Feather On The Shore
Whereas the dunes are best for birds throughout the summer, the birdlife of the shore is most abundant out of season when as many as thirty species can be seen in a day. Birds on the seaward side include gulls (up to ﬁve species), cormorants, gannets and sea ducks. Flocks of wading birds including lapwings, golden plover, curlews and oystercatchers gather below the bridge at the outfall of the Inagh, while various crows and starlings scavenge along the high tide. In the creeks and gullies of the saltmarsh above the bridge other species of waders are to be found. These include the redshank, greenshank, snipe and grey heron (often erroneously called the ‘crane’, another bird entirely). Look out here also for the beautiful pure white little egret, a recent climate change arrival from the Mediterranean. Flocks of ducks – wigeon, teal and mallard – also feed in the saltmarsh, mainly in winter.
One of the most spectacular birds to occasionally visit the Inagh saltmarsh, is the hen harrier. This large bird of prey is easily identiﬁed due to its lazy gliding, on long upturned wings and its clear white rump-patch.