(Ordnance Survey 10-km grid-squares X59/S50 - site midpoint c.S5000):
Coastal reedbed and scrub habitat with abundant nesting and passage warblers, especially Sedge Warbler; also
Water Rails, and nearby cliffs hold nesting Choughs and seabirds.
Landbird migrant site
(especially Ardmore Head), with records of rarities including Red-eyed Vireo. Also
a large Kittiwake colony at Ram Head; and Ardmore Bay is worth checking for rarer waterfowl (Black-throated Diver & Bonaparte's
Gull have occurred).
Ballinlough (S40 - S4403)
Freshwater lake with
regular Whooper Swans, small numbers of duck.
Ballymacaw (X69 - c.X6498):
A well-wooded coastal
glen, productive for passerine migrants, with rarity records including Melodious Warbler; some breeding seabirds.
Ballyscanlan Lake & Carrigavrantry Reservoir (S50 - c.S5403):
Small numbers of wintering
duck, and scarcities have included Goosander, Osprey, Hobby & Crossbills.
Ballyshunnock Reservoir (S40 - c.S4509):
Along with Knockaderry Reservoir, the best lake
site in Waterford, with small but varied breeding, wintering and passage populations of aquatic birds.
Rarities have included Lesser Scaup, several Ring-necked Ducks and Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
Ballyvooney Cove (X39 - X3897):
Has held one or two
Surf Scoters regularly in recent winter, with small numbers of Common Scoter and divers; also, breeding seabirds.
Belle Lake (S60 -
Small numbers of wintering duck, but the reedbed supports good breeding and passage populations of Sedge Warblers,
plus some Reed Warblers.
Blackwater Callows (R90/S00 - c.S0098):
The main wintering site for Whooper
Swans in Waterford, with large numbers of Wigeon and Black-tailed Godwits wintering in flooded fields.
Occasional rarities such as Green-winged Teal.
Brownstown Head (X69 - c.X6197):
The most productive Waterford site for migrant and vagrant landbirds, which have included Little Bittern,
Scops Owl, Yellow & Blackpoll Warblers, Northern Parula, Red-eyed Vireo, Bluethroat, Iberian Chiffchaff, Greenish, Bonelli’s
& Pallas’s Warblers. Also a good seawatch point, though less so than
Clonea & Ballynacourty Point (X39 - c.X3193):
beaches & rocky coastline, with typical open-shoreline waders on passage and in winter, with occasional rarities such
Lesser Yellowlegs or Semipalmated Sandpiper. Waterford’s
best site for terns, which have included White-winged Black Tern. Also an excellent
site for divers and, on occasion, landbird migrants (records include Woodchat & Red-backed Shrikes).
Comeragh & Monavullagh Mountains
Although birds can be
thin on the ground, they include small numbers of breeding Red Grouse, possibly also Ring Ouzel, and, in adjacent conifer
plantations, Crossbills and occasionally Nightjar.
Coolfin / Portnascully (S41/S51 - c.S4914):
Large numbers of Greylag
Geese winter along the River Suir here, often visible from the roadside and occasionally including scarcer species like Pink-footed
or Barnacle Goose. Green Sandpiper winter regularly.
Dungarvan (X29/X28 - c.X2791):
Extensive areas of mudflat and the open bay
support Waterford’s largest waterfowl populations, including high totals of Brent Geese, Shelduck,
Bar-tailed & Black-tailed Godwits, among others. This is the best site
for rarer waterbirds in the county, with rarer grebes and gulls a specialty. The
many rarities recorded here include Squacco Heron, Ivory & Bonaparte’s Gulls, Forster’s & Whiskered Terns
and (in Dungarvan town) Lesser Grey Shrike.
Dunmore East (S60/X69 - c.S6900):
Best known for its Kittiwake colonies viewable at close
range; also a good site for scarcer gulls, and once held Europe’s first Indian House Crow. Potentially a good spot for migrant landbirds.
Breeding seabirds occur
at low densities along all the cliffs from Creadan Head (see Waterford Harbour) west to Benlea (just east of Brownstown Head), with the largest colonies at Dunmore East (mainly Kittiwakes). Landbird migrant sites are dominated by Brownstown Head, but also include the coves at Ballymacaw, Rathmoylan and Portally. The estuaries and open bays of Waterford Harbour and Tramore form the eastern and western boundaries of this stretch of coast.
