An Coinigéar, Part I

An Coinigéar, or The Cunnigar, is a 2.5 km long spit of land that stretches out south to north across the Dungarvan Bay from An Rinn (The Ring) Peninsula, and ends not far from Dungarvan Quay. As it was specified in a 1537 document, its widest part measures “in bredthe one boweshot“, and the narrowest part is about 10m. Coinigéar means “rabbit warren”. I saw many rabbits when I turned to the car park. It was an early morning, and their ears looked transparent in the morning sun. During my walk, I only saw a few rabbit holes and droppings, but I had a feeling I was being watched 🙂

There are many stories told about An Coinigéar, and there is a ghost whom no one has seen so far. The ghost is guarding a hidden treasure, so if you find it some day, you will be possibly able to claim to have seen the ghost, I guess …

I am sharing a beautiful video by @fardinger   It will give you a better look.

Dungarvan Bay is dry as far out as I can see.

I start on the eastern side of The Cunnigar, but later move across. There is only one car parked, and I see a person with a dog in a distance. I have at least 6 hours to get to the end and back.

Thousands of local and migratory birds are feeding on tideline on both sides of The Cunnigar, but this time I just acknowledge their presence and keep walking. It is my first time here, and I only want to get a general idea of the place.

I see a couple of Ragwort plants and a Cinnabar moth caterpillar. To my surprise, there is not a single moth around at this time.

However I found another brightly colored day moth – a Six-spot burnet. There were thousands of them.

I also found many papery cocoons – full and abandoned.

Males and females of this moths look similar. Sometimes a male is sitting next to the cocoon patiently waiting for the virgin female to emerge.

The moth’s life cycle takes 12 months to be complete, and involves a single generation.

This one got stuck in the cobweb. I am not sure if it is safe for the spider to feast on it. The moth is bright-colored for a good reason: if attacked, it emits a liquid containing cyanide.

Two shots of the hovering Six-spot burnets.

I keep walking, crossing from one side to the other. It is Comeragh mountains in background. We have been there 🙂

In the distance I see a man. Looks like he is foraging in the salt marsh.

Being a curious person, I come up and ask what is that he is collecting. It is Glasswort, he says. It comes out I met Andrew Malcolm – forager, composer and wildlife photographer.

I am chewing a piece of Glasswort, as Andrew suggested I should, trying not to look at a cowcake resting nearby.

Andrew says there are at least nine butterfly species I might come across. I saw only five. This is Small tortoiseshell…

…and this is Meadow brown.

A Bright-line Brown-eye moth caterpillar was hurrying across the rocks with a remarkable speed. More creatures in my next blog post.

The water started to slowly fill up the bay. You can see the oyster farm, the rows of the oyster bags in the distance. The farm is about 1 km away, but I don’t have the slightest interest to inspect it. Lessons learned 🙂

I will share the rest of my walk in my next blog post. Hope you enjoyed An Coinigéar and our walk.

 Have a wonderful week ahead!


  1. Breathtaking peninsula! I had no idea that particular moth ejects cyanide. Your sharp eyes capture even the tiniest creatures! You’re a naturalist Sherlock Holmes, Inese. I enjoyed our walk. 🌞

  2. Hi Inese. This might be the first time I’ve ever admired insects (other than butterflies)! But you’ve captured their colors so beautifully! What a delightful morning excursion. Hugs on the wing.

    1. Thank you so much, Teagan. You are always so kind. I am having a tough January, but you know what? Your book was a highlight of the dreary month. And I also learned a great news – there will be a sequel! 🙂 Because these little babies will grow and have their own adventures! 🙂 It is so very exciting. I talk to you on your blog later on! Hugs.

      1. That is music to my ears — that you enjoyed the novel, I mean. I’m sorry about January. I’m having a difficult one too. My agoraphobia has kept me from going more than a single mile away from home for many years… Now I’m trying to move 2000 miles across the country to get away from the place that has destroyed me. (I don’t do more than hint about it on my own blog, for a few reasons…) So my challenge is gigantic, exhausting, depressing, and daunting. What you said about my book lifts me up. I hope everything turns around to something lovely for you, right away. Hugs on the wing.

        1. Oh Teagan, are you finally moving to the state you said you would love to move to a couple of years ago? I so hope you are. Wherever you move, I am certain you will find peace and stability. Your magic Atonement 🙂 It is a tremendous challenge, but I have a feeling that this year is going to be kind to you. Let me know how it goes. I will be thinking of you xx

          1. You are so kind, Inese. I’m not sure which I told you back then. For 5 years (before moving to DC ten years ago) I lived in Albuquerque, NM. I loved it, but until recently it was not one of my prospective destinations, because the economy is not very good, and no jobs. So for six years I’ve been looking at other states in the southwest, trying unsuccessfully to get to any of several states.
            Then last autumn, I took “jobs” out of the equation. That let me consider New Mexico again — and I knew it was where I needed to go. I won’t be going back to Albuquerque, but to a little town farther south. It’s small and quite but has all the amenities I want. And living/housing is cheap enough that I can manage. Plus it’s quirky! And I wanted a quirky little town. 🙂

            1. It was Arizona you were talking about, and I was so excited because I love Arizona 🙂 Utah has 3% unemployment, but I know that living and housing are wickedly expensive there. I guess the same about AZ. As to NM, I would move to Taos straight away if I could 🙂

  3. Amazing! Your photography and your knowledge. How do you remember and learn about each insect, butterfly, and moth? I’m bad at names and knowing life cycles. Looks like such a wonderful walk and so much beauty.

    1. Thank you! It is all thanks to my degree and good long term memory, and I also pick up the missing parts in Google 🙂 Short term memory isn’t that brilliant 😉

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