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Save Dunmanus Bay

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Herons and,an Otter too

Instead of rain, we got a peek of the Sun again today, despite a forecast showing us deep in rain and other black thoughts. I wanted to finish my post on Friday first though, before going out and thus it was already 2.30pm by the time I left for the bay.
Soon I met an English woman, walking her two dogs. She tipped me on the fact that there were ‘loads of Herons, with loads of babies’ at the pier. This explained the sight of One or two Grey Herons on almost every outing. And although late in the day, I decided as I was passing the pier, I might well take a look. What I did not understand was that I on so many of my trips I paused on the pier for at least 5-10 minutes, watching the other bank, where somehow I expected the Herons to be! And had I spotted any? Once! And this was when a fishing boat had just come in, and although one of the guys saw me, and we talked briefly about the sea birds, he never mentioned the breeding family across the bay.

I soon spotted one from the pier however. Also I kept thinking about where the Cormorants could be and when these would be returning? Last I had seen them was quite a few months ago, when I’d seen 5 in the bay, near the pier. As I sat pondering of earlier times, I was startled awake by a loud splash after a more metallic noise on my left. As I turned to take a look, a second Heron flew up, flying across. I looked down on an empty dinghy and wondered if there had been any fish left on the fishing boat, anchored next to it. As I returned to my spot of the platform, which is the pier, and rode to my spot at the end, two more Herons flew up from right underneath! Needless to say they startled me, I think? Cormorants appeared too. Four. Although only one showing up from the water close enough for a picture.
And all this time a club of about 12 Swallows were circling above and around me, skimming the water, going up, narrowly over the low edging at the end of the pier where I sat, going up, several times skimming over my lap, shoulder and up into the air. Somehow I seemed to attract Insects? All this went far too fast for me to either take a photo.
One of the last two Herons landed in a tree at the edge of a field and right at the bank of the sea. Immediately this tree rooted itself into my head for further reference as roosting tree perhaps, and otherwise to keep an eye on next spring.
The other ones, still about, sat on either side of the workhouse. The Workhouse, an old grain mill, is a very familiar sight to us. It was one of those beacons for us of coming home; we only lived about 400 metres from the pier, and this ruin was the first thing you see whenever you came from our former home at the river behind the Church of Ireland. One of those favourite buildings I often used in paintings/drawings and sketches.

The shout of a Gull, across from me, alerted me, and when I looked up, an Otter humped its way across a few boulders. I was way too late to take a photo, mostly because I just sat and watched it slither past. It went so fast, no one would have managed a photo from my position. I didn’t mind either. It was my second wild Otter and I felt delighted and totally stumped. My first Wild Otter I and Francis watched just 400metres from here, sunning itself on top of a boulder in the river beside and surrounding our cottage. Without the Gull I would have missed it slither over the boulder and disappear back into the water again. It was time to go. I had hardly seen it, as it was getting darker soon. And my binoculars? Safely at home; they would have been useless here anyway, I still held my camera in my hand, and it would have occurred too fast anyway.

One of the Cormorants, on one of those few occasions it was actually above water! And a Blackheaded Gull.

The Heron photos:

The hairy specimen of Friday's post: it is a Mulleina member of the Verbascum family.

Yarrow, before opening up into its umbellifier of tiny flowers; ;

Wild Ivy, another one of those favourite Wild flowers of mine. While I was sitting next to it, astrong waft of this lovely scent overwhelmed me and I'm sure it must have been the Ivy. Also because every year I smell this gorgeous scent on my way home from the shop too, always passing the Wild Ivy Hedgerows. Wish I had a Scentorder.

I love those 'Living Walls' found here. There is always all kinds of growths on them, Lichen, Ferns, among others.



Pictures of the old Workhouse Ruin, and the bay, towards the Atlantic and a view onto the Church of Ireland, hidden behind the tree.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures all. I really like that piece of driftwood.


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