Lough Beg is situated in the south-western corner of Cork Harbour, about 16 kilometres from Cork city.  

The current actual reserve area (Lough Beg Bird Reserve, LBBR) covers about 4 hectares of a brackish water lagoon and salt marsh habitat, separated from the estuary by an artificial causeway.  A sluice gate is used to regulate the water level within the reserve area and so provide the seasonally adjusted optimal conditions for birds to both feed and roost.  However, the full area of ornithological interest includes the reserve, the fields stretching east to the shingle beach below Currabinny Wood, and the marine estuary.

The area is good for ducks in winter, waders – especially on autumn migration, and resident and migratory passerines.  The list of species seen here since formal recording commenced in 1976 exceeds 160, with 1 – 2 new additions in most years.

But Lough Beg is more than birds.  Mammals, butterflies and dragonflies brighten up many quiet birding days, and the increasing focus by Irish naturalists on these groups, plus flowering plants and pollinating insects has enhanced the interest, and educational potential, of the whole area.

Please note that the reserve, the adjacent fields, and the boundary walk (Slí na Sláinte) is private property, and access is made through the factory security building, and is limited to factory employees, local residents, and active members of BirdWatch Ireland (BWI).

The factory operates 24 / 7, and the causeway is the sole access and egress route.  The facility is particularly busy Monday – Friday, and access to the reserve is limited to weekends.  Even then, parking along the causeway to view the lagoon or estuary is strictly forbidden.



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