BirdWatch Ireland

West Cork Branch

Protecting birds and biodiversity in West Cork



The Branch



Birding Sites

Branch Diary






Lissagriffin Lake


Overview and habitat

This tidal saltmarsh lake with sand dune system is one of the best places in Europe to find stray American Waders, and vagrant pipits and larks. Over the years almost every American Shore-bird has been found here, and more recently American pipits and European Larks. In the last few years caravans have been removed from the dunes and the area restored to its natural state and given full SAC status: for wild flowers, butterflies and birds.

Target species

American wading birds, Pipits Larks and Northern Wheatear. Osprey in autumn. The rare Marsh Fritillary butterfly in June.

Best time of year

Summer for butterflies and Cuckoo. Autumn and Spring for migrants and vagrants.

Getting there

From the village of Goleen take the right turn signposted Barley Cove / Coastroad. After 4.5km Lissagriffin Lake is on your left.



Pipits, Larks and Waders most likely, with a good chance of migrants and vagrants. Species seen here include Jack Snipe, Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Buff Bellied Pipit, Short-toed Lark and many more common species. Osprey seen in Autumn. Possibility of Warblers also.


Cuckoo, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Marsh Fritillary Butterfly.