Some parts of the Connemara coast are blessed with sweeping sandy beaches. They act as magnets for recreation of all kinds. Some beaches in western Ireland are favourite haunts for shellseekers. The Gulf Stream has a positive benefit for biodiversity and this results in rich species lists after a session of tracing the strandlines across the shore, both at the top of the beach and along the water’s edge.
During our trip to Connemara we walked Dog’s and Gorteen Bays just west of Roundstone. We also drove south east to Finis Island and west to the southwest-facing beach at Ballyconneely where shelldrift was very sparse but the men found beached colourful trawl and net floats. The tops of the beaches were covered in decaying seaweed, banked up and with all manner of rubbish mixed through.
It was clear that the recent tempestuous weather has brought about large-scale sand transport with the result that the normal gradual accumulation of shells and other biological remains is obliterated before it becomes a recognisable horizon across the shore. I did collect some of the more colourful tellin species on two occasions with the intention of creating a collage for Anne.
I will let the beaches speak for themselves: