Bird Watching Locations Ireland
Where are the top sites for you to go birdwatching in Ireland? This page contains useful information about where to go bird watching in Ireland. There are 50 bird watching sites featured here. I have visited all of these sites in the last 2 years and taken photographs of many of the birds that I saw on my visit. These have been compiled into galleries which feature on this page. There is information about each individual bird watching site, including details about where to park. If you have a favourite birding site that you would like to share with me, please send details and I will add it to the website. Feel free to send some of your photographs and I will add them to the gallery. Of course, one of the best places to see birds in Ireland is in the garden. If you need help identifying birds in your garden, click here: Top 30 Garden Birds Ireland
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Bird Watching Locations Armagh
Lough Neagh is the largest lake on the island of Ireland. In fact, at almost 400 square kilometres, it is the largest lake in the British Isles. It is a haven for bird watching and it attracts many visitors from the UK and Europe. One of the best places for you to get good access to the lake and surrounding woodlands, is Oxford Island Nature Reserve in Armagh. The reserve is located on a small peninsula that extends out into the lake. There is a visitor centre with a shop, a small café and toilets. Ask at the reception desk for a map of the reserve. This will show you walking trails along the lakeshore and also in the surrounding woodlands.
There is a large car park at the visitor centre where you can start your walk. There is the added bonus of five bird hides located close by. On the road leading to and from Oxford Island, watch out for a sign to Kinnego Marina. There is a large car park and walks around the lake shore. Search for Oxford Island Nature Reserve in Google Maps. Sat Nat co-ordinates are 54.4965550, -6.3832002
Bird Watching Locations Dublin
Ardgillan Castle & Demesne
Ardgillan Castle & Demesne is located near Balbriggan in North County Dublin. It is a large parkland area with open walks along grasslands and wooded areas. It overlooks the Irish Sea between Balbriggan and Skerries. There is a foot bridge that crosses both the rail railway line and the road that leads to what is known as the Ladies Stairs. From here there are steps down to a stony beach at low tide. You can type “The Ladies Stairs” into Google and it will bring up Google Maps with the location highlighted. Sat Nav Co-ordinates are 53.581024, -6.160524 for the car park in Ardgillan Demesne. Sat Nav co-ordinates for the car park at the ladies steps (3 minutes walk) are 53.588479, -6.153071 .
Balbriggan is a small coastal town in North County Dublin. There is a small fishing harbour in the town, as well as a long sandy beach. There is a parking lot beside the harbour and you can access the beach from the harbour. There is a pathway along the back of the beach which then continues along a rocky shoreline towards the lighthouse.
Sat-Nav co-ordinates for the carpark are 53.610113, -6.181584
Baldoyle, County Dublin
Baldoyle is a small town on the coast in County Dublin close to Sutton and Portmarnock. The Strand Road runs from the church in Baldoyle along the coast to Sutton Cross. There is a wide pedestrian walkway separated from the road by a low wall and this walkway gives you superb views of the tidal estuary which is exposed at low tide. You can spend time on the walkway and view a wide variety of birds including waders, wildfowl and gulls. Brent Geese are common in winter and Common Gulls are often present.
When you reach the end of the walkway, there are steps down onto the stoney beach. From here you can walk further along the estuary where there is a marshy area at the back of Sutton Dart Station. You can follow the coast alongside Sutton Golf Course and this will take you out to the coast overlooking Howth and Ireland’s Eye. It is important to keep an eye on tide times and make sure you are off the beach before full tide.
There is no specific area for parking. Roadside parking is available near the church. Sat Nav co-ordinates for this parking area are 53.398348, -6.127159
Baldoyle, Old Racecourse
Baldoyle Race Course has been closed for many years now, but the site has been transformed into a superb amenity that has attracted wildlife. There are now a series of paths and walks in an area that has been reclaimed by nature. There is a roundabout less than a kilometre from Baldoyle, heading in the direction of Malahide. Take the first exit and drive for a couple of minutes until you see a layby for parking. There is a park entrance here where that leads wo several walkways through wild grasslands and wooded areas. Alternatively there is a paved walk from Baldoyle to Portmarnock which is a 25 minute walk.
