With the long dark nights closing in as we approach the winter solstice, this may not be the time of year when you would think of exploring the natural landscape or heading out to observe wildlife.
Yet, this is an ideal time to see many migrant birds who have come south from colder areas to over-winter here in Ireland. Donegal boasts many excellent habitats with a rich selection of winter wildfowl and vibrant bird life.
Those with an interest in learning about these winter visitors will have an excellent opportunity to gain a greater insight into one of these locations.
On Tuesday, December 18 there will be a guided walk around Ballyness Bay, which is a tidal estuary lying between Falcarragh, Gortahork and Magheraroarty.
Protected on its seaward side by coastal sand dunes, this relatively sheltered bay and its surroundings provide an excellent habitat for a wide variety of resident bird species as well as many seasonal visitors.
Particularly good as a wintering ground for waders and waterfowl, its shores have been designated as a Special Area of Conservation.
The tour will begin at 10am at The Glasshouses (LAN Ctr.) in Killult, who have organised this guided walk. It will be led by a local ecologist who has worked on various research and conservation programmes throughout the county.
The tour should take about three hours exploring some of the stunning locations around this lovely tidal landscape. It is hoped there will be an opportunity to see some of the wildfowls who fly in from Northern regions to spend the winter in our milder climate, though in nature nothing is guaranteed.
Those thinking of coming along can phone (074) 918 0994 or (086) 822 0404 to reserve a place. As with any coastal walk in winter you will need to wear warm clothes and sturdy, waterproof footwear.
To get a closer look at the wonders of nature a pair of binoculars or a portable telescope are worth bringing along if you have them.