An Coinigéar, part II

One more blog from my long walk. You can watch a video about the Cunnigar in my previous blog post

Centuries ago, An Coinigéar was owned by the Duke of Devonshire, and was the site of the first golf course in West Waterford where the Duke and his prominent buddies used to come and play. In the 1861, the strip of land was bought by John R Power. The tenants of the only dwelling house on An Coinigéar were the Walsh family. As it was so far off the road, the local postman was paid some extra cash for every time he delivered a letter.

It looks like there were trees growing on An Coinigéar in the past.

Michael Sheehan, Irish priest, educator and scholar of the Irish language, was a young boy when he first came to An Coinigéar to play croquet with his schoolmates. They somehow moved fencing out of its place, and the son of original Mr. Walsh came out of his house and gave them a piece of his mind. Young Michael in astonishment asked his friends what language was the man speaking. Irish, was the answer. Michael was so impressed that he dedicated the rest of his life to studying and promoting the language of his ancestors, and was the author of many books in Irish.

I am glad that there is no golf course on An Coinigéar these days. My favorite coastal plant Sea holly can grow undisturbed, and feed armies of different insects.

Male Common blue butterfly is added to my list of species discovered on An Coinigéar 🙂

This Sea holly is hosting a party – male and female Common blue, and an unidentified wasp.

Female Common blue.

I love the fragile beauty of these little pieces of sky.

Another form of unhurried life.

I noticed the recent presence of cows on the Cunnigar, but didn’t see them. They probably crossed from west to east  behind the dunes that are several metres high. Finally I saw a herd moving towards The Ring in the low water some two hundred meters from the shore. Two cows – a huge pregnant and a young one – were way behind the herd, but the incoming tide didn’t seem to bother them. This is a heavy zoomed picture. The cows looked like two dots to me.

The western part of the estuary began filling up too, forcing the birds to relocate.

The tide was well in when I reached the dunes.

I crossed to the eastern part and was pleasantly surprised to see this male Wheatear. You can see the hallmark tail pattern. Wheatear has one of the longest migration routes of any songbird. I have read that the birds breeding in north-eastern Canada fly almost non-stop across the northern Atlantic to North Africa. My main resource of information about birds is this page.

The dunes on An Coinigéar are beautiful. I wish people were mindful about these fragile ecosystems and didn’t walk off trail. I took some pictures of birds from a distance – Pipits and Linnets.

There were seven Herons standing on the other side of a marshy area, but when I tried to sneak up closer, five of them took off. I got a couple of good pictures of herons in flight, and already used one in my New Years post.

Finally I reached the Point! Dungarvan quay doesn’t look too close. At low tide, the distance is much closer, and it is possible to walk across.

Here is a link to the Dungarvan Hillwalking club website where you can learn more about the annual event of the Cunnigar Crossing, and possibly join it some day. Last year, 359 people took part and €1961 was raised for charity. If you think you might do the crossing, check out the Hillwalking Club homepage and join their Mailing list. The Crossing event will take place in July or August.

The photograph from the website is linked back to the page.

In bygone days, An Coinigéar served as a shortcut from the Ring peninsula to Dungarvan, and women went to market with their baskets on their heads, and some students crossed to attend school.

In the 1880s, it was proposed to build a bridge, but thankfully it never happened, and the automobile era put an end to the use of An Coinigéar as a shortcut.

In later years, a local family run a ferry service to take the picnic-goers over in two rowing boats. If you needed the ferry, you stood at the point and waved a white handkerchief.

On my return journey I watch the birds and enjoy being surrounded with water.

Summer is almost over, but I find some samples of coastal flora.

Near the car park I see the herd and immediately spot the brave mama.

Good bye, An Coinigéar. It was good to spend time with you 🙂

Thank you for joining me on this walk.

 Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Now that I finished doing my things, selling…..something. Back to your comment if you remember, I am good but I don´t see you very good, you have a Wolf in your arms!

  2. Just past midday and I did another walk on this beautiful little perl of an island! Thank you Inese for letting us join you on your lovely tours! 😊 Loved the butterfly shots, they truly look like pieces of sky! Xxxxxxx

  3. Amazing how many critters show up when there aren’t that many people around. The Sea Holly is cool, kinda reminds me of thistle’s classier cousin.

    1. Thank you! The Holly is Thistle’s cousin indeed. From another planet 🙂 It is what I think when I see it, but I know it came from South America 🙂

    1. I kept my distance 🙂 These cows are almost wild, they walked far into the bay when the water was coming in. Did they eat some seaweeds, I don’t know, but I was certain they would drown 🙂 Tough mamas.

      1. I dinnae blame you for keeping your distance. Actually a few years back here a friend of my sister had her arm broken by a cow chasing her. They are big beasts and that one looks tough as old boots. The butterflies are absolutely gorgeous x

        1. Thank you! 🙂 Once a ram was chasing me around a well with a clear intention to kill. I wouldn’t even call for help, just run around in despair. Thanks God a farmer saw us and after enjoying the circus for a minute gave the ram a smack across his butt and held him until I run to safety. I feel sorry for your sister’s friend. x

          1. I guess animals can be scary. I am thinking how we once did this mountain and right as we were back at the foot and crossing the field this ram chased us. Actually it was hysterical. We were already just managing to put on foot in front of the other as it was, never mind jump over fences.. Do you know I had forgotten this tlil I saw your comment.

  4. Thanks for this marvelous adventure, Inese. The “brave mama” was a fun way to top it off.
    I loved that equally brave yellow blossom. Much of the country is about to be hit by an epic winter storm, so the sunny yellow flower helped my spirits. Thankfully I’ll be on the outer edge of the storm, not in the worst of it, but still… I really hate snow and winter weather.
    Wishing you a week filled with wonder. Mega hugs.