Balheary Park, Swords, County Dublin
Balheary Park is located on the Northern edge of Swords in North County Dublin. At first glance it looks like there is not a lot there except football pitches. However once you enter the park you will find not just one river walk, but two. The Ward River dissects the park in two and the walk along the river is good for finches, wren, mallard, little egrets, grey wagtails and the occasional (and elusive) Kingfisher. The Broadmeadows River forms the Northern boundary to the park and attracts the same birds along with chiffchaff and willow warblers in Spring and Grey Heron all year. Parking can usually be found on the R125 which runs along the south side of the park. The Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.465010, -6.216129
Bohernabreena Reservoir, Dublin
This is actually two reservoirs in the Glenasmole Valley in the Dublin Mountains. The River Dodder flows through the valley and both reservoirs are fed by the river – the upper reservoir and the lower reservoir. From the public car park there is a loop walk around the reservoirs which includes part of the Dublin Mountains Way. There are beautiful views of the Wicklow mountains as well as Dublin city. The walk is level for most of the way, although there is a hill leading from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir, but the gradient is not steep. The car park is at the entrance to the park which is located just three and a half kilometres from Tallaght on the R 114. It is a very easy walk that can be done easily in 90 minutes. Please note that the car park is not very large and can be full at peak times, especially in summer. Sat Nav co-ordinates for the car park are 53.258941, -6.369069
Booterstown Marsh, Dublin
Booterstown Marsh can be found, not surprisingly, in the village of Booterstown in South County Dublin. The marsh is separated from Sandymount Strand by the Dart train line. The water levels in the marsh rise and fall with the tides. Fresh water flows into the marsh from the Nutley Stream and some salt water can enter the marsh at high tide. At low tide it attracts large numbers of Wildfowl and Waders that come to feed there. A Walk along the Blackrock Road will give you views of the park trough the trees. There are also several gaps in the hedge at the south end of the Marsh. These are accessed from the carpark serving Booterstown DART Station. This is the closest place to park. While you are at the Marsh, check out the park on your right. There is a tidal channel that runs for a few hundred metres and this can be a good area for finding birds. If you keep walking part the channel for another 5 minutes, there is a pedestrian bridge that goes over the Dart Line to Sandymount Strand.
Sat Nav co-ordinates for the carpark at the Marsh are as follows: 53.308986, -6.196273 . The parking fee is €4.50 for a few hours (Check signage).
Alternatively you can park in the free carpark at Sandymount Strand which is about a 20 minute walk from Booterstown Marsh.
Broadmeadows Estuary Dublin
Broadmeadows Estuary in Swords in North County Dublin is one of the most popular bird watching sites in Dublin. Search for Dennehy Rosswood Kennels in Google maps. This is at the start of the road that runs the length of the estuary. Drive a few hundred metres and you will come to several lay-by’s for parking. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.4611260, -6.1921400.
Bull Island, Dublin
Bull Island is one of the most popular bird watching locations in Ireland, with a 5 kilometre long beach and a tidal estuary, It is one of the best nature reserves in Dublin and a huge attraction for visitors who come birding in Ireland. At low tide, there are substantial areas of mudflats exposed attracting huge numbers of waders and wildfowl. There is an extensive system of dunes on Bull Island. This is home to large numbers of Linnets, Skylarks, Reed Buntings, Stonechats, Meadow Pipits as well as birds of prey including, Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrines. Search for “Wooden Bridge Dollymount” in Google Maps. This will bring you to the bridge that crosses the estuary to the beach. You can park on the beach, or along the road leading to the beach. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53°22’26.3″N 6°09’51.6″W
When you access the beach from the causeway you can turn left, heading North, and follow the beach until you reach the end. It is a 3.5 Km walk in each direction, so you will need at least 3 hours. When you reach the end, you are at the tip of Bull Island and you have direct access to the tidal channel which runs along the back of the beach. Here you will see waders, gulls, sea birds and very often grey seals and common seals. You can walk down the beach and come back along the grass track on the other side. You can park your car near the end of the causeway. Sat Nav co-ordinates are: 53.369886, -6.148891
Bullock Harbour is a small fishing harbour between Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey in South County Dublin. There is a rocky shoreline that attracts gulls to roost and Mediterranean Gulls are often present. Sat-Nav co-ordinates 53.285020, -6.108043
Cave’s Marsh, Malahide Dublin
Cave’s Marsh is an extension of Broadmeadows Estuary Swords, County Dublin. This part of the estuary is closer to Malahide. The marshy area is at the point where the Gaybrook River enters the Broadmeadows Estuary and forms a smaller estuary of its own. The area attracts geese and ducks as well as Redshank and Greenshank. It is a good area to see Common Gulls. You can park at the end of the Broadmeadows Estuary in the last parking layby. Keep the estuary to your right and walk into Seabury Park. Follow the path along the shoreline until you reach the marsh. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.457398, -6.180299
Corballis Beach, Malahide
Technically, this beach looks out towards Malahide, but you can only access it from an area known as Corballis, near Corballis Golf Club in North County Dublin. It is a tidal estuary that exposes vast areas of mudflats at low tide.
Parking Co-ordinates are: 53.466313, -6.135043
Corcagh Park, Dublin
Corcagh Park in South Dublin has a mix of sports fields and woodlands. There are two large ponds that are fed by the River Camac, and a 4.5 Kilometre walk around the park which is a mix of parkland and wooded areas.
Parking Co-ordinates are: 53.327981, -6.434649
Dalkey Island lies just off the coast of South County Dublin and it is a popular destination bird photography. Maiden Rock is a small rocky outcrop to the North of the island and is home to breeding Roseate Terns. There is a Martello Tower on the island as well as the ruins of a small church. Seals are often present on the rocky shoreline and there are local rabbits and a herd of goats! Gulls and terns nest on the island along with Oyster Catchers. There is a small boat operated by “Ken the Ferryman” from Colliemore Harbour and the boat journey takes about 5 minutes. During 2020 the fare was €10 return. On street parking can be found close by but it can be very busy at weekends, particularly in summer. Check out the ferry times at kentheferryman.com. Sat Nav co-ordinates for the harbour are 53.274894, -6.093837 . Continue past the harbour and search for on street parking, Check out 2 small parks on both sides of the road.
Dodder River Dublin
The Dodder rises in the Wicklow Mountains and meanders through south Dublin until it joins the River Liffey at Grand Canal Dock. This walk starts at Terenure, passes through Milltown and finishes at Clonskeagh. It is roughly 7 Kilometres round trip. The walk hugs the river bank and there is ready access to see any birds and wildlife. On my first visit on a busy Saturday morning in June, there were many expected birds absent, but enough to bring me back again soon! I started the walk at the following co-ordinates in Google maps: 53.304807, -6.280722 . I found parking on Westbourne Road (about 3 minutes walk away). The co-ordinates are: 53.305764, -6.283030 .
This is a hidden gem in Dublin and a place to enjoy some tranquillity, and bird watching, close to the centre of the city. It is a municipal park that started life as a reservoir to serve the city in 1810. It is officially known as Blessington Basin, but locals call it The Basin! It is a wonderful park that has a large, deep pond with pathways on all sides. There is an island in the middle and beautiful plants and trees throughout. It attracts a variety of ducks and water birds as well as typical parkland birds. The main entrance is on Blessington Street and there is parking along the street. Check the signage as it you will have to pay a fee! Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.357039, -6.269024
Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Dublin
Dun Laoghaire Harbour is commercial harbour and leisure marina in South Dublin. There are 2 long piers which offer long walks out into the bay where you can see a variety of gulls, terns (in Summer) and waders. It is also a good place to see divers in Winter including Red Throated Divers, Black Throated Divers and Great Crested Grebes. Scotsmen’s Bay just a couple of hundred metres from the start of the East Pier is a good place to see Mediterranean Gulls in Summer. The area around the start of the East Pier attracts Black Redstarts in Summer. Search for Scotsman’s Bay in Google. There is a car park along the seafront. Bring plenty of coins as it is “Pay & Display”. The Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.290009, -6.126234
Glasnevin Cemetary, Dublin
This is probably an unusual place to go bird watching but it is located right next door to the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland in Glasnevin, Dublin. This creates a very large habitat for wildlife within the city. Both the gardens and the cemetery are known for the large population of grey squirrels in the area. There is an access gate between the park and the cemetery, but remember the cemetery closes at 6.00 PM every day! There is a public car park in the gardens, located here: 53.371565, -6.269545 . Alternatively you can enter the cemetery through a pedestrian gate in Prospect Square which is home to the Gravediggers Pub! ; 53.369546, -6.272215.
Great South Wall Dublin
This is a popular bird watching site close to Dublin city centre. Running along the south bank of the River Liffey where it enters the Irish Sea near Dublin City Centre, the Great South Wall is a popular walk in Dublin. it is approximately 4 Kilometres long and is a good place to view terns in Summer time as well as gulls and other sea birds. Search Google for “Great South Wall Parking”. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.3409182, -6.1762445 .
Hellfire Club, County Dublin
The Hellfire Club is an old ruin of a shooting lodge that dates back to the 16th century. It sits on top of Mount Pelier Hill in South Dublin, near Tallaght and Rathfarnham. There is a public car park at the base of the hill and well maintained trails that meander through Massy’s Wood. The trails work their way through coniferous forest and there are superb views over the city of Dublin and also the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains. There are two looped walks, 60 minutes and 90 minutes, one a little more gentle than the other. Sat Nav co-ordinates are: 53.252131, -6.320853
Howth Harbour Dublin
Howth is a popular village for Dubliners to visit and an excellent bird watching site with a great variety of sea birds. There are two long piers in the harbour as well as an inner pier. There is excellent access to the inner harbour and great views out to sea. Search for “East Pier Howth” in Google Maps. Thus will take you to the car park at the end of the village. Along the way, there are several other opportunities to park. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.388326, -6.065095. Walk along the East Pier on the high wall and you can see the harbour and out to sea.
Howth Head Dublin
Just a short drive from Howth Harbour is Howth Head. This is a popular cliff walk along the headland with superb views out over Dublin Bay. There is a wide variety of Gulls in the area as well as Guillemots, Razorbills, Gannets, Fulmars, Kittiwakes and Cormorants. The headland is a breeding area for Stonechats, Linnets, Meadow Pipits and a wide range of other small birds. Kestrels are regularly seen. When you drive from Howth Head you come to a large carpark at the end of the road which is adjacent to the start of the Walk. It can be steep and rocky in places, so wear good walking shoes. Search Google Maps for Howth Cliff Walk Carpark. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.385617, -6.051511
The Jacko, Dublin
The Jacko is the local name for a wooded area in the Ward River valley in Swords, County Dublin. There is a large pond in the woods that attracts waders.
