An evening walk on the beach is one of the real high points of Autumn. In this part of West Cork we’re spoilt for choice with some stunning beaches within striking distance of the house… but more often than not we pick Long Strand at Castlefreke near Clonakilty for an evening stroll along the strand.
You never know what you might see: birds, seals, dolphins, porpoises… even the distant blowing of whales are all possibilities. In the dunes you’ll find all sorts of terrestrial invertebrates and along the strand line marine invertebrates like jellyfish, molluscs and crustaceans that have been washed in by the tide or are hiding under clumps of seaweed or just beneath the surface of the sand.
Last night as we emerged from the dunes onto the beach proper we were greeted by a flock of around 60 sanderling. These small, striking waders are a comical sight as they run in and out with the surf, picking tiny invertebrates from the sand.
Here are a few photographs: