With so much calcium (lime) available to make their shells, it is no surprise that the commonest small dune animal is the snail. The banded or brown–lipped snail, easily identiﬁed by its striped pattern, is everywhere to be seen. Its colour varies but it is always striped with black. There are many other snail species identiﬁable from the shape of their shell such as the ram’s horn and the tiny turret snail. In very warm weather snails run the risk of expiring through drying out. At these times the large brown helix snail can be found chilling out inside the wooden shelters on the course. Slugs are less common but on damp mornings the large black slug may emerge where the ground is mossy.
Frogs are found in the damper hollows and little ponds and along the edge of the saltmarsh where they fall prey to herons. Their amphibious life cycle is marked by the appearance of globs of spawn in the ponds, in early spring. Another little creature of the dunes is Ireland’s only lizard. Better known from the Burren where it is quite common, it is nevertheless more widespread than is thought. Due to its dependency on the sun’s heat to become active, the lizard tends to bask on the sunny side of the dune and scurry oﬀ at the ﬁrst sign of danger. It is thus not often well seen.