Every new year we have a sort of family tradition to go to the beach. Ross Beach on the north-west coast of County Mayo is one of our favourites. It was a bit dull and damp. Wind and rain were forecast for later in the day and as you can see from the photograph below, the sea was already displaying some impressive waves.
I took some photographs of some of the sea birdlife as I continue with my 12 days of Christmas wild things. The oystercatchers seemed undisturbed by the wave crashing behind them.
There were also some delicate sanderling. You wonder how such small, beautiful birds can withstand the Atlantic storms, but these are obviously tough little things. They are winter visitors to Ireland and most are of Siberian origin.
And finally some Brent geese (light or pale-bellied). I love seeing these winter visitors from high-Arctic Canada. They were drinking some fresh water that was coming over the sand from a small stream.
A lovely, exhilarating day.