Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Some of my Garden Birds caught on 'Film'

Just a little look at my Great Tit.

Recent photos of my birds in the garden:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

That big step to stardom for a young Jackdaw

Silently he landed, a sudden itch made him jump up. Keeping low, he crept toward the corner of the birdtable where he saw his breakfast; as usual his many plates were filled. He could see seeds, the grey Sunny ones. None of that ‘little stuff’ was there, thank the Sun! The taste was OK, but they were so hard to regurgitate from his crop, and they stuck to his ‘real’ filling breakfast, spoiling the taste of his daily fat requirement. And they were hard to eat anyway, picking one up needed a delicate touch his mother had told him when she first took him here, that ‘big day’ when he was a baby still. And when they still used that silly name. She still uses it now and then. She even had the nerve to tell me. Yes, me, the subject in this case!-that it had to do with familiarity or something like that in the sound or tones. Don’t know what She was trying to say really.
As long as She feeds me it is alright and I think I do please her. If only she could get rid of those little parasites on my table! Those brownies are not too bad; they might come en masse and eat a lot, they do take up their wings and leave as soon as I lower myself over my table and will make room for me or for my-and extended-family.
However it is those other little ones. First there are those thichers. Their call is this irritant ‘thichering’ the only description I know. These are cowards too. They put that yellow breast out as far as they can whilst ‘thichering, but as soon as they spot a little bit of shadow, off he is.
No, the real parasites are those other little Black-caps. They have the guts to stay and/or return while I am feeding! Honest! They show no respect for anyone it seems. Even Rooks can not dine alone! I ask you, is that normal?

At least here I am feeding in a more relaxed manner. Enjoy the pictures.

We’ve hinted in a previous post somewhere (wildlife?) that Junior had changed his name because of his stardom and his debut.
He kept insisting on the big screen, he yet has to understand (as do I!) the reality of streamlined videos.
We had a lovely video which at 40.8MB was too big to upload according to Francis and only this afternoon did I read up about VAG and QVAG to understand that by choosing VAG 30frames per second, I had immediately gone for the best of the best. So instead, we filmed the boy again this morning.
Photobucket had no problem in posting movies bigger than 20MB, yet another attempt has to wait till tomorrow when rain is forecasted.

I will get the hang of it eventually, don’t worry.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A few Crows and Gardenbirds

I found this Hooded Crow on my daily early morning ride to the bay, checking out the Little Egrets. There were none, but I was handed this beautiful Hooded Crow, looking as if he had just hopped out of the washing machine. He must have finished his moult very recently, and I hope I will get a chance to see him a few more times before he start looking like those in Bantry.

With the Little Egrets I had always seen one of the Grey Herons

I seem to have a 'thing' for Sea Gulls too. I don't know what it is, or why I would even like them. After all they are rowdy and very noisy birds. And aggressive too. A bit like those Hooded Crows, Jackdaws, and Rooks, perhaps? Here's a few Blackheaded Gulls, a bit restless.

And another social species, like the Crows and Gulls; here are the House Sparrows at home, having breakfast. Juvenile has to wait for dad though, before Juvenile can come down from the Fennel.

The Hawthorn behind us, and home to our House Sparrow colony, is another food source, well worth fighting for.

Fighting.. me? You must be joking! I'm a pacifist. Love and Peace to the Passer Domesticus!

A few more pictures of our star, J.J.,

Female Chaffinch in my garden

Juvenile Blackheaded Gull, Hooded Crows and an Oystercatcher in Bantry's harbour

Coal Tit feeding on Insects in the Fennel's seedhead, making many people believe these Tits actually eat the Fennel seeds. We now have four Coal Tits, finally back to our original total, years ago. I don't think they were successful in breeding this year. Which is a real pity.

Blue Tit and female House Sparrow

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Settling into Autumn's rhythm

JJ is becoming more beautiful by the day. I’ve tried to get pictures of his gorgeous moulting breast, dappled grey, brown and loose downy feathers. And although he did pose for another series, he was only allowing me photos of his breast whenever the Sun’s reflections where catching the lens.
The other birds are settling into their autumn routine again, the Coal Tits are flying to and fro every few seconds almost, and apart from fattening up now, filling their larder too. I’ve always wondered where it hides the food.
The Blue Tit has been feeding regularly too. Only thing is where is its mate? The Sparrows are doing fine it seems, the scare of last week seems to have abated again and we are just continuing the daily routine of sterilizing the food trays each mornings. I have not spotted the bird with the scabs on its face since last Thursday and I am still on the lookout, just to see if it had made progress or if any other birds have been infected. Sofar I have not spotted any other infected birds. Of course this does not mean anything yet.
Neither have I heard anything from BirdwatchIreland, whom I had sent photos of the infected Sparrow.

I had promised a few more pictures of JJ for his fans, and another Jackdaw has been added too.

Some pictures of today and yesterday
Chaffinch, male

Blue Tit
House Sparrows

J.J. at his best:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Update on my House Sparrow's Health (1)

Two perky House Sparrows, today in the garden:

Before sending my photo to Niall Hatch at BirdwatchIreland I posted my problem at folks at BGB orBritish Garden Birdsand see what my friends there would come up with.
Thing was, I had read about these scabs recently, when googling for a thread which I was reacting to. I even had told the poster of the thread to keep an eye on the Sparrows feeding on her patio because it was not only Chaffinches which were targeted by these scabs. Ironic, isn't it?
Anyway, my friends there relayed me to the BTO website on Avian Pox, which is what I had also googled for. The BTO's descriptions fit my poor Sparrow too.

The House Sparrow numbers had gone down to 14-16 recently, but as soon as I was writing my post on BGB telling of my measurements to hopefully keep feeding numbers (at any one time) down, 30+ birds descended onto the planter and my feeding trays.

Of course they had their own problems;feeding in these fresh and troublesome winds, posed huge problems for these small creatures, relying on flight. The Rooks too were having great trouble, not only staying 'afloat' but also in keeping direction. My biggest surprise was to see the Swallows up and about as if this was just any ordinary day. I cannot imagine though how hard it must have been to find food in the skies.
So perhaps this is one of those days in which Swallows in olden times resorted to Hawthorn berries to supplement their diet in order to gain that extra weight before heading off to South Africa?

Anyway, the best I can do to deal with this Avian pox, is for me to keep up the rigorous cleaning and sterilizing of the food trays each morning, as I have been doing for two weeks now. (I had not discovered the scabs around the eyes yet in that particular Sparrow, yet I had spotted one which rang this little alarm in the back of my mind. One which just needed careful observing, Just In Case something was wrong. I guess any birder who has had to deal with Trichomoniasis in his or her garden knows what I mean by this.

And although it was busy again, Sparrow style, I am still unable to tell if the little scab sparrow was among them. One 'wary' looking Sparrow was among them, most certainly, yet when I pointed the camera and the binoculars in its direction, I was looking straight into the Sun!
So hopefully I can spot it again tomorrow.
And here are some of yesterday's images as they flocked around their breakfast and later lunch and Tea. Clearly my efforts to diminish the Flock-Feeding were not met with approval, apparently:

And some of today's images,A Rook's arrival; just keep on feeding!And a Great Tit feeding on the Insects in the hollow Fennel stalks