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Activities - Bird watching

The Lough Oughter Complex is a haven for birdlife and worth visiting in all seasons. Many swans and duck overwinter, but geese are very scarce.  Wintering waders consist mainly of Lapwing with low numbers of Curlew and snipe.  Golden Plover, Jack Snipe and Redshank have all been recorded here.

Lough Derries is the best site and birds also utalise the waters east to Trinity Island.  The Inishmore district is normally very productive depending on water levels. Derrybrick Lake and Lough Inchin are best in winter.  Carr’s Lake, Town Lake, Arden Lake, Parisee Lake and Round Lake are also important waters holding reasonable number of birds.  Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, feral Canada Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Moorhen, Coot, Water Rail, Lapwing and Snipe are regular.  Scarce or rare birds recorded are White-fronted Goose, Shelduck, Pintail, Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Goosander and Smew.  Internationally important numbers of Whooper Swans are present annually and Derrybrick Lake has been the star site for rare ducks.   

In spring Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, feral Canada Goose, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot and water Rail are regular breeders.  Lapwing and Snipe are scare breeders and Kingfisher and Redshank rarely breed.  Non-breeding Tufted Duck, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Great Black-backed Gull are occasionally present in ones or twos. Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Woodcock, Long-eared Owl, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Jay, Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Redpoll and Reed Bunting are regular breeders, whereas Cuckoo, Sand Martin, Stonechat and Crossbill are scarce annual breeders.  Barn Owl has recently been seen near Milltown. 

In autumn waders can be found at Lower Derries on Lough Oughter.  This is the most interesting spot for waders in the country.  The most ideal conditions are low water levels with mud exposed and winds coming from the east in late August, a time when birds are on the move.  The waders at this site will use locations at adjacent Trinity Island and Killywally as a second choice.  Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Little Stint, Pectoral Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper and Common Sandpiper have all been found.

Discover the magic of nature at Lough Oughter.

Thornton Cottages provide self catering holiday cottage accommodation in Cavan, near to Belturbet.

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Carratraw Bridge, Bulters Bridge, Co Cavan