Inch Wildfowl Reserve
- View as map
This site is situated in the inner, eastern part of Lough Swilly, approximately 8 km to the south of Buncrana. It supports a wide diversity of wintering waterfowl, notably swans and geese, as well as breeding terns, gulls and duck. It is an important link in the overall Lough Swilly wetland system, which includes Blanket Nook and Big Isleto the south.
Welcome to Inch Wildfowl Reserve in Co. Donegal. Their logo is a Whooper Swan flying in a bright winter sky, and in many ways this captures the heartbeat of this reserve.
Each winter the site hosts thousands of migratory birds including geese, swans, ducks and other waders. During the winter months it is not unusual to see fields with several thousand Greylag Geese or Whooper Swans grazing on the reserve. The combination of extensive feeding areas and safe resting and roosting sites makes this site one of the most important wetlands in Ireland. To witness the return of the birds to roost on the lake at dusk is one of the most impressive wildlife displays of winter.
During the summer months Inch Wildfowl Reserve is alive with activity as a huge variety of birds make this their home rearing their young around the lake. Of particular significance is the large colony of Sandwich Terns who travel from as far away as South Africa to nest at Inch Wildfowl Reserve each summer. The colony can be easily viewed from the reserve’s pathways and is a hive of activity during the spring and summer months as the Sandwich Terns can be seen tending their young or diving for small fish along the embankments.
The facilities available at Inch Wildfowl Reserve cater for outdoor recreational activity including walking, running and cycling. The site includes a popular 8km looped path with seating, viewpoints and a number of bird hides open to the public. This scenic pathway follows around the lake edge and offers panoramic views of the surrounding agricultural landscape and wetlands. Three car parks are available to visitors including a disabled viewing area and coach parking.