Birding Galway City

There are not too many cities around that enable you to go bird watching within a few steps of the city centre. One such city is Galway City which has walkways along the shoreline starting in the city centre. The Wolfe Tone Bridge takes you from the old part of the city at the Spanish Arch across the Claddagh River to Claddagh Quay. You can walk along the Quay to Nimmo’s Pier and follow the pier out to the furthest point. This stretch of water is best seen at low tide when it attracts gulls, waders, divers and waterfowl. Winter is the best time to visit and on the day I visited in early November, there was a Ring-billed Gull just off the pier wall. It is not unusual to see these birds as well as Glaucous Gulls or Iceland Gulls in winter.

As you come back along Nimmo Pier, there is a walkway through the park along the shoreline. Keep an eye on the beach for gulls and waders. You can also look out for Carrion Crows, Rooks, and Pipits. You will come to a causeway that stretches for about 800 metres to Mutton Island. This gives you a clear view to the rocky shoreline on both sides of the causeway.

Parking can be a bit of an issue as you are in the city centre. There is metre parking and Pay & Display a short distance either side of the bridge. There is also a public car park beside Jurys Inn called “Spanish Arch Parking”, which you can find on Google Maps.

Parking Sat-Nav co-ordinates: 53.270541, -9.054528