The Inch Regular Birds


Buteo buteo

A large broad winged bird-of-prey, often seen soaring high overhead or perched on high trees, is not an Eagle as some people may suspect, but its smaller and much more abundant relative, the Buzzard.

Canada Goose

Branta canadensis

Since this large north American goose started escaping from wildfowl collections, its numbers have increased, especially over the last 10 years.


Bucephala clangula

This is another of the diving ducks, and in winter they are scattered around the deeper waters of the lake. The attractive drake can often be seen displaying.

Grashopper Warbler

Locustella naevia

From dusk onwards, the sound of a fishing reel coming from areas of tall vegetation is likely to be the song of this relative of the Sedge Warbler

Greylag Goose

Anser anser

Large flocks of this ancestor of the farmyard goose can be seen almost anywhere in the area for most of the year, but only small numbers stay between April and July.


Alcedo atthis

A fast flying sparrow-sized bird in brilliant green and blue can only be a Kingfisher. There is usually a nesting pair, and a bird can be seen at any time around the lake shore.

Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis

A tiny tailless diving water bird is probably a Little Grebe. It could be mistaken for a duckling.

Mute Swan

Cygnus olor

Large numbers of this familiar bird are present all year, and a few pairs nest in summer. They are largely confined to the area of the lake.


Mergellus albellus

Smew is a small fish-eating duck. The largely white male is very striking, and is occasionally seen with other diving ducks in the northern part of the lake. It is one of the rarest birds to appear regularly at Inch.

Tree Sparrow

Passer montanus

This rare, more brightly coloured relative of the House Sparrow can be seen in the hedgerows around the levels, but numbers are very small.

Tufted Duck

Aythya fuligula

A black and white diving duck is likely to be this species. It is a common breeding species, and its numbers peak after the breeding season. At that time all birds are dark brownish-black in colour.


Emberiza citrinella

Like the Tree Sparrow, the Yellowhammer is a bird of arable farmland, and the few that you might see anywhere around the levels are among the last remaining in Co. Donegal.