Birds in the Wicklow Mountains National Park

Red Grouse | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Red Grouse
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Goosander | Courtesy of the New York Public Library
Goosander
Courtesy of the New York Public Library
Great-Spotted Woodpecker | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Great-Spotted Woodpecker
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Peregrine Falcon | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Peregrine Falcon
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Merlin | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Merlin
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Wood Warbler | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Wood Warbler
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Redstart | Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Redstart
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Birds

Ireland’s location on the western edge of Europe means that there are fewer resident species than in Britain or mainland Europe. Over 100 bird species have been recorded in Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Birdwatchers should aim to visit several habitats, each of which has its own range of species. Blanket bog, heath, deciduous woods, coniferous plantations, cliffs, lakes and rivers all provide important habitats for birds.

Some Interesting Species

Red Grouse

The Wicklow heathlands are an important habitat for the threatened Red Grouse. This species requires long old heather for cover and nesting as well as young heather on which to feed. An area of heath near Djouce Mt. is being managed to create diversity in heather cover to boost the population. This is being achieved at present through the cutting of plots of heather on a rotational basis. Controlled burning of plots is planned in the future.

Goosander

The goosander is a large fish-eating duck, similar to the commoner Red-breasted Merganser. It is a rare winter visitor to Ireland. There are also two small populations of resident breeding birds – in Donegal and here in Wicklow. The National Park has a successful nestbox scheme for this tree-nesting species. They can be seen on the Upper Lake in Glendalough, but be warned, they are shy birds and don not hang around when spotted.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

For many years, Ireland had no woodpecker species. From 2005 however, sightings of single birds were reported, and in 2008 breeding was recorded. The species appears to be increasing. Look for it in the woods around Glendalough. In winter, they often move oto local gardens to feed on peanuts.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrines nest on the cliffs within the National Park and are the Park’s symbol. Park staff are involved in an annual nest monitoring and chick ringing programme. Staff also try to organise a ‘Peregrine Watch’ event with telescopes each year, although this is dependent on the birds’ nesting success.

Merlin

In summer, the Wicklow uplands have a good population of this rare small falcon. If you are lucky, you might spot one perched on a post, or hunting small birds such as pipits. It nests in woodland edges, and hunts over the open bog and moorland.

Wood Warbler and Redstart

These two species are both rare summer visitors to Ireland. Both nest in the woodlands of the National Park, but in very low numbers. They are more easily heard than seen.

Some Birds to Watch for in Upland Bog and Moorland

Species

IrishLatin
Red GrouseCearc FhraoighLagopus lagopus
Golden PloverFeadóg BhuíPluvialis apricaria
SnipeNaoscachGallinago gallinago
CurlewCrotachNumenius arquata
RedshankCosdeargánTringa totanus
SkylarkFuiseogAlauda arvensis
Meadow PipitRiabhóg MhónaAlauda cervensis
WhinchatCaislín AitinnSaxicola rubetra
StonechatCaislín ClochSaxicola torquata
Ring OuzelLon CreigeTurdus torquatus
RavenFiach DubhCorvus corax
Hen HarrierCromán na gCearcCirus cyaneus
MerlinMeirliúnFalco columbarius
WheatearClochránOenanathe oenanthe
Peregrine FalconFabhcún GormFalco peregrinus

Some Birds to Watch for in Lakes & Streams

Species

IrishLatin
Little GrebeSpágaire TonnTachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested GrebeFoitheach MórPodiceps cristatus
CormorantBroigheallPhalcrocorax carbo
Grey HeronCorr RéiscArdrea cinerea
Mute SwanEala BhalbhCygnus olor
Whooper SwanEala GhlórachCygnus cygnus
Greylag GooseGé GhlasAnser anser
WigeonLacha RuaAnas penelope
TealPraslachaAnas crecca
MallardMallardAnas platyrhynchos
ShovelerSpadalachAnas clypeta
Tufted DuckLacha BhadánachAythya fuligula
GoldeneyeÓrshúileachBucephala clangula
GoosanderSíolta MhórMergus merganser
Water RailRalóg UisceRallus aquaticus
MoorhenCearc UisceGallinula chloropus
CootCearc CheannannFulica atra
LapwingPilibínVanellus vanellus
Common SandpiperGobadánActitis hypoleucos
Black-headed GullSléibhínLarus ridibundus
Common GullFaoileán BánLarus canus
Lesser Black-backed GullDroimneach BeagLarus fuscus
Herring GullFaoileán ScadánLarus argentatus
KingfisherCruidínAlecedo atthis
DipperGabha DubhCinclus cinclus
Grey WagtailGlasóg LiathMotacilla cinerea
Sedge WarblerCeolaire CíbeAcrocephalus schoenobaenus
Reed BuntingGealóg GhioclaíEmberiza schoeniclus

