More people are watching birds today than ever before; its popularity as a pastime has been growing rapidly over the past few years and for the visiting bird lover, Offaly offers some of the most varied bird-watching opportunities in the country.
The natural floodplain known as the Shannon Callows is world renowned for its birds and wildlife and has one of the largest concentrations of breeding waders in these islands with Lapwing, Redshank, Curlew, Sandpiper and Godwit living there. Offaly’s other notable bird-spotting areas include; the Lough Boora parklands/wetlands, Little Brosna (Ashton’s) Callows, the Slieve Bloom Mountains and Turraun Nature Reserve.
The Grey Partridge is one of Ireland’s most iconic native game and rarest birds and they can be seen at the Grey Partridge sanctuary adjacent to Lough Boora Discovery park. This is the premier place in the country to see grey partridges.
The Slieve Bloom Mountains are a designated Special Protection Area (SPA) for the rare bird life found there; two emblematic bird species; the hen harrier which is one of Ireland’s rarest birds of prey and the secretive game bird, the red grouse.