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You are here: Croan Cottage Blog » Things to do » Blog article: Bird spotting in Kilkenny

Bird spotting in Kilkenny

Bird spotting in KilkennyIt’s almost 11 years since we came to live at Croan and one of our very first guests back then was a bird-spotter from the UK. Not being very knowledgeable about birds at the time, I felt sure that he would have a great time here in our beautiful, green, wooded part of Ireland. To my horror though, he declared the bird population to be very disappointing and the variety to be pathetic! I was disgusted but determined to find out why that might be the case.

Click on the image for a larger version
(or print it out to use as a checklist)

It didn’t take long to figure it out. A combination of factors had contrived, over the decades, to remove food sources and habitat from the smaller song birds and increased predator populations were also having a massive impact. In my opinion, the worse offender here is not the fox, not even cats (feral and ‘pet’) it was in fact Magpies. These relatively recent arrivals in Ireland (they arrived in the 1640’s) predate on young birds and eggs – habits that can have a disastrous effect on small populations.

Over the past decade, we have tried to make Croan a much safer and more welcoming place for our small feathered friends. We have created nesting sites, we are careful about when the hedgerows are cut, we have introduced a variety of feeds and feeding stations (not all birds like peanuts hanging in a net) and we have controlled predator numbers.

The result? Well, Croan is now home to a much more diverse population of birds and the birdsong is varied and really lovely. On any one day you could spot (or hear):

  • Blackbird
  • Blue Tit
  • Bullfinch
  • Buzzard (nested at Croan in 2012)
  • Chaffinch
  • Coal Tit
  • Collared Dove
  • Dunnock
  • Goldcrest
  • Goldfinch
  • Great Tit
  • Greenfinch
  • Grey Heron
  • Hooded Crow
  • House Martin
  • House Sparrow
  • Jackdaw
  • Jay
  • Linnet
  • Little Egret (in the nearby Kells River)
  • Long tailed Tit
  • Magpie (but we don’t make these guys feel welcome!)
  • Mallard (frequent visitors to the pond)
  • Mistle Thrush
  • Moorhen (a permanent resident on the Pond)
  • Pheasant
  • Pied Wagtail (a personal favourite)
  • Raven (next door in Castle Morres)
  • Robin
  • Rook
  • Siskin
  • Skylark
  • Snipe
  • Song Thrush
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Starling
  • Swallow
  • Treecreeper
  • Woodpigeon
  • Wren
  • Yellowhammer

Nearby in Inistioge, there is also a resident population of Peregrine Falcon which are a really spectacular bird!

So, if you are into birds, there are plenty to see and observe while staying at Croan Cottages. Of course, the list above doesn’t even mention our other resident birds: the Chickens, Guinea Fowl and Pea Fowl. We better not forget them!

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