Birds of Wicklow Mountains National Park

Ireland’s location on the western edge of Europe means that there are fewer resident species than in Britain or mainland Europe. Over 100 bird species have been recorded in Wicklow Mountains National Park. Birdwatchers should aim to visit several habitats, each of which has its own range of species. Blanket bog, heath, deciduous woods, coniferous plantations, cliffs, lakes and rivers all provide important habitats for birds.


Some Interesting Species

Red Grouse

The Wicklow heathlands are an important habitat for the threatened Red Grouse. This species requires long old heather for cover and nesting as well as young heather on which to feed. An area of heath near Djouce Mt. is being managed to create diversity in heather cover to boost the population. This is being achieved at present through the cutting of plots of heather on a rotational basis. Controlled burning of plots is planned in the future.

Goosander

The goosander is a large fish-eating duck, similar to the commoner Red-breasted Merganser. It is a rare winter visitor to Ireland. There are also two small populations of resident breeding birds – in Donegal and here in Wicklow. The National Park has a successful nestbox scheme for this tree-nesting species. They can be seen on the Upper Lake in Glendalough, but be warned, they are shy birds and don not hang around when spotted. 

Great Spotted Woodpecker

For many years, Ireland had no woodpecker species. From 2005 however, sightings of single birds were reported, and in 2008 breeding was recorded. The species appears to be increasing. Look for it in the woods around Glendalough. In winter, they often move oto local gardens to feed on peanuts.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrines nest on the cliffs within the National Park and are the Park’s symbol. Park staff are involved in an annual nest monitoring and chick ringing programme.  Staff also try to organise a ‘Peregrine Watch’ event with telescopes each year, although this is dependent on the birds’ nesting success. 

Merlin

In summer, the Wicklow uplands have a good population of this rare small falcon. If you are lucky, you might spot one perched on a post, or hunting small birds such as pipits. It nests in woodland edges, and hunts over the open bog and moorland. 

Wood Warbler and Redstart

These two species are both rare summer visitors to Ireland. Both nest in the woodlands of the National Park, but in very low numbers. They are more easily heard than seen.


 

Some Birds to Watch for in Upland Bog and Moorland

Species

Irish

Latin

Red Grouse

Cearc Fhraoigh

Lagopus lagopus

Golden Plover

Feadóg Bhuí

Pluvialis apricaria

Snipe

Naoscach

Gallinago gallinago

Curlew

Crotach

Numenius arquata

Redshank

Cosdeargán

Tringa totanus

Skylark

Fuiseog

Alauda arvensis

Meadow Pipit

Riabhóg Mhóna

Alauda cervensis

Whinchat

Caislín Aitinn

Saxicola rubetra

Stonechat

Caislín Cloch

Saxicola torquata

Ring Ouzel

Lon Creige

Turdus torquatus

Raven

Fiach Dubh

Corvus corax

Hen Harrier

Cromán na gCearc

Cirus cyaneus

Merlin

Meirliún

Falco columbarius

Wheatear

Clochrán

Oenanathe oenanthe

Peregrine Falcon

Fabhcún Gorm

Falco peregrinus

 

Some Birds to Watch for in Lakes & Streams

Species

Irish

Latin

Little Grebe

Spágaire Tonn

Tachybaptus ruficollis

Great Crested Grebe

Foitheach Mór

Podiceps cristatus

Cormorant

Broigheall

Phalcrocorax carbo

Grey Heron

Corr Réisc

Ardrea cinerea

Mute Swan

Eala Bhalbh

Cygnus olor

Whooper Swan

Eala Ghlórach

Cygnus cygnus

Greylag Goose

Gé Ghlas

Anser anser

Wigeon

Lacha Rua

Anas penelope

Teal

Praslacha

Anas crecca

Mallard

Mallard

Anas platyrhynchos

Shoveler

Spadalach

Anas clypeta

Tufted Duck

Lacha Bhadánach

Aythya fuligula

Goldeneye

Órshúileach

Bucephala clangula

Goosander

Síolta Mhór

Mergus merganser

Water Rail

Ralóg Uisce

Rallus aquaticus

Moorhen

Cearc Uisce

Gallinula chloropus

Coot

Cearc Cheannann

Fulica atra

Lapwing

Pilibín

Vanellus vanellus

Common Sandpiper

Gobadán

Actitis hypoleucos

Black-headed Gull

Sléibhín

Larus ridibundus

Common Gull

Faoileán Bán

Larus canus

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Droimneach Beag

Larus fuscus

Herring Gull

Faoileán Scadán

Larus argentatus

Kingfisher

Cruidín

Alecedo atthis

Dipper

Gabha Dubh

Cinclus cinclus

Grey Wagtail

Glasóg Liath

Motacilla cinerea

Sedge Warbler

Ceolaire Cíbe

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Reed Bunting

Gealóg Ghioclaí

Emberiza schoeniclus

 

