A seagull on a sandy beach

Black-Headed Gull

The Black-Headed Gull is commonly spotted around the Hook peninsula and indeed all Irish coasts. Familiar as it may be, this small gull is now a Red-Listed species. Numbers are dropping and breeding colonies are more localised, with Wexford and Donegal having the largest coastal colonies. Its name is misleading as it doesn’t really have…

Bright yellow bird perched in amongst some branches.

Yellowhammer

The yellowhammer is much less often seen these days as changes in agricultural practices have lead to it’s decline. The species is currently on the red conservation status in Ireland. This brightly coloured member of the bunting family can be found around arable fields especially this time of year in freshly harvested cereal fields as…

A Kestrel hovering against a blue sky

Kestrel

A Kestrel hangs poised and focused over the cliffs at Carnivan, waiting to pounce on its unsuspecting and unfortunate prey. A common sight around the coasts this bird of prey can usually be seen hovering in the sky looking for it’s lunch. It mainly eats small mammals but can also be seen eating insects, invertebrates…

A group of gannets with one perched on a rock above the rest

Gannets

Gannet is derived from the Old English for strong or masculine. Northern Gannets are the largest seabird in the North Atlantic, having a wingspan of up to 2 meters. You can often see these birds hunting fish by nose diving, arrow like into the water. They can dive from a height of 30 meters which…

A small bird on a pillar

Stonechat

The Stonechat gets its name from its call, similar to what you would hear if you took a pebble in each hand and hit them off each other. Similar in size to the robin it also has a reddish tinge to its breast. Both male and female are similar in appearance, apart from the males…

An black and white bird with a red bill on a beach

Oystercatcher

The Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) is a very distinct shore bird-black and white with a long bright red/orange beak and eyes. Its black/white colouration gave it its old name of sea pie (like the magpie inland). It does not catch oysters as its name suggests but rather mussels and other types of molluscs and worms. Its…

Two birds on a rock with blue water behind them

Redshank

This Oystercatcher (on the left) and Redshank (on the right) are enjoying the sun as they feast on Barnacles from the rocks down at Boyces Bay. The Redshank is a common wader especially found in coastal estuaries.It can be identified by it’s bright red legs and feeds mostly on worms. The Redshank has been red-listed…

A large bird stands on seaweed covered rocks with waves crashing in the background

Grey Heron

This hungry Heron appears completely unfazed down at Carnivan as angry waves close in. The Grey Heron is a native to Ireland and can be found in wetlands around the country. It feeds on fish, amphibians, small mammals, insects and reptiles. Grey Herons have a very diverse range and those in northerly parts have been…