Some Birds to Watch for in Woodland

Species

Irish

Latin

SparrowhawkSpiorógAccipiter nisus
WoodcockCreabharScolopax rusticola
WoodpigeonColm CoilleColumba palumbus
CuckooCuachCuculus canorus
Barn OwlScréachóg ReiligeTyto alba
Long-eared OwlCeann CaitAsio otus
WrenDreoilínTroglodytes troglodytes
DunnockDonnógPrunella modularis
RobinSpideogErithacus rubecula
RedstartEarrdheargánPhoenicurus pheonicurus
BlackbirdLon DubhTurdus merula
Song ThrushSmólach CeoilTurdus philomelos
RedwingDeargán SneachtaTurdus iliacus
Mistle ThrushLiatráiscTurdus viscivorus
Grasshopper WarblerCeolaire CasarnaíLocustella naevia
Garden WarblerCeolaire GarraíSylvia borin
BlackcapCaipín DubhSylvia atricapilla
Wood WarblerCeolaire CoillePhylloscopus sibilatrix
ChiffchaffTiuf-TeafPhylloscopus collybita
Willow WarblerCeolaire SailíPhylloscopus trochilus
GoldcrestCíorbhuíRegulus regulus
Spotted FlycatcherCuilire LiathMuscicapa striata
Long-tailed TitMeantán EarrfhadaAegithalos caudatus
Coal TitMeantán DubhParus ater
Blue TitMeantán GormParus caeruleus
Great TitMeantán MórParus major
TreecreeperSnagCerthia familiaris
JayScréachógGarrulus glandarius
ChaffinchRí RuaFringilla coelebs
GreenfinchGlasán DarachCarduelis chloris
GoldfinchLasair ChoilleCarduelis carduelis
SiskinSiscínCarduelis spinus
LinnetGleoiseachAcanthis cannabine
RedpollDeargéadanAcanthis flammea
CrossbillCrosghobLoxia curvirostra
BullfinchCorcrán CoillePyrrhula pyrrhula

Other Birds to Watch for

Species

Irish

Latin

Red KiteClamhán Ceirteach/Cúr RuaMilvus milvus
BuzzardClamhánButeo buteo
KestrelPocaire GaoitheFalco tinnunculus
Red-legged PartridgePatraisc ChosdeargAlectoris rufa
Grey PartridgePatraiscPerdix perdix
PheasantPiasúnPhasianus colchicus
Feral PigeonFiacholmColumba livia (domest.)
Stock DoveColm GormColumba oenas
Collared DoveFearán BaicdhubhStreptopelia decaocto
CuckooCuachCuculus canorus
SwiftGabhlán GaoitheApus apus
Sand MartinGabhlán GainimhRiparia riparia
SwallowFáinleogHirundo rustica
House MartinGabhlán BinneDelichon urbica
Pied WagtailGlasóg ShráideMotacilla alba
FieldfareSacánTurdus pilaris
Grasshopper WarblerCeolaire CasarnaíLocustella naevia
Garden WarblerCeolaire GarraíSylvia borin
BlackcapCaipín DubhSylvia atricapilla
GoldcrestCíorbhuíRegulus regulus
MagpieSnag BreacPica pica
JackdawCágCorvus monedula
RookRúcachCorvus frugilegus
Hooded CrowFeannógCorvus cornix
StarlingDruidSturnus vulgaris
House SparrowGealbhan BinnePasser domesticus
BramblingBreacánFringilla montifringilla
Snow BuntingGealóg SneachtaPlectrophenax nivalis
YellowhammerBuíógEmberiza citrinella

 

This article is reproduced courtesy of the NPWS. Original article here. 

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