The Burren Third Visit

/ in The Burren by Marek
A Silver-washed fritillary feeding from a flower
In the slanting sunlight that skirts the glade.

Our third trip to the Burren planned for two weeks later than our previous one, to keep in line with our plan of recording consecutively each visit, was again only marred by not being able to return to either our first or second cottage as they were no longer available.

This was in no way going to deter us and we decided to look a little further afield as we had now become familiar with the area close to Corofin.

After research we came across a cottage close to the Carran Loop trail which, at the time, we had not completed although we had peppered the area close to the Burren perfumery which was where we got our pictures of the Dark Green Fritillary from our last trip.

The big difference for us with this cottage, which we subsequently booked, was that it was rather out in the sticks near the top of a mountain at Glencolumbkille and although Carran was only a ten-minute drive, was not a road for the faint hearted especially at night.

Footage from our dashcam at night, where the road is completely black except for the small area illuminated by our headlights
A hair raising experience

The cottage proved to be perfect for us with spectacular views and unspoiled countryside and, unknowingly at the time, we had booked in the middle of a heatwave which is almost unheard of in Ireland.

In fact, the weather was so good we saw only some fleeting drizzle during our whole visit which, although sounding good, made us quite sad as the landscape was shrivelled and dry with the plants and wildlife struggling to survive.

There was however no shortage of moths and on a trip home from the pub in Carran one evening it was almost unbelievable to see so many moths attracted to the headlights of our car which reminded me somewhat of similar scenes during my youth in Cheshire.

With such large numbers of moths, it makes sense there would be large numbers of predators feeding on them and one of the culprits became obvious when I captured him on my spy cam which was set up to record the Swallows nesting in the shed next to the cottage.

Greyscale nightvision photo of a bat in flight
Who is this fly by night.

With the weather being so kind to us, it meant that we could go walking everyday of our holiday including some routes we would not have attempted had it been wet.

Two of our favourites were just a stone throw from where we were staying, located in the Slieve Carran Nature Reserve.

The Brown route was teeming with Grayling illusively flitting from stone to stone as we followed enthusiastically in an effort to get a really good shot.

This experience however was no comparison to the glade we walked through on the Yellow route which was like something out of a fairy tale with Silver-washed fritillaries gliding effortlessly up and down in the sunshine.

It really was like something out of Alice in Wonderland and will stay with us forever.

Notwithstanding we had some excellent catches in our moth trap and recorded several new records which is in part the reason the butterfly pictures for my site have not yet been updated.

There is so many pages I could write about our trips to Ireland, but I will follow my sons’ instructions of an A4 maximum page size.

We have booked the same cottage in Carran next year and I feel confident that even with Brexit we will still receive the same warm welcome by our host.