One of the biggest problems faced by bird watchers visiting Ireland — or indeed resident birders travelling to other parts of the country — is finding the best places to look for birds and other wildlife. Sure, you can pick a likely looking piece of habitat and spend time exploring it, and discovering wild places for yourself is all part of the fun, but it can be a bit of a lottery. If the time available for birding and wildlife watching is limited, then it makes sense to improve your odds somewhat.
Just across the water in Britain finding local wildlife hotspots is relatively simple. With a nationwide networks of well managed nature reserves from the RSPB, WWT, The Wildlife Trusts and a host of other organisations there’s almost always a fantastic wildlife location within easy striking distance. In Ireland things can be a little bit trickier.
Nature reserves here are much sparser, and many of Ireland’s birding and wildlife hotspots are unmanaged… and of course un-signposted. They can be difficult to locate without a bit of local knowledge on your side.
An expert local bird guide in your glove box
Eric Dempsey is one of Ireland’s best known birders, a professional bird guide and a regular contributor to Irish print and broadcast media. In Finding Birds in Ireland Eric distils a lifetime of birding knowledge into a tidy little volume that slips neatly into your jacket pocket, glove compartment or day pack. It delivers everything you need to know to find, and get the most out of 275 of Ireland’s best birding and wildlife sites.
Sites are arranged by region and county — making it easy to look up the area you’re visiting. Each site is listed with a handy map, OS grid reference, access details, a seasonal list of target species, a run down of rarities that have occurred at each site in the past and any other relevant information. It’s a treasure trove of local birding knowledge that no birder in Ireland, or birder visiting Ireland, should be without.
Finding Birds in Ireland is available in all good bookshops in Ireland and from the usual array of online retailers. You can buy it from Amazon using one of the links below (and help support Irealand’s Wildlife in the process).
I’d like to thank the publishers, Gill and Macmillan, for submitting Finding Birds in Ireland for review on the Ireland’s Wildlife website.