Other Machair Species

While LIFE on Machair is focused on key Machair habitats, breeding waders and pollinators, there is an array of other species to be found throughout the year on these sites.


In winter months Machair sites are important for winter swans and geese, such as Whooper Swan and Barnacle Geese. These are good months to explore the shore (keep the dog on a lead!) and watch flocks of Turnstone, Sanderling, Knot and other iconic species such as Curlew feeding among pools and seaweed.

Each winter over 400 skilled volunteers, NPWS Rangers and BirdWatch Ireland staff monitor wintering water-bird populations at their wetland sites across the Republic of Ireland. The Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS) is coordinated by BirdWatch Ireland and funded by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. See BirdWatch Ireland for more details.

Spring and Summer

You can explore your seashore for an array of seaweed species and sea creatures. Check out some of these habitats and species on these useful links: Explore Your Shore.

And while walking through a Machair site you may even hear a Corncrake! If you do, head straight over to Corncrake LIFE and report it.


Often flocks of juvenile wader species start to gather on Machair sites (where there has been successful breeding). Chough can also be seen feeding through the dry grassland areas.

You can also get involved throughout the year in activities on Machair sites led by Clean Coasts to clean up our shores. See Clean Coasts for more details.

Wetlands and Peatlands

Wetlands are critical habitats within the Irish landscape and provide an array of ecosystem services with Machair systems. Check out the Community Wetlands Forum for a great list of resources and supports for communities and learn more about wetlands at Ramsar Ireland.

Peatlands are wetlands, and many of the LIFE on Machair sites are backed by peatlands on the landward side. Check out some exciting peatlands work being done through the Wild Atlantic Nature LIFE Integrated Project.

Pictures Courtesy of Micheál O’Briain.