Around 450 different bird species have been recorded on the island of Ireland, and although a lot of them are migratory and rare, now is the best chance to catch a glimpse of them as they return north to build nests and prepare for the breeding season.Esri Ireland, a market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), has created a digital map highlighting the flight … [Read more...] about World Migratory Bird Day — ESRI Mapping Migration
Birding and Bird Watching in Ireland
Articles, features, blog posts and news items about birding and bird watching in Ireland.
Ireland is a great place for birders... and while we don't have as many resident or breeding species as some of our near neighbours we do have some of the world's most spectacular seabird colonies, great locations around the Atlantic coast for watching migrating seabirds, and huge flocks of overwintering waders and wildfowl.
Not to mention the fact that Ireland is often the first European port of call for rare American vagrants... and with birding as a pastime still in its relative infancy, you're free to enjoy the birds without the crowds you sometimes get at birding hotspots in the UK and other countries.
Wildlife always has the capacity to surprise and delight us. No matter how long you've been watching and studying wildlife, how familiar you are with your local patch, you never can tell what you might encounter on an outing. The potential for the unexpected is always there... whether it's a completely new species, or a familiar bird or animal exhibiting some unusual behaviour, … [Read more...] about Purple Heron: an epic end to our spring Discover Wildlife Weekend
I've never really been a fan of photo field guides. In the past, I've always gravitated towards the more nuanced interpretation of a skilled illustrator to highlight key features, to help me identify birds/animals/plants in the field. While that still largely holds true, photo-guides have come on in leaps and bounds since I first encountered them, and for many wildlife … [Read more...] about Europe’s Birds, An Identification Guide (Book Review)
Binoculars are perhaps your most indispensable piece of wildlife watching equipment. The right pair of binoculars can enhance your enjoyment of and engagement with the natural world exponentially. But choosing binoculars for birding and wildlife watching can be a tricky proposition.At Ireland's Wildlife we get to try a wide range of binoculars from lots of different … [Read more...] about 12 Expert tips on choosing binoculars for birding and wildlife observation
Spring migration is an exciting time of year for birding in Ireland.During this relatively brief window from early April until the end of May birds are on the move. There's a changing of the guard as our winter visitors, like waders, ducks, winter thrushes and the occasional exotic visitor like the bohemian waxwing, depart for their breeding grounds further north, and we … [Read more...] about Making the most of Spring Migration
Nothing beats a good field-guide when you're trying to identify a bird you don't recognise (or a field-guide app perhaps these days). But sometimes a traditional field-guide can feel unwieldy and a little cumbersome, especially for beginners who just need a quick reference to a particular group of birds.Enter the brand new RSPB ID Spotlight series of fold-out identification … [Read more...] about RSPB ID Spotlight Series: Birds
Swarovski Optik, one of the upper-echelon brands for birding and wildlife optics, is branching out into the tech world with the release of in intriguing new piece of high-tech kit. The new dG (Digital Guide) pairs cutting-edge optics with digital camera technology, integrated WiFi and automated digital identification apps for birds and animals.The family-owned Austrian … [Read more...] about New wildlife ID tech announced by Swarovski Optik
If a lifetime of watching wildlife has taught me anything it's that searching for specific species can be a pretty hit-or-miss affair.That uncertainty is one of the great joys of the natural world: the sense of anticipation, never quite knowing what you might see, makes every sojourn into the outdoors a new adventure. City or countryside, coastal wetland or upland moor, … [Read more...] about Book Review: Ireland Through Birds
Wunderbird is a startup company creating a unique range of clothing designed especially for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. Their clothing is lightweight, breathable, quick drying and has a number of special features specifically aimed at birders.They sent us one of their "Peregrine" long-sleeved T-Shirts to try out... here's how we got on.Do birders really need … [Read more...] about Review: Wunderbird Clothing for Birders
In this guest post, contributor Charlotte Klassa takes a closer look at many people's favourite Irish seabird, the colourful and charismatic Puffin.The Atlantic Puffin is a strange bird. It looks like a penguin and a toucan rolled into one. This is the tell-tale sign of the auk family of birds: that butler-like dignity and tail-coat. People can concentrate on this plump … [Read more...] about Puffins of Ireland
The best part of being a wildlife guide on Ireland's south coast is being able to share the incredible wildlife of this stunning stretch of coastline with people from Ireland and around the world. It's fantastic to see people's reactions when they see for themselves why we call this Europe's Undiscovered Wildlife Frontier.Our latest wildlife holiday was a case in point -- … [Read more...] about Eagles and Fin Whales star on Ireland’s Wild South Coast
Watching your local wildlife, even the familiar characters that surround you every day, is a rewarding and worthwhile experience. But it's always exciting when something a little out of the ordinary shows up.That happened here on the West Cork coast a few days ago, when news broke that a local birder had found an adult Rose-coloured Starling (Pastor roseus) near Galley … [Read more...] about Rose coloured starling on holiday in West Cork
