7 Day Southern Ireland Trip
This exciting adventure takes us on a 7 day tour of Southern Ireland. We will begin in Dublin and travel in a clockwise direction around the coast through Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Clare and back to Dublin. Seabirds, Cetaceans, Waders, Wildfowl and Passage Migrants are the targets and we will visit some of Ireland’s top wildlife destinations. From the Saltee Islands, Lady’s Island and Tacumshin lakes in the southeast to Clonakilty, Rosscarbery and Cape Clear in the southwest these famous birding hotspots will be a treasure to behold. An example itinerary below outlines the intended time frame although this may vary due to weather and other factors.
Day 1 - Wednesday
Meet at Dublin Airport arrivals 9:30am - We will travel by modern air-conditioned vehicle through Dublin City heading south. Our first port of call will be County Wicklow, where we will visit the Birdwatch Ireland Reserve and visit the Little Tern colony. There is also the East Coast Nature Reserve nearby which we may visit if time allows. From here we will travel to Glendalough which is a famous 6th century monastic site situated in a beautiful glacial valley. We will have lunch nearby.
After lunch we will travel south (where we will expect to see Red Kites) and continue on to Wexford passing through many old towns with strong Viking roots. We will hope to arrive at our accommodation in Wexford at 4:30pm where we can check in and refresh ourselves. After check-in and dinner arrangements we will travel to one of Irelands most spectacular Tern colonies at Lady's Island Lake. Here we will spend some time with Roseate, Sandwich, Common and Arctic Terns along with a small population of Mediterranean Gulls. This is also an excellent place for waders. We will then return to our accommodation for 7:00pm and proceed with our dinner arrangements. There is an option to bird locally before sundown.
Day 2 - Thursday
Option for early morning start for birding local sites (South Slobs, Rosslare Backstrand etc.) Breakfast then leave accommodation by 9am. Travel to Kilmore Quay to get a passenger ferry to Saltees Islands. Here we will observe nesting seabirds including Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Puffins, Shags, Fulmars along with Chough, Peregrine and Rock Dove. Cetaceans may be observed from the boat on the way to and from the Islands. We will return to the mainland at 3pm where we will travel to Tacumshin Lake. This site is one of the most famous vagrant wader birding sites in Europe. It has an incredible list, boasting no less than fifteen species of American waders, not to mention what has been recorded here from other parts of the globe. We will return to our accommodation by 6pm for dinner arrangements. We will be free to do as we wish for the evening. Wexford town is well worth a visit and transport can be arranged.
Day 3 - Friday
On Friday we will be making our way from Wexford in the south-east of Ireland to West Cork in the south-west of the country. There will be a good deal of time spent in transit but we will break up the journey as best we can by stopping at some excellent sites along the way. During the day we will pass through some interesting coastal and estuarine habitats such as Dungarvan, Youghal and Cork Harbour. We will arrive in Baltimore in the evening (5pm) where we will board a boat to Cape Clear. We will check in to our accommodation and have dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Day 4 - Saturday
Saturday morning pelagic after breakfast. On these trips we might expect to see Manx Shearwaters, (Great and Cory's Shearwaters, Wilson's Storm-petrels during late summer/autumn) several species of Skuas, several Gull species, Dolphins, Whales, Seals, Sunfish and maybe a surprise or two! We will finish the pelagic at 2-3pm. There will be some guided exploration of the Island during the evening before evening meals. The evening will be free for everyone to do as they wish. (There may be a possibility of joining in with a Storm-petrel ringing session , late summer only, was a great addition last year!).
Day 5 - Sunday
Sunday pelagic. This will be arranged according to the clients wishes (depends on Storm-petrel ringing). Sunday's pelagic can be morning or evening with guided tour of the island alternated am or pm.
Day 6 - Monday
We will have breakfast at our accommodation and then take the earliest ferry From Cape Clear to Baltimore which will be 9am. We will again board the bus and travel in the direction of County Clare. We will arrange a stop on the way for us to take lunch. We will hope to arrive at the accommodation for late afternoon (4pm) so we can settle in and arrange Dinner. We will then visit The Bridges of Ross for some seawatching and get time to visit Loop Head. We will have dinner and return to our accommodation.
Day 7 - Tuesday
On our final day we will begin with breakfast as early as possible at our accommodation. Pre-breakfast birding can be arranged for those who want to rise early. We will leave the accommodation for The Cliffs of Moher traveling up the coast. We will get to spend some time here to take in the scenery. After we leave the cliffs, we will visit The Burren. This is an outstanding area of natural beauty and for anybody with an interest in botany the area holds 70% of Ireland's flower species. Having spent as much time here as possible we will then take the journey back to Dublin Airport to arrive for any return flights.
Price of €1270 per person includes:
- All transport throughout the trip.
- All accommodation and meals (breakfast, lunch, evening meal).
- Ferries to and from the Islands, Pelagic trips and entry to any historical/natural history sites we visit.
- Max 12 persons, min 4 to run trip.
- Max 7 persons per guide.
Wildlife Holiday Wednesday 22th - Tuesday 28th May 2019
Departure: 9.30am - Return: TBC
All details given above.
€1390 per person
Wildlife Holiday Wednesday 10th - Tuesday 16th July 2019
Departure: 9.30am - Return: TBC
All details given above.