Sat-Nav co-ordinates: 53.458509, -6.251746
Killiney Hill Park
The Killiney Hill Park not surprisingly sits on top of Killiney Hill in Dublin and it offers some superb views of Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains. It is a mix of woodlands and parklands. Sat-Nav co-ordinates for the park are: 53.269729, -6.110072
Loughshinny, County Dublin
Loughshinny is a small fishing harbour located between Rush and Skerries in North Dublin. It is a popular spot to go bird watching as there is access to to the beach and cliffs (at low tide) to spot Fulmar. There is also a cliff walk where you can see songbirds, chats and finches as well as the occasional Buzzard and Kestrel. From the car park at the beach walk out along the beach at low tide to see Fulmars on the cliff face. At the end of the beach there are steps that take you to the top of the headland. Follow the path which takes you through hedgerows and grasslands, and also gives you great views of the shoreline. Search Google Maps for Loughshinny Beach. There is a car park right at the beach. Sat-Nav co-ordinates 53.547241, -6.081063
Malahide, County Dublin
The town of Malahide in North Dublin has a tidal Estuary that is a continuation of Broadmeadows Estuary. At low tide, you can access the beach. There is a car park located a short distance from the town and this gives you access to the beach. This area has grasslands that support Linnet, Stonechats, Pipits, Goldfinch and others. Walk to your left towards the town and you will see waders, geese, ducks, divers and more, depending on the season. The sat nav co-ordinates for the car park are 53.450208, -6.141562
Malahide Estuary North
The northern part of Malahide Estuary in Dublin is accessed quite some distance from Malahide. You need to travel towards Donabate and turn off for the Island Golf Club on the way. When you pass the entrance to the Island Golf Club, there is a parking area overlooking the estuary. This is a tidal estuary and large areas of the estuary are exposed at low tide. There are several channels of water visible at low tide and they contain a large variety of seabirds. You can walk along the beach at low tide as far as Malahide. It is about a 30 minute walk. The golf club borders the beach and you can see a variety of finches, chats and pipits. Sat Nav co-ordinates for the car park are 53.466313, -6.135043 or you can enter The Island Golf Club into Google maps and drive past the entrance to the parking area.
This is an area close to the pier in West Dun Laoghaire. It has a linear park along the shoreline and teasy access to the West Pier. Parling can be located in some of the side streets leading down to the coast road.
Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.295842, -6.156855
National Botanical Gardens Dublin
Located close to Dublin city centre, this is a haven for wildlife with cultivated flower beds, natural grasslands, wooded areas and a walk along the Tolka River. The park is open every day from 9 to 4.30 in Winter and 9 to 5 in Summer. It usually stays open for an extra hour on Saturday and Sunday. There is a car park onsite but it can get full early at peak times. The Sat-Nav co-ordinates for the car park are 53.371547, -6.269553
Newbridge House & Farm, Donabate, County Dublin
Newbridge House and Farm, also known as Newbridge Demesne, is located near Donabate in North County Dublin. In addition to a beautifully preserved Georgian House and a traditional working farm, there are 370 acres of gently undulating pastureland, woodland walks and wild flower meadows which creates an ideal habitat for birds. The park is managed by Fingal County Council and there is a large public car park: Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.486204, -6.170464
Phoenix Park Dublin
The Phoenix Park in Dublin is the largest enclose park in Europe and home to a herd of 600 Fallow Deer as well as home to Dublin Zoo. There are extensive areas of parkland and woodlands and there is a large pond on Ordinance Survey Road, and another pond in the people’s garden. You can park throughout the park and there is a visitor centre with a café, toilets, car parking and woodland walks. The pond on the ordinance survey road is located here: 53.365306, -6.343364 . The visitor centre car park is located here: 53.364447, -6.330937 . For more information visit the official website: http://phoenixpark.ie
This is a walk along the shoreline from just outside Malahide and leading to Portmarnock. At low tide there are rocky areas exposed which attract a variety of waders and gulls. Access to the beach is located at several points along the path.
