Island Bird Reserve
Sightings and the Cork Bird Report
Rare and Scarce Day by Day
here for Cork Bird News tweets.
Harper's Island Nature Reserve
is owned by Cork County Council and is managed in partnership with BirdWatch
Ireland, the Glounthaune Community Association and the National Parks
and Wildlife Service.
Work is currently
being carried out on the reserve and it is hoped to have the viewing area
open to the public in the Autumn of 2017. Watch this space or visit our
branch Facebook page for news and developemnts at Harper's Island.
Cork Harbour provides a
rich environment for marine invertebrates; a vital food source for the
international important numbers of wintering waterbirds with in excess
of 20,000 individuals, making it one of the top ten winter refuges for
waterbirds in Ireland.
Harper’s Island is a small (30 ha) low-lying island in the Glounthaune
Estuary/Slatty Water complex, in the northern section of Cork Harbour.
The low-lying northern section of the island is influenced by the surrounding
tidal estuary through an old sluice point and hence the immediate vegetation
is of brackish grasslands developing into successional saltmarsh.
Although Harper’s Island is only a small component, in terms of
land-mass, within the Glounthaune Estuary/Slatty Water complex, the island
is an extremely important safe feeding and roosting refuge for many species
of wintering waterbirds. Nearly half of the Cork Harbour Icelandic Black-tailed
Godwit population roost on the island on spring high tides. At times,
during the spring months, peak Black-tailed Godwit counts can exceed 2,000
birds representing over 4% of the global population. The Glounthaune Estuary/Slatty
Water complex also supports populations of national importance of Shelduck,
Teal, Little Grebe, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Greenshank and Black-headed
Gull with Harper’s Island supporting significant components of these