Mullaghderg is a spectacular coastal location consisting of beach, rugged headlands with many coves and inlets and coastal grassland. It is subject to winds from the west crossing the Atlantic. After periods of gales the bay at Mullaghderg can hold large numbers of Long-tailed Duck, Great Northern Diver (Common Loon), Common Eider and many other coastal birds.
Exploring the small bays and inlets can result in Black Guillemot, Common Ringed Plover, Eurasian Curlew, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone and Sanderling. Seals can be seen, and Dolphin regularly enter the bay to feed.
The coastal grasslands attract Peregrine Falcon, Merlin and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Red-billed Chough can be found feeding amongst the cattle. Large numbers of Meadow Pipit, Eurasian Skylark and Rock Pipit can be found.
Summer does bring lots of tourists and holiday makers exploring the Wild Atlantic Way to this area. Out of season, Spring and Autumn bring in good numbers of seabirds and the bay is a most for exploring after any Atlantic gale.
Mullaghderg (55.037281, -8.37008) can be accessed by following the Wild Atlantic Way from Dungloe in the south or Bunbeg in the north. The road to the beach is opposite the Gaelic Football pitch just before Mullaghduff if coming from Dungloe. At the end of this road is a car park. Please park here and do not drive over the grassland.
There is a boardwalk down onto the beach. Please note this beach has strong undertow currents and is not safe for swimming.
To explore the headland and coves just follow the coastline. There are a number of barbed wire fences, but these are easy to cross.
Terrain and HabitatBeach, Grassland, Sea, Dunes
ConditionsRocky, High water possible, Sandy
Is a telescope useful?Yes
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring, Autumn, Autumn migration, Winter, Spring migration
RouteNarrow trail, Wide path
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
The popularity of this area has grown greatly in recent years. The beaches are spectacular, many being Blue Flag beaches. The area therefore can get busy in Summer but it is under birdwatched and offers great potential.
There are no facilities at Mullaghderg but there are good pubs nearby and Annagry has a number of cafes, fast food outlets and shops.
Good birdwatching can be found at Ballymanus Beach, Carrackfinn, and Annagary Bay.
Killybegs, is a fishing port an hour or so drive south, which attracts many rare Gulls and is worth a visit when the fishing fleet is in.
Glenveagh National Park is to the north heading towards Letterkenny. This National Park was the location for the reintroduction of Golden Eagle to Donegal.