Corncrake Festival on Inishbofin

The first Inishbofin Corncrake Festival takes place at The Dolphin Hotel this May Bank Holiday 2nd-4th May 2019.

The Inishbofin Corncrake Festival , the first of its kind in Ireland, aims to allow visitors to hear and see this iconic bird, while raising awareness of the plight of this endangered species.

The call of the corncrake was once a familiar sound in rural Ireland. Intensification of farming practices caused numbers to plummet during the 1980s and the 1990s. Birds are now only found in more remote areas of Donegal, Mayo and Connemara and offshore islands where early mowing for silage is rare.
In 2018 Birdwatch Ireland estimated only 151 breeding pairs remained in Ireland.

Conversely, on Inishbofin in Co. Galway, numbers have steadily increased, with 18 calling males reported in 2018. So this tiny island is now home to over 10% of the country’s breeding population. This elusive bird has become synonymous with Inishbofin.

The weekend will include early morning and afternoon walks to corncrake habitats, led by well known birder, photographer and author Anthony McGeehan. Anthony will be exhibiting some of his stunning bird photographs at the Dolphin Hotel over the weekend. There will be after dinner talks and midnight walks to hear the nostalgic crex crex call.

As well as corncrakes, Inishbofin attracts breeding birds such as wheatear, skylark, chough, lapwing and ringed plover.

Gold EcoTourism Ireland Award

We recently received a Gold Award from EcoTourism Ireland for our birdwatching, photography and skylark ecotourism experiences. This is  the only globally recognised Irish ecotourism award and shows our commitment to the environment.

We have been working hard to improve our environmental practices. We now compost all our food waste and return all our cardboard to the suppliers. We have switched to an electricity provider which primarily uses renewables. We continue to look for ways to reduce our environmental footprint and to improve the quality of our eco tourism experiences.

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New Website and a Silver Ecotourism Award!

Welcome to our new look website, featuring a new section dedicated to Ecotourism on Inishbofin.

We are very proud to have been recently awarded a prestigious EcoTourism Ireland Silver Award for our ecotourism experiences, the highest ecotourism standard in Ireland. This is the first ever award on an Irish island. This shows our commitment to sustainable, environmentally responsible holidays which showcase the rich natural and cultural heritage of Inishbofin.

Our certified ecotourism experiences include our well established Birdwatching Breaks, Birds & Nature Photography and the Farming & Nature Skylark Experience. All Dolphin Hotel tours follow Leave No Trace principles for outdoor recreation. Inishbofin is embracing ecotourism and recently became Ireland’s first Leave No Trace Island. Exciting times ahead!

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