|Birds that may be seen in County
Mayo during the various months of the year.
Some birds are special to County Mayo, for example
- Chough can be seen in coastal
areas pecking in the Machair and nesting in ruined castles. Look out
for them on the Mullet
Peninsula, around Clew Bay and on Achill Island.
- Twite can usually be seen on
Peninsula near Termoncarragh or Erris Head.
- Barnacle Geese fly daily from
the Inishkea Islands to the Mullet
Peninsula each winter.
can usually be heard on the Mullet
Peninsula, or near Roonagh Quay, west of Louisburgh.
Look Out For During the Year
you should see this month, include:
Herring, Lesser Blacked-backed, Great -black Backed, with the more
unusual gulls including Glaucous Gull and Iceland Gull.
Waders: Purple Sandpiper can be often found with Turnstone.
Unusual Ducks to look out for include: Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged
Teal, Smew, Goosander, Slavonian Grebe, aka Horned Grebe, (Broadhaven
Twite near Termoncarragh (Mullet
On the bird table look out for over-wintering Blackcap.
||Winter birds remain
around the County, e.g. ducks, geese, Whooper Swans.
Flooded turloughs (e.g. East of Ballinrobe) may contain large numbers
of swans, waders and ducks.
Unusual winter gulls continue to be seen.
Ravens can be heard calling.
Rooks begin buidling nests in high trees.
||Start of the arrival
of Spring Migrants, look out for the first Wheatear, Blackcaps and Sand
A Snowy Owl has been seen this month over the past years in Blacksod on
Still to be seen: Gulls such as Iceland Gull; Whooper Swans and
Barnacle Geese, Greylag Geese and Brent Geese.
Rodding of Woodcock at night time.
Rafts of Great Norther Diver, Slavonian grebe may be seen at Blacksod
Bay, on the Mullet.
||More spring migrants
arrive, e.g. Sandwich Tern, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Swallow,
A few early Corncrake arrive late in the month competing with the noisy
Cuckoos, which usually arrive mid month.
Late April arrivals usually include House Martin, Swift and Whitethroat.
Note the departure of Whooper Swan from lakes and Light-bellied Brent
Rafts of divers off shore - Great Northern Diver, Red-throated Diver.
Unusual Waders: Long-billed Dowitcher.
||The main arrival of
the Corncrake occurs this month in many areas of Mayo, espcially on the
and near Roonagh Quay, west of Louisburgh.
Other spring migrants arrive early this month, Sedge Warbler and
Twite at Erris Head, on the Mullet.
Whimbrel can be heard and seen on passage migration at most coastal
sites as they head north, along with at the great lakes (Lough Mask,
The dawn chorus get into full swing - take an early morning stroll in
any of the woodlands, e.g. Brackloon near Westport, Tournakeady,
Drummin near Pontoon.
||Corncrakes can be
heard calling at night in their various breeding sites in the county.
Snipe can also be heard drumming.
Woodlands provide good bird song including the various summer -
Crossbills can often be found.
Ringed-billed Gull may be seen on the lakes, e.g. Lough Mask.
||Corncrake may still
be heard early this month.
Unusual gulls could include sightings of Ring-billed and Mediterranean
Barn Owls hunting at night.
Large numbers of Storm and Leach's Petrel off-shore.
Terns can be seen fishing in lakes and along the shore.
Ospreys may also be seen fishing in large lakes, e.g. Lough Conn and
Pomarine Skuas can be seen off the headlands.
||Start of the passage
Visit one of the headlands to see this incredible sight as hundreds (or
thousands) of birds pass by the coast of Co Mayo.
Petrels (Storm, Leach's, Wilson's, Fea's-Type), Max, Cory's and Great
Shearwaters, Sabine Gull, Pomarine Skua.
Later in the month - American waders may be seen: Sandpipers (Pectoral,
Semipalmated, Buff-Breased). American Golden Plover, Long-billed
||The continuation of
the autumn Passage of Migration - best viewed form Kilcummin
Head and Annagh Head.
Look out for Shearwaters (Manx, Sooty, Great, Cory's, Balaeric,
Leach's Petrels, Skuas (Long-tailed and Arctic), Grey Phalarope,
In Late September: Grey Phalarope (a Red-Phalarope in winter plumage).
Unusual sandpipers: Baird's Semipalmated, White-rumped, Pectoral.
Waders: Long-Billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Little Stint, Curlew,
Snowy Owl has been seen in the autumn near Blacksod on the Mullet
Peninsula for several years
Marsh Harriers, Osprey may be spotted.
The arrival of wintering birds, such as ducks and geese, begins late in
the month, unusual geese include Cackling / Canada and Snow Bunting.
continues early in the month - look for Leach's Petrel and Grey
Build up of Whooper Swans continues, along with increasing
numbers of ducks and geese.
Siskins begin to visit the bird feeders.
American Waders may be seen. Look for Pectoral, Baird's, Buff-breasted
Other unusual waders include: Little Stint, American Golden Plover,
Ruff may also be seen on the coast
along with American Wigeon.
Scarce birds that have be seen on the Mullet
this month include Yellow-browed Warbler, Arctic Redpoll, Blyth's Reed
Warbler, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Firecrest, Lapland Bunting, Snow
Bunnting and Red-eyed Vireo.
There is usually a build up of Common Scoter in Broadhaven
Gulls include Glaucous and Iceland.
Winter Thrushes (Redwing, Fieldfare), can be heard
overhead as they arrive.
Most of the Swallows will have now departed.
||Keep an eye on the
turloughs throughout the county as they can produce suprising numbers
of swans, ducks and waders.
Look out for Whooper Swan, Golden Plover, Greylag Geese, American
Plover among the flocks of wintering wildfowl and waders.
Waxwing flocks may visit gardens where they eat the berries of the
Gull numbers increase around the coast, including the white winged
Glaucous and Iceland Gulls.
Ring-necked Duck in lakes such as Carrowmore
and Lough Doogan can be seen.
Build up of the wintering thrushes, Redwing and Fieldfare and they move
in groups searching for food.
||Brambling may be
mixed in with flocks of Chaffinches.
Unusual ducks such as Ring-necked, can be seen on various lakes, such
Lake near Bangor, and Lough Doogan near Newport, along with
other dabbling and diving ducks.
Slavonian Grebe in Blacksod Bay on the Mullet
Lapland Bunting skulking near the coast.
Iceland Gull, the smaller of the white winged gulls, can turn up
Red-breasted Merganser, a diving sea duck, can be seen just off shore.