Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

County Sligo

Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola ©Steve Blain Website

Birding County Sligo

County Sligo (meaning Shelly River) is a county in the province of Connacht in the west of Ireland. It is bordered to the west by Mayo, to the south by Roscommon, and the east by Leitrim. It is noted for Benbulben Mountain, one of Ireland’s most distinctive natural landmarks.

Its rivers include Ballisodare River, Duff River, River Garavogue, River Moy and Owenmore River and the lakes are loughs Arrow, Cloonacleigha, Easky, Gara, Gill, Glencar, Skean, Talt and Templehouse.

Useful Reading

Fieldguides & Other Birding Books
For a full list of fieldguides and other books see the Republic of Ireland page


BirdWatch Ireland - Sligo Branch

Facebook Page

@birdwatch.sligo - BirdWatch Sligo is the Sligo branch of BirdWatch Ireland, dedicated to the conservation of Irish birds and the rich biodiversity that supports them. It holds a monthly talk and Outing. Both are free and non-members of BirdWatch Ireland are welcome. Here is the list of upcoming events scheduled for the next couple of months. This page is updated frequently, so check back often to stay up to date… Also see the Twitter Page.


Abbreviations Key

NR Ballygilgan (Lissadell)


Satellite View

A large grass field sloping south-westwards from the public road from Carney to Lissadell to the shore of Drumcliff Bay. About 3000 Barnacle Geese arrive in October to spend the winter in North Sligo. The Ballygilgan Nature Reserve is one of the best sites in Ireland for seeing these geese in winter. The geese breed in Greenland in the summer and spend the winter in Ireland. They graze in Lissadell – Maugherow area every winter until April, spending every night on the island of Inishmurray.

NR Easkey Bog


Satellite View

This is one of the few extensive areas of intermediate blanket bogs in the country. It stretches between lowland and mountain blanket bog; the area grades into mountain blanket bog to the south while an extensive area of lowland blanket bog occurs about 2 km to the west. It is one of the few places in the county where all three blanket bog types are more or less juxtaposed. Red Grouse and Curlew can be found and Golden Plover can be found here only during the winter when they visit from Iceland. The Irish Hare also makes its home here.

NR Union Wood


Satellite View

Part of Union Wood belongs to National Parks and Wildlife Service, and contains one of the largest remaining native Oak Woodlands in this area. Much of Union Wood is owned by Coillte and managed for timber, biodiversity and recreation. Mammals that live here include Pine Marten, Red Squirrel, Badger, Fos, Bats and Fallow Deer. Birds include Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Jay, Raven, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. Buzzards are occasionally seen soaring over the trees. A good insect population live on the dead wood, native trees and nearby wetlands, lakes and river, including beautiful butterflies and dragonflies.

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Other Links

Don Cotton’s Wildlife of Sligo and Leitrim


Sligo and Leitrim are in north-west Ireland at the very fringe of Europe. This is the gateway to what is becoming a comprehensive publication containing information about all aspects of the natural environment of these counties. The outline contents indicate the sections that will be written and illustrated over the next few years. For those interested in counties Sligo and Leitrim it will be worth keeping an eye on this site as additional information is being added on a regular basis.

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Michael O'Clery


Michael O'Clery is an Irish bird and wildlife artist, currently living and working in County Sligo in the west of Ireland. His main interest lies in the native birds of his home country, but also extends to all aspects of wildlife both in Ireland and abroad. While recording his wild subjects with both honesty and accuracy, Michael's paintings possess a style and individuality which makes them immediately recognisable. As well as being highly sought after as a wildlife illustrator, his work is now part of a growing number of prestigious private collections…