Birding Locations Ireland
East Coast Nature Reserve
East Coast Nature Reserve is located to the east of the village of Newcastle in County Wicklow. Thw reserve is managed by Birdwatch Ireland and includes marked trails and several bird hides overlooking wetland and marsh areas. The reserve attracts Spring and Autumn migrants as well as occasion rare visitors like the Glossy Ibis and Purple Heron.
To get there, take the M11 motorway from Dublin, or Wexford. Follow the signs for Newcastle, When you reach the village, take a left turn onto “Sea Road” and follow the road to the reserve which is on the left hand side of the road just past the Aerodrome. It is just 1.5 KM from the village. There is very limited parking on the roadway outside the reserve. But if you drive 500 metres further on, there is parking on the roadway just before it meets a dead end at the railway tracks and the beach.
When you visit here you should explore both the nature reserve and the beach. The reserve has many different warblers in Spring and Summer. It is also a haven for ducks, swans and geese in Winter, Birds of Prey include Buzzards, Hen Harriers, Merlin, Kestrel and Red Kites. Short and Long Eared Owls can also be seen.
If you visit the beach you are likely to see Little Terns in the summer. There is a breeding colony about 1.5 Kilometers to your left that is managed and protected by Birdwatch Ireland each summer. If you walk to your right you will are likely to see Wheatears in summer along with Stonechats, Linnet, Skylark and Reed Buntings. Keep an eye on the shoreline for Little Plovers, Cormorants, Red Throated Divers and Gulls.
When you get to the Reserve, park outside the gate. If there is no space, keep going until you get to the beach. There is plenty of room to park here, and you can walk back to the reserve.