Fanad Head is a designated Special Area of Conservation, Special Protection Area and Proposed Natural Heritage Area, with a great variety of flora and fauna.
Wildlife of Fanad
Fanad is a great destination for nature lovers. Our pristine coastal environment is home to a wide range of species. You may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of cetaceans, such as fin whale, minke whale, orcas, dolphins or porpoise. There are many seabirds, shorebirds and birds of prey to be seen here, as well as endangered species like the corncrake, with its distinctive call.
Keep an eye out for some of the following birds at the lighthouse and nearby coastline – fulmar, gannet, cormorant, shag, guillemot, razorbill, kittiwake, shearwater, gull, oystercatcher, sanderling, dunlin, ringed plover, curlew, red-throated diver, great northern diver, snow bunting, eider duck, long-tailed duck, greylag geese, kestrel, buzzard, peregrine falcon, merlin.
Grey and common seal may be seen along the north Fanad coastline. Otter, lizard and the Irish hare are also to be found in the area.
Explore Our Shore
The seashore also is a haven for life. Many Fanad people still like to gather seaweeds such dulse, sleabhac/sloak and carrageen to eat, as well as gathering whelks.
If you get the chance, go rockpooling and beachcombing – look out for sea urchin, spider crabs, starfish, sea anemone, razor clam, mussels, limpet and maybe even a mermaid’s purse.
Gannet are a large, striking seabird – white with black-tipped wings and a distinctive golden head. Juveniles are mostly brown with white speckling. They are spectacular fishers and are notorious for their high-speed, vertical dive-bombing into the sea from a great height – a sight to behold.
Gannets spend most of their lives at sea and can travel large distances to feed – a 200km return trip to feed their young would not phase them! It takes around 4 years for a gannet to reach maturity, and amazingly, they can live for up to 35 years.
There are numerous threats to wildlife off our coasts, and we try our best to minimise our impact on our local environment, and encourage visitors to do the same.
Plastics is one of the biggest issues our marine life face which is why we tackle plastics as a priority in our sustainability policy. At Fanad Lighthouse we have no single-use plastics in our business. No straws, no plastic bags, no plastic bottles!
Sustainability Policy 2021-2022
“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and
environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the
environment and host communities”. – UNWTO
Wildlife Gifts & SouvenirsCHECK OUT OUR ONLINE SHOP
Socks – Fanad Lighthouse€10.00
Hidden Donegal by Michael Sugrue – Poetry + Photography€40.00
‘The Great Lighthouses of Ireland’ – Book€28.00
Wild Atlantic Way ‘Ballymastocker Strand’ Signature Post€35.00
Wild Atlantic Way ‘Donegal’ Signature Post€35.00
Wild Atlantic Way ‘Cionn Fhánada’ Signature Post€35.00
Donegal Wax Company Candles – ‘Donegal Tweed’€25.00
Donegal Wax Company Candles – ‘Seaweed & Juniper€25.00
Donegal Wax Company Candles – ‘Turf’€25.00
Donegal Wax Company Candles – ‘Wild Atlantic Sands’€25.00
Humpback whale / Fanad Lighthouse signed print (unframed)€30.00
Basking shark / Fanad Lighthouse signed print (unframed)€30.00
Book a Tour
For a truly special visit to Fanad Lighthouse, our guided tour experience is a must. All our guides are local and can give you an authentic insight into the Fanad peninsula and life at Fanad Lighthouse.