Nature weekends get people closer to Ireland’s wildlife

West Cork, Ireland, 04 March 2013

Calvin Jones with a group of wildlife watchers on a West Cork headlandA new series of weekends aimed at helping people get closer to the wild side of Ireland have been launched by a team of wildlife specialists in West Cork.

Discover Wildlife Weekends, run by the team behind Ireland’s Wildlife (, are based at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery on the West Cork coast, and give people the chance to explore the fascinating coastal wildlife of the region with expert local guides.

“Getting closer to nature and wildlife is a great antidote to the hectic lifestyle most of us lead today,” said Calvin Jones, founder and managing editor of Ireland’s Wildlife. “These weekends are designed to give people the chance to get away for a few days, unwind and explore the stunning West Cork coastline, and the wonderful wildlife it has to offer.”

As well as getting out and seeing wildlife, Calvin points out that practical modules on the weekend (covering subjects like equipment and fieldcraft) will improve general wildlife watching skills, and provide hints and tips that should help people get closer to wildlife long after the weekend is over.

A humpback whales off the west cork coast in April 2012West Cork is famed for its coastal and marine wildlife — and is widely acknowledged as one of the best locations in Europe to see some of the world’s most spectacular creatures. Every year the coastal waters off West Cork play host to basking sharks, porpoises, several dolphin species as well as minke whales, fin whales and the occasional humpback whale.

“During the weekend we will introduce you to some of the best land and boat based whale watching anywhere in European North Atlantic waters,” said co-host of the Discover Wildlife Weekends, Pádraig Whooley, one of Ireland’s leading marine mammal experts.

“Weather permitting we will venture offshore with Whale Watch supremo, Colin Barnes, on the MV Holly Jo in search of giants. Colin is without question one of the most experienced whale watch skippers in the British Isles, and has featured on a host of wildlife documentaries such as ‘Wild Trials’, Living the wildlife, BBC Autumnwatch and BBC Winterwatch to name but a few.

“During the weekend we will introduce people to the recording schemes that monitor these species and some of the research currently being undertaken to protect them,” he said.

The West Cork coastline is also a birding hot-spot, with superb opportunities to see resident species like chough, peregrine and merlin, great close-up views of visiting waders and wildfowl and excellent seabird watching from coastal headlands. There’s also a real possibility of spotting unusual migrants as they skirt the south coast during spring and autumn migration.

It all adds up to a wonderful wildlife watching destination, and Discover Wildlife Weekends are the perfect way to experience it at its best.

For more information visit or contact Ireland’s Wildlife


About Calvin Jones

Calvin Jones is a freelance writer, author, birder and lifelong wildlife enthusiast. He is founder and managing editor of He is also the tour leader and wildlife guide on our West Cork based Discover Wildlife tours.
Calvin is also co-author of bestselling digital marketing titles and offers digital business consulting services and training through Digital Marketing Success

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