Fenor Bog ( S50 - S533015):
Nature reserve with
typical breeding birds of open country and bogland, including Cuckoo and Snipe.
Fiddown/Tibberoughney (S41/S42 - c.S4620)
River Suir, wooded island,
and adjacent marshes & pasture, with wintering Greylag Geese & large numbers of Teal, also breeding passerines including Blackcap.
Helvick Head (X38 - c.X3189):
Waterford’s best seawatch
point, with records including Fea’s/Zino’s Petrel and good numbers of rarer shearwaters. An excellent site for landbird migrants and vagrants, which have included Red-footed Falcon, Alpine Swift,
and Radde’s & Pallas’s Warblers. Also the largest seabird colony
in the county.
Kilmeaden Pools (Blackknock) (S50 - S5108):
site with lagoons & marsh habitat, good for duck (Garganey has occurred), passage waders (regular Green Sandpiper)
and has had up to 2 Water Pipits in winters 2003/2004 and 2004/2005.
Kinsalebeg & Blackwater Estuary (X17/X18/X08 - c.X1179)
Along the Cork/Waterford
border, the estuary holds good numbers of Black-tailed Godwits, among other species, and has produced rarities including Spotted
Sandpiper and Baird’s Sandpiper.
Knockaderry Reservoir (S40 - c.S4906):
Wintering duck and Whooper Swans, passage waders,
with rarity records including Lesser Scaup, Smew and Baird’s Sandpiper.
A similar mix of species,
and potential, to the Comeraghs, including Red Grouse and occasional Nightjars.
Little Island (S61 - c.S6411):
Estuarine and woodland
site close to Waterford city, with a good mix of species, including regular wintering Common Sandpipers.
The coastline from the
west side of Tramore Bay, west as far as Ballyvoyle Head (near Clonea), has extensive cliffs & rock islets along most of its length, with nesting Choughs & seabirds - Fulmar, Cormorant,
Shag, large gulls, Black Guillemot and, west of Stradbally, Guillemot & Razorbill. Inlets and beaches at Newtown
Cove, Garrarus, Kilfarrassy, Annestown, Boatstrand, Kilmurrin, Bunmahon, Ballydwan, Ballyvooney, Stradbally and Ballyvoyle provide good access to the cliffs, and are also worth checking for divers, seaduck
and migrant landbirds.
Mine Head area (X28 - c.X2882):
An under-watched area,
with a large amount of suitable habitat for landbird migrants in sheltered coastal valleys, including those at Ballycurreen,
Ballynamona, Hacketstown (which has had Red-eyed Vireo), Ballymacart (which has had Honey Buzzard) and Paulsworth. Great potential for further rarities. Also seabird colonies.
Portally Cove (X69 - c.X6798):
Small Kittiwake colony;
also landbird migrants, with rarity potential.
Rathmoylan (X69 - c.X6598):
Coastal migrant site,
with rarity records including Melodious Warbler; some breeding seabirds.
Tramore Bay & Backstrand (S50/S60/X59/X69 - c. S6000):
The estuarine Backstrand supports
large numbers of wintering Brent Geese, Black -tailed Godwits and Grey Plover, among a good diversity of other waterfowl and
occasional rarities (which have included Black-winged Stilt). The outer Bay can
hold good numbers of divers and Common Scoter.
Upland areas (general):
The Knockmealdown Mountains and Comeragh & Monavullagh Mountains (see also specific site-accounts ) hold typical upland breeding birds, and scarcer species include Crossbill and Nightjar
in adjacent forests.
Waterford Harbour (S60/S70 - c.S7008):
Estuarine site stretching
from Cheekpoint south to Creadan Head, plus open sea at harbour-mouth; less impressive waterfowl numbers than other county
sites but include small numbers of Brent Geese, scarcer gulls; some breeding seabirds.
Bordered by Dungarvan at the east and Youghal Harbour & the Blackwater estuary at the west, the coastline from Helvick Head west to Ferry Point includes steep cliffs along much of its length (notably at Helvick, Mine Head and Ram Head). These hold good seabird colonies, especially Helvick (up to 9 species) and Ram (Kittiwakes). There are also
stretches of lower-lying coastline (notably at Ardmore and Whiting Bay), good for open-shore waders and waterfowl, and well-vegetated headlands & valleys
(notably Ardmore, Helvick, Hackettstown & Ballymacart), good for landbird migrants.