Inishkea Island South, Mayo

Images from survey of Inishkea Island South, Co. Mayo in October… was trip of a lifetime... early start (tides), force 6 seas getting there and back, amazing deserted island, Grey Seals pupping… hard to ask for more !

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Sunrise start from Blacksod Harbour

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Abandoned cottages on Inishkea

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Lazy beds occur all over the island… an indication of past population size on the island

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The main road from Inishkea harbour southwards

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Fresh water well on the island

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Approach to southern part of island

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Stunning coastal

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Hyrgrocybe species in maritime grassland

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Grey seal bull

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Grey seals and pups on beach in south of island

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Grey seal female shortly after giving birth on Inishkea

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Grey seals

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Grey seal pup on beach

A fungus living on a fungus living on a grass

Interesting find on Scattery Island in Clare in October. Ergots (Claviceps purpurea) on Spartina anglica infected by another fungus Gibberella gordonii (formerly Fusarium heterosporum) the orange/pink mass at the base of the ergots. Likely to be new county record as not listed in the NBDC database. A fungus living on a fungus living on a grass. 

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Scattery Island, Clare

Some images from survey of Scattery Island in Co. Clare in October... and an interesting look at what happens to island vegetation when the impacts of cattle/sheep grazing are removed for 36 years... a rare occurrence along the west seaboard of Ireland.

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OPW Visitor Centre on the Island

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Bramble and scrub encroachment on Scattery Island due to a lack of grazing.


St Senan monastic ruins in distance with bramble and scrub encroachment. (Green are in foreground mown visitors paths)

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Bramble and scrub encroachment.

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Saltmarsh area on southern part of island

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Fungal ergots on Spartina

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Gola Island, Donegal

Some impressions from survey of Gola Island, Donegal undertaken in October. 

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Wet grassland quadrat surveying

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Tombolo beach on Gola Island

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Waxcap (Hygrocybe species)

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Dramatic coastline and waves

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Island architecture

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Devils coach horse on Gola

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Lough Magheranagall on Gola Island

Wetland habitat distribution maps for Ireland

Following upload of the County Galway wetland dataset for the Wetland Map of Ireland in September 2016 it is now possible to show provisional wetland habitat distribution maps (based on the known and possible occurrence of different wetland types) throughout Ireland. The map examples below shows the distribution of Cladium fen and Turlough sites throughout the country. The maps should be regarded as the minimum distribution for each habitat type in the country, with future wetland or fen surveys likely to reveal additional sites for the different wetland habitat types. 

Further examples of selected wetland habitat maps based on the Map of Irish wetlands can be viewed here


Distribution of Cladium fen in Ireland based on the Map of Irish Wetlands 2016

Distribution of Turloughs in Ireland based on the Map of Irish Wetlands 2016


Petrifying springs at Malainn Bhig, Donegal

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Tufa springs on the beach at Malainn Bhig Donegal seen in October.

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Tufa springs Malainn Bhig
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Tufa springs Malainn Bhig

Lack of Information on Fens Highlighted

IPS Fens 2016

On the 11 October the Irish Peat Society held its Annual Meeting in the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. The theme of this years meeting  was an examination of many  aspects of the distribution, hydrology, ecology and conservation of Irish Fens.  Patrick Crushell and Peter Foss presented a paper entitled “Fen Surveys in Ireland – progress towards establishing national inventory of fens in Ireland”. This paper highlighted the lack of a national survey of fen habitats in Ireland, with next to no progress made on this front since 2009, resulting in poor data on our knowledge of their distribution and extent. As a results it is not possible to properly evaluate and protect the fen resource. This presents difficulties for decision making relating to land-use management and planning relating to the protection of fens, and assessing their conservation status and future prospects in Ireland. The authors called for a national fen survey to be initiated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service without further delay.

A PDF of the presentation can downloaded here.

© Peter Foss 2012