Dugort Beach which is also known as Silver Strand and Pollawaddy, is located on the north side of Achill Island. This beach faces Blacksod Bay and the Mullet Peninsula and is sheltered by the magnificent Slievemore mountain.
The Croaghaun/Slievemore site is located on the north western side of Achill Island. The site is mainly composed of the two mountains, Slievemore and Croaghaun, both over 700 metres in height. It is dominated by cliffs which can exceed 300 metres. From the high cliffs around Croaghaun towards the northern cliff edge is a group of five corries, which are shaped like arm chair hollows formed by glaciers, located at different levels above the sea. Some moraines which are glacially formed accumulations of rock and soil are found in these corries. This site contains alpine heath, a habitat listed on Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive. This alpine heath is found at higher altitudes in a mosaic of scree and exposed rock, patches of blanket bog and corrie lakes.
On the western seaboard, low and flat windswept sand plains known as Machair are found. Machair consists of a mixture of sands derived from the shells of animals which lived on the offshore platform and from glacial tills.
Machair beaches are often found between outcrops or in small bays between headlands. The upper limit of the beach is usually marked by a pebble or cobble ridge behind which there are dunes. Behind the dunes is usually a gently sloping plain whose degree of flatness is a reflection of age. The level of the machair plain is controlled by the underlying water table. This is the reason that many machair areas are flooded during winter. Machair is a completely vegetation covered coastal plain, lyme and marram grass being the most common varieties found.
In the Nineteenth Century, Achill Island was noted for the large number of seals found around it’s coast. The seal caves at Dugort were home to a particularly large colony. Towards the latter half of the century, their numbers began to drop significantly. At the time, many of the islanders attributed their decline to the introduction of the fox to the island and the new bridge at Achill Sound but it is most likely that their decline is due to the large numbers of hunters that came to the island to hunt the seals for sport during the late nineteenth century. Today, seals can occasionally be seen in the waters around the island.
Waders such as the Snipe, Lapwing and Oystercatcher are frequently spotted in this area.
The Gull family is well represented with the Common Gull, Kittiwake, Blackheaded Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull and Herring Gull all visitors to the beach.
Lesser Black Backed Gull
Terns are also sighted with the Arctic Tern, Common Tern and Sandwich Tern being the most commonly noted.
Cormorants and Shags have also been spotted.
Arctic TernSandwich Tern
Doogort Beach Legend Map
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