April sunshine in Clew Bay

A Manx Shearwater taking off from last September in Clew Bay Photo Shay Fennelly

Two days of sunshine in early April saw “Rebecca” make a passage to Murrisk pier from Rosmoney via Crovinish and Inishraher. Blue skies and sunshine were welcome after weeks of grey cloud and rain. Air temperature was about 10 degrees, not yet shorts weather. Common seals were basking on the rocks enroute near Carrickawart. We saw three Sandwich Terns aerial diving for fish in Westport Bay. In Murrisk we met Charlie O’Malley cleaning lobster pots and preparing for the fishing season. A visit to Inishgort revealed some damage to the west facing wall of Inishgort Lighthouse from the winter storms. The fishing rods got some use but no bites on feathers.

Connie Cullen fishing in Rebecca in Clew Bay, County Mayo 08042017
Westport based traditional musician Connie Cullen (mobile: 0862933053) tries a hook and line instead of his instrument of choice – banjo, guitars, sax and whistle Photo Shay Fennelly

On our second passage we visited Inishlongfield passing Blackshell Mussel Farm and on to Newport Bay. Gulls were mating on some islands. At Roeillaun the Great Black back gulls have formed pairs and rested out on the sea while we made a brief shore visit. Listening on the hydrophone at Roeillaun engine noise from the “Inishoo” a passing angling boat, snapping shrimp and water sounds could be heard.

Trying the hydrophone near Roeillaun in Clew Bay, County Mayo 07042017
I try the hydrophone near Inishcooa to listen to Clew Bay’s underwater soundscape and hear engine noise, snapping shrimp and water sounds. Photo Connie Cullen (08/04/2017)

A Brent goose flock of at least 100 birds landed on  Inishcooa hilltop to graze and could be heard distinctly calling described as a gutteral ‘rhut, rhut.’ Oystercatchers were courting on Roeillaun and a few Gannets flew by hinting at fish to be caught nearby. But no luck. (08/04/2017)

Homeward bound in Rebecca after a day out in Clew Bay 07042017
Heading home from Inishgort channel Photo Shay Fennelly 08/04/2017


Published by shayfennelly

Marine scientist and photographer. Interested in all marine ecology, exploration, science and technology.

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