It may 'only' have been the black-headed gulls that I was chasing with my lens down at Rosscarbery Estuary but I was just so delighted to be able to get out and about in beautiful winter sunshine yesterday. Having been bound by four walls since the New Year, due to the most miserable wet weather conditions, and being laid low with the winter lurg that has been doing the rounds, I feared I was going to come to the end of my current spell here in West Cork without one last outing.
The Estuary behind the dunes at Warren Strand is a designated Natural Heritage Area, and it is where I am happy to while away many hours, particularly during the winter months, watching the stunning array of birds that make this area of water their seasonal home. I have posted from here before regards some of the wonderful visitors - Winter Bird Watch, Parting Shot However, it was to be the antics of one of the resident birds that was to catch my eye this time, as we drove down the west side of the emerging tidal mudflat.
Later, as the lengthening shadows of the hillside hit sea level, we climbed up the cliff path to catch the last rays of sun still shining over Rosscarbery. Whilst we sat resting on the cliff top in the still of the Winter afternoon, it gave me time to reflect on the special family time we had just shared over the past couple of weeks and it reminded me of the many happy holidays we had enjoyed in West Cork as our family grew up. All the hours they spent playing either on Warren Strand, Long Strand or Red Strand, each stretch of sand looking out towards Galley Head.Visible from the cliff top, the Galley Head Lighthouse was lit up in the afternoon sunshine and had become a familiar landmark to us as we had sat and watched them at play back then.
Happy times!How fortunate then, to be able to return to this beautiful and peaceful corner of Ireland to recharge our batteries for this past Christmas and New Year holiday.
When I return to the normalities of my desk in the next couple of days, I will return refreshed, and rearing to go, and that is what a good holiday is all about.
Now I am set up for everything that 2013 has in store.
Bring it all on!
Oh, and I look forward to winging my way back to West Cork again sometime, soon.