The Inch Summer Birds
Black-tailed Godwits are like small Curlew with straight beaks. A flock in flight is one of most spectacular sights on offer at Inch. Numbers peak in Spring when many are in their reddish breeding dress.
Terns are summer visitors to Inch, breeding in a dense colony on the small island. They will be seen ferrying small fish across the Farmland Bank. This species is much less numerous at Inch than the Sandwich Tern.
Big flocks of all-black waterfowl sporting white faces will be Coot. Many nest in the summer
Small flocks of small waders can be seen in late summer and autumn. They are mainly Dunlin Calidris alpina, and Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, but each year one or two of the slightly larger Curlew Sandpipers can be spotted, often from the Trady Hide.
Great Crested Grebe
Much larger and more elegant than the Little Grebe, the Great Crested Grebe is unmistakable with its silky-white front. In early summer its colourful head frills are shown to good effect in a spectacular breeding display. They can be seen visiting their floating nests close to the shores.
Terns are summer visitors to Inch, breeding in a dense colony on the small island. The will be seen ferrying small fish across the Farmland Bank. This is the larger, more numerous species.
From the scrub and ditches anywhere around the lough, the loud complex song of this summer visitor can be heard. It is only one of several warbler species at Inch, including Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus, Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla and Whitethroat Sylvia communis, but it is more dependent on the wettish habitats here than the others.
In early spring after arrival from Africa, and in autumn before departure, large numbers of aerial insect feeders swarm over the lake. Swallows are usually in the majority, but look out also for Sand Martins Riparia riparia, House Martins Delichon urbicum¸ and Swifts Apus apus.
Motacilla alba alba (the continental race of our common Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrellii )
With a pale grey rather than a black back, anything up to about 50 of these wagtails stop off during spring migration in April and May.