The first thing Dermot and I noticed was the early evening drifting of seabirds, as the winter sun set over Ringaskiddy behind us. They looked like black-headed gulls but we couldn’t see, from the distance. What was most striking was the silence, as they flew in Vs of eight or ten or twelve. Seaward, over the narrow channel of water at East Ferry. They flew effortlessly, in precise lines, rotating to take the point of the V. Purposefully; a low white script against the background browns and blacks of the water and the far shore.