There is a Nature Reserve just a few miles to the east of the Marina and with a couple of our neighbours, we went for a walk to have a look. We set off along the east beach past Marina di Ragusa town. The beach is nice and sandy for nearly 2 miles, then it gets quite rocky, we continued on over the rocks. The tide was high so we had to try to dodge the waves in places to prevent from getting wet feet.
We walked along sand dunes, and past the nudist beach (thankfully, being mid winter there was nobody around). Then we took the coastal path which was a bit precarious in places!
Eventually we reached the Nature Reserve of the Irminio River. It is a natural reserve established in 1985, and is a protected area which extends along the coastline for about 2 km with an area of 134 hectares.
The Irminio river is 5o km long, its source is on the slopes of Monte Lauro, (an inactive volcano) part of the Hyblaean mountain range, and ends at the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient times it was used as the fastest way to travel to the coastal regions and it has always been used for trade.
The Irminio River Natural Reserve is known for its abundance of typical Mediterranean flora and fauna. We walked among reeds and trees, along the river, eventually arriving at the river mouth where it flowed into the sea. The area here was very quiet and tranquil (full of driftwood) you could see birds and ducks all around
It is apparently a haven for migrating birds at the appropriate times of year. One of the other guys that came on the walk was a keen photographer and bird watcher so he was able to point out some of the wildlife, he had an enormous camera with a lens about a foot long, unfortunately my compact instant camera was not able to capture such detail.
Don’t see many of these around, they must be a protected species indigenous to the area!
After having a good look around, we headed back to the Marina where we stopped at one of the bars for a relaxing glass of wine (or 2) to end the day.