NATURE AND WILDLIFE
The southern part of the beach can produce flatfish and eel using lugworm and sandeel bait. Spinning for Pollack from Black Rock is also possible.
Enquire locally for further information on fishing the Annagh River.
Many types of seaweeds, shellfish and other marine life are easy to investigate in the rock pools on Black Rock and on the rocky shore throughout the area. The area is an SAC – a special area of conservation. Spanish Point holds a very high number of littoral reef communities (13 different community types). The low shore and subtidal fringe at both Spanish Point and Cloghaunicy Point have high species richness that ranged from 71 to 85 species. Subtidally, the area is important for its deep, exposed reef communities that are characterized erect sponges and the fragile sea fan Eunicella verrucosa. There are a number of rare species present including the sponge Tetilla zetlandica which has only known from 4 localities in Ireland between Galway Bay and the Kerry Head Shoal. Algal communities are well developed, with an excellent diversity of red and brown algae species.
See information board at the beach for details of species that can be seen locally e.g. gulls, oystercatchers, purple sandpiper and turnstones.
This site is of National Importance. The rocks date back over 330 million years and show wave cut platforms, ripple beds & goniatite fossils. The rocks are Upper Carboniferous (Namurian) sandstone, siltstone and mudstone of the Central Clare Group.
Main Geological or Geomorphological Interest
The coastal section at Spanish Point consists of well-bedded sandstones, siltstones and mudstones of the Upper Carboniferous (Namurian) Central Clare Group. Sedimentary structures are well preserved here and include cross-bedding, cross-laminations and symmetrical wave ripples. Some of the thicker sandstone units have undergone segmentation, or boudinage, as a result of the extensional forces exerted on the limbs of folds during the Variscan Orogeny. A marine band is present on the north side of the Spanish Point bay, with a prominent palaeosol horizon 2.5m below it stratigraphically, with rootlets, dessication cracks etc. This represents a higher ground area between deltaic channels, exposed above water when the sediments were accumulating.
See www.gsi.ie for further information.
Low light levels make star gazing a pleasure in Spanish Point.
Five seashore animals to be seen at Spanish Point
Limpet or Bairneach (in Irish)
Mussels or Diúilicín (in Irish)
Dog Whelk or Cuachma (in Irish)
Sea Anemone or Bundun coiríneach (in Irish)
Barnacle or Garbhán carriage (in Irish)
Tiny and grey these little animals are rough under foot but they give good grip if walking on wet rocks.
They are filter feeders and Charles Darwin studied them for many years.
These guys are closely related to .... Crabs!
Imagine an upside down crab living in a tiny volcano - that's what's inside these amazing creatures.
If you look very closely, you can see their shells are like little houses with a door that opens at the top.
They only come out to play & "socialise" & eat when the tide is in - they are hiding away inside their shells when you are around!