The song of the skylark and the roll of the sea – a perfect summer's day
There are some sounds I may never hear again. One is the call of the corncrake which used to keep me awake at night when on holidays in the west of Ireland.
That was of course a long time ago and it saddens me to think of all the wild species that have declined in numbers during the past half century.
Earlier this year I heard a cuckoo calling on my farm in Meath, a rare event in the eastern counties but apparently they are reasonably plentiful further west.
This is perhaps a good indication of how we are becoming more responsible regarding the management of our farmland and sharing it with the wildlife that was here long before our ancestors dramatically altered the landscape.
There is another sound though that never ceases to delight and that is the soft whoosh of waves when the sea is calm and is gently expending its energy on the shore.
We are told that all life first began in the sea and perhaps that explains our fascination with it and the attraction of seaside holidays.
Towards the end of June I revisited some of the beaches of Connemara and while relaxing on Gurteen strand the sun shone warmly and a gentle breeze rippled the water.
Over to my left among the rocky inlets, a fisherman in a small boat was checking his lobster pots and a large black-backed gull floated near the shore, looking for whatever delicacies the tide might bring.