After a satisfying chicken Caesar Salad and a Budvar beer (which claims to be the original Budweiser as it hails from Budweis, Czech Republic, yet why a beer would claim to be the original Budweiser is beyond me) at The Avenue Cafe in Maynooth, I decided to have a walk around the grounds here at the hotel, to have a look at the birds. There are 120 acres here – many of them muddy – that are bordered on one side by the M4 motorway and the other by a small stream and some farmlands. You don’t get miles and miles, but it is a pleasant way to spend an hour, far better than the hour I spent last night in the gym listening to disco while watching Manchester United take apart the Romans, all due to my iPod refusing to play music.

Of course, the birds here are different than what we have at home. The most common being:
  • Jackdaw – that blue-black crow mentioned earlier at Cashel. Acts like our crow but sounds very unique.
  • Wood Pigeon – the most giant-est pigeon ever seen, sort of a cross between our ubiquitous Rock Dove and a Thanksgiving Turkey. They are enormous and given their size it’s amazing as to how skittish they are.
  • Wren – looks, sounds and acts just like our House Wren
  • Blackbird – sounds like our Robbin, looks like our Starling, is related to the former and completely unrelated to our various Blackbirds.
  • Coal Tit – looks like our Chickadee.
  • Great Tit – a giant yellow-sided version of our Chickadee
  • Thrush – looks like our Hermit Thrush and sounds like our Wood Thrush, both of whom it is related to.
  • Robin – looks nothing like our Robin, to which it is not related. Very feisty little birds with small territories (judging from the fact that they are in every tree), they sing well after dark and well before dawn, constantly. Trust me that this is no exaggeration.

I wandered up and down the muddy tracks created by what is purported to be a First World War tank, here for the guests use. I’ve never seen it, so I am not sure it’s still around. The evening was pleasant, the sheep were bleating and in the end I was treated to a beach-worthy sunset, something I suspect is an unusual occurrence, here in the Emerald Isle.