Some Birds to Watch for in Woodland

Species

Irish

Latin

Sparrowhawk

Spioróg

Accipiter nisus

Woodcock

Creabhar

Scolopax rusticola

Woodpigeon

Colm Coille

Columba palumbus

Cuckoo

Cuach

Cuculus canorus

Barn Owl

Scréachóg Reilige

Tyto alba

Long-eared Owl

Ceann Cait

Asio otus

Wren

Dreoilín

Troglodytes troglodytes

Dunnock

Donnóg

Prunella modularis

Robin

Spideog

Erithacus rubecula

Redstart

Earrdheargán

Phoenicurus pheonicurus

Blackbird

Lon Dubh

Turdus merula

Song Thrush

Smólach Ceoil

Turdus philomelos

Redwing

Deargán Sneachta

Turdus iliacus

Mistle Thrush

Liatráisc

Turdus viscivorus

Grasshopper Warbler

Ceolaire Casarnaí

Locustella naevia

Garden Warbler

Ceolaire Garraí

Sylvia borin

Blackcap

Caipín Dubh

Sylvia atricapilla

Wood Warbler

Ceolaire Coille

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Chiffchaff

Tiuf-Teaf

Phylloscopus collybita

Willow Warbler

Ceolaire Sailí

Phylloscopus trochilus

Goldcrest

Cíorbhuí

Regulus regulus

Spotted Flycatcher

Cuilire Liath

Muscicapa striata

Long-tailed Tit

Meantán Earrfhada

Aegithalos caudatus

Coal Tit

Meantán Dubh

Parus ater

Blue Tit

Meantán Gorm

Parus caeruleus

Great Tit

Meantán Mór

Parus major

Treecreeper

Snag

Certhia familiaris

Jay

Scréachóg

Garrulus glandarius

Chaffinch

Rí Rua

Fringilla coelebs

Greenfinch

Glasán Darach

Carduelis chloris

Goldfinch

Lasair Choille

Carduelis carduelis

Siskin

Siscín

Carduelis spinus

Linnet

Gleoiseach

Acanthis cannabine

Redpoll

Deargéadan

Acanthis flammea

Crossbill

Crosghob

Loxia curvirostra

Bullfinch

Corcrán Coille

Pyrrhula pyrrhula

 

Other Birds to Watch for

Species

Irish

Latin

Red Kite

Clamhán Ceirteach/Cúr Rua

Milvus milvus

Buzzard

Clamhán

Buteo buteo

Kestrel

Pocaire Gaoithe

Falco tinnunculus

Red-legged Partridge

Patraisc Chosdearg

Alectoris rufa

Grey Partridge

Patraisc

Perdix perdix

Pheasant

Piasún

Phasianus colchicus

Feral Pigeon

Fiacholm

Columba livia (domest.)

Stock Dove

Colm Gorm

Columba oenas

Collared Dove

Fearán Baicdhubh

Streptopelia decaocto

Cuckoo

Cuach

Cuculus canorus

Swift

Gabhlán Gaoithe

Apus apus

Sand Martin

Gabhlán Gainimh

Riparia riparia

Swallow

Fáinleog

Hirundo rustica

House Martin

Gabhlán Binne

Delichon urbica

Pied Wagtail

Glasóg Shráide

Motacilla alba

Fieldfare

Sacán

Turdus pilaris

Grasshopper Warbler

Ceolaire Casarnaí

Locustella naevia

Garden Warbler

Ceolaire Garraí

Sylvia borin

Blackcap

Caipín Dubh

Sylvia atricapilla

Goldcrest

Cíorbhuí

Regulus regulus

Magpie

Snag Breac

Pica pica

Jackdaw

Cág

Corvus monedula

Rook

Rúcach

Corvus frugilegus

Hooded Crow

Feannóg

Corvus cornix

Starling

Druid

Sturnus vulgaris

House Sparrow

Gealbhan Binne

Passer domesticus

Brambling

Breacán

Fringilla montifringilla

Snow Bunting

Gealóg Sneachta

Plectrophenax nivalis

Yellowhammer

Buíóg

Emberiza citrinella