A seagull on a sandy beach

Black-Headed Gull

The Black-Headed Gull is commonly spotted around the Hook peninsula and indeed all Irish coasts. Familiar as it may be, this small gull is now a Red-Listed species. Numbers are dropping and breeding colonies are more localised, with Wexford and Donegal having the largest coastal colonies. Its name is misleading as it doesn’t really have…

Shore Crab

A native to these shores (Carcinus maenas) is commonly found on beaches and in rock pools. They aren’t picky eaters and will feast on anything and everything that they come across including seaweed, molluscs and smaller crabs. It is normally a green colour but can sometimes be orange or red. Although a native to Europe…

Ba Bheg Beach

Many people don’t know that Hook Head has two harbours. Slade habour is the easily recognisable one as it’s still in use and has a man-made structure. The other one is Ba Bheag, located on the estuary side of the peninsula it was used for many years by families from Churchtown because of it’s sheltered…

Lugworms

The humble lugworm, used as bait for generations, is a common sight on sand and mud. Or rather their distinctive casings are since the lugworm itself seldom leaves it’s burrow. The burrow is a U-shaped tunnel that begins at a shallow depression, this is the head end of the lugworm from which the worm ingests…

A close up of a daisy like flower with a beach in the background.

Sea Chamomile

A common sight on shingle and scrub land near the coast is the Sea Chamomile or Sea Mayweed  (Tripleurospermum maritimum). The daisy like flowers of this native can be seen from July to September. When the leaves are crushed they yield a faint, sweet smell similar to their relative Chamomile (or the tea variety). This…

Dollar Bay

Ever wonder how Dollar Bay got it’s name? Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin. In the summer of 1765 the ship the ‘Earl of Sandwich’ set sail on a trip from London to Santa Cruz to the Canary Islands before returning home. It was at this last stop that they took on board cargo…

Bright yellow bird perched in amongst some branches.

Yellowhammer

The yellowhammer is much less often seen these days as changes in agricultural practices have lead to it’s decline. The species is currently on the red conservation status in Ireland. This brightly coloured member of the bunting family can be found around arable fields especially this time of year in freshly harvested cereal fields as…

Slade Beach

Situated next to the harbour in the village of Slade on the opposite side of the peninsula to the famous Hook Lighthouse, this is a lovely sheltered beach from which to watch the comings and goings from the harbour. Recently a safe swimming zone has been created with the installation of two, yellow buoys. Slade…

A Kestrel hovering against a blue sky

Kestrel

A Kestrel hangs poised and focused over the cliffs at Carnivan, waiting to pounce on its unsuspecting and unfortunate prey. A common sight around the coasts this bird of prey can usually be seen hovering in the sky looking for it’s lunch. It mainly eats small mammals but can also be seen eating insects, invertebrates…