Cloghy Rocks Nature Reserve

  • Author:ActiveME
  • Created: August 28, 2012
  • Updated: December 12, 2017
Location: Down
  • DistanceInstructions
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As the Strangford Lough tide ebbs, seals haul out to rest on this group of rocks. Both Common and Grey seals may be easily viewed. Common seals favour the site for breeding, with pups being born in July. Energetic displays by males can be seen prior to mating in August.  The reserve covers a large area of foreshore between the high and low water marks. The variety of habitats, from rocks to fine mud are home to many small shellfish and worms, providing a rich feeding ground for shore birds.
Oystercatchers, redshank and other wading birds feed as the tide falls and later roost on the rocks and islands still exposed at high tide.  Grey herons stand motionless for long periods, waiting to catch small fish or shore crabs. Mute swans nest on the adjacent islands. In the summer, common and sandwich terns dive for fish in the Strangford Narrows.  The pale-bellied brent geese, so numerous in the north of the lough in early winter, appear here in March to graze eel-grass on the mud-flats.
Dense growths of brown seaweeds occur with clearly defined zones of different species running down the shore levels, from channelled wrack at the top to kelp at the lowest part of the shore. In summer, an edible red seaweed called dulse is harvested from around the rocks (from DOE NI)

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1. Cloghy Rocks Nature Reserve

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