Cape Clear Bird Observatory in County Cork was first established in 1959 and has continued to support a resident bird warden on Cape Clear Island and to compile year on year detailed records on bird migration, species change and the various rare birds which frequently appear.
Before the establishment of the Observatory little was known of the staggering numbers of shearwaters which regularly pass by in their thousands. Since then many ornithologists have been scanning the seas and being rewarded not only by the astonishing numbers of seabirds but frequent sightings of whales, dolphins, basking sharks, sunfish and, in one memorable year, over 100 sightings of massive leatherback turtles.
The Observatory has also provided formal training courses for aspiring ornithologists. ‘Informal’ training is also provided by the companionship and patience of the ‘old timers’ who give generously of their time and energy to any and all who express an interest.