Parking is available here: 53.443697, -6.125152
Portrane Beach Dublin
Portrane is a small coastal village in North County Dublin, just south of Rush Harbour. At low tide there are huge areas of the beach exposed leaving tidal pools an large expanses of sand. This attracts gulls, corvids, Little Egrets and Oystercatchers in Summer. In winter it attracts a wide variety of waders. There is a car parking area at the start of the beach. You can walk about two and a half kilometres to Rogerstown Estuary. This is the site of a fenced off area where Little Terns can be seen in late Spring and early Summer. The area is managed each year by Birdwatch Ireland as it is the only nesting site in Fingal for Little Terns. As you walk from the car parking area to the estuary, you will pass sand dunes that have been eroded in recent years. This has caused a sheer cliff-like face to the dunes. Sand Martins nest here in early summer and you can see them constantly flying back and forth to the nest to feed their young chicks. Sat Nav co-ordinates for parking you car are here: 53.493707, -6.109262
You can access Rogerstown Estuary by parking in Portrane in North Dublin and walking along the beach to the estuary. It takes approximately 25 minutes to walk along the beach, so be careful of the tide. The best time to walk is at low tide, or an outgoing tide. Sat-Nav co-ordinates for parking are 53.493801, -6.109443
Royal Canal Dublin
This stretch of the canal runs from the 12th Lock at Castleknock to the 10th lock at Ashtown near the Phoenix Park. It passes under the M50 motorway interchange for Blanchardstown and Castleknock. It is an easy walk along the canal. There is parking available on the street near the 12th lock. From here you can walk in either direction toward Collmine or towards Ashtown. Parking can be found here: Sat-Nav co-ordinates: 53.382748, -6.366006
There is another access point to the Royal Canal at Binns Bridge in Drumcondra. From here, you can walk along the canal towards Phibsborough and Broombridge. Or you can take the opposite direction towards Croke Park, There are walking paths along both banks of the canal. Parking is available in St. Ignatius Road just 50 metres from the canal: Sat-Nav co-ordinates: 53.361203, -6.260325
Royal Canal Binns Bridge
This stretch of the Royal Canal flows past Croagh Park, Drumcondra, past Mountjoy Gaol and on towards Phibsborough. There are pathways on both sides of the canal and you can change over at the various bridges that you cross. Park on street – 53.3613638, -6.26102321
Rush is a small coastal town in North County Dublin with a small harbour with access to the beach. It is a popular bird watching location in North County Dublin. It looks out over the Irish sea and has excellent views of Rockabill Island and the headland and Martello Tower at Loughshinny. As it is tidal, it has a large range of gulls, terns, waders, divers as well as a good variety of birds in the hedges and fields along the beach. There is a small car park at the harbour and easy access to the beach. Sat-Nav co-ordinates: 53.522477, -6.082188
Rush, South Beach
The south beach at rush is accessed on the opposite side of the town to the harbour. There is a large carpark that gives access to a long sandy beach to your right, and a rocky shoreline to your left. The rocky shoreline is exposed at low tide and attracts a wide range of birds. There is a steep embankment along this part of the beach where you can see finches and chats. If you are driving through Rush from the Dublin direction, turn right onto Convent lane just past the turn for Skerries. The beach is at the end of the lane. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.518588, -6.091814775
Saint Catherine’s Park, Lucan, Dublin
St. Catherine’s Park is a mixed woodland and grassland park of over 200 acres along the banks of the River Liffey. The Liffey divides the park which straddles Dublin and Kildare. There is a pedestrian bridge over the river so it is possible to explore both banks of the Liffey. There is a wide variety of bird life in the park including Kingfishers, Jay and Tree Creepers. There is a car park in the park but this is near the football pitches which leaves you a 10 minute walk to the river. There is also a smaller car park along the main road between Lucan and Leixlip with direct access to the river walk. Sat Nav co-ordinates for Lucan Road Car Park: 53.355631, -6.460821.
Sandymount Strand, Dublin
Sandymount Strand stretches from Sean O’Casey Park near the village of Sandymount, to the Merrion Road at Merrion Gates on the south side of Dublin. It is part of the Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve. At high tide the sea comes right up to the road. Low tide exposes a flat sandy beach that extends for almost 2 kilometres to the sea. The area attracts a large variety of gulls, waders and in summer, terns. There are 3 public car parks at the following co-ordinates: 53.328438, -6.208788 and 53.324327, -6.206746 and 53.321747, -6.206218. At the south end of the beach you can get back onto the road and walk as far as the Merrion Gates railway crossing. Here, you can access the beach at Merrion Strand where there are mudflats and some grassland.
NOTE: Be careful if you walk all the way out on the exposed sand to watch for the incoming tide!
Shelly Banks is an area of Dublin near Poolbeg and close to the start of the Great South Wall. It is a good location to see gulls and waders! There is a carpark here: 53.338421, -6.182791
Skerries is a fishing village in North County Dublin where you can see terns in the summer time as well as waders and sea ducks in winter, including Eider. Search for Red Island Car Park in Google and follow directions. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.5857162, -6.1034095. There is also access to the shoreline on the road from Skerries to Balbriggan. You can park here…. 53.5832402, -6.1228129
Tolka River Drumcondra
This section of the Tolka River runs through Drumcondra in Dublin. You can access Griffith Park from Botanic Avenue. The river flows through the park. When you exit the park you can walk as far as Mobhi Road and then walk along the right hand side of the river. When you reach Glasnevin Hill, you can turn left and the enter the National Botanic Gardens. There is Pay & Display parking along Botanic Avenue, Sat-Nav Co-ordinates are 53.369627, -6.262961. You can also access the river from The National Botanic Gardens 53.371531, -6.269600
Tolka Valley Park
This is a Linear Park that follows the river from Ashtown to Glasnevin. There is a path along the river bank as well as a large pond.
Turvey Nature Reserve Dublin
This is another popular bird watching location in Dublin. Turvey Nature Reserve is a parkland & woodland reserve that also has access to Rogerstown Estuary. Search for Turvey Nature Reserve in Google and use the map to get directions. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.492294, -6.181338. There are plenty of parking spaces at the entrance to the park. There are two walks just inside the gate. Turn left for a walk through parkland and woodland, and turn right for a walk through parkland to the bird hide overlooking the estuary. The bird hide is only open on Saturdays and Sundays in winter.
Tymon Park is a very large park straddling the M50 motorway and serving the people of Tallaght, Firhouse and Terenure. There are several very large ponds that are nourished by the River Poddle and that attract a wide variety water birds. There are also woodland and parkland areas throughout the park. It is divided by the M%) motorway but there are two footbridges that allow you to cross from one side to the other. There are carparks located on both sides of the park. Sat-Nav co-ordinates for car park near Terenure are 53.305093, -6.341168 and Sat-Nav co-ordinates for car park near Tallaght are 53.298479, -6.343585
Bird Watching Locations Kildare
River Barrow Kildare
Monasterevin is located in County Kildare just off the M7 Motorway and about an hour away from Dublin. The River Barrow flows through the town as well as the Grand Canal. There is a harbour on the canal just outside the town. There are walkways along both the river and the canal with access to waterways, wetlands, woodlands and grasslands. The river is accessed near the centre of town and you can park at the following co-ordinates: 53.137723, -7.064679 . On street parking can be found in the town just a couple of hundred metres away. To access the canal harbour, park here 53.142432, -7.067557 and access is from both sides of the road.
Bird Watching Locations Louth
The Castletown River enters the sea at Dundalk Harbour. There are several birding sites worth visiting, especially a couple of hours either side of high tide. A path along the river from the Newry Road to the Tain Bridge. Here you will see a large variety of waders, ducks and gulls. From Tain Bridge, you can follow the road to Dundalk Docks where the mudflats are exposed at low tide. Finally, you can walk from the docks to Navvy Bank Walk. This follows the estuary all the way to Soldiers Point. This area is good for birds in flight. A Forsters Tern has been spending summer here for several years.
There is a large carpark at the Long Walk shopping centre which is located here: 54.006090, -6.404064 . Turn left when you leave the carpark and keep going until you get to the river. It is less than 10 minutes away. You can also park in Dundalk Docks which is located here 54.009071, -6.391311 . Soldiers Point lies at the tip of the estuary of the Castletown River in Dundalk. This is a large tidal estuary and a great place to see a huge range of birds. These include gulls, terns, waders, ducks, and geese. Search Google Maps for Soldiers Point, Dundalk. This will take you to the end of a cul-de-sac where you can park and take the pathway at the end of the road. The path takes you back up along the estuary towards Dundalk. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 54.008275, -6.349086 .
Soldiers Point lies at the tip of the estuary of the Castletown River in Dundalk. This is a large tidal estuary and a great birding site. There is a huge range of birds including gulls, terns, waders, ducks, and geese. Search Google Maps for Soldiers Point, Dundalk. This will take you to the end of a cul-de-sac where you can park and take the pathway at the end of the road. The path takes you back up along the estuary towards Dundalk. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 54.008275, -6.349086 .
Annagassan is a village in County Louth about 15 Kilometres south of Dundalk. There is a small harbour here as well as a tidal estuary, a large beach and grasslands at the back of the beach. It attracts a variety of birds especially in Autumn, Winter and Spring, including waders, wildfowl and gulls.
Parking is available in the harbour and a visit here can be combined with a visit to Salterstown Pier which is only a minute drive away. SAT-NAV co-ordinates are: 53.884549, -6.348162
Tis small and isolated pier is located just a few Kilometres from the village of Annagassan in County Louth. The pier is mostly for swimming and launching small boats. There are extensive rocky and sandy areas exposed at low tide. As part of the greater Dundalk Bay area it attracts large numbers of waders and wildfowl.
Limited parking is located beside the pier. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.884068, -6.346762
Bird Watching Locations Meath
Laytown is a small town in County Meath where the River Nanny enters the Irish sea. There is a long sandy beach that runs all the way from Laytown to Mornington at the mouth of the River Boyne. An expansive tidal estuary attracts gulls and waders at low tide. The train station at Laytown has a large car park, but it can often be busy. Additional parking is available on the street.
