Celebrating Ulster's Townlands
|14. Birds in Place Names||
Wagtail: MH, EHS
Whaup or curlew: National Trust
Eagle design: from Pictish stone
Many of the birds mentioned in place-names are predators not commonly found now, while the eagle no longer occurs in Ireland.
Eagle iolar Drumiller Co. Down, Knockinelder Co. Down Knockiniller Tyrone "hill of the eagles" Hawk, Peregrine seabhac: Carrickatuke, Co. Armagh; Craignashoke Co. Derry "rock of hawk(s)"
"ridge of the cuckoo" Co. Down. Tullycoe "hillock
of cuckoos" Co. Cavan.
"ridge of the cuckoo" Co. Down. Tullycoe "hillock of cuckoos" Co. Cavan.
“wood of the lark” Tyrone, Carnwhissock
“cairn of the lark” Co. Antrim (translated in the 17th century as larkes
"rock of the
pigeons" Co. Antrim Pollnagollum
Fermanagh. “cave of pigeons”
“little speckled bird”
Culrevog "corner of the pipits" Tyrone.
Sparrow gealbhán: Lisnagelvin Co Derry "fort of sparrows"
“field of swallows”
Two more birds from Rathlin Island, Roonivoolin, promontory of the seagulls, faoileán ; Ruenascarrive “of the cormorants”. Scarbh, a “cormorant” has been borrowed into Irish and Scottish Gaelic from Norse.
Wagtail glasóg (" little green/grey bird") Terryglassog Tyrone "oakwood wagtails" Wren drean Drumdran Fermanagh/Tyrone "ridge of wrens"
bird often referred to in Ulster Scots place-names but not in Irish is
the curlew or whaup, so called
from its call: Whaup
Hill Co. Antrim. Whaup
Island Co. Down. The cuckoo or gowk sometimes appears, as in Gowks Hill also the crow or corby, as in Corby Knowe, Co.
Antrim or the Crawtree, all in Co. Down.
Raven fiach Mullynaveagh Tyrone; Carnanee Co. Antrim; Other members of the crow family are also named Crow préachán: Binnafreaghan "peak of the crows" Tyrone; also feannóg “scaldcrow” Altnavannog Tyrone, Cornafannoge Fermanagh. “stream, hill of the crows”.
A few insects occur in place-names, such as Ant seangán: Knocknashane Co. Armagh, Knocknashangan Fermanagh both meaning "hill of ants". Midge mioltóg: Pollnameeltogue "hollow of the midges" Co.Tyrone. Lignameeltogue with the same meaning in Fermanagh.