Castlefreke Trails and the surrounding area are home to many bird and animal species: watch out for them on your walk! Scroll down to see the various species found here.
Lake & Sea Birds
In Kilkeran Lake, there is a resident group of little grebes, about eight. These are small diving waterbirds with stubby beaks. They keep together in a group.
It is also home to several herons who roost in the trees on the far side of the lake. In the last 20 years, the little egret has become very common in Ireland and is often seen on the lake. They are pure white with head plumes in summer and have black legs with yellow feet. They feed on small fish and insects in shallow water.
In early summer mallard ducks usually bring off a clutch of ducklings. The drake mallard has a metallic green head, white collar, purple-brown breast, grey back and white belly. He has curled black tail feathers. The female is buff-brown with darker mottling but has a blue patch on the wing. Beside the lake, you may see a reed bunting amongst the reeds, with its distinctive long, white-edged tail, black head and white collar. Sand martins nest on the far side of the lake and can be seen hunting insects above the lake water. They are similar to swallows in flight but have short, unforked tails. There is a small flock of curlews, large waders with a long, curved beak and long legs. They can be seen in silhouette often on the top of the dunes. In the sky, you may see a buzzard. These large birds of prey have become very common over the last few years and are recognisable by their size and broad ends to the wings with spread primaries. Slightly smaller is the peregrine falcon with pointed wings. These nest on the sea cliffs.
The wood is home to wood pigeons who leave the trees with a loud clatter when they are disturbed. Occasionally the screech of a jay can be heard in the woods. These are pinkish-brown with a black tail and a blue patch on the wings. There are also resident choughs, black with striking red beak and legs. Amongst the small birds, there are meadow pipits, brown in colour, and with an up and down flight pattern. Stonechats can be seen with their white collars, the male with a black head.