Wildlife Holidays


Sealife Pelagics


Wild Weekends


What Else We Provide

Image of Binocular

We offer a personal guiding service. Our guides can take you to any part of Ireland and can be hired at any time of year to suit the needs of our customers time schedules and specific target species. We can cater for individuals and groups. Contact us with your requirements for a quote.

Image of Binocular

We can arrange a birding or wildlife holiday package to suit your every need. These fantastic breaks can include all that Ireland has to offer including our specialised Pelagic trips, Accommodation, Meals, Entertainment and of course your Guide. Contact us with your requirements for a quote.

Image of Binocular

Qualified ESAS Seabird Surveyor, Marine Mammal Observer, Protected Species Observer, Bird Surveyor and Ecological Surveyor.

About Our Team

Shearwater Wildlife Tours is an Irish ecotours company based in West Cork, Ireland. We specialise in short range pelagics and wildlife based package holidays for birders, wildlife enthusiasts and photographers as well as people new to wildlife observation. We are here to share our knowledge of the birding and wildlife hotspots and what can be found there, 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 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 Shearwater, Puffin, Gannet, Razorbill, Guillemot, Storm Petrel and Fulmar while Skuas can be present most of the year except for the winter months. Some scarcer birds such as Balearic, Cory’s, Great and Sooty Shearwaters along with Wilson’s Storm-petrels can be seen at the right time of year with rarities recorded over the years in the area including Bulwer’s Petrel, Little Shearwater, annual Fea’s Petrels and even Black-browed Albatross has occurred on several occasions.

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 Ireland’s 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 a database.

What our customers say

“Paul has to be one of the top wildlife guides in the world. He has a warm affable personality and the most amazing knowledge of all things flora and fauna in Cork. We had a great day out with Paul and we could not rate him high enough. If you are ever in Paul’s part of Ireland please link up with him. You will not be disappointed!”

Alan Locke – UK

“Not only did Paul greatly enrich our first experience in Ireland with his wildlife and other knowledge, he was great fun to be with! My husband and I heartily recommend a tour with Paul!”

Bethany Hausner Kilzer – USA
In 2017 the day was filled with Storm Petrels, including over 100 Wilson’s Storm-petrels, as well as Great Shearwaters that could be snapped with smart-phones. Then, in 2018, a Fea’s Petrel swept past the boat – so close that it was best seen without binoculars. All these delights were laid on through Paul’s skills at chumming and his all-seeing eyes that find the gems dancing among the waves.” 
Anthony McGeehan – Bird Expert, Published Author and Photographer.




The Sealife we encounter on our tours varies throughout the year. Although there are are no guarantees some of the species we regularly encounter include: Minke, Humpback and Fin Whales. Grey and Common Seals. Common, Bottlenose and Risso's Dolphins. Sunfish. Basking and Blue Sharks. Bluefin Tuna. Otter. Leatherback Turtle. Please contact us to find out which time is best for which species.


At sea we regularly see Gannet, Guillemot, Black Guillemot, Razorbill, Puffin, Shag, Cormorant, Manx, Sooty, Balearic, Great and Cory's Shearwaters, Wilson's and European Storm-petrels, Great, Pomarine, Arctic and Long-tailed Skuas, 8 species of Gull including Sabine's, Phalaropes and we have had several records of Fea's type petrels over the years.


At migration times birds from all corners of the globe can and do turn up in Ireland, especially at sea, on it's headlands and offshore islands. Siberian, Asian, American and European birds are annually recorded and there is always the chance of finding something spectacular. Our experienced guides have a unique local knowledge of Irelands varied habitats and where to find birds and other wildlife. 

Image of Paul Connaughton

Latest Blog Posts

What a year!

Fea’s Petrel, August 26th 2018, south of Gascanane Sound. (With thanks to John Coveney for the image)     2018 – A year to remember. What a year we had in 2018! The wildlife show just never stopped in the waters off the West Cork […]

Image of White Swallow

Rare White Swallow in Clonakilty!

I had a wonderful experience today as I was lucky to witness an incredibly rare sight of a White Swallow! These birds, which are a normal Barn Swallow only they have a condition called leucism. Leucism, or leukism, is an abnormal plumage condition caused by […]

Image of Gannets

Well this season has started with a bang!

The waters off West Cork are heaving with marine life as the plankton bloom explodes with increasing daylight and rising air and water temperatures. As the plankton blossoms Sand-eels in their millions are converting micro-organisms into good catchable protein. This in turn is driving a […]

See all our news