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The western shores of Northern Ireland are sheltered by County Donegal (Ireland) and lay along a large lough, Lough Foyle, meaning the shoreline in the greater Binevenagh area is calmer than that seen at the Causeway. Here the shoreline follows sweeping arcs out to Magilligan Point, which juts out narrowing the mouth of Lough Foyle, less than two Kilometres wide.

Long stretches of sandy beach line Magilligan Point and are popular with walkers, surfers, windsurfers and those seeking the sun, when the weather permits. The sand dune systems in this area are of international importance due to the active dune system dynamics and are now some of the most studied in Europe. 

To the west of Magilligan Point moving towards Derry/Londonderry the sandy shores change to mudflats. These mudflats become home to many overwintering birds such as Whooper Swans, Wigeon and Waders for a few short months, normally October to January. It is therefore no surprise that these mudflats are a hotspot for birdwatchers and photographers in the winter months, although Lapwing can be seen all year round along Lough Foyle’s shores. 

The marine life in the greater Binevenagh area is no less abundant, with Lough Foyle offering shelter and a hunting ground for animals such as Seals which can be spotted regularly. Notably Basking Sharks feed off the coast of the Binevenagh area as they make their journey to and from Malin Head in north County Donegal. 

Find your next marine adventure in Binevenagh and Beyond

Marine wildlife in Binevenagh and Beyond

Sponges

Dercitus bucklandi, Stryphnus ponderosus, Axinella infundibuliformis,Pachymatisma johnstonia…