Bird tour to highlight environmental richness of threatened bay

Winter bird tour of Ballyness Bay

Bird tour to highlight environmental richness of threatened bay

A group of birdwatchers scouting for birds on Ballyness Bay

Ballyness Bay has been in the news recently on account of a major plan to convert this beautiful tidal estuary into a large-scale shellfish farming area.

There has been a great deal of shock in the locality about proposals that would see vast ugly beds of shellfish dominate this stunning coastal location between Falcarragh, Gortahork and Magheraroarty.

To this end local have organised a new guided tour of the area to highlight its valuable natural rersources.

"People generally believe that the bay should be retained as an amenity for the local community and visitors. They think that it is far more valuable as a natural asset contributing to the well-being of all those who use and enjoy this amazing landscape.

"They also conclude that it can contribute greater economic benefit to the community through the growth of sustainable employment built around diverse outdoor activities and eco-tourism.

"Bird watching is just one of the many strands that form part of these varied outdoor pursuits. It is something that draws visitors into the area from far afield with the opportunity of viewing a rich array of coastal bird life in an unspoilt natural setting.

"Ballyness Bay is an ideal location in which to appreciate the wonderful selection of birds to be found on our shores at this time of year. Protected on its seaward side by extensive sand dunes, this relatively sheltered bay and its surroundings provide an excellent habitat for a wide variety of resident bird species as well as many seasonal visitors.

"It is particularly good as a wintering ground for waders and waterfowl, and its shores have been designated as a Special Area of Conservation," a spokesperson said.

A guided tour on Saturday, November 16, will offer the chance for people to explore some of the stunning locations around this lovely tidal landscape and learn more about the abundance of bird life it nurtures.

Those who come along will learn to identify birds that have flown south from more northerly locations to overwinter here, alongside some of the hardy locals that stick around through the colder darker months.

This event is weather dependent. It is hoped those who come along will have an opportunity to observe some of the wildfowl, though in nature nothing can be guaranteed with certainty. It will be led by a local ecologist who has worked on various research and conservation programmes throughout Donegal.

Those who wish to join in should phone (074) 9180994 or (086) 8220404 to reserve a place. As one might expect for a coastal walk in winter you will need to wear warm clothes and sturdy, waterproof footwear, and if you have them to bring a pair of binoculars or a portable telescope.

The tour will begin at 10am and should take about three hours. It is organised by The Glasshouses (LAN Ctr.) Cill Ulta, Falcarragh, and supported by Donegal ETB.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email editorial@donegaldemocrat.ie To contact Donegal Post, email editor@donegalpost.com To contact Inish Times, email editor@inishtimes.com.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.