03 March 2014

Winter in Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

So far we have enjoyed a fairly mild winter. With eight weather warnings in as many weeks, so far it has been a season of storms. Thankfully Inishowen has been spared the worst of the weather with many parts of the Country battered by tidal surges, high winds and flooding. Spring definitely is in the air as the evenings grow shorter and the mornings brighter.

Lots of rain brings lots of beautiful rainbows to enjoy.

Nature is ‘waking-up’
Nature is also beginning to ‘wake-up’ with good signs of growth and increased animalmovements. The mating season is coming soon with many animals currently emerging from hibernation due to the mild temperatures.

On my morning walk I encountered this wee fellow …

Many daffodils are also on the verge of blossoming, an event I always look forward to. In the mean time little clumps of snowdrops and crocus add a touch of colour and the promise of spring.

Some local crocus add a hint of colour to brighten-up the final days of winter

The impressive snowdrop is celebrated as a sign if spring

Winter Visitors
We can’t forget to mention some winter visitors who ‘flock’ to Inishowen over the winter months to enjoy our wetlands and lay their eggs. If you hear a ‘honking’ call overhead don’t forget to look-up…it could be a Whooper!

Whooper swans near Inch Island, Inishowen, socialising with the ‘locals’.






13 January 2014

Autumn in Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland

Welcome to autumn in Inishowen. The trees are busy changing colour and sheading their leaves as the evenings get shorter and cooler. So far autumn has been a gentle introduction to the coming winter months as we’ve been enjoying some beautiful warm and sunny weather. Winter Time officially started last weekend and unfortunately the weather has taken a wet and cold turn. Oh well, time to cosy-up in front of the fire!

Foraging Time
Autumn is also a great time for foraging and this year has been a good season for black berry picking. We’ve been busy over the past few weeks making jam, blackberry fool and generally experimenting in the kitchen. Fresh raw blackberries also make a tasty and healthy topping for porridge in the morning.

We’ve also been attempting to make rose hip tea for the first time…it tastes quite nice and is very good of you! These lovely red berries from the common wild rose are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin C and can also be made into a syrup that can be used as an alternative to sugar.

So get out there and see what you can find in your local hedgerows…..we’ll keep you posted on what we find over the next few months!

Happy foraging, Solas Ireland.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1056429/From-rose-hips-joints-blackberries-lung-cancer--wild-plants-harnessed-new-wonder-drugs.html#ixzz2jJ7lll1e








Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1056429/From-rose-hips-joints-blackberries-lung-cancer--wild-plants-harnessed-new-wonder-drugs.html#ixzz2jJ7lll1e

31 August 2013

Summer in Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

There is a definite autumnal feel in the air as August draws to an end. We’ve enjoyed one of the best summers for many years with very high temperatures for most of July and a long dry spell. Unfortunately August has been quite wet and humid but overall we can’t complain too much, and we Irish do love to talk about the weather…all the time!

For Solas Ireland August has been a great month for wildlife sightings. We’ve seen foxes; hares; lots of rabbits (which are very active at the moment); bats and birds of prey, as well as pods of dolphins and porpoises, some in very close proximity to the Solas Ireland H.Q. Personally my greatest delight this month has been hearing the elusive Corncrake which comes to Ireland to breed over the summer months. Unfortunately, the breeding numbers of this very shy and secretive bird are in severe decline and it is now classed as endangered. Its’ kerrx-kerrx call is very distinctive and while the Corncrake won’t win any singing competitions it is a great privilege to hear its’ very distinctive call.
Check out this wonderful footage shoot in Inishowen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks2taH61mn8 
You won’t forget the kerrx-kerrx call of the rarely seen Corncrake
(html source:http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Default.aspx?tabid=311)

Best wishes from Solas Ireland.

30 August 2013


こちら8月下旬のイニッシュオーエンでは、秋の気配が足早にやってきています。7月の大半は、ここ何年振りかの好天に恵まれ、 夏らしい気温が長く続いたように感じました。一方で、8月はと云うと雨がよく降り、雨による湿気付いた天気がまたやってきた感が 否めません。天気の話が大好きなアイルランド人にとっては、次のクリスマスまで続くいつもの話題が帰ってきたってところでしょうか。(笑) 

ソーラスアイルランドにとっての8月は、ワイルドライフ観光にとって素晴らしいものでした。イルカの群れやウバザメ達だけでなく、キツネ、 野うさぎやアナウサギ(今の時季はとっても活発に活動しています。)コウモリ、野鳥達がここソーラスアイルランドのすぐ近くで見ることが できます。個人的に嬉しいのは、この時季、繁殖の為にアイルランドに渡ってくるウズラクイナの鳴き声に出会えることです。非常に残念 なことですが、ウズラクイナの繁殖数は減る一方で今や絶滅危惧種に分類されています。カークス・カークス(kerrx-kerrx)と云う特有の 鳴き声は、どんな鳴き声コンテストでも優勝することのないものかもしれません。しかし、とても特徴的なその鳴き声は気高く魅力的でも あります。以下のウエッブサイトでその興味深い鳴き声をお聞きいただけます。(URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks2taH61mn8
ウズラクイナを捉えた希少な写真です。 (html source: http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/Default.aspx?tabid=311)


11 July 2013

Summer in Inishowen, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

We’ve been enjoying amazing weather this week and the warmest temperatures for 7 years. 15 hours of sunshine were recorded on Monday so needless to say everyone is smiling. Inishowen is definitely heavenly in the sunshine!

The recent spell of good weather in June and again this week has brought a wonderful array of marine life close to the Inishowen coastline. Sightings of Orca, basking sharks and dolphins have been reported, particularly off Malin Head (Ireland’s most northerly point). In fact Inishowen is such a rich location for marine life that it has become an established research location for the study of basking sharks. Set up in 2008 the Inishowen basking shark study group have undertaken internationally significant research projects in the area which have attracted the international media. (http://www.baskingshark.ie)

Inishowen is becoming an international 'hot spot'  for viewing marine life.

Inishowen is fast becoming recognised one of the top locations in Europe to see basking sharks with a single sighting of 50 reported in recent weeks. On a recent coastal walk I was lucky enough to watch a pod of dolphins and porpoises hunting and playing while we ate our sandwiches…lunch with a great view!
To view some of our basking shark visitors see: http://www.baskingshark.ie/index.php?option=com_admirorgallery&view=layout&Itemid=92

Enjoy the weather!

The Solas Ireland Team