  5. So beautiful, Inese. I love going for walks and this one looks wonderful. Thanks for the historical notes and the pointers as well. I hope I can go myself at some point.

    1. Thank you! I want to bring a model there in spring. This location is fabulous. May be it is fun that you are afraid of butterflies, but at least we all know they can fly and possibly attack 😀 I am afraid that a slug would jump in my face, which is absolutely impossible 😀 Hope you have a lovely week! ❤

    1. Thank you for stopping by! Mama cow scared me as I thought she would drown crossing the bay 🙂 Later I learned that the herd lives there all the year round, so they know how to navigate.

  6. It is beautiful, Inessa. We also have sea holly growing on our beach and it is one of my favourite plants – it is so stunningly different. Thank you for as ever, producing such fabulous pics:))

  7. Holy cow!!! Wow! Enough said about the pregnant bovine.
    You know, Inese, I’m not a huge fan of insects, but you’ve really taken some beautiful pics of some very pretty insects.
    This is a very special place, and I am thrilled you are exposing me to it. Thank you!
    Also, I will be putting Contessa Fiori on the Art Gowns side bar soon. I like to put the logo of a charity (respected/ world known). I did “Author Updates” on Shey and Carolee on my latest post. Perhaps you would be kind enough to pick a charity? If you get a chance, scroll the side bar and see what charities have already been picked. You can repeat a charity, or add a new one.
    Let me know!!!

  8. Thanks Inese,
    Another beautiful and interesting post – what a special place, and thanks for allowing us along – a great treat after hearing on the radio this morning a programme about how the hugely expanded dairy industry in S. Ireland over the last 10 years has had big impacts on biodiversity ( as in (Carmarthenshire) in all its forms – no sign of that here!! Astonishing seeing 7 herons close together,
    best wishes

  9. Sea Holly! I like it very much. Has both a wild beauty and a complex geometry. The nature feels old… the old tree being embraced for what seems an even older tree. Thank you, Inese, it is quite beautiful and it looks so much like the shores of lake Titicaca. Greetings from the hot summer ^_^

    1. Seriously? It has always been my dream to visit Titicaca! So now I know what Titicaca looks like. Beautiful 🙂
      Sea Holly traveled to Europe from South America. I love the plant, and as you say, its geometry is stunning.

      1. Our ancestors domesticated it like at least seven thousand of years ago. So when you see a potato you see something from Peru; I will look for Sea Holly to see something from yours : )))

  10. Your post is a perfect foil to the video of Coingéar, descending to tiny fauna, unhurried and content with existence. The portrait of the black cow with butter yellow earrings is interesting.

    1. Thank you Uma! 🙂 It is why I was so happy to find the video. From the bird view to the tiny creeping thing on the ground 🙂
      The cow and her pals were walking across the bay when the tide started to come in. I was in panic. I though they would all drown, but I guess it is their routine 🙂

  11. No, thank you for taking us for a walk through your memorable posts. The scenery is always minded crunching and the derelict wall whispered to me like a calling of the ancients. The sea holly you gave us a spectacular picture of the flower alone and then the different insects and butterflies given as a feast to the eyes. The other birds were interesting as we don’t have these species where I live and it is always a pleasure to see nouveau. Yes, we should preserve our ecosystems. As a good by the cow does seem pregnant and was adorable. Be well my friend. Hope you are doing well.

    1. Thank you so much, Joseph! I am doing well. Glad you enjoyed the walk across the bay. Are you having snow this winter? Hope your new place is warm and cozy.

    2. Joseph, check your spam folder, please 🙂 I think there is a whole bunch of my comments 🙂 I just discovered that my today’s comment was gone. I wrote again, and the other one disappeared too…

    1. Thank you Mike, you too kind. Some places are like no other. It is absolutely magic walking 3 km into the bay on a narrow strip of land, unspoiled, ancient.

        1. Thanks 🙂 The Cunnigar is pure. It is one of a few places where I regret being mortal. I would be happy to reincarnate as a Coastal holly and grow there forever 🙂

  12. “I love the fragile beauty of these little pieces of sky.” What a beautiful, poetic way to describe the butterflies, Inesse. And the Sea Holly is gorgeous. Your walks with your camera always make me feel like I want to go there. For now, your posts make me pay closer attention to the lovely details of nature in my own backyard. <3.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Diana. Every backyard is a universe for so many little critters and plants. Backyard – it is where we are going to spend our days if we live very very long 🙂

  13. This is really a beautiful region of your country – loved the butterfly and bug images especially. That cow looks awfully big though and she was certainly checking you out.

    1. Thank you! 🙂 The cows were all over the bay on low tide. I was terrified that they would be swept away in ocean, but sure it wasn’t their first trip 🙂 The herd lives there permanently.

      1. Ah, I have been to the Ring peninsular, but don’t have many photographs as I was driving and didn’t ha ve too many hours….

        1. Oh so wonderful to hear this! There are some Whale watching spots, but I don’t have a lens that would be long enough. The whales and dolphins have been seen throughout December and January.

  14. I like to daydream that when I retire, I will spend a month here and there absorbing the culture and beauty of a place while I write, walk, and drink beer in pubs. Honestly, that’s my dream retirement. Your pictures were beautiful. Waterford County looks like my kind of place. Thank you!

    1. Cindy, thank you! I am so glad you love County Waterford. I wrote about the mountains you see in background. County Tipperary is behind them. Waterford is more touristy, but Tipperary is still intact 🙂 The Cunnigar is also quiet, which is good. Hope you find these places beautiful when you come over 🙂

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