Shearwater Wildlife Tours is an Irish ecotours company based in West Cork, Ireland. We specialise in short range pelagics along with guiding for birders, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. We are here to share our knowledge of the birding and wildlife hotspots, to give everyone a first hand and truly memorable experience of what Ireland has to offer.
Some of the worlds best Whale and Dolphin watching can be had from late summer right through the winter months. Fin, Humpback and Minke Whales are recorded annually and Common Dolphins can be very reliable. The variety and numbers of seabirds that can be found in the waters off West Cork is incredible, especially in the Autumn.
The regular species to be found are Manx Shearwaters, Puffin, Gannet, Razorbill, Guillemot, Storm Petrel and Fulmar while Skuas are present most of the year except for the winter months. Some scarcer birds such as Balearic, Cory's, Great and Sooty Shearwaters can be seen at the right time of year with rarities recorded over the years including Bulwer's Petrel, Little Shearwater, Wilson's and Leach's Petrels, annual Fea's Petrels and even Black-browed Albatross has occured.
At migration times birds from all corners of the globe can and do turn up on West Corks headlands and islands. Siberian, Asian, American and European birds are annually recorded in West Cork. Our experienced guides have a unique local knowledge of Irelands varied habitats and the wildlife that can be found there. Shearwater Wildlife tours operate all year round.
At Shearwater Wildlife Tours we pride ourselves on being an Irish wildlife ecotourism company operating our business with environmentally sound principals. We have a strict set of guidelines to ensure that we enjoy Irelands wildlife in its natural habitat and minimize disturbance. All sightings from our trips are documented and reported to the relevant bodies where they are recorded on the Irish database.
Paul Connaughton- Tour Guide/Owner
Shearwater Wildlife Tours founder Paul Connaughton has been an active birder in Ireland for over thirty years and has been runing pelagics in West Cork for over 5 years. He has also taken part in transatlantic seabird survey work on the Celtic Explorer, the Irish Marine Research vessal. During his time on the water and on land he has come across many rarities both avian and mammalian. Irelands first and only Cirl Bunting, 2nd Blyth's Reed Warbler, 6th Red-flanked Bluetail, 3rd Bearded Seal, and photographing the most northerly sight record of Zino's Petrel in the North Atlantic to name a few. Add to that 6 at-sea Fea's Petrels from his pelagics. A testimony to the quality of the birding in Ireland and Paul's time spent in the field and at sea actively birding. Although birding is the number one drive in his life, Paul is the current Chairman of Birdwatch Ireland's (Ireland's largest conservation organisation) West Cork branch and is actively involved with and promotes conservation projects and studies in his locality. A deep love and understanding of nature, and a want to share and promote it, is what inspired Paul to create Shearwater Wildlife Tours. Ireland is a country that is slowly emerging as a top wildlife destination and there is a lot to be discovered and pioneers like us at Shearwater Wildlife Tours are making this happen.