Monthly Archives: April 2006

Kilkee

Kilkee
Kilkee is one of the counties favourite summer holiday destinations. In recent years the town has expanded dramatically, with new holiday homes springing up throughout, adding to the character of this seaside resort.The town offers lots of amenities with a large variety and choice of accommodation, backed up by plenty of good bars and restaurants for visitors.  There are also many  good exercise walks, especially on the cliffs to the north and south sides of Moore (horseshoe) Bay. The bay and sandy beach is the focal point of Kilkee. Rocky coastal zones, attracting many waders and gulls fringe the sandy beach in the bay. Summer months can be a small bit over run with visiting holiday-makers, hence the birds get disturbed off the beach.  Early morning excursions are best at this time of year.Autumn and winter are by far the best times to visit for good birding. Life on this storm battered coast can be hard and flocks of birds regularly take shelter on the beach and the grassy slopes during times of rough weather.

BIRDS

Resident birds include, breeding gulls, Kestrel, Peregrine, Rock Dove, Raven, Chough, Fulmar, Shag, Skylark, Rock and Meadow Pipits.  Swift, Swallow, House Martin Wheatear, Whitethroat, and Sedge Warblers are just some of the common migrant breeders.

In winter the beach and bay are the main attractions with lots of wading species like Dunlin Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Turnstone, Bar-tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher. Roosting flocks of Great Black-backed and Herring Gulls can have European visitors like Mediterranean Gull mixed with Common and Black-headed Gulls.

Late October through to March of most years normally sees a small influx of northern gulls to the area with Glaucous and Iceland Gulls regular. Small flocks of Purple Sandpipers frequent the rocky outcrops on the Atlantic side of the bay. Moore Bay itself can hold Great Northern Divers and auks like Razorbill and Black Guillemot.

Scarce or rare birds seen in the locality include: Eider, Surf Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Sabine’s, Ring-billed and Yellow-legged Gulls, all four skuas, Little Auk, Waxwing, Golden Oriole, Turtle Dove, Black Redstart, Blackcap, Twite, Lapland and Snow Bunting.

ACCESS

Routes to Kilkee are well sign posted from most access roads. One normally enters the town on the R67 from Kilrush or Doonbeg. Once in the town there are numerous parking areas, both public and private.
Presently these public car parks are free of charge. There is a public car park at the north side of the town near Kilkee Diving Center and Waterworld.  From this point one can take a 3km walk by footpath along the cliffs past the local golf course and Byrne’s Cove towards George’s Head and on to Lackglass Point.

 

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Kilbaha

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Kilrush Woods and Marina

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Killaloe

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Kilcredaun Marsh

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Lahinch

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Lisdoonvarna

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Liscannor Bay

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Lurga Point

Lurga Point

Seafield & the Pier at Lurga Point John N Murphy

Lurga Point is a sand and rocky outcrop situated 2km’s west of the small village of Quilty. The area surrounding the point is Seafield, which is a varied and interesting habitat of open ground, wet fields bordered by reeded drains and little tree cover. The shoreline is rocky, leading to sand dunes and a sandy seaweed strewn beach at the point itself. The point has an old pier, which in recent years has been added to and improved upon with small fishing vessels moored there all year round.

Familiar sea-side smells of decaying seaweed and fish are ever present at Lurga Point. It is the seaweed mass on the beach that makes this site so good for migrant waders. Sand hoppers and other small invertebrates living in the seaweed are a rich food source for waders to fatten up on during spring and autumn migration.

Birds   In winter the fields on approach to the point hold Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe and Golden Plover.  The beach holds a good variety of waders like Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, Redshank, Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Purple Sandpiper, Grey Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit. The point is nationally important for a wintering flock of over 200 Purple Sandpipers. Little Stint, Ruff, Curlew and Common Sandpipers, are all regular Autumn migrants.

In Spring and late summer, White Wagtails pass through this locality in good numbers. Offshore Red-throated and Great Northern Divers are common along with Shag and Black Guillemot.

Resident passerines found here are wagtails, pipits, Skylark, Starlings, Stonechat, Linnet, corvids and the odd hunting raptor such as Kestrel, Merlin and Peregrine.
Scarce or rare birds recorded here were; Sooty Shearwater Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Common Eider, Baird’s, Semi-palmated and White-rumped Sandpipers, Pomarine, Arctic, Great, and Long-tailed Skuas, Glaucous, Iceland and Sabines Gulls, Little Auk, Pied Flycatcher, Twite and Snow Bunting.

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Lough Graney

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