In this, the final feature in our four-part series on beginning birdwatching, we take a look at some ways you can take your budding birding hobby to the next level.Birding is an exciting and diverse hobby that has something for everybody. One of the real beauties of catching the bird watching bug is that it's a pastime that can grow with you to offer a … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: The Next Steps
The south coast of Ireland is a magical place for wildlife enthusiasts. Breathtaking locations, some of the best marine and coastal wildlife Europe has to offer and that legendary hospitality for which the Irish are world-renowned. Put it all together and you have the perfect destination for a wildlife holiday to remember. Our signature Ireland's Wild South Coast 5 night/6 day … [Read more...] about Incredible wildlife, incredible offer: Ireland’s Wild South Coast
In this feature, the third in our four-part series on beginning birdwatching, we take a look at some of the equipment owned by birders, and how choosing the right equipment will help you to develop your bird watching skills.While it's true that all you need to start your bird watching adventure is your eyes, your ears and bucket loads of enthusiasm, as with any … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: bird watching equipment
In this feature, the second in our four-part series on beginning birdwatching, we take a look at your garden birds, your local patch, and how getting to know them better can help you improve as a birder.It's tempting when you're just getting started with bird watching to head immediately for local birding hotspots, and there's nothing wrong with that. Going where the … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: getting to know your local birds
Bird watching or birding is a fascinating pastime enjoyed by vast numbers of people around the world. It's a hobby that's growing in popularity here in Ireland as more people discover the joy that watching birds can bring. From following the antics of common birds at our garden feeders, to appreciating the birds of the various habitats that criss-cross this island, to … [Read more...] about Birding for Beginners: why watch birds?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar2HRSs5na0 Wild Atlantic wildlife Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way is about much more than wild scenery and windswept western coastlines. While the world's longest defined touring route certainly boasts some jaw-dropping vistas, and quintessentially Irish hospitality, the route also offers some of the best coastal and marine wildlife watching … [Read more...] about The wildlife of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way
The wildlife of the West Cork coast never fails in its capacity to surprise and delight me. It doesn't matter how many times I head out, or how much (or indeed how little) I manage to see, there's always something that stands out.Even on those rare occasions when I don't see much out of the ordinary there's an entire cast of local regulars that make venturing out a … [Read more...] about Fin whales to firecrests — wildlife extremes on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Autumn is a fantastic time for wildlife. Perhaps the best of times.It's a time of transition, a time of activity and movement as residents prepare for the onset of harsher winter months, summer visitors depart and winter visitors begin to arrive. The cast of Irish wildlife characters is in a state of flux, and nowhere is that more apparent than with birds. Autumn, … [Read more...] about Book review: Don’t Die in Autumn
Yesterday was a special day.A lone, almost insignificant silhouette transformed the usually hum-drum task of dropping the car in to the garage into a wholly noteworthy enterprise. Elegant, streamlined, forked tail streamers fluttering in the breeze... the profile perched on the telephone wire was unmistakable: my first swallow of 2016.Seeing your first swallow of spring … [Read more...] about And they’re back! First swallows arrive at IWHQ
With spring on its way, our resident birds getting ready for nesting season, and the prospect of spring migrants just around the corner, this is the perfect time to revisit our popular series of articles on birdwatching for beginners.This series of four articles is a great introduction to birding, spanning everything from getting started, to bird watching equipment, to … [Read more...] about Birdwatching for Beginners Revisited
What do you buy the wildlife enthusiast or nature lover for Christmas? It's a conundrum faced by partners, families and friends every year.You'd think it would be easy... anything to do with wildlife would be perfect, right? But from long years of experience I know that we wildlife enthusiasts can be notoriously difficult to buy for.So here's a little post to help out … [Read more...] about Christmas gift ideas for wildlife and nature enthusiasts
Published in 2007, the first edition of "Finding Birds in Ireland: The Complete Guide" by Eric Dempsey and Michael O'Clery soon became the definitive guide to the best birdwatching locations in Ireland. Intelligently laid out, and impressively comprehensive, this widely praised book set a new benchmark for this type of "where to watch" field guide.You'll find my review of … [Read more...] about Book review: Finding Birds in Ireland: The Complete Guide, 2nd Edition
I'd been afraid to look at the forecast all week.The weather is the bane of anyone organising an outdoor-based activity in Ireland, and the last few weeks had been dreadful. There was no real sense things were going to improve either... but with a Discover Wildlife Weekend planned I simply had to bite the bullet and check.I fired up two different weather apps on the … [Read more...] about Whales and eagles star on wild West Cork weekend