A small estuary of the Blackwater river with a narrow opening to the sea. This site includes areas of intertidal mudflat and saltmarsh within the main Blackwater estuary and the smaller adjoining Tourig estuary. An intertidal pool at Foxhole, where the embankment has been breached is also within the site. The estuary is used for recreational boating activities.
Several other wintering species occur in numbers of national importance, including Anas penelope (1,001 birds, 1995), Pluvialis squatarola (77 birds, 1996) and Calidris alpina (2,537 birds, 1996).
A 2002 survey of Falco peregrinus reported a breeding pair in the viciniy of the site.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Permission is currently being sought for construction of a bypass around Youghal town, which will cross the Tourig estuary. Subsequent to consultation, the route of least damage to the estuary was taken; however, some loss of intertidal habitat will occur and increased disturbance to the site is likely.
National None International High468 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Blackwater Estuary, 468 ha). 468 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Blackwater Estuary, 468 ha).