Change of Dates for Enniscrone Ox

Please note the slight change of dates for the upcoming short midweek guided walking break for those available to come west during the week.

Enniscrone Ox Midweek now takes place from Monday May 17 through Wednesday May 19, rather than one day later, as had been previously advertised.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused to those interested in this event.

Stroll at Enniscrone

Enniscrone, just over the border in Co. Sligo, has one of the most impressive strands in Ireland.

Below are a few photos I took while walking the loop the other day. Heading out of the village, you can walk for over 3 km westwards, towards the mouth of the River Moy, before turning south, then eastwards through the dunes and the track which traverses the golf course, back to the village.

In the extraordinary weather we’re currently being treated to, it’s a lovely walk.

See my earlier post on a beached Minke whale at Enniscrone, here.

Birds Recently Spotted

Winter can be a great time for bird watching in the West of Ireland. Here are three of the more interesting birds I’ve seen recently.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

This bird does not ‘belong’ in Ireland, let alone the West. However, as I was driving south through Galway and its terrible floods the other day, a large white bird caught my eye in a flooded field at Kilcolgan. I stopped and observed the Great White Egret for 10 minutes, before continuing on my way. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera, so here is a picture from the UK’s RSPB website.

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Geese

North West Mayo carries internationally important numbers of this bird during winter, when they migrate south from Greenland. I saw five recently at Blacksod Bay, but, again, didn’t have my camera. The Iniskea Islands hold very large numbers of these during winter. Note the pale white / cream face on an otherwise black upper body head and neck.

Brent Goose

Brent Geese

Brent Geese

Again, the North West of Ireland holds important wintering flocks of Brent Geese. I saw three on the beach at Dromard, Co. Sligo recently. That day, I did have the camera. Click on the picture to increase its size and note the Brent’s distinctive thin white collar, which is visible on the bird on the left.

Beached Minke Whale at Enniscrone

I took a spin up to Enniscrone this morning to see the unfortunate dead Minke Whale, washed up on the brilliantly named Diamond Valley Beach at Enniscrone.

The whale measures 8.7 m and will remain there until at least this evening and maybe even until tomorrow morning, according to Sligo County Council’s local office.

Minkes are quite common off Ireland’s West coast and are the smallest baleen whale. They have white spots on their flippers and their dorsal fin is quite small and quite far back along the back.

More Leave No Trace Events

I’m delighted to announce the following dates and venues for more small scale Leave No Trace (LNT) Awareness training workshops.

Thursday, July 2 – Westport.

Thursday, July 9 – Athleague.

Tuesday, July 14 – Letterfrack.

Thursday, July 16 – Boyle.

Tuesday, July 21 – Gort.

Thursday, July 23 – Benwiskin.

All awareness training events will be held outdoors, with an element of indoors only if the weather isn’t so good. Even if the weather isn’t so good, there will still be outdoors time involved, so do come prepared.

Most of all, come prepared for some fun in the great Irish outdoors. You will learn about the Seven Principles of the LNT outdoors ethics programme and leave with your LNT Awareness Certificate.

For more info and to book your place at a venu close to you, call me on 086 – 8318748 , or email info [at] tourismpure [dot] com.

Short Walk on Ox Mountains

I had some time to spare yesterday, so I took an admittedly short, but nonetheless very pleasant stroll up the Ox Mountains behind Coolaney.

I must incorporate some parts of the Ox into a future walk, because what you have here is lovely heather covered rolling hills, to around 400 m, with wonderful views out over Sligo Bay to the north and the plains of Mayo to the south.

Not only that, but in the area between the N17 to the east, the N5 to the south and Ballina town to the west, you really have unspoiled land, with quaint little villages that no main road goes through, which would remind you of your youth in the ’60s and ’70s.

And yesterday was just gorgeous, with clear blue skies and temperatures of 18 C. Bliss.

New BA in Ecotourism at IT Sligo

IT Sligo

IT Sligo

I.T. Sligo has a new degree course commencing this autumn – the B.A. in Ecotourism and Green Event Management. Check out the brochure on the link at the end of this post, or visit I.T. Sligo’s website and search the Prospectus under School of Business and Humanities here.

Read about the BA in Ecogem – Brochure.

If you’re interested, contact the Secretary of the School, at 071 – 9155249.