Howth Village & Howth Head  

Howth is a small fishing village with several piers and a small sheltered harbour. Black Guillemots breed inside the harbour. The first pier (the west pier) has several fish processing plants and is good for gulls in winter. At the end of the seafront is the east pier. Again, the inner harbour can be viewed from various points along this pier along this pier. The rocky area behind the public toilets is worth checking for Grey Wagtail. Walking up the hill from here, past a block of apartments, brings you to a small beach where Redstart have been seen in winter. There are steps down to this beach.

To the south and above the village is Howth Head which has cliff walks. The steep cliffs attract large numbers of breeding seabirds each spring and summer, while the headland has proved to be good for migrants in spring and autumn. From the east pier in the village, follow the narrow coastal road uphill for 1km to the large carpark at Balscadden. From the carpark, follow the rough track uphill and follow the cliff walk. This narrow track runs for almost 3km around the headland from Balscadden carpark to the Baily Lighthouse on the southern tip. In summer, the breeding seabird colonies can be viewed from various places along the path, especially along the first 1.5km of its length.

In spring and autumn, migrants can be anywhere on the headland.

The summit of Howth also has a good pathway. To reach the summit carpark,  follow the road uphill (the R105) from Howth for almost 2km. Follow the road left into the carpark. A path runs north from the carpark for over 1km. The hedges and short grass along this path is good for Wheatears in spring and autumn, as well as pipits.

Birds found at Howth
The cliffs along Howth Head attract Fulmar, Cormorant, Shag, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill and Black Guillemots. Sedge Warblers,
Whitethroats and Stonechats also breed on the headland. The head is also good for watching seabird passage in autumn.

  Copyright Eric Dempsey