Carlingford’s variety of habitats – expansive mudflats in the bay, estuarine shingle beaches, woods and mountains, reed beds, marshes and ponds – are perfect for observing the many species that visit this area.
The mudflats in Carlingford Bay host a variety of waders including the richly-coloured dunlin turnstone, ringed plover, oystercatcher, redshank, heron and curlew. The whimbrel and sandpiper are common in spring and early summer. At Shilties Lough, you may see breeding moorhen and coot or mallard.
In the springtime, Carlingford village accommodates flocks of swifts, swallows, house martins and sand martins which have migrated from sub-Saharan Africa. Buzzard and raven are ‘regulars’ on Slieve Foy, overlooking the village, while the nearby forest features goldcrest and jay, as well as many tits and finches. Dippers may be seen using the fast mountain streams. Yellowhammer are often seen in the hedgerows in the gentle scenic countryside while other passerines you’ll find there include the willow warbler, chiffchaff, and blue, great and coal tits.
A colony of common or harbour seals may often be seen lounging on the rocks off the bay. Occasionally a grey seal, identified by its “hook” nose among other things, may be seen in the Lough.