Are you looking for information about Bird Watching in Ireland? You have come to the right place! You will find directions and parking information for 59 diverse Birding Sites in Ireland. Check out the names of the Top 30 Garden Birds in Ireland. Find all the information you need about Birding in Dublin and about birding locations in Ireland. Each birding site is described in detail. You will find information about the habitat and the variety of birds that you can expect to see at that site. Useful information about where to park is provided and also Sat-Nav co-ordinates that you can use in Google Maps. Please Note: “Birdwatching Ireland” is not affiliated with the national conservation charity “Birdwatch Ireland“.
Birding Ireland – Latest News December 2021
- New location added in Wicklow on 11 December – Check out “Birdwatching Wicklow Town“
- Three new Birdwatching Sites have been added in Galway City
- In addition to Galway City at Claddagh Pier, check out Mutton Island and Lough Atalia.
- The annual Garden Birds Ireland survey sponsored by Birdwatch Ireland has now started so don’t forget to put out the garden bird feeders!
Birding Sites Ireland
Birdwatching in Ireland
What are the best birdwatching sites in Ireland? Bull Island, the Great South Wall and Broadmeadows Estuary must be contenders in Dublin. So too are Howth Head, Dalkey Island and Turvey Nature Reserve. In addition, the counties outside our capital city are rich with opportunities for birdwatching in Ireland. Wexford is renowned for migrating birds in Spring and Summer. Browse through dozens of amazing bird watching locations in Ireland, with photo galleries and parking directions.
- Bull Island in Dublin is an official UNESCO biosphere reserve, along with Sandymount beach and the greater Dublin Bay area.
- Go bird watching in Wicklow and visit The East Coast Nature Reserve. It is a mix of wet grasslands, fen and woodlands.
- Just a short boat ride from Colliemore Harbour in Dalkey, County Dublin, you can go Birdwatching on Dalkey Island.
- The Dodder River Dublin flows through the south of the city and is known for Kingfishers and Dippers.
- When the weather is good, go Birdwatching on Howth Head. There is a popular walking trail along the cliffs where you will often see Kestrels and Ravens.
- A great way to see Puffins in their natural habitat is to go bird watching on the Saltee Islands in Wexford.
- Wexford Wildfowl Reserve is the place to go in Winter for huge numbers of migrating geese and waterfowl.
- Dundalk County Louth has an extensive tidal estuary that makes it an attractive location for bird watching.
- One of the best sites for Birdwatching in Dublin is Turvey Nature Reserve, another tidal estuary that is rich with a huge variety of birds in winter.
- Mornington County Meath is another tidal Estuary that also has extensive sand dunes.
- Lough Neagh Armagh is a popular location for birdwatching in Northern Ireland
The birdwatching locations that are listed on this site are predominantly in Leinster. Five new birdwatching sites have been added in Munster in October 2021. Three new birding locations have been added in Galway in November! More sites will be added now that travel restrictions are being lifted. Spring and Autumn are good times to visit any birding sites.
Report sightings of unusual or rare birds to Irish Birding
Bird Watching Dublin
There are 35 different birding sites in Dublin that are featured on this website. Even though Dublin is the third smallest county in Ireland and the most populated, there is great diversity in the different birding sites in the county. Of course, as a coastal county, there are many sites along the coast that are a haven for birds. And Dublin Bay has been declared a Biosphere by UNESCO. This means that individuals and organisations work in partnership to ensure people and nature can interact successfully.
In North Dublin, Skerries, Rush, Portrane and Rogerstown offer superb access to the coast and the variety of birds in each location is very high. Nearer to the city, Bull Island and Sandymount Strand are two of the best birding sites in Ireland. Dun Laoghaire Harbour and Dalkey Island on the south coast of Dublin are certainly worth visiting.
Away from the coastline, Dublin has three substantial rivers, the Liffey, the Dodder and the Tolka. Long stretches of these rivers are easily accessible. Dublin also has the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal with easy access to walkways along the canals. These all provide opportunities for bird watching. And of course there are the city parks, including the Phoenix Park which is the largest enclosed park in Europe.
Click on the “Birdwatching Dublin” link in the main menu to explore 35 Birding Locations in Dublin.
The position of Ireland on the western edge of Europe means that we experience reverse bird migrations in Spring and Autumn. Birds migrating from northern Europe and arctic regions to avoid harsh winter weather, will spend the winter in Ireland. These include geese, ducks, swans, grebes, wading birds and others, that will be seen throughout the winter in estuaries, lakes and along our shoreline. Other birds like swallows, warblers and terns for example will migrate here in Spring to spend the summer months here.
