A large variety of birds can be seen around Bull Island, either on the lagoon beside the Clontarf Road, or by the sea along the beach. Some photos may be found here. Scientific information (and pictures) of the birds in Ireland can be found on the following websites :
- Information on Ireland’s Birds
- http://www.birdwatchireland.ie (look for “birdwatching”)
- Many pictures (and birdsongs)
- Updates on local bird sightings
The following are among the birds which can be seen on the Bull Island Bird Sanctuary and by the water’s edge near the Tertianship.
Ducks and Geese
- Brent Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail
- These birds live by the hundreds around the lagoon during the winter. They eat either algaes or little animals which live in the mud. During the day, they are to be found in Saint Anne’s Park and other grassy areas where large flocks feed on the grass
- The following birds eat the worms and little hidden animals at various depths in the sand. They feed as deep as they can – as deep as their beaks allow them to.
- A very busy little bird who works all day, turning stones to catch his food (crabs, insects). You will find it mainly one the edge of the pond, specifically at low tide running along Clontarf walk. Turnstones usually live in groups of 4 to 5 individuals.
- Can be identified by its long and curved beak. A solitary bird, except when it needs the safety of numbers. It has an anxious and mysterious warning call.
- Live in goups, seeming to argue with each other, with a piping call. The are very keen on mussels which they find hidden in the clefts of the rocks after high tide.
- Can be solitary, but often gathering with five or six other fellows in the midst of other birds. Knowledgeable at his piou-piou cry, and his wagging body.
- Looks like the Redshank, but green legs. Always solitary, though may be in the midst of other birds.
- Godwits (Black-Tailed Godwit, Bar-Tailed Godwit)
- Live in flocks of hundreds, peaceful and busy. They gather in tight groups at night, very close to each other, to protect them from cold wind and from predators. You will see them at dawn making their spirited dance, sweeping by hundreds over the water in an all synchronized choreography.
- Red Knot
- Live in groups of 10-20 individuals, often accompanying the Godwits and the Dunlin, at the edge of the water.
- Same behaviour as the Red Knot.
- Sanderling sandpiper
- at the edge of the sea, running along the waves like a “mechanical toy”. Lives among band of 10-20 individuals.
- on the lagoon, especially in cold weather.
- Ringed Plover
- Can be seen in cold weather more on the beach than on the lagoon.
- throughout Dublin Bay
- Gannet, Great Cormorant, Shag, Black-headed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Little Gull, Atlantic Puffin
- Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl
- Little Egret, Grey Heron