Bird Watching


The varied habitats in the locality make it an ideal area for birdwatching.  Dromana Wood, the surrounding agricultural land, hedgerows and copses, and the River Blackwater and its fringes are all good haunts for many of Ireland’s common species and some of the scarcer ones too.

Dromana Wood holds all the common woodland species e.g. finches, tits, thrushes etc. and also contains residents such as Treecreeper, Jay and the nocturnal Long-Eared Owl.  With the recent establishment of Great-Spotted Woodpeckers in the woods of Co. Wicklow, this is another species that could be added to the list in the near future.

Typical farmland species are common in the area, with several fields holding larger flocks of finches as well as winter thrushes which arrive from Scandinavia during winter.  Some of the wetter fields can hold waders such as Snipe and Lapwing as well. Along the hedgerows, species such as Stonechat can regularly be seen.

Villierstown Quay is an excellent view point to survey a stretch of the River Blackwater and its environs.  Many water birds can be regularly seen, with waders such as Grey Herons and Little Egrets abundant, as well Cormorants, common species of gulls, and ducks including Teal and Mallard.  Other species such as Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Water Rail and Kingfisher can be seen (or heard) occasionally.  Reed and Sedge Warblers can be heard singing nearby in the breeding season. During winter, many Whooper Swans arrive from Iceland and spend their days grazing at nearby Camphire and roost along the river at night. From the Quay on a misty winter’s morning, the sight and sound of large numbers of Whoopers taking off in the half light of early morning is a stunning scene.  Birds of Prey such as Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and the scarcer Peregrine Falcon can be seen, with rarities such as Hobby and Osprey turning up during migration in Spring/Autumn. There have been reports of White-Tailed Eagles in the area too – most likely birds from the reintroduction project in Co. Kerry.

Up the hill in Dromore, the sound of singing Yellowhammer can be heard during Spring/Summer – a sound that has sadly disappeared from large areas of the country.  At the same time of year, visiting warblers such as Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler can also be heard singing.

As can be seen, the area has a lot to offer in terms of birdlife.  Whatever the season, the diversity and quality of the habitats means there are always interesting birds to be found in the area.