As an added bonus, there are rare birds that will stop off for a short time to rest here, as they are making a longer migration. County Wexford has long been considered an excellent birding location and it is right in the path of bird migration routes. Wexford is a regular stop off point for rare birds. As a result, Wexford is one of the best bird watching sites in Ireland. This is one of the reasons why Birding in Ireland is so rewarding!
Browse through the list of galleries below to give you a sense of what you can expect to see on your visit. Click on the link in the main menu to see 35 bird watching locations in Dublin, and many more in different counties.
Birdwatching Locations Ireland
Use the main menu above to explore many more locations that are excellent for bird watching in Ireland.
There are 35 sites sites listed on this website where you can go Birding in Dublin. Habitats include coastlines, beaches, rivers, canals, reservoirs, parks, nature reserves and headlands. Also included are directions, parking information and a photograph gallery for each site.
Dublin Bay is an important site for birds at all times of the year. The Bay supports thousands of water birds that migrate here every Autumn and remain until Spring. These include huge flocks of waders, ducks and geese. Huge expanses of sand are exposed at low tide in Dublin, especially in Sandymount and Bull Island. This provides an important area or roosting and you can often see huge flocks of birds here at low tide.
Most of these birds migrate north in Spring and they are replaced by large flocks of terns that come here to breed. Again, you can see very large flocks of terns roosting in Dublin Bay, especially on Sandymount Strand.
Most birding enthusiasts have their favourite birding sites in Ireland. But you may not be familiar with bird watching sites that are located outside of your local area. So here is the information that you will find on this website:
- A brief description of all bird watching locations and the type of habitat you can expect at each site.
- A photograph gallery of all the birds that were seen on the day of the visit. This will be useful to anyone interested in bird photography in Ireland.
- Directions and information about where you can park your car on the day of your visit.
- Sat Nav co-ordinates for the exact parking location.
- More photographs will be added as I revisit locations already featured here.
- Over time, more birdwatching sites will be visited in different locations across Ireland.
Click on “Birds of Ireland A to Z” in the main menu to see an A to Z list of birds in Ireland. More photographs will be added over time as birding sites are revisited. New Galleries will be added as new birding sites are visited.
Birding in Ireland
Birdwatching Habitats Ireland
There are many different types of habitats for birds in Ireland. The one that most of us are familiar with is the garden. The most common garden birds that are happy to forage in our gardens include house sparrows, Robins, Blackbirds, Blue Tits and Chaffinches. But away from urban gardens there are lots of different habitats that attract different types of birds.
Around our coastline there are sandy beaches, rocky shorelines, cliffs, estuaries, and tidal mudflats. Inland waterways include rivers, lakes, canals, reservoirs, marshes and large ponds in urban parks. These habitats attract a wide variety of different birds. Some birds are attracted to both wetland habitats and coasts, while others will stay in the same habitat. Of course, there are also the habitats away from water.
These include meadows, grasslands, farmland, woodlands, mountains and urban areas. Many gulls that would normally nest on cliffs, now nest on rooftops in our towns and cities. All of the birding sites featured here will give you a sense of the habitat. The gallery for each site will show you the variety of birds at that location. As I revisit the site over time, different bird types will be included.
Bird Photography Camera Settings
If you are interested in bird photography, you may be curious about the camera settings that I use when I go bird watching in Ireland. It is probably fair to say that everybody has their own preferred camera settings. And it is likely that you have been through several different changes to arrive at where you are now. That is certainly true for me. However, if you are interested in what settings I use, feel free to click the link below. There may be some settings that you would like to try.
Update October 2021
All of the birdwatching locations featured on this site were in Dublin, North Leinster, South Leinster and at Lough Neagh in County Armagh, Northern Ireland up to recently. Plans to venture further afield were impacted by lock-down and restrictions on travel because of Covid 19. However, 5 new sites for Bird Watching in Cork were added in early October 2021. And 3 new birding sites in Galway were added on 09 November 2021.
More destinations will be added soon. If you have suggestions for birdwatching locations anywhere in Ireland, please click on “Contact” in the menu above to send details. I will visit the location and add a new photograph gallery to the site. I will also add it to the birding locations page with Sat-Nav co-ordinates.