With its ancient castles, rugged landscapes, breathtaking coastlines, and some of the most enchanting scenery in the world, Ireland is a country that warms the heart and feeds the soul. Join Wild latitudes on this 11-day adventure that will take you around the entire island, giving you the very best of this wonderful country has to offer…
We’ll welcome you at the Dublin Airport, then head straight out for a bit of birding enroute to our first lodging. Oystercatcher, Arctic Tern and Black Guillemot are a few species we’ll likely encounter today. Next it’s off to Wexford, birding Wicklow Mountains National Park on the way in hopes of seeing White-throated Dipper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Red Kite and Red Grouse. But we are in Ireland, and this is more than just a birding tour, so we’ll be sure to allow time to enjoy the old-world charm of our hotel and the village it’s nestled in.
Next, we’re off to County Cork, birding Tacumshin and Lady’s Island Lakes on the way. These famous lakes can yield various species of shorebird such as Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing and Common Redshank plus Marsh Harrier, Reed Warbler and the chance of a rare migrant. Tonight, we’re in at another classic Irish lodging in the quaint village of Blarney, positioning us perfectly to visit the Castle the next day. Jay, Coal Tit, and Sparrowhawk are some of the species we’re likely to see after kissing the Blarney Stone. We then bird our way through the stunning Killarney National Park, looking for White-tailed Eagle and Red Deer after which we reach the quintessential Irish village of Dingle, where we’ll stay two nights to give us time to enjoy it’s charm. From here, we take a boat to the Blasket Islands, home to vast colonies of seabirds like Razorbills, Manx Shearwater and the charming Atlantic Puffin.
After leaving Dingle, we visit the famous Cliffs of Moher for its scenery, bustling seabird colonies and Red-billed Chough, tour the flora-rich limestone landscapes of The Burren and stay a night in Galway. From there we head into Northern Ireland to spend our last two nights of the tour in Belfast, at the magnificent Merchant Hotel. We visit the Giant’s Causeway area in the morning, returning to Belfast to give everyone time to enjoy this vibrant city.
Along the way, we’ll visit the odd brewery, sip our share of Guinness, hear traditional Irish music fill the streets, and experience the true essence of Ireland.
Arrive in Dublin, welcomed by Steve Robertson and Irish co-leader Niall. A bit of casual birding enroute to our first accommodation. Time-permitting, we’ll stop at Rogerstown Estuary for a bit of shore-birding before we head south of Dublin to Fitzpatrick Castle, located near the coast.
In the morning, we’ll bird the forests of Wicklow Mountains National Park in hopes of spotting Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, and other European species, and in the afternoon, we’ll bird the marshes of Kilcoole, where Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher a colony of Little Terns await us.
Today will be spent birding the famous Tacumshin Lake searching for shorebirds like Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Dunlin and other wetland species like the Reed Warbler, Bearded Reedling,Great Crested Grebe, and maybe even a Water Rail. We plan to visit the city of Cork enroute to our next lodging, which is a wonderful little classic Irish Pub.
Today we’ll tour the Blarney Castle in the morning and bird the grounds where woodland species like the Jay and Spotted Flycatcher are to be found, and many more. Then it’s off to the Killarney area, birding our way to The Kerry Way Pub, another Irish charmer to be sure!
Today we explore the Killarney National Park, keeping an eye out for such rarities as the White-tailed Eagle and the Red-breasted Merganser. Native Red Deer can also be seen here. After getting our fill of the park, we head to the charming coastal town of Dingle in the afternoon. This little village is the quintessential Irish village, with lots of great little pubs that fill the evening with the sound of traditional music.
Boat cruise to Blasket Islands to view the seabirds such as the Black Guillemot, Chough, Kittywake and Puffin. Grey Seal colonies are also on the island, and conditions permitting, we’ll go ashore to explore the island’s historic buildings first-hand. On the return boat ride we’ll be focusing on seeing cetaceans such as the Humpback Whale, Rissos Dolphin and Minke Whale. We’ll visit a local distillery before returning to the hotel in Dingle.
Today we visit the world famous Cliffs of Moher, a highlight of any tour to Ireland. Here, many seabirds thrive, and Razorbills can be seen in great numbers. After the cliffs, we head to our next lodging allowing time to bird the grounds and enjoy its lovely setting and charming atmosphere.
Today we explore Burren National Park in the morning, where ancient landscape of “pavement limestone” and one of the best examples of Karst geology in the world. We’ll enjoy all this park has to offer… its birds, butterflies, flora, and rugged geology, before heading off to Galway, a vibrant city with a life and feel all its own.
Today is largely a travel day, though we’ll fill it with interesting stops along the way. We’ll drive from Galway and the Republic of Ireland, into the country of Northern Ireland and on to the city of Belfast, arriving with time enough for everyone to enjoy the evening exploring this unique city.
Today we visit the unforgettable Giant’s Causeway, a gigantic stone edifice that is actually 100% natural. After spending time at the Causeway, we’ll visit the “carrick-a-rede,” a famous rope bridge to the island of Carrickarede… Traversing the bridge is optional of course, but the stunning scenery will be impossible to miss. We return to Belfast to have dinner together at a near-by restaurant, enjoying the comradery of our group for the last night together in Ireland.
We’ll visit the Newgrange burial tomb enroute to the Dublin Airport. This amazing structure is over 5,000 years old, and predates the Pyramids of Egypt. After our visit, we’ll head to the Dublin airport. The plan is to enjoy lunch together before saying our farewells and catching our flights home.*
*NOTE: This tour ends in Dublin by design: If you wish to enjoy a few days in the enchanting city, you are more than welcome to extend your stay. Taxi’s, Uber, Lyft and/or a hotel shuttle can easily transport you to any location within the city.
COST of MAIN TRIP: $4,875*
START DATE: May 8, 2024*
DURATION: 11 days
GROUP SIZE: Up to 14
TRIP FOCUS: Birds and Culture
* Tour fees and dates may change slightly as some trip details are still being finalized.
We'll update with the final info soon.
A true lover of the natural world, Steve Robertson has been a student of nature his entire life. First, as a little boy, who caught every creature he could for the mini zoo he kept in the garage, then later as an adult, leading scientific research expeditions into some of the most remote regions of the world, searching for rare species in such places as Tasmania, Madagascar and the upper Amazon Basin. With degrees in Wildlife Biology, advanced biology & education, Steve has worked in the field of Environmental Education for over 30 years. From 1998 to 2017, he served as the Education Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, creating a number of innovative programs including International Ecotours, a program that has won hundreds of accolades from around the country. During his time with Audubon, Steve personally designed and led Ecotours to over 20 countries, spanning six continents.
Bob Sallinger currently serves as the Urban Conservation Director at Willamette Riverkeeper, and previously served at Audubon Society of Portland where he worked for over thirty years on wildlife conservation issues of the Pacific NW. While at Audubon, he also managed Oregon's busiest wildlife hospital where he directly oversaw the treatment of more than 45,000 wild animals. Here, Bob led many successful efforts to protect imperiled species and wildlife habitats, for which he won numerous Awards and local & national accolades. He loves all things wild, is passionate about grassroots conservation, and is excited to work with Wild Latitudes to share his knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the natural world.
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