IBA criteria met: A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6 (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here
Area: 9,000 ha
Site description (baseline)
This site encompasses a large part of Lough Swilly between Letterkenny and Buncrana, in County Donegal. It is a long, narrow sea inlet with extensive banks of mud and shingle between Letterkenny and Inch, including Inch Island. There is some empoldered land at Big Isle and Blanket Nook and an embanked sea channel between Inch Island and the mainland. The boundaries of the IBA have been redrawn to cover a smaller area compared to that in the previous European inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989).
This is a key wetland for birds in Ireland, important for the richness and abundance of its wintering and breeding species. Wintering waterbirds regularly occur in total numbers of international importance (22,750-26,600 birds in 1995 and 1996). Up to 14 other wintering species also occur in numbers of national importance, including Tadorna tadorna (793 birds, 1996), Anas penelope (1,861 birds, 1995), Anas crecca (1,669 birds, 1996) and Charadrius hiaticula (167 birds, 1996).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lough Swilly including Blanket Nook and Inch Lake. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/547 on 29/05/2023.