County Tyrone

Common Tern Sterna hirundo ©Ian Dickey Website

The ceremonial County Tyrone is one of the six historic counties of Northern Ireland. It is also one of the 32 traditional counties of Ireland and lies within the historic province of Ulster. It is no longer used as an administrative division for local government but retains a strong identity in popular culture. Tyrone is connected by land to the county of Fermanagh to the southwest; Monaghan to the south; Armagh to the southeast; Derry/Londonderry to the north; and Donegal to the west. Across Lough Neagh to the east, it borders County Antrim. It is the eighth largest of Ireland’s thirty-two counties by area and tenth largest by population. It is the second largest of Ulster’s nine traditional counties by area and fourth largest by population

Adjoined to the southwest shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of around 3,150 K² (c.1,200 square miles) and has a population of under 180,000 people. Its largest town is Omagh, the county town, followed by Strabane and Dungannon. Annaghone lays claim to be the geographical centre of Northern Ireland.

It is one of the largest counties in area stretching from the west shore of Lough Neagh to the River Foyle on the border with Donegal. The length of the county, from the mouth of the River Blackwater at Lough Neagh to the western point near Carrickaduff hill is 55 miles. The breadth, from the southern corner, southeast of Fivemiletown, to the northeastern corner near Meenard Mountain is 37.5 miles.

Birding County Tyrone

The flat peatlands of East Tyrone border the shoreline of the largest lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh, rising gradually across to the more mountainous terrain in the west of the county, the area surrounding the Sperrin Mountains, the highest point being Sawel Mountain at 2,224 feet. Many peatlands have been exploited for fuel and the gardening trade and are dried out and wildlife desserts. Restoration is not just a way to boost wildlife but stop carbon escape and encourage carbon capture as part of climate action. For example, Ulster Wildlife have recently purchased Haughey’s Bog and will embark on measures to restore the water table and wildlife, eventually linking it to the nearby Bog Sac one of the biggest areas of untouched raised bog in the province.

Like Armagh most of the birding interest lies along the shore of Lough Neagh.

Top Sites
  • Annaghroe

    Satellite View
    Map Ref: H730440 Wintering Greenland White-fronted Geese
  • Kells Point

    Map Ref: H930700 Wildfowl and waders
  • Kiltagh Point

    Map Ref: H950730 Wildfowl and waders
  • Kinturk Flat

    Map Ref: H960790 Wildfowl and waders
  • Lough Fea

    InformationSatellite View
    Map Ref: H750860 Upland birds
  • George Gordon

County Recorder
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 189

  • Avibase - Bird Checklist

    This checklist includes all bird species found in County Tyrone (former) , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers. If you find any error, please do not hesitate to report them.
Useful Reading

  • Where to Watch Birds in Ireland

    by Paul Milne & Clive Hutchinson | Christopher Helm | 2009 | Paperback | 336 pages | Out of Print | ISBN: 9781408105214 Buy this book from
Useful Information
  • Tyrone Birding

    Facebook Page
    Birding Community Co.Tyrone. Share your sightings and pictures. Learn how to get involved in surveying birds in Co.Tyrone

Abbreviations Key

  • LNR Cottage Farm

    WebpageSatellite View
    The spread of habitats across a relatively small area allows for a good day’s bird watching. In summer, keep your eyes peeled for breeding birds such as spotted flycatcher, starling, bullfinch and reed bunting. In winter, the hedgerows are full of feeding flocks of fieldfare and redwing alongside blackbird, song thrush and mistle thrush, while the woodlands provide habitat for woodcock. The nature reserve sits alongside the River Strule, which is well-known for its Atlantic salmon and brown trout – and is a good place to watch out for kingfishers.
  • LNR Killeter

    InformationSatellite View
    White bog cotton and yellow bog asphodel add beauty throughout the summer. In the autumn, frost signals an end to the growing season and the bog takes on the rich autumn shades of brown and orange. Winter visitors may see the berries on the cranberry or hear the Greenland whitefronted geese as they fly over looking for a bog on which to feed. These winter visitors, known as bog-geese, traditionally fed on the roots of sedges in the vast bogs of Ireland. Being wary of people and enclosed spaces, they no longer stop at Killeter.
  • LNR Strabane Glen Nature Reserve

    InformationSatellite View
    This narrow valley was formed during the last deglaciation. It supports calcareous mixed woodland, with a river and steep gorge slopes. It provides a habitat for the red squirrel.
Other Links
  • Birdwatching in County Tyrone

    List of Important Bird Areas

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