Wicklow Head to Broad Lough

Wicklow Head to Broad Lough, Co. Wicklow by Alan Lauder

(No comparative score but personal target of 150 points)

With Carrick Mountain nothing to write home about, my alternative patch is a touch better, well let’s face it, it couldn’t be that much worse. The whole of the Wicklow coast is comparatively bird rich with nice varied coastal, wetland, grassland and scrub habitats amongst others. I’ve watched this bit of coast since I moved here but mainly the Wicklow head and Wicklow harbour sections. I haven’t watched Broad Lough nearly enough. I thought it was about time I changed that and putting together the whole coastal strip made a coherent patch of the right size – how lucky was that! I guess through the year I’ll mostly watch the patch in three sections, Broad Lough when I get a chance (it takes a couple of hours), Wicklow Harbour and the bay when I get a few minutes whenever in town and Wicklow Head whenever I can get a couple of hours during Spring and Autumn for a walk along the coastal strip (its a really nice walk) or for a seawatch on the rare days when conditions look good (it is no Bridges of Ross!).

So what to expect and what to hope for? Well Broad Lough holds a nice selection of waterbirds throughout the year and has produced plenty scarcities over the years, it would be nice to add something large and white to the usually good numbers of Little Egrets or something small and peepish to the Dunlin flocks. 

In Wicklow harbour it would be nice to see a white-winged gull amongst the usually good numbers of commoner species and a Diver or two better than Red-throated in the Bay would be great. 

At Wicklow Head I’ve yet to see a good migrant but it could produce something, it has had the odd thing in the distant past, YBW would be an aspiration! One of the big shearwaters or a good skua would be a real seawatching bonus. 

I have no comparative score as I haven’t worked it comprehensively enough before. I reckon a score of 150 points is a challenging but possibly achievable target...I might prove myself very wrong of course but I doubt I’ll have underestimated. It will be interesting to see how it shapes up against Mr Keogh’s Kilcoole/Blackditch Patch which is just a stones-throw up the coast.

Patch map

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