Explore posts on all aspects of life on the hook peninsula. They highlight the diversity of the peninsula, be that in history, flora, fauna or the ground beneath your feet.

Booley Bay Rock Formation

The variation in rock type and formation around Hook Peninsula is impressive in relation to the size of the area. Each beach and bay has something different to offer. Here on Booley Bay, the late Cambrian fine-grained sandstones/shale rock strata sweep from almost horizontally to almost vertically and every other angle in between!

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Stonechat

The Stonechat gets its name from its call, similar to what you would hear if you took a pebble in each hand and hit them off each other. Similar in size to the robin it also has a reddish tinge to its breast. Both male and female are similar in appearance, apart from the males…

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Common Dog-violet

The common dog-violet is an unscented, blue-violet flower that blooms from April to June. This widespread plant lives happily in many different habitats, including woodland, grassland, heathland, hedgerows and old pasture The plant is the laval food plant of the Dark Green Fritillary. A group of these plants were spotted on the coast near Hook Lighthouse.

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Crinoid and Bryozoan Fossils

The Hook Peninsula is a very good place to get a glimpse of our ancient past. This is especially true in the low lying Carboniferous limestone around Hook Head and Slade. Crinoid and Bryozoan fossils are two of the most frequently encountered types here. These are over 300 million years old! Crinoids, often called sea…

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Oystercatcher

The Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) is a very distinct shore bird-black and white with a long bright red/orange beak and eyes. Its black/white colouration gave it its old name of sea pie (like the magpie inland). It does not catch oysters as its name suggests but rather mussels and other types of molluscs and worms. Its…

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Sandstone Bowl

Limpets have taken up residence in an almost perfectly round ‘bowl’ hollowed out of the red sandstone by time and nature. Sandeel Bay is full of such features and even larger hollows present are a reminder that large mill wheels, water troughs and other objects were one hewn out of the bare rock.   While…

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Redshank

This Oystercatcher (on the left) and Redshank (on the right) are enjoying the sun as they feast on Barnacles from the rocks down at Boyces Bay. The Redshank is a common wader especially found in coastal estuaries.It can be identified by it’s bright red legs and feeds mostly on worms. The Redshank has been red-listed…

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Fossilised Sponge

Found this little guy last weekend as I walked on Loftus Bay. He is a fossilised Sponge approximately 340 million years old (Lower Carboniferous). Sponges are marine based animals and would have generally lived their lives attached to the seafloor. Feeding by filtering food particles out of the water through their bodies. When this guy…

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Geology of Booley Bay

Booley Bay is home to some of the most amazing geology on the hook peninsula. Pictured below are Late Cambrian (approx. 500 million years ago) turbidites consisting of sandstones and shales. These rocks would have been deposited in a marine environment at a time when Ireland would have been located close to the south pole…

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Six-spot Burnet Moth

Six-spot Burnet’s have been seen in the area and are very common throughout Europe. These day flying moths are strikingly coloured metallic black with crimson spots, just to remind you that they contain cyanide!! They can be found especially on hot, sunny days from June to August. This individual is feeding off nectar from Ragwort…

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