Bird Watching

Glen Lough Nature ReserveSpecial Areas of Protection
Glen Lough Nature Reserve is designated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service as an SPA, an area of special protection. Ireland is a special place for wild birds as we are at the end of major flyways of waterfowl migrating south for the winter from North America, Greenland, Iceland and the Arctic. In spring and summer, Ireland provides important breeding grounds for species from the continent of Europe or Africa. Our long coastlines provide safe breeding and wintering grounds for large numbers of seabirds. In addition we have resident species which are scarce or rare in other parts of Europe.Because birds migrate long distances, it is not sufficient to protect them over just part of their range, so the EU Birds Directive provides for a network of sites in all Member States to protect birds at their breeding, feeding, roosting and wintering areas. It identifies species which are rare, in danger of extinction or vulnerable to changes in habitat and which need protection. In Ireland, we have 25 of these species regularly occurring.

naturereserve027Whooper Swans
They include Bewicks and Whooper Swan, Greenland White-Fronted and Barnacle Geese, Corncrake, Golden Plover, Bar-Tailed Godwit, five species of tern, birds of prey including Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Merlin as well as the Nightjar, Kingfisher and Chough. Glen Lough is noted as significant due to the internationally important numbers of whooper swans which flock to the area during winter time. This flock also uses nearby Lough Iron and a range of grassland feeding areas in the vicinity. At times, the site is visited by part of the internationally important Midland lakes Greenland Whitefronted Goose population. Dabbling ducks are well represented, and include such species as Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Pintail and Shoveler. Lapwing are also found in the area.

naturereserve024Biodiverse habitat
Glen Lough has many rare and interesting native plants and animals which inhabit the area and a number of lovely walks and pools for exploring. The site has a fine bird-hide affording excellent views over the lake and the area makes for an enjoyable and interesting visit for lovers of nature and outdoor enthusiasts as well as bird watchers.

Situated outside of Edgeworthstown, off the N55 en route to Ballymahon, the site is easily accessible form the main road. It is connected to Lough Iron by the Black River.

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County Longford Tourism Office Market Square, Longford, Ireland    Phone: +353 (0)43 33 42577 +353 (0)85 8888876    Email: