Lough Allen Basin



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This Site explores a specific area of north west Ireland, shows off its great attractions and suggests some ideas for Conservation of the Environment and developing high level employment for people living in the area



Environmental topics: The Place / Birdlife / Unique Flora / Pollan / Conservation

Q. Lough Allenís interesting Birds?

Wild and little-studied Birds.

Because of its low population and even lower population of Birdwatchers (though this is now being addressed) the apparently interesting birdlife of Lough Allen is not known in great detail. The local community of farmers and fishermen around the lake would traditionally have a deep appreciation of wildlife but it is very much understated and while massive changes in Birdlife would be commented on (such as the disappearance of the Corncrake) the extent of breeding of some species is not clearly known. This list just highlights some of our more interesting species and poses more questions than answers. If you have the answers do let it be known.


Red breasted Merganser

One of the special birds of Lough Allen often seen with young in the Summer and busy feeding in the shallow waters. A fish eater, its presence is a reflection of the quality and the cleanliness of the water in the Lake.


Common Buzzard.

A new species entering the county, now seen in the broader area of Lough Allen Basin. Look out for it circling with wings in a gentle V over trees in the area. Watch out for Buzzards carrying twigs in April in the next couple of years.

Common Sandpiper.

Often seen around Lough Allen in the Summer, bobbing up and down on rocks near the shore. An attractive bird, it has a strange flight with rapid beats and then glides. Lovely piping call during most of the Summer.



Another wader found in the area but not known whether it is breeding. This is a species which is well known and abundant around Ireland but seems to be showing a marked decline as a breeding species?


A member of the Crow family, the Jay is doing well and is common around Lough Allen, wherever even small patches of woodland exist.


Common Gull

Not as common as its name suggests but also quite a Lough Allen bird. More a lake gull than a sea gull, it breeds in small numbers at Lough Allen. Worth looking out for; it is a dainty attractive bird with yellow beak and green legs.


Wherever there are coniferous woods around the Lake this little fellow is to be found. Often in big flocks and producing a whispering sound. A very beautiful bird in Summer if you can get a good look at them through your binoculars.



A large broad winged slow-flying bird that may jump up in front of you with an almighty squawk if you startle one along a river or stream. Always around in ones and twos, they breed in small colonies along the Shannon including Lough Allen.


A member of the Warbler family which has grown in population in Ireland and now found in both Summer and Winter. Its lovely strong and melodious song can be heard all around the Lake in Spring and early Summer. A common bird but it may hide in the undergrowth and can only be heard... not seen!



A stunningly beautiful bird (though not all as brilliant as this Summer male) that is prone to regular change in populations. Good groups are regularly seen in the area but its exact occurrence is not clear. See Sligo Birding  for records for the Leitrim area.

Acknowledgements and Copyright:

Vyacheslav Khlusoff
Paul O'Toole
David Farrell

Alan Kelly
[Public Domain]
Steve Byland

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