Guided Wildlife, Birding and Natural History walks on The Wild Atlantic Way

Birding, any time, any place, anywhere

Experience the spectacular wildlife of the West Cork coast

WAWFAlogo-colourOur half-day guided wildlife walks focus on the local wildlife along the West Cork stretch of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

As well as soaking up the spectacular scenery and ocean views these experiences are all about connecting with and enjoying the beauty of the natural world around you.

About Discover Wildlife Walks

Little Egret

We’ll explore the coastline of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, looking for wildlife every step of the way. From wading birds and wildfowl on estuarine mud flats and pools, to mammal tracks and signs, to searching for orchids amid the sand dunes and scanning the Atlantic for the whales, dolphins, basking sharks and seals that call this spectacular stretch of coastline home.

You never know quite what what you might see on one of these exciting and varied walks.

Book your Discover Wildlife Walk


 Half-day Discover Wildlife Walk

Start / End Point: The Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery
c. 10am – 1:30pm or 2pm – 5:30pm (mornings only from October to March inclusive)

Cost: €25 Adult,  children under 16 free (when accompanied by an adult)
Min Number: 4 people

Chough, Rosscarbery

Charismatic crow: the West Cork coast is a European stronghold for chough.

Small Group Size

We limit the number of people on each walk to ensure everyone gets the most out of the experience. Keeping group sizes small means everyone gets an equal chance to see the wildlife we encounter.

NB. If you have a larger group we can accommodate you on request — we can also provide additional guides for larger groups where necessary. Please get in touch to discuss what you need.

What to bring

  • Sturdy footwear and appropriate clothing for the conditions– including waterproofs
  • Personal snacks and drinks (we suggest bringing a packed lunch if you’re joining us for a full day walk)
  • Binoculars if you have them (a limited number of loan binoculars are available free of charge and your guide will have a high quality spotting scope to offer close-up views of more distant wildlife)

Book your Discover Wildlife Walking Safari

Your guide

Calvin Jones, Founder and Managing Editor, Ireland's WildlifeCalvin Jones is the Founder and Managing Editor of Ireland’s Wildlife, and a lifelong birding and wildlife enthusiast. He first came to West Cork in 1993, to work surveying the wildlife of the West Cork coastline and offshore islands for Sherkin Island Marine Station.

Ireland’s Wildlife was born of  Calvin’s enthusiasm and passion for wildlife, and a commitment to make it more accessible and engaging to a wider Irish audience. These Discover Wildlife Walking Safaris, along with our longer Discover Wildlife Weekends are a natural extension of that passion, commitment and enthusiasm to share the wonders of the natural world with others.

Calvin has lived in the Rosscarbery area since 2002, and has more than a decade of experience watching the wildlife of West Cork and helping others to enjoy it.

Common dolphins off the West Cork coast

Common dolphins can be seen from shore off the West Cork coast

Wildlife… all year round!

Discover Wildlife Walks take place year-round, according to demand. Please get in touch if you’d like to arrange a walk and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

… and in most weathers

As with any outdoor activity in Ireland, we have to pay attention to the Irish weather, and tailor our route and plans accordingly. We typically schedule walks during appropriate weather windows, and rarely have to cancel or reschedule a walk. Generally we try to go ahead despite the weather, as there is always wildlife to see.

We advise clients to dress appropriately, and more often than not walks proceed as scheduled.

“Calvin was an expert guide, great company and his local knowledge came in very handy. Thanks again for a great time and great looks at many birds.  Not to mention the gorgeous Irish countryside and coast.  I will definitely call again should I be lucky enough to get another business trip to the Emerald Isle.” Rob Wilson, New Jersey, USA.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the Discover Wildlife Walking Safaris.

Some West Cork wildlife highlights

Minke Whale West Cork

Minke whales are sometimes seen very close to shore.

Wildlife is unpredictable, and of course we can’t offer any guarantees in relation to what you’ll see on your walk. Not knowing is all part of the fun. However, here’s a sample of a few highlights we’ve seen on our Discover Wildlfe Walking Safaris:

  • Visiting waders and wildfowl
  • Resident kingfishers and occasionally otters 
  • Seals, dolphins and sometimes whales from cliff-top vantage points
  • Butterflies and day-flying moths (summer)
  • Choughs and Ravens soaring above the sea cliffs
  • Basking sharks (summer)
  • Large numbers of shearwaters passing just offshore (summer / autumn)
  • Diving gannets just offshore
  • Migrant birds (spring and autumn — anything could turn up)
  • Resident birds of prey including kestrel, sparrowhawk, peregrine falcon and occasionally merlin
  • Tracks and signs left by elusive resident mammals and the occasional glimpse of the animals themselves.
  • … and much more besides

Book your Discover Wildlife Walk

Looking for a more immersive Wildlife Experience?
Join us on a Discover Wildlife Weekend!

Custom Wildlife Watching / Bird Watching tours available

You can book an Ireland’s Wildlife guide for unique wildlife, birding and wildlife photography tours for groups of any size, or on a one-to-one basis. Bespoke guiding fees start at €200 per day, and we can tailor the itinerary and location to suits your needs.

Contact us for more information on our custom wildlife and bird guide service.

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