A beach of smooth, rounded rocks

Boulders in Sandeel Bay

Boulder Beach in Dunedin, New Zealand is a good example of beach where large smooth cobbles and boulders replace the more familiar sand. Strong underwater currents matched with wave power have polished loose bedrock into such forms over a long period of time. This picture is not from New Zealand however-this is from right here…

An impression of a snail in a small rock.

Gastropod Fossil

Here is a less familiar type of fossil that was found around Slade. They are Gastropod impressions in limestone. Gastropods are basically similar to our present day Snails that lived in the sea as well as on land and are from a large family of other animals called Molluscs, which include Periwinkles and Mussels right…

An orange butterfly with brown and white spots against a background of grey gravel.

Painted Lady

A migrant from North Africa the Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui) is a regular visitor to these shores. They can be found mainly from June to September along the south and east coasts. The Painted Lady is one of the most widespread butterflies in the world and can be found on every continent except South…

Moon Jellyfish

Over the recent weeks you may have spied many of these on the beaches around the peninsula. Meet the Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita). It drifts with the current feeding on plankton and mollusks from as far north as Greenland to as far south as Cape Town. Its four luminous moons (gonads-for reproduction) are readily visible…

A spider web clinging to a crevice in a rock cliff

Opportunist Spiders

Home sweet Home. Spider webs are a familiar sight everywhere inland from ditches to gardens, to inside your house. Spiders are opportunists and will set up camp anywhere they believe they will catch food. In this case, an Orb-web spider has set up his home on a sheer cliff -face down at Baginbun, literally metres…

A surface of red sandstone with a maze of naturally eroded indentations

Weathered Sandstone

The Hook Peninsula is composed of many rock types including sedimentary limestone and sandstone. These are considered generally soft in geological terms and over time can be manipulated by chemicals/particles in the water/wind. Here’s a large slab of Red Sandstone around Boyces Bay eerily shaped by time and nature.

A pink flower on a green stemed plant with a beach and ocean in the background

Sea Rocket

This sea rocket (Cakile maritima) is enjoying the sun down at Carnivan beach. This annual plant spreads along sandy and shingle beaches and can be found in bloom from June to September. Originally from North America this hardy, coastal cousin or the rocket that you’d find in your local supermarket, can be found all over…

An orange butterfly with brown spots on a blackberry flower.

Silver-washed Fritillary

The Silver-washed Fritillary is our largest resident butterfly and is especially found in the south of Ireland. It gets its name from the silvery splashes on its under wings. A powerful flier, it prefers thin, broad leaved woodland where it can be seen gliding back and forth along sunny pathways feeding on the nectar of…

A group of gannets with one perched on a rock above the rest

Gannets

Gannet is derived from the Old English for strong or masculine. Northern Gannets are the largest seabird in the North Atlantic, having a wingspan of up to 2 meters. You can often see these birds hunting fish by nose diving, arrow like into the water. They can dive from a height of 30 meters which…