Seeing biodiversity in Sligo

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There are such a wide range of potential locations for seeing the natural heritage of Sligo that it would be impossible to develop a complete list. In this context a small flavour of what is available to see is given below.

Some of the very special experiences in the county include:

The flock of over 3000 barnacle geese that winter every year in the fields around Lissadell and Magherow from October to March which are frequently seen flying to and from Inishmurray Island. (This area is traversed by the North West Trail Cycle Route)
The rare "Arctic-Alpine" plant species found on top of Benbulbin and nowhere else in Ireland.
Watching a surfer and a seal sharing a wave in Easky as one of them chases salmon running into the river. (The riverside walk in Easky allows access from the village to the Castle and the coast beyond)
Trout freely rising to a fly hatch on many of the lakes in the county. (There are a range of lakeside walks in the county including those at Hazelwood, Lough Easkey, Lough Talt, and Cleveragh {Sligo town})
Red grouse calling as they break cover from heather in the Ox Mountains. (This area is traversed by the Sligo Way which extends from Largan Church near Lough Talt to Dromahair across the length of the Ox Mountains)
Watching from one of Sligo’s headlands at Mullaghmore or Aughris on a clam day for a chance to see bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise or even a mink whale.
The summertime spread of orchids in the dunes and grassland areas around the Mullaghmore Coastal Walk.
Winter wildfowl and waders pushing in to the shore at Sligo Bay. (Good vantage points include Cartron, Cummeen Strand, Ballysadare and Streamstown)
Whooper swans gathering during the autumn at Bunduff Lake. (There is a on road walk which encircles the lake.)
A short trip from Sligo town can take you to the woodland walk at Hazelwood on the south side of Lough Gill where you can see old oak trees reaching out low over the Lough, as well as a carpet of bluebells in springtime.
Take the coastal trail at Strandhill to see common seals hauled out on the seal bank in Ballysadare Bay, the large numbers of wintering geese and wading birds, and the orchids in the dunes in summer.

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Please view the Sligo Walks brochure online.