgan (Lissadell) Nature Reserve. (Locally known as The Goose Field)Famed for Barnacle Geese and a wide variety of Ducks and Waders, including Golden Plover, Teal, Wigeon and Bar Tailed Godwit
SligoAughris HeadCormorant, Gannet, Redshank, Eider Duck, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, Sparrowhawk and Pergerine
SligoStreamstownBrent Geese, Curlew, Egret, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Teal and possibly White-Tailed Eagle
TipperaryRiver Little Brosna CallowsWhooper Swans, Black-Tailed Godwit, Golden Plover, Teal, Greenland White-Fronted Goose, Wigeon, Shoveler, Pintail and Lapwing
WaterfordCunnigar SandspitGeese and Seabirds
WestmeathBurgess Park, AthloneWhooper Swans, Lapwing, Wigeon, Teal and Golden Plover
WexfordTacumshin LakeWaterbirds and other highlights such as Marsh Harrier, Short-Eared Owl, Bearded Reedling and Glossy Ibis
WicklowGlendaloughGoosander on the Glendasan River north from the visitor centre and the stream by the upper lake carpark. Dipper also found on the Glendasan River. Red Kite frequent in the area, with great-spotted woodpecker present too.
WicklowAvocaGo an hour before sunset to see ~100+ Red Kites circling just a few metres above the village before going to roost, also keep an eye on the river for Goosander


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