Saturday, 3 June 2017

Island 379 - Calf Island/Oileán an Lao, County Galway

Calf Island (Oileán an Lao in Irish) is a small uninhabited tidal island joined at low tide by 100 metres of sandy beach to the mainland of County Galway a mile to the south west of the village of Ardmore.  The island is no more than 90 metres in diameter and is covered in rough grass.  When I visited in early May 2017 thrift, bird's foot trefoil, daisies and scurvy grass were all in flower on the island.  There were a few faint paths, so the island is obviously visited by people on a reasonably regular basis.  The sand I walked across was very soft but dry. 

According to the Ordnance Survey map, the much larger Finish Island (Fínis in Irish) half a mile to the south west of Calf Island should be accessible across the sandy beach at low tide.  However I timed my visit to coincide with a low spring tide and there was no dry route to it.  One account of Finish Island I found online said it is only accessible on foot when the spring tides are exceptionally low and my spring tide was only average.

Sandy beach near Calf Island covered in small round colourful shells
Sea radish? on Calf Island
Smoothed rocks on Calf Island
Thrift on Calf Island looking north west towards the mainland
Thrift on Calf Island - looking south west towards Finish Island
Rockpool on Calf Island

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