Great Saltee Island – Birds Sanctuary

On December 22, 2010, in Story Behind Images, by kvitalij

Have you ever been in Saltee Island?


Living in Ireland I had my fair share of travels and seen many beautiful places. But one of my fondest memories is my trip to Great Saltee Island. This island is situated 5 kilometres off the coast of Kilmore Quay in County Wexford.  It takes a bit of time if you are coming from Dublin, but the trip is worth every penny and all the effort.

Great Saltee Island is one of the world’s most important bird sanctuaries.


For birds that are travelling long distances, migrating to other regions every year this island is a haven.

It doesn’t matter who you are: day-tripper, photographers or bird watcher this is a desolate place of inspiration, freedom and is a natural bird habitat, that will blow you away in to a world of natural wild beauty.

One of the most fascinating sights that you will find on this island is on the north-east cliff and is called Gannet Headland. Photographs that I took will explain the name of the cliff and many other things also.

As in my previous post about birds in motion you will find the biggest variation of migrating sea birds here which I captured with my good old Canon 40D camera and Canon 80-200mm f2.8 zoom lens.


I have to admit many people who have seen my images, were very happy to see something different for a change, but when I asked if they would go there, not too many actually would do the trip; which is a pity. Photographs I took only show part of the travel experience you would get. You just cannot find in a picture (no matter how good a photographer I am!) all the beauty and magnificence of the Great Island; its nature, wild birds and everything that is around there. For those who did go to the island it was widely agrees that it was one of the most memorable trips they had.

Great Gannets, Manx, Razorbills, Gulls, Kittiwake and Shearwaters are all to be found there.

If you were to ask me when the best time to visit Saltee is my definte answer would be Mid-Summer. At this time of yeah you will have the pleasure of seeing, Resident land, Migrant birds and possibly some breeding too.

You don’t have to be a bird lover or watcher to be amazed by the nature and freedom these birds have. If you have the privilege of visiting and you stand on the cliff of Gannet Headland you will realise how graceful the birds are, flying in flocks above your head just metres away – so close you believe you can reach out and touch them, and all the while screaming in their bird language things we probably will never understand.

Saltee is also known for breeding Grey Seals which can also be witnessed in this incredible place.

It needs to be said that this island is privately owned by the Neale family and for a large group you have to arrange a visit. However permission for small groups on day trips to the Great Saltee, courtesy of the Neale family, is not needed.

For best gallery viewplease use FS – full screen mode.

For more information how to get there please follow this link to official Slatee Island Website

I hope you enjoyed photos I capture on that wonderful day.

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15 Responses to Great Saltee Island – Birds Sanctuary

  1. Deirdre says:

    Wow amazing photos 🙂 keep up the great work!

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  3. kvitalij says:

    Dear All, thank you for your interest and kind words. Hope whoever comes around this birds post will find this worth wile.

  4. aerospace says:

    Nice site, nice and easy on the eyes and great content too.

  5. kvitalij says:

    Thank you, so much to be done and so little time.

  6. Im glad to see this informative article. Thanks for such helpful and useful post.

  7. kvitalij says:

    Glad I could help. Next summer will visit it again. Weather is the important bid on the day you traveling 🙂

  8. Awesome informative post. Thanks for helpful article.

  9. Jeanne Stelb says:

    I guess you learn some thing brand new everyday. Regards, Jeanne Stelb

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  11. kvitalij says:

    Dear Rapidshare,

    Please leave your questiosn, if I will be able to answer them, I will do my best.
    Don’t hesitate to subscribe or follow.


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