Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Wild Swans at Coole

Coole Park is one of my favourite places to visit when we are in Clare - although actually it's in Galway. Because of the turloughs (disappearing lakes) the shore area is always different. We've been there when the water has been too high to walk some of the trails, and we've been there in the summer when it's just a green sward full of all sorts of wildflowers, with only the black mossy growth on the big boulders to show that it was ever under water. Looking at the trees when we took a shortcut through the woods back to a trail, the water must have been very high late last year. No surprise if it was - friends we visited said that at one stage last November almost all the minor roads locally had been closed due to flooding, and it was taking people two and three hours to travel to work.
The swans at Coole aren't the Mute Swans with the orange beaks. Both Whooper and Bewick's have been recorded, and as far as I can make out these are the Whoopers, but from the distance we were at it was hard to tell.
There were also ducks and cormorants on the lake. On the shore, lots of little birds, including a chaffinch in the most beautiful spring plumage. C didn't feel that he'd ever noticed the green splash on their rump before, not even when we were watching them in Kerry the week before.

And robins...But the best treat of all was seeing some hares. I just had to snatch the best shots I could the first time we saw this one (which are not the best, at that); every time after that they were loping along. For me there's always some special about seeing hares - maybe because they're such a rare sight.

Falling water levels
You can just see the start of the new spring growth in this one...


  1. I love your photos, it always gives me a lift to read your blog. The chaffinch is my favourite today :D

  2. Of course you know I would be partial to the birds, but those hares are wondrous. I agree that it's something special to see an animal you don't see that often. I always smile when my chipmunks are around and I'm never fast enough with the camera when a fox passes through. I love to read your passages with your pictures. I seem to always learn something.

  3. Gorgeous pictures of your time off Sabrina. I thought of you as on St.Patty`s Day QVC always has an entire day of visiting Irish people selling their wares. I bought another video by Stephen Walsh and Darina Allen. Are you familiar with her cooking and school in County Cork? I also added to my Beleek collection. Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful time! Hugs...I missed you!

  4. Sabrina, wow! I love the photos of the hares. I've never seen one so I loved seeing yours. Your swans and robin photos are fantastic.