All Dubliners and dart goers will be familiar with the iconic sight of Dalkey Island at the edge of Dublin Bay with its Martello tower and ruins of a small church.
Located around 400m off the coast a short hop on a boat will bring you across to the uninhabited island. But the island is anything but and is a brimming with a diverse range of wildlife.
For a small island it has a far reaching history dating back all the way to prehistoric times with evidence of early occupation in the Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Viking and early Medieval periods.
The ruins of the small church St Begnets dates to around the 7th century. The Martello Tower at the southern end was one of a number of towers built along the Irish coast in the early 19th century as defensive structures from the threat of French invasion.
Sealegs are not required for the extremely short boat trip from Coliemore Harbour which overlooks the island. Even from the harbour you can get a glimpse of life dwelling the island. From ducking and diving seabirds, to the resident lazy grey seals chilling at the seashore.
Closer to the island you can spot cormorants sunning themselves on the rocks. You might see a few curious seals bop the head up from the water for a closer inspection.
The bird life on the island is particularly amazing from gulls to oyster catchers and a thriving colony of terns.
Terns are currently nesting so make sure you keep your distance and don’t cross the fence surrounding the colony. If you want to get up close bring along a zoom lens or pair of binoculars.
A few of the more surprising residents are the black rabbits you’ll see scurrying and dashing about. Their burrows all over the island so watch your step!
Another surprising gang you might come across is a small herd of goats.