Birdwatching around The Beara Peninsula.
“Our” cove, just a short walk from Bellatrix is a fantastic spot for birdwatching. We regularly see Heron, Snipe, Gannets, Oystercatchers, Little Egret, Cormorants, too many varieties to mention all here. We often hear the Cuckoo when she arrives back from her long journey from Africa. Such a magical sound. This year we watched a couple of young Sparrowhawks practicing their flight maneuvers and saw them being fed by their parents. Because the forest is part of the cove there is a super mix between sea and land birds. Crow Head is home to a colony of Choughs and is also the location for an amazing walk directly opposite Dursey Island.
We are members of BirdWatchIreland www.birdwatchireland.ie
This is what they have to say about Dursey Island and Garnish on The Wild Atlantic Way, Beara Peninsula, West Cork.
Wings Winter edition 2009
Target Species: Black Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Firecrest, Chough.
Access: From Castletown Berehaven, travel westwards in the direction of Allihies, keeping to the southern side of the peninsula until one reaches Barnes Gap. Here, take the left-hand turn, signposted for Dursey Island. This brings you to the Dursey cable-car, which services the island. It also passes the turn -off for Garnish Pier, approximately 2km before the cable-car.
The timetable for the cable-car can be found on www.durseyisland.ie The times can vary and should be checked locally. As the island has no shops or running water, visitors should ensure they have adequate food, water as well as suitable clothing and footwear when visiting.
Habitats: Rocky headlands, cliffs, small gardens and hedgerows.
Birds: Dursey Island is approximately 7km long and interesting birds can turn up anywhere. There are a few private gardens but the habitat is primarily grass fields and low hedgerows. Viewing is mostly possible from the paths. The cliffs at the western end are spectacular, as are the views. The grass sward at the tip is very attractive to Choughs, flocks of which can sometimes exceed 50 birds. Land migrants can be found anywhere on the island. Regular autumn passage migrants include Black Redstart, Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest, while some of the rarer species seen there have included Ovenbird, Northern Parula, Eastern Olivaceous Warbler and Arctic Redpoll.