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, October 27, 2008

Disabled Birding Ireland?

Birding along a busy road is not ideal, yet it could be the best option.

I am currently collecting some more info on access to reserves here in West Cork and also further afield.

Perhaps I can try and use this blog to see if we can perhaps start a site and organisation similar to the Disabled Birders Association depending on the information I can assemble.And I also hope that Darlene at Comfortablebirding for All and I can work together in the collecting of data.

Living in such a beautiful area of this island, it is a real pity that I cannot fully enjoy those places where habitat and wildlife go hand in hand as it is supposed to in the Parks and Nature Reserves and where birdwatching is often rewarded with species you perhaps won't see along the road or in our gardens.

It is ridiculous I think that I am already looking forward to moving away from this beautiful area and returning to the Netherlands, the country I was born and grew up until we, my husband and I, moved to Ireland to escape the hectic life in the small country which is Holland.
It is the size of Munster, which is only about a quarter of the Republic of Ireland (more or less) yet it has almost 16 million people leaving not much room for wildlife, you would think? Actually this is not true. For one it has many places where yuo can still observe wildlife and birds. Besides, Holland has a great history in catering for people with disabilities. I got mine already when I was 9 years old. And I got my first bird feeder at 10 or 11 years old, when I got a little window feeder. Immediately behind our house was a very large forest, so birds aplenty.

Here in West Cork I'm having great areas with lovely habitat around me too. Yet I keep having problems in getting into or onto these.
It can be very awkward keeping to the side on a main road, when your Local patch has surfaces like these.

It had worsened again after all the rain and the council started patching up the roads again and I should be delighted but the problem is that,

these patches or Cow dung as we tend to call them, will have washed away after the next rains. And until then? They are the source of even more pain in my back as I have to go over them on my way to the bay.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

At long last, a Sparrow Movie after all

I have tried uploading this Sparrow movie several times already, over the course of its existence.
Having failed to do so, I thought it was better if I used Photobucket for this, which already holds a few of my creations and so I think it was about time to add my beloved Sparrows also.

During the summer months I hoped to make a better Sparrow movie than the one linked to this post, but other things took up my time, like the birds in the bay and things like those wonderful Wild Flowers, which I met all along the roads.

A message to Carin and Old Crow: I am sorry, we cannot divulge the secret of the Sparrow pods, hanging in the Fennel, or film these. We like to keep it to ourselves, however you do get the chance to observe the messy feeding habits of the hatched 'products'

Anyway, now that the colony has shrunk again and we are down to numbers between 15 and 7, it is perhaps a good time to remembers those 'other silly Sparrows which kept feeding on the peanut cake, seeds and other bird food spread out on the table.

So Here Are the Sparrows

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Every spring we are confronted by an increased number of planes flying over en route to the US most likely and back.

Recently we've been having a lot of air traffic, other than that of Wild Birds in the airspace above us. