A shallow coastal lagoon, separated from the sea by a barrier of sand and shingle, and situated 3 km west of Carnsore Point in County Wexford. The lake has three islands, Lady's Island (now connected to the mainland by a causeway and included within the IBA), Inish and Sgarbheen.
This is an internationally important site for breeding terns, with colonies of four species (formerly five) present. The site was formerly of international importance for wintering waterfowl and still holds nationally important numbers of Aythya ferina (639 birds, 1995), Aythya marila (140 birds, 1996), Anas penelope (1,850 birds, 1996), Anas crecca (72 birds, 1996), Aythya fuligula (231 birds, 1995) and Vanellus vanellus (2,230 birds, 1995).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The lake is used by recreational windsurfers and boats, which can cause disturbance to nesting terns. In most years a channel is cut in the barrier to relieve flooding; however, this reduction in water-level can permit predators to reach nesting terns. Construction of a sluice to control water-levels is likely in the near future. There is nutrient pollution of the lake due to agricultural run-off. The terns have been studied on the islands since 1960, and BirdWatch Ireland have co-managed the colonies with NPW since 1993. The site lies within a proposed candidate Special Area for Conservation (Lady's Island Lake; area not known).
National Low International Partial4 ha of IBA covered by Refuge for Fauna (Lady's Island Lake (Inish and Sgarbheen), 4 ha). 356 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Lady's Island Lake, 356 ha). 4 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Lady's Island Lake (Inish and Sgarbheen), 4 ha).
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lady's Island Lake. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/09/2021.