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County Derry or Londonderry

Gannet Morus bassanus ©Ian Dickey Website

Birding County (London)Derry

County Londonderry or County Derry, is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland. Adjoining the north-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 801 square miles and (2016) has a population of about 247,132.The highest point in the county is the summit of Sawel Mountain at 2,224 feet, which is on the border with County Tyrone.

Sawel is part of the Sperrin Mountains, which dominate the southern part of the county. To the east and west, the land falls into the valleys of the Bann and Foyle rivers respectively; in the south-east, the county touches the shore of Lough Neagh, which is the largest lake in Ireland; the north of the county is distinguished by the steep cliffs, dune systems, and remarkable beaches of the Atlantic coast.

In the centre of the county are the old-growth deciduous forests at Banagher and Ness Wood, where the Burntollet River flows over the highest waterfalls in Northern Ireland..

Top Sites

Banagher Glen

Satellite View

Best woodland site

Bann Estuary

Mainly waders, some wildfowl and rarities…

Lough Beg

Satellite View

Waders and wildfowl. One of the best sites for rarities…

Magilligan Point, Lough Foyle

Satellite View

Seabirds (divers and skuas)…

Myroe Levels, Lough Foyle

Satellite View

Wildfowl & the lawn turf fields at Myroe Levels has proved one of the best places for rare waders…

Roe Estuary, Lough Foyle

Satellite View

Waders and wildfowl…

Contributor

George Gordon

County Recorder

George Gordon

2 Brooklyn Avenue, Bangor, Co. Down BT20 5RB

028 9145 5763

nimbus10111947@gmail.com

Useful Reading

Where to Watch Birds in Ireland

by Paul Milne & Clive Hutchinson - Paperback - 336 pages (2nd Edition 2010) Christopher Helm £18.99

ISBN: 9781408105214

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

BTO Rep - Charles Stewart

Bravellan, 18 Duncrun Road, Bellarena, Limavady, BT49 0JD

Organisations

RSPB Coleraine Local Group

Information

The group's aim is to support actively the work of the RSPB in the local community and to involve RSPB members and the wider public in the Society's conservation, public affairs, education, fundraising and other activities. We have regular monthly indoor meetings locally throughout the year and have occasional day-trips to local nature reserves. Contact: Peter Robinson - 02870344361 - mailto:robinsonpg@btinternet.com

Reserves

LNR Bay Road Park

Information

Satellite View

Bay Road Park, a Derry City flagship park is valuable to the people and visitors of Derry as an open space and for the wildlife found there. The location of the park on the banks of the River Foyle gives it an impressive presence as well as providing a variety of habitats including mudflats, coastal saltmarsh, lowland wood, lowland meadows and wet woodland. The park is valuable for a wide range of bird species, including six Northern Ireland priority species: redshank, herring gull, song thrush, mistle thrush, starling and bullfinch. It was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2009 for its biodiversity, access, community involvement and educational value.

LNR Ness and Ervey Woods

Webpage

Satellite View

Located in the Burntollet Valley within Ness Country Park, this nature reserve provides the opportunity to explore a wonderful and peaceful woodland, a gorge and spectacular waterfall. Ness Wood is named for ‘an las’ or Ness, meaning Waterfall, in this case it is known as the highest waterfall in all of Northern Ireland.

RSPB Lough Foyle

Website

Satellite View

Intertidal mudflats form part of the Lough Foyle SPA and Ramsar site, holding internationally and nationally important numbers of wintering and passage wildfowl and waders. The vast, open estuarine vistas create a spectacular landscape, with the mudflats and agricultural hinterland providing a superb birding experience.

UWT Umbra Nature Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

A large undisturbed sand-dune system, Umbra consists of dune grasslands, wetter dune slacks and a small hazel copse. An impressive display of flowering plants in the meadows and sand dunes are a colourful summer attraction and support an incredible diversity of insect life.

Trip Reports

CloudBirders

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.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Greenhill House

Accommodation

A nice old Georgian house standing in its own grounds of trees, lawns and shrubs, with lovely views over farmland to distant hills. This is a 60-hectare arable and beef farm and the Hegartys have owned the property for about 15 years…

Other Links

Birdwatching in Londonderry

Website

List of sites. E.g. Lough Foyle is one of the two great magnets in the county. It is wide and shallow, bordered by mudflat, saltwater marsh, and polder - enhanced by shell and shingle ridge and mussel bed. Whooper swan, pale-bellied Brent goose, Wigeon and bar-tailed godwit winter in internationally significant numbers. Nationally important concentrations of Bewick's swan, Greenland white-fronted goose, curlew and redshank also over winter here. Average winter wildfowl count exceeds 25,000 and waders reach 15,000. Winter stubble feeds flocks of finches larks and buntings and so attracts raptors- buzzard, kestrel, merlin, peregrine, Sparrowhawk and, rarely, gyrfalcon. Gales from the north-west blow in storm petrel, arctic and great skua…