There were a few interesting finds along the shoreline recently. During mid- March the lowest tide of the year occurred. The low tide on the 10th March was -0.18 metres below Chart Datum. The photo of Ballinreavy Strand was taken at this time.
The Ballinreavy Dunes have been eroding in recent decades and the sand is being deposited elsewhere in Loughros More Bay. Trawmore Strand around the headland from Ballinreavy is one location where the sand is depositing. Behind the embroynic dunes at Trawmore a freshwater marsh has formed and grown extensively in recent years. The area in front of the caravan park in particular has developed this habitat over the last decade.
Dr Christina Campbell was checking the status of the Petalwort population during March and found some at their usual location at Mullyvea (G68979 95452). She was delighted to find a large population in the freshwater marsh area in front of the caravan park. The newly formed marsh is supporting a new location for this endangered protected species. Ireland hosts the main population of this tiny bryophyte. Its found in damp areas in sand dune systems along the western seaboard. A hand lens and perseverance are necessary to find it.
In March 2014 Claire Hare wrote about the sea bean she found at Kates Strand. My children and I found an unusual sea bean and 25 mermaids purses at Rosses Strand, Rosguill on 26th March this year. We identified the mermaids purses using a key on the Sharks Trust website, where you can log your findings.
There were 18 eggcases from Lesser Spotted Dogfish/ Smallspotted Catfish, 4 Spotted Ray and 2 Thornback Ray. The website collects records from Ireland AND there aren’t any from the Rosbeg- Nairn-Portnoo area ….yet ! There is a great website on the natural history of Sligo and Leitrim where there is a section on beachcombing. Don Cotton has photos of the mermaids purses and sea beans found in Sligo, including the sea bean we found. It common name is a Hamburger bean. This one looks like Mucana urens which is from tropical rainforests in Central America, what a journey from falling into a tributary of the Amazon to a beach in West Donegal.