Just before you cross the pedestrian bridge over the river, there is a path that leads under the railway bridge. This takes you along the estuary which is good at low tide for gulls and waders. You can also follow the river out to the beach where gulls regularly roost. There are also sand dunes where you can see buntings and chats. Sat Nav co-ordinates for the car park are 53.678448, -6.240908 . It is in Google as “River Nanny Car Park”.
The River Boyne enters the Irish Sea at Mornington beach in County Meath. The opposite bank of the river is in County Louth. The beach is south of the river and the estuary is tidal, with large exposed areas at low tide that attract a wide variety of birds. Access to the beach, the sand dunes and the estuary is a short walk from the car park. The car park is located here: 53.722395, -6.253650 . The estuary is straight ahead of you. You can walk to the beach, or there is another parking area further to your right.
Bird Watching Offaly
Lough Boora Discovery Park
This nature reserve in County Offaly is located on former bogs that were managed by Bord Na Mona. They produced huge quantities of turf for many years. The former bogs have now been transformed into wetlands and grasslands that are the perfect habitat for wildlife in general and birds in particular. There are several walking trails through different habitats and there are also several bird hides overlooking some of the wetland areas.
There is a visitor centre with parking, a café and toilets. You can get information at the visitor centre and you can also download information from the website: Lough Boora Discovery Park.
Sat Nav C-ordinates are: 53.224968, -7.728274
Bird Watching Wexford
Carne Beach Wexford
Carne Beach is located near Carnsore Point, the headland at the southeast tip of Ireland. There is a pier protecting a small fishing harbour. On one side of the pier there is a sandy beach with sand dunes. On the other side, it is more rocky but with large sandy areas that make it easy to explore. You will see a wide variety of gulls, terns (in summer) and waders along the shore, as well as finches, chats and warblers around the local area. You can also find rare visitors during spring and autumn.
Search for Carne Beach in Google Maps. When you reach the Lighthouse Bar, turn right to park at the harbour. From here you can access the beaches on both sides of the pier. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 52.197437, -6.349161
Cahore Marsh Wexford
Cahore Marsh is a multi habitat area along a stretch of coastline in County Wexford. It is 40 Kilometres from Wexford and just 18 Kilometres south of Gorey. It is a large marshy area that runs along the back of sand dunes that stretch about 4 kilometres from Cahore to Ballinoulart. You can walk through the dunes or follow a gravel path at the back of the dunes. You also have access to the beach. In addition to the dunes, there are marshy areas, reed beds and grassland.
In summer you can hear cuckoos and there is a wide variety of birds including warblers, buntings, skylarks, meadow pipits and waterfowl. There is a parking area at Ballinoulart Bay Beach.
Sat Nav Co-ordinates are: 52.526150, -6.224940
Kilmore Quay Wexford
Kilmore Quay is a good sized fishing harbour in County Wexford, on the South East Coast of Ireland. The village is a great spot to view some traditional thatched cottages. There are some restaurants, craft shops and a popular ice cream shop! Several charter boats and ferry services operate from the harbour. Sea angling charters are popular. Kilmore Quay is also the departure point for the ferry service to the Saltee Islands. And it is a popular destination for bird watching in Ireland.
There are two long quays in the harbour. It is worth checking the harbour for gulls. A large parking area overlooks a stoney beach to your left as you leave the harbour. This is a good place to park, and there are public toilets available. The walk along the shoreline takes you to an old small harbour and a rocky promontory that juts out into the bay. There is a memorial located hear to remember those lost at sea.
Walk past the memorial and there is a long grassy walkway that takes you through the dunes. You can follow this trail all the way to the beach and then walk back along the beach to Kilmore Quay. This is along walk and will take at least an hour.
You can book a ferry service to Great Saltee Island here: http://visitkilmorequay.ie/angling-cruises. If you arrive at Kilmore Quay early in the morning, you can explore the area and then get the ferry at 12 Noon. It will return at 4.00 PM. Please note, you must book the ferry in advance. It is just a 15 minute journey to Great Saltee Island.
The best place to park is the large car park located just 50 metres from the harbour. Parking is free. You can leave your car her for several hours if you are visiting Great Saltee Island.
Sat Nav Co-ordinates: 52.172277, -6.591284
Our Lady’s Island Wexford
Our Lady’s Island is best known as a place of pilgrimage and it attracts pilgrims today from all parts of Ireland. It is a small village on the edge of a lake that has 2 islands used by large numbers of terns each summer to nest and raise their young. It attracts Common Terns, Arctic Terns, Sandwich Terns and Roseate Terns.
At other times of the year you can see waders of all sorts on the edge of the lake, as well as Herons, Little Egrets, Cormorants, Swans and various Ducks. There is a walk around part of the lake and a car park at the start of the walk. Search Google Maps for Our Lady’s Island Wexford. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 52.210095, -6.381267 .
Saltee Islands Wexford
Bird Watching on the Saltee Islands in Wexford should be high on the list of anybody interested in bird watching in Ireland. Great Saltee Island is one of two islands lying off the coast of Wexford. Although the Island is privately owned, the owners allow a limited number of visitors each day in Spring and Summer. Seabirds flock to the islands in large numbers. There is a ferry service from Kilmore Quay to Great Saltee Island. In order to be sure you get there, contact Declan Bates for reservations – Phone: +353 87 252 9736. The ferry journey takes about 20 minutes. Search for “Kilmore Quay Harbour” in Google maps. There is a large public car park just 100 metres past the harbour. Sat-Nav co-ordinates: 52.1723143, -6.5894147.
Be aware that there is no pier on the island. You will transfer from the ferry to a smaller boat and then you will be brought to the beach. It is actually a stoney shoreline and there can be areas of seaweed. You might need to remove your shoes and socks to stay dry. Please don’t let this put you off. This a primary birdwatching site in Wexford and well worth the trip. Bring a bottle of water and something to eat!
Wexford Wildfowl Reserve
Wexford Wildfowl Reserve is located on the coast of South East Wexford and it is managed jointly by Birdwatch Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The reserve covers a mix of farmland and wet grassy areas called the slobs. These are channels that drain excess water as the area is flooded a lot of the year. Migrating geese from Arctic countries including Greenland, Scandinavian countries, Russia and Canada are attracted to the area every year. As a result it an important migration area in winter for over 8,000 White Fronted Geese which reside there from October to March.
Additionally, there is a diverse range of birds with approximately 250 species recorded here. Several hides on the reserve will give you good views of Geese in late Autumn and Winter. The beach across the road is excellent gulls and waders. Search Google Maps for “Wexford Wildfowl Reserve. Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 52.356269, -6.422013 .
Check out the visitor centre on site. It has a large pond where children can see ducks and occasional geese. Ample parking is available on site.
Bird Watching Locations Wicklow
Avoca in County Wicklow is a small town on the Avoca River. The town is located just 4 Kilometres from the “Meeting of the Waters”. Red Kites are common in this area and there is a beautiful woodland walk called the “Red Kite Walk”. Cross the bridge in the centre of town to scan the area for soaring Kites. There is a large car park in the town. Walk to your left when you exit the car park. The entrance to the Red Kite Walk is about 100 metres up on the right, beside the local school. This walk takes you above the village on a forest trail where you can see wide variety of birds.
Alternatively you can exit the carpark and turn right. There is a small park over looking the river. Keep walking until you cross the bridge, which will take you all the way to the meeting of the waters. Be aware that this is a 4 kilometre walk, so you may prefer to drive.
The Thomas Moore Memorial Park is located here, where Thomas Moore wrote a famous lyric:
There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet;
Oh! the last rays of feeling and life must depart,
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.
Sat-Nav co-ordinates for the car park in Avoca are: 52.859427, -6.211944 . Sat-Nav co-ordinates for parking at the Meeting of the Waters are: 52.884852, -6.233461
Glendalough is part of Wicklow Mountains National Park and it is a popular destination for visitors all year round. The park can be busy during the summer months, However, it is still worth exploring as there is a wide variety of birds present. There are 2 lakes in the park, the Upper Lake and the Lower lake. There is easy access by gravel pathways and board walks to both lakes. Before you start exploring, it is worth taking the time to go to the visitor centre. Here you will find information about the park, as well as a useful map showing the various walking trails.
The walks take you along the lakes, through woodlands and sections of open fields. Search for Glendalough Visitor Centre in Google Maps. There is a large car park and information office on the site. Sat Nav co-ordinates are 53.011247, -6.323421 .
East Coast Nature Reserve
The East Coast Nature Reserve is a wildfowl reserve maintained by Birdwatch Ireland and it is located on the coast of Wicklow near Newcastle. East Coast Nature Reserve has several walking trails and bird hides. There are different habitats in the reserve including parkland, reed beds woodlands, and wetlands. As a result, this bird watching location is a great site in winter for ducks, geese, swans, waders and birds of prey. In Spring and Summer you will see warblers, finches, buntings, migrants and birds of prey.
There is limited parking at the entrance to the reserve (5 or 6 cars). However, if you continue driving for 300 metres, there is parking available along the road side. There is a gate across the railway line onto a walking trail that runs along the beach. If you turn left along the beach in Spring and early Summer, you will see a protected area of conservation for little terns. It is about a 20 minute walk and it is managed by Birdwatch Ireland.
If you turn to your right here and follow the pathway that runs south along the beach. This is a perfect location for you to scan the wetlands of the reserve in winter. In Spring and Summer this is a good location to see Wheatears, Linnets, Stonechats and Skylarks. Additionally you will see Little Terns, Gulls, Gannets and Ringed Plovers in Spring and Summer. Watch out for Cormorants, Red Throated Divers and Razorbills in early Spring.
Sat-Nav co-ordinates are 53.070375, -6.042782