Friday 30 August 2013

Nimmo's Pier

I wasn't really think straight when I arrived in Dublin last Friday. Was I going straight to the Bridges of Ross, was I going to Galway, or should I just jack the whole thing in and go down to Tacumshin in Co. Wexford, there to feast upon Caspian Tern and the like? Struck by indecision, I probably changed my satnav destination about eight times on the journey, but based on an up-to-date wind forecast of the 'pretty pants' variety, I ended up in Galway. And Galway, let me tell you, is buzzing on a Friday night. Amazing. I forewent the opportunity to get straight onto the pints and instead headed for the near mythical Nimmo's Pier, site of monster counts of White-wingers in winters past, plus various yank Gulls and Terns. I suppose you could call my trip to Ireland a fact-finding mission in many ways. Although August is far from ideal for Nimmo's I just wanted to check it out, and the extra two hours in the car didn't really bother me.

I soon found Nimmo's Pier, and rather than the industrial wasteland I had imagined it to be, with piles of disused lobster pots and abandoned trailers, it was in fact a popular place to go for a walk, slap bang in the middle of Galway City and about three minutes from about a thousand pubs and five million Friday night revellers! The Gulls like to loaf around near the city end of it, sharing a small lagoon with a bunch of Mute Swans that never leave (they're visible on the Google Satellite view), and sure enough there was an Iceland Gull in with the Herrings. With the light fading there was little I could do beyond a few grab shots, so I decided to try the next morning and head towards the noise and the fun.

Galway is a party town! Ram-packed with people enjoying themselves. I'm not one for drinking alone, so a quiet pint of de Black Stuff in a quiet pub was all I opted for, before nabbing a fish supper and heading back to Nimmo's. Tired but happy, I set off for somewhere quiet to sleep in the car, the last thing I wanted was to be sent on my way in the middle of the night. The Galway coast is pretty busy, but eventually the promenades faded and I found my spot - though its inhabitants didn't realise, I slept in the village of Barna outside a very large house. Gone before daybreak, I refreshed myself in Salthill and hit the pier again at around first light. Had a nice chat with Frank who was picking up Friday-night beer cans, and had another pop at the Iceland, which is looking extremely settled. On the whole though I was itching to get sea-watching, so it wasn't long before I pointed the car towards Co. Clare, and headed for the fabled Bridges of Ross. And as I've already talked about that, I have nothing else to say until I find a Wryneck on the patch tomorrow. As for Nimmo's Pier, it will see me again for sure.

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