East Coast Nature Reserve, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow

East Coast Nature Reserve
Moody robin
East Coast Nature Reserve
Lookin for adventure/food?

A little birdwatching site in Wicklow county (which I have to specify because there are at least three Newcastles right around Dublin alone). As in the name, it is on the east coast. I cycled down from Dublin a couple of weeks ago with the plan to take the train back up to Dublin from Wicklow (city) after spending some time wandering around the reserve. I was in search of some glossy ibises that were accidental migrants and have been regularly spotted at the reserve for the past couple of months, but on the day I cycled down, the wind was so powerful that very few birds dared to be out and about and I did not see the ibises (sigh). However, I don’t think I’ve ever cycled 70 km in January before, so I’m not complaining about the weather! Irish winters are fierce mild…

East Coast Nature Reserve
Greenfinch
East Coast Nature Reserve
Anyone know what this tree is? I spotted a few of them and they all look like they’re on fire.
East Coast Nature Reserve
East Coast Nature Reserve
So cute, blue tit
East Coast Nature Reserve
Grumpy looking dunnock
East Coast Nature Reserve
Coal tit? Great tit? I think it’s a great tit…
East Coast Nature Reserve
These guys are beautiful
East Coast Nature Reserve
Happy for the boardwalk…it’s been so wet that I was sinking up to my ankles in places in the mud (and my cycling shoes do not approve!)
East Coast Nature Reserve
I like the juxtaposition of these ducks with the ruins of buildings behind…who knows how old those are. Knowing Ireland, probably older than the US
East Coast Nature Reserve
Gotta love the flag grass
East Coast Nature Reserve
I love these little grebes. Grebe are widely recognized as the cutest ducks. Fact.
East Coast Nature Reserve
She was the only bird out on the pond so I took a lot of photos of her. Can anyone tell what she’s eating?
East Coast Nature Reserve
East Coast Nature Reserve
SPLASH
East Coast Nature Reserve
Nom nom nom
East Coast Nature Reserve
The light conditions made for difficult photography, fast moving clouds and very changeable light!
East Coast Nature Reserve
East Coast Nature Reserve
So Ireland
East Coast Nature Reserve
Mmmmm…mud
East Coast Nature Reserve
Hello, Mr. Robin

Taking the train back was meant to be an experiment because, if I can put my bike on a train, I can cycle farther from Dublin and see more of the country, which is my goal. However, this did not go as smoothly as planned. By the time I got to the train station, the sun was already getting low in the sky, and I really did not want to ride 70 km back to Dublin on back roads in the dark, so I was a little desperate to make it work. I thought the DART (commuter train) ran from Wicklow to Dublin, for which you do not need a reservation, but, as I learned, the train from Wicklow to Dublin is actually the inter-city train, for which you DO need a reservation: three days in advance! Plus, there are only two spots for bikes on the train.

Wicklow train station
Wicklow train station with fading light
Wicklow train station
Yay, Wicklow!

I didn’t realize all this, so I bought my ticket, and hopped on the train with my bike, only to realize it wouldn’t fit down the aisle. So I stood in the doorway between train cars, holding my bicycle vertically, terrified that the conductor would come and kick me off. Eventually the conductor did walk by, but when he did, he just rolled his eyes and said, “I’ll pretend not to see you there.”

“I’m sorry,” I explained, through the spokes of my tire, “I couldn’t figure out exactly where I was meant to be.”

“There are already two more bikes than there are supposed to be on this train, so if you don’t mind staying in that doorway, you can just stay there,” he said, thankfully, and walked on.

I still don’t know where bikes are supposed to go on the train though*, so in terms of experimental outcomes, I’ll call this a lukewarm success, or simply “not a failure, anyway.”

*When I tried looking this up online, it simply said the bikes are supposed to go in a special car either in the front of the train OR the back of the train, which is not super helpful if you choose the wrong end and can’t move through the train with the bike. The train only stays at the station for a New York minute, so it’s not as if there’s time to wander and wonder before it takes off.

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8 thoughts on “East Coast Nature Reserve, Newcastle, Co. Wicklow

  1. Beautiful countryside, to be sure. I’m glad you made it home again, with your bike, but it looks like you’ll need a different plan for next time. Or, keep taking your chances. After all, the conductors seem pretty laid back and easy going. I can’t imagine standing the whole way, though.

  2. You are right it is a great tit. Great photos, particularly like the fence and shadows. You were lucky with your conductor!!

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