Blogging at 22:10 on Thursday 10th August from intended overnighting spot N 52.35649°, W 06.42818° / http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:52.35649%2C-06.42818
The short-eared owl continued to make its presence felt last night with a couple of bouts of strident nocturnal yelps uttered only a handful of metres from the truck. It was almost a privilege to be startled awake by such a thing. As is often the case in such circumstances, Emma reportedly slept terribly... but awoke this morning utterly oblivious to the serenade of blood-curdling screams.
Rewinding a little, I forgot to mention that amongst yesterday evening's sightings I saw a hooded crow foraging on the ground in a pasture before - initially perplexingly - looking attentively upwards. It then took off vertically at a hefty rate of knots and, at a height of about 20 metres, plucked a bee out of its flight and swallowed it whole. I've never seen a corvid do such a thing before. So much to see: so little seen.
Today's been pretty chilled. We continued our steady bumble through the Wicklow mountains before following a promising sounding dead-end road to the east coast. Who could reasonably resist a dead end road with a sign to a nature reserve sporting polders and dunes.
A useful beach-access car park at the very end of the road (no camping allowed) that was evidently very rarely used - and then only by locals - saw us staying for a few hours either side of lunch.
We had the whole thing pretty much to ourselves and as well as the solitude also enjoyed some good bird life. Dunlin, ringed plover, Arctic terns and a merlin featured amongst the more expected stuff.
Whilst here, I was persuaded by the logic that we should make the most of the miles of unpeopled beach. However, rather than playfully half-burying each other or building a sand castle this invariably involved self-flagellating exertion and so, in spite of having only aches and pains where my legs should be, I again joined Emma in a run.
Post lunch, exertion, polders and dunes, we headed to the spot we're now at the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve (pic). We've stayed here before (staff permission required) and it does just what it says on the tin.
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