A periwinkle in the foreground with a trail stretching into the background.

Periwinkle goes for a walk

Wait for me! A common Periwinkle makes its way down to the tide on Dollar Bay and leaves quite an impressive trail as it does so. They don’t normally wander too far from their habitats but in order to lay their eggs, they must make this long, arduous trek (in snail-pace terms anyway!)

A fish poking it's head out from cover in a rock pool

Common Blenny

Have you ever peered into a rock pool and seen this looking back. The Common Blenny or Shanny is one of our more common rock-pool fishes. Up to 10cm long, it is usually Brown/Green in colour with darker blotches (males turn Black with a white mouth in the breeding season). Once the female has laid…

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…

A yellow butterfly on a yellow flower

Clouded Yellow Butterfly

Over the last couple of months the Clouded Yellow butterfly put on a good display around parts of the Hook Peninsula, especially Booley Bay. A visitor from Northern Africa, it visits mainly the South and East of Ireland. Its beautiful deep yellow colour is best seen when in flight, as it always rests with folded…

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…

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 head of a Grey Seal just poking above the water.

Grey Seals

Say hi to Podge and Rodge! Whilst scanning with my binoculars from Hook Head over the water toward Dunmore East the other day, these two kept popping up to see what I was up to. So I said I’d give them their 15 minutes of fame! Grey seals are the larger of our two seals…

A grasshopper sitting on a rock with a plant in the background

Common Field Grasshopper

A common sight is the Common Field Grasshopper like the one pictured here in Saltmills. Their colour can vary from green through brown, to almost black. More often heard than seen, they chirp away in the vegetation or on rocks and bare ground. They call in short repetitive fizzes or in longer spells sounding like…