Thursday, 26 July 2012

12th August - Beach Safari and Snorkelling

On Sunday the 12th of August the Irish Wildlife Trust held a beach safari led by Kevin Delahunty at Portmarnock beach. The beach safari was based mainly around the rock pools and began at 10:30 as the tide was low, making the rocks pools easily accessible. There was a brilliant turn out with lots of parents bringing their children along to learn about the different species we have on our rocky shores.

We began by investigating what creates the small casts along the beach and discovered that they are created by lugworms. After digging one up and explaining their life cycle to the children, we were off to the rock pools in search of other species. And we were in no way disappointed!

We found lots of different species as the rock pools in Portmarnock contain a huge amount of wildlife. We very quickly found a number of common gobies and common prawns. One young wildlife enthusiast even caught a flounder in his net! We also collected many shore crabs from tiny to quite large.

Kevin talked about the different molluscs we had on our shores as we examined limpets, mussels, periwinkles and dog whelks. We were treated not only to beadlet anemones with full tentacle extension but also to some tube anemones as well. 

IWT was also to team up with CFT for the event in order to include a snorkel and discover what other species we have under the water as well as above. However do to bad weather conditions and a very rough sea the snorkel had to be cancelled. This will be rescheduled at a later date so keep checking the blog and our facebook page to find out when!

Many thanks to all who came out and made it a really great morning on the beach.


Shore Crab

gone fishing

28th July - Bray Beach Clean-up

On 28th July the national SEA LIFE Centre and IWT Dublin Branch held a Beach Clean on Bray Beach to raise awareness of marine pollution and the detrimental effects it can have on marine animals and raise awareness for OCEAN 2012. There was a good turnout of least 40 people and a lot of good work was done cleaning the beach - at least judging by the many plastic sacks that were collected afterwards. Important work was done too in recording the type of material washed up on the beach, which will help conservationists to understand the problem of pollution better.   After the beach clean, volunteers were invited into SEA LIFE for a tour of the aquarium for a small donation to our conservation fund and then gathered on the beach to make another FISH SHAPE for OCEAN2012 Fish Weeks. A fun packed day was had by all!


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

7th July - Trip to Ireland's Eye

Boat trip to Ireland’s Eye: Saturday, 7th July
Wow, what a wonderful day we had on our second visit to the island this year:  the trip turned out to be just perfect. We were blessed with beautiful sunshine and were fortunate to see scores of gannets, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots and razorbills in all their splendour, but most importantly we were able to admire some puffins, Ireland’s most colourful seabirds.
We were lucky, too, to have Sean Hogan lead the walk because he drew our attention to many seabirds and their chicks which would otherwise have gone unnoticed. He shared with us his admirable knowledge of the importance of the island’s seabird colonies, their habitats, breeding sites and migration patterns and he taught us how to differentiate between the various gulls on the island.
We were fortunate also to have some enthusiastic photographers among the participants, who beautifully captured some of these spectacular birds. Thank you Ed Kealy for your stunning  photos.      

A Beautiful Day on Ireland's Eye



Puffins or 'sea parrots'

Protective Parents

Juvenile Gull