Mullet Peninsula

OSI Discovery Series – Map No 22

This peninsula, in the northwest of the county, includes Blacksod and Broadhaven Bays, headlands, beaches, lakes, marshes, hills and many offshore islands.

There are many rare, unusual and scarce birds reported from the area.

The nearest town is Béal an Mhuirthead (Belmullet).

How to get to the Mullet Peninsula :

Drive through Bangor Erris, then enter the town of Belmullet. Take the second exit off the roundabout in the town and, after the two supermarkets on your left, either turn left for most of the peninsula or go straight on (northwards) for the Erris Head area.

Nearby Sites :

Carrowmore Lake


Best Time to Visit : All Year

Winter : Good for geese, swans and ducks.

Autumn : Provides excellent chances to see passage migrants.

The peninsula is noted for some of the Red-Listed birds and Annex 1 birds, e.g. Greenland White-fronted Geese, Corncrake, Red-billed Chough and Twite.

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Blacksod & Broadhaven Bays (respectively south and north of Belmullet) are both SPAs.

Winter Birds :

Whooper Swans, Geese (White-fronted, Barnacle, Light-bellied Brent)

Plover (Golden, Ringed, Grey and Lapwing)

Divers (Black-throated, Red-throated, Great Northern)

Ducks (Wigeon, Teal, Scaup, Long-tailed, Shelduck, Common Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser)

Waders (Sanderling, Dunlin, Knot, Curlew, Black-tailed & Bar-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Greenshank)

Slavonian Grebe may also be seen

Summer Birds :

Include Terns and Sandpipers, Corncrake

Autumn :

Passage waders & Passerines



Erris Head (F 700 415)

Situated on the northern tip of the Mullet. Park at the car park and walk to the headland over the styled trail on the left side of the car park at the Danish Cellar. Portaloo toilet facilities on site.

Chough, Twite, Rock Dove, Cormorant, Fulmar, Passage migration during the autumn, Hunting Peregrine.

Annagh Head (F 625 345)

Drive past Annagh Marsh to the end of the road and park in the car park.

Autumn: Passage migrants

Nesting Terns

Rare / Scarce / Unusual Birds:

Gyrfalcon (Feb 2018 & Apr 2009)

Booted Warbler (Sept 2004)

Wilson’s Petrel (2002, 2004)

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Annagh Beach (F 650 340)

Drive west past Annagh Marsh and take the first track to the right.

Waders including Sandpiper; also a good range of gulls.

Rare / Scarce / Unusual Birds:

Lesser Yellowlegs (Annagh Beach, Sept 2021)

White-rumped Sandpiper (Annagh Beach, July 2021)

American Golden Plover (April 2021)

White-rumped Sandpiper (16/10/2006)

Baird’s Sandpiper (12/09/2006)

Collared Pratincole

Elly Bay (F 635 255)

Geese – Light-bellied Brent; good selection of waders

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Termoncarragh Lake (F 665 350)

View from the car park at Termoncarragh graveyard where there is a ‘birding’ board.

See BWI main website for more details

Winter :

Up to 50 Greenland White-fronted Geese, 200 Whooper Swan, 1,000 Barnacle Geese, 50 Greylag Geese, Pink-footed Geese

Summer: Corncrake can be heard calling from surrounding fields

All Year: Chough and Twite

Rare / Scarce / Unusual Birds:

Snow Goose (September 2008)

Long-billed Dowitcher (3 from Sept/Oct 2005)

Gyrfalcon (December 2020)

Cross Lough (F 645 300)

On the south-west of the peninsula, an SPA.

Winter : Whooper Swans, good variety of ducks

Rare/Scarce/Unusual Birds:

Lesser Yellowlegs (Sept/Oct 2006)

Leam Lough (F 645 270)

All Year: Waders

Rare / Scarce / Unusual Birds:

Baird’s Sandpiper (01/10/2008)

Citrine Wagtail (5th & 6th Sept 2004)

Upland Sandpiper (19/10/1998)

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Skylark at Annagh Marsh (© Barry Murphy)

Annagh Marsh (F 655 340)

Owned by BWI – an SPA and has been recently restored to specifically help breeding waders.

No Entry – viewing from the road only.

See BWI main website for more details.

Best Time to View : All Year

Also Spring/Summer:

Breeding Lapwing and waders, Corncrake, Snipe, Grasshopper Warbler   

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Snowy Owl, on Termon Hill (© Barry Murphy)
Snowy Owl, on Termon Hill (© Barry Murphy)

Termon Hill (F 630 190)

At the south end of the peninsula, park at Deirbhile’s Twist stone circle.

Rare / Scarce / Unusual Birds:

A female Snowy Owl repeatedly visited here during the autumn and spring of ca. 2006 to 2012.

Red-eyed Vireo (5th -7th Oct 2006)

Swainson’s Thrush (dead at Blackrock Lighthouse, 26/05/1956  – now at the National Museum, Dublin)             

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Barnacle Geese on Iniskea South Island (© Barry Murphy)
Barnacle Geese on Iniskea South Island (© Barry Murphy)

Of those listed below, only Inishkea South Island is readily accessible, with several local boat operators providing day trips out during summer. As this is an SPA and SAC, you are kindly reminded to respect the ground-nesting birds at all times, especially during breeding season.

Inishkea Islands, North and South (F 560 220)

West of the peninsula, they are an SPA and SAC.

Winter : Sanderling, Barnacle Geese.

The Barnacle geese have been studied here since the early 1960’s

Summer : Waders (Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin); Terns (Arctic, Little, Common); Gulls; Wheatear

Fulmar, Cormorant, Shag, hunting Peregrine.

On Passage: Skuas, Whimbrel

Rare / Scarce / Unusual Birds:

Dotterel (Sept 2019)

Lesser Yellowlegs (May 2013)

Gyrfalcon (April 2008)

Inishglora (F 615 310) and Inishkeeragh (F605 300)

Both are SPAs.

Little and Arctic Tern, Storm Petrel, Shag, Barnacle Geese

Duvillaun Islands (F 580 160)

Fulmar, Storm Petrel, Cormorant

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