Flora and Fauna on the Cliffs of Moher.

From early Spring until late Summer the cliffs of moher are home to more than 30 different species of birds, literally in their thousands.  What a glorious site it is when the orchestras of birds are at their height and the deafening cacophony of bird call is drowned out only by the enormous waves and winds below.

Whilst hiking the cliffs of moher it is completely normal to watch the birds soar below you, way below you.  Some make their homes at the base of the cliffs some 700ft below you so you can only observe them using binoculars.  The enormous white trails of guana they leave behind are a good tracking indicator. Some of my favourites are the fulmar, they seem to glide around this arena as if it were theirs alone, playing on the updrafts rather than flapping their wings.  Watching them, stiff winged, almost floating across the ocean below is mesmerizing. Then there are the mighty little puffin, a mere 10 inches tall with a shock of orange and yellow colours beneath their little black backs.  This little colony can number upto 3,000 and not only mark the beginning of a new nesting season but bring such joy and wonder as they mark the advent of another season setting up camp on the same piece of rock each year that has a nice grassy top.  Remarkable and resilient birds that have sometimes journeyed from as far as north Africa to make this brave voyage to the cliffs of moher annually. The fastest bird in the world, the peregrine falcon are also resident here.  They have meals on tap and such variety to choose from.  Launching attack from high on the cliff top, they use their incredible speeds in excess of 300km ph to hunt their prey below, some of the aforementioned birds have developed brilliant strategies to defend themselves and their chicks from such attacks. These are just some of the more famous birds here, the rooks, choughs, ravens, cormorants and many more call the cliffs of moher home for months at a time each year.  The colour and life they bring gives another dimension to this great arena.

The pristine ocean below is shallow at the base but further on out between the cliffs of moher and the aran islands there are all kinds of elusive marine life.  Dolphin, seals, basking sharks are but a few but the enormous humpback whales are perhaps the most physically imposing, measuring more than 40ft in length.  All of these incredible creatures just like the birds weave an astonishing tapestry, we just can’t see them. Well almost, sometimes they give us a glimpse of what lies beneath.

As if Summer wasn’t pretty enough at the cliffs of moher, the pathways are littered with plants and wildflowers such as sea pink, sea campion, yarrow, devils bit and many others.  They in turn attract little bee’s and sometime in summer when you are walking around you realise how perfect it all really is.  The ground is sometimes spongy soft beneath you, there are mossy tracks and miles of heather root underfoot.  It’s not unusual to see visitors simply laying down to take a nap in nature here on a summer’s day and why wouldn’t you.  It’s pretty perfect.