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Commoge Marsh

Habitat Map | Management Plan Summary

Birds of Commoge Marsh

At least 99 bird species have been recorded at Commoge Marsh.
Click here to see an annotated list.

The most significant bird populations at Commoge Marsh are the non-breeding waders and wildfowl which use the site for roosting and feeding, generally at high tide. It is one of the main high tide roosts in the Bandon Estuary. The extent to which these birds use the marsh depends upon the water levels. When water levels are relatively low, Commoge Marsh can hold nationally important numbers of several species of wintering waterfowl. The marsh is nationally important as a high tide roost on a regular basis for Black-tailed Godwit, and on occasion also for Curlew, Greenshank, Shelduck, Oystercatcher and perhaps Redshank. Commoge Marsh is especially valuable as a high tide roost because its shallow water and exposed mud during many high tides allows waders to continue feeding when other intertidal habitat is not available. The availability of feeding sites, which waders can exploit at high tide, has an important influence on the number of birds that an estuary can support. In contrast to Commoge Marsh, many other high tide roosts in County Cork do not provide suitable habitat for feeding waders at high tide.


Most species of waterfowl use the marsh primarily at high tide, but Grey Heron, Little Egret, Mallard, Teal and Snipe use the marsh throughout the tidal cycle; more recently Little Egret has also become regular at the marsh. The Teal and Snipe generally occur in the swamp and marginal vegetation surrounding the Marsh, including the eastern side and these habitats also support small numbers of Moorhen, Water Rail and Woodcock.


Commoge Marsh is a well known and popular birdwatching due to the ease of viewing of large concentrations of waterfowl at high tide. It has a reputation for attracting rare vagrants and its list of rarities in recent years includes Blue-winged Teal, Pacific Golden Plover, American Golden Plover, Least Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs and Wilson’s Phalarope.

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