We walked for an hour or so in Marlay Park today. ‘Here’s where the Wicklow Way starts’ I said, as I’ve said before. ‘Perhaps I’ll walk it this coming weekend?’
‘No, you need to build up to long walks first’ was the sensible reply. This is fair because I’ve been off the trail for over six months and with six decades under my belt, everything needs to be measured.
‘I can’t anyway come to think of it. I’m not allowed leave the county.’ The pandemic continues and is perhaps building slowly to become worse than than the first wave.
‘I wonder can we see twenty bird species?’ I continued, changing the topic to something that had more potential for distraction.
Rook. Blackback gull.
It was 14C at the car with a slight breeze that made it feel very autumnal.
Hooded crow. Magpie. Jackdaw.
We decided to walk southwest from the main car park and crossed to a path that runs by a stream and woods leading to the ornamental lake. There were three of us and we were speaking about almost anything except tomorrow’s major surgery. Preparation included a flu jab yesterday morning and Covid test in the afternoon.
Swan. Mallard. Moorhen.
‘This is where I took that swan picture everyone likes’. I now realise that was on July 6 and there are two photos on my journal for that day.
Little grebe. Or dabchick, spotted among the mallard, heading into lakeside cover opposite us, a place occupied by a coot.
We walked around the lake and found several Grey Heron’s perched, roosting in trees. As ungainly as they look, they are masterful flyers. They manage to land precisely on the branch they select despite their huge wings and long legs giving the appearance of having lost control.
We were being watched by robins as we walked. The occasional wrensong attracted our attention. Then one of the tiny, elusive wrens broke cover. At this time of year, the blackbirds are always very active as were blue and great tits. I’m pretty sure we heard a blackcap and a goldcrest but sightings were required for today’s lists. An odd chaffinch or two and several woodpigeon complete today’s list.
We were still avoiding talk of cancer when we return to the car park. Which is a good thing. The purpose of the walk was distraction.