Of Whiskey and Castles! - 29 Aug 2011
After breakfast I headed down to the street to get in some early morning birding before our bus would leave at 8:30. Walking the river in front of the Strand Hotel yielded a Chaffinch, and a pair of Blue Tits singing overhead. Behind me and up on the peak of a nearby apartment roof was a White Wagtail. A second wagtail (female type) was nearby, but largely invisible against the dull gray tiles.
now flying overhead and would perch atop some evergreens in the next block. I was able to get a few pics while it was being harrased by an angry Rook.
passed overhead, allowing me to grab a flight pic or two. Overhead and atop the hotel a Magpie was momentarily perched. It flew as I grabbed a few pics from street level.
Tullamore and a date w/ the Tullamore Dew Whiskey Factory. Along the way Rebecca entertained us with limericks provided by the group. I had none clean enough to share...
Tullamore Dew Heritage Center, which is no longer an active factory but a museum with tasting center and deli. After a 15 minute history of the business, we toured the several floors of the old factory, taking photos of the famous relics of the early business, learned the difference between Irish (not) and Scotch (smoked barley) Whiskey, and got to enjoy a fresh glass of 'Dew'!
town. We managed to get back to the bus just moments before the clouds opened up.
Cabra Castle. Oscar, the resident Irish Wolfhound, greeted us with mild interest. Robin took to him immediately, and wanted to take him home :).
afternoon Guinness. We then walked around outside and took some pics of the building and surrounding gardens. I took some panos.
late summer flowers.
Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, and Willow Warbler (left). The dark skies and deep shade of the woods made me regret not having the flash and Better Beamer. I managed only a couple of keepers before the flock moved on. Still, it was neat to see the Long-tailed Tits up close.
Hooded Crows, but they were farther out on the golf course. An obliging White Wagtail allowed enough pics to make this composite.
We enjoyed a nice sit-down dinner in the main dining room of the castle with the rest of our traveling group. It was here we learned of the famous 'haunting' of the castle by a young woman named 'Sarah'. Robin and I were staying in Sarah's House. Interestingly, while having an afternoon drink several folks noticed the suddenly dimming lights and shaking of the chandelier in the living room...
Robin that was obliging for photos. I managed one or two keeper images out of about 200 blurry ones (I so need to check my ISO settings...).
White Wagtails on the roof were worth chasing, and it was nice to see my first European Goldfinch on the roof top. A pheasant was seen by Rebecca, but I could not relocate. A pair of fly-by Skylarks were a nice final sighting! We said our goodbyes to Oscar, and headed to the airport in Dublin.
The flight home from Dublin was great, and we arrived in Chicago shortly after 3pm. Our flight to Detroit would not happen until 10pm, so we opted to rent a car and drive home. Great call, as we were able to finally reach home just before 10pm.
Additional images can be seen here: