Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A coastal site situated north-east of Ballymacoda in County Cork and encompassing the Womanagh river estuary, comprising a winding channel flanked by marshy fields, saltmarsh and mudflats. The estuary is sheltered from the open sea by a stabilized shingle-bar and extensive sand beach. Much of the land adjacent to the estuary has been claimed for agricultural use, mainly cattle-grazing and silage, but most fields remain marshy.

Key biodiversity
This is an important wetland site, which in the past has regularly held over 20,000 waterfowl, but in recent years numbers have not reached this threshold. Additional species present in nationally important numbers include Pluvialis apricaria (8,850 birds, 1996), Pluvialis squatarola (514 birds, 1995), Vanellus vanellus (3,050 birds, 1996), Calidris alba (131 birds, 1996) and Arenaria interpres (142 birds, 1996).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Water quality is adversely affected by run-off from slurry spreading. Intertidal shellfish cultivation is a recent development within the site, which may threaten habitat quality.

Protected areas
National None International Partial375 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Ballymacoda, 375 ha). 375 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ballymacoda, 375 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ballymacoda. Downloaded from on 24/11/2020.