Cape Clear Weekends
Cape Clear Wildlife Weekends
The waters around Cape Clear are teaming with marine life and the island itself is famous for being a migration hotspot, with Cape Clear Bird Observatory in operation there as a result. We are offering you the chance to witness all of this first hand with a series of weekend tours to the island and the waters around it with our expert guides.
Long known as one of the best places in Ireland for observing seabird migration from land, our Cape Clear Wildlife Weekends will take in some seawatching from stunning coastal headlands as well as pelagic boat trips offshore where we will go in search of rare or unusual seabird species around the iconic Fastnet Rock. Manx Shearwater, European Storm-petrel, Great Skua, Gannet, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill and Shag are expected on each trip and there is a good chance we will encounter scarcer species like Sooty Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Cory's Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Arctic Tern. If we're lucky then an extra bonus species or two such as Balearic Shearwater, Long-tailed Skua, Sabine's Gull, Grey Phalarope or even Fea's Petrel are possible, all of which have been seen during our pelagics in recent years. These trips offer the best chance of finding Wilson's Storm-petrel in Irish waters between late-June and mid-September with peak numbers expected in late-July and through August
Basking Shark, Minke Whale, Common Dolphin, Harbour Porpoise, Grey Seal and Ocean Sunfish are just some of the species of marine wildlife we regularly see on our pelagic ventures and there is always a chance of something else like Humpback Whale, Fin Whale, Risso's Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Leatherback Turtle, Blue Shark or Portuguese Man O' War.
While there is a strong emphasis on marine wildlife during this tour, we will also spend time exploring the island of Cape Clear itself, taking in the resident and migratory birds that can be found there along with other wildlife and historical sites of interest. Chough, Rock Dove, Peregrine, Black Guillemot, Skylark and Stonechat are just some of the resident species we will look for while summer breeders such as Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Wheatear will also be present. Keep an open mind as there is always the chance of an unexpected rarity during migration season!
Friday - Meet at Baltimore Pier at 5pm for boat transfer to Cape Clear Island, observing inshore seabird species along the way. After checking in to our accommodation we will take a short walk around the island followed by dinner and entertainment in one of the local pubs that evening.
Saturday - After an early breakfast we will head out on a pelagic boat trip to the waters around Fastnet Rock. Return to the island for lunch and a rest after which we will spend the afternoon and early evening exploring the island, looking for resident and summer breeders. Dinner and entertainment in one of the local pubs that evening.
Sunday - An early breakfast will be followed and a walk around the island, taking in morning bird song and searching for migrants. We will leave the island after lunch, heading off on an afternoon pelagic boat trip to the waters around Fastnet Rock after which we will return to Baltimore Pier that evening.
Please note: our itinerary is flexible and there is the option of switching up the timing of the pelagic boat trips to make the best of the weather conditions at the time. Land based seawatching may also be carried out from Cape Clear should the weather conditions allow for it.
Transport to Cape Clear from Baltimore by boat (and return)
Two nights accommodation on Cape Clear
All meals (dinner on Friday and Saturday, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday)
Up to two pelagic boat trips in search of seabirds and marine wildlife (weather permitting)
Tea, coffee, water and snacks during the pelagic boat trips
Guided walks around the island taking in resident and migrant birds, other wildlife and historical sites of interest
Species lists and sightings which will be kept and compiled for you by our guides
Transport to Baltimore (although this can be arranged as an extra upon request, contact us for details)
Evening drinks/refreshments in the islands local pubs
What to bring:
Binoculars and/or a camera are advised (the guides will have their own telescopes with them which you are welcome to use)
Warm and waterproof clothing (especially for the pelagic boat trips)
Suitable footwear (hiking boots or walking shoes for the island and soft-soled shoes for the boat)
Suncream and sunglasses
Logistics and other information:
Spaces are limited to a maximum of 11 people
Meet at Baltimore Pier at 5pm on the Friday, returning on the Sunday evening
Weekend car parking is available in Baltimore near by the ferry pier
Sea sickness remedies are available prior to our pelagic boat trips if needed
A toilet is available on board
Life jackets are available for each participant
Our boat is fitted with all the necessary safety equipment
Your guides for the weekend will be Paul Connaughton and Niall Keogh
Both of our guides are trained and qualified in sea survival techniques
Walking conditions on the island are easy to moderate
The pubs and shops on the island do take card but be prepared just in case!
For further details or any special requirements please contact us by e-mail or phone
There are no tours available at this time.