Bird Watching Portrane

Portrane is a small coastal town close to Donabate in North County Dublin. There is a long sandy beach that runs from Portrane to Rogerstown Estuary. The sand dunes at the back of the beach have suffered from coastal erosion for several years. Remedial work has been carried out by the local council in the form of large stone barriers in front of the dunes.

At low tide, large expanses of flat sand are exposed. The beach attracts gulls, terns and shore birds. Birdwatch Ireland has established a protected area near Rogerstown Estuary where Little Terns breed. They are active here from May through to July.

In the Spring of 2021 a Least Tern was spotted among the Lille Terns. This was the first ever confirmed sighting of a Least Tern in Ireland. Identification was confirmed by Niall T Keogh who is a well known birder in Ireland with extensive knowledge of sea birds. The bird remained for most of the season and attracted a large audience at times.

Portrane beach is also a reliable bird watching site in Dublin for seeing Sand Martins. They make their nests where the dunes have been eroded at the back of the beach. Take note: the high tide can often reach the dunes, so you should visit here when the tide is not full.

It is only a 10 minute drive from Portrane Beach to Turvey Nature Reserve.