West Cork Branch
Protecting birds and biodiversity in West Cork
About The Branch
The West Cork Branch grew out of the Cork Branch in 1993. At that time there 150 Cork Branch members who were living in West Cork so the creation of the new West Cork Branch became viable The late Clive Hutchinson, Tom Kelly of UCC, Jim Wilson and other Cork Branch members helped enormously with establishing the new branch and researching the important bird sites in West Cork.
When the Cork Branch was dissolved the West Cork Branch continued and served the whole of County Cork. This remained the case until the reforming of the Cork Branch in 2011.
In the early years Mike Fox and Mick O'Sullivan did a lot of work with Barn Owls, and put up many nest-boxes throughout West Cork. Mike Fox and his wife June ran a Raptor hospital for many years, but unfortunately had to close it down through a lack of funds. A hide was also erected by the lake on the Liss Ard Estate.
The Branch has been involved in a number of conservation projects over the years. It played a central role in protecting Clogheen Marsh from development and maintaining its important SAC status and was instrumental in persuading Clonakilty Town Council not to build a barrage. More recently we started the West Cork Swift Project in 2019, working with local communities to monitor nesting birds in West Cork and install nest boxes.
BirdWatch Ireland family and individual members now living in West Cork number more than 250 and the Branch has a large following on its Facebook page. The Branch holds twenty to twenty-five outdoor and indoor events each year and these are open to the Public. The only exception to this is when a boat trip is involved, in which case the outing is limited to BirdWatch Ireland members only because of insurance. With exception of special trips, entry to our events is free.
On our outings you can learn to recognise birds and discover all about their habits and the habitats they live in. You can discover the amazing spectacle of migration and see birds from America, Europe and Asia which turn up on West Cork headlands each autumn and spring. We always ensure great leaders and each outing is well organised. We provide information on the walking difficulty of the outing: easy, moderate or severe and if you don't have your own binoculars, we have pairs for loan to beginners at our outings.
Please come along and enjoy the nature of West Cork.