The Shenick Island Reserve is one of a group of three islands situated just offshore from the town of Skerries. The reserve is connected to the mainland by sandflats exposed at low tide. During the summer months, a small population of Fulmars breed on the low lying cliffs, as do Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. In winter the islands are frequented by Light-bellied Brent Geese and waders such as Oystercatchers feeding around the shore. Short-eared Owls may be seen hunting over the middle of the island.
Looking like gulls, these seabirds are related to the albatrosses. They fly on stiff wings and can be seen hanging on up-draughts above the breeding cliffs. Be careful not to go too close as they defend their nests from intruders by spitting out foul-smelling oil.
Arriving from Arctic Canada in October, Light-bellied Brent Geese feed on the exposed eel-grass around the coast at low tide until well into the spring before making the long journey back to their Arctic breeding grounds.
Often heard making a distinctive ‘piping’ call, these stocky, black and white waders frequent the shoreline looking for shellfish to eat which they open with their characteristic orange-red bills.
Limited parking is available along the road opposite the island where they are best viewed from. Please be aware that at low tide it is possible to walk across to the island but this is cut-off at high tide therefore please check local tide times before crossing. Please respect the wildlife and other visitors and refrain from bringing dogs onto the reserve, other than Guide dogs.
Opening times: The Shenick Islands Reserve is open all year-round.
Entrance charges: Free, but donations to help us continue our work here are welcome.
Facilities: There are no facilities on the island. An information board is provided in Skerries overlooking the island.
Location: 1km east of Skerries town
Grid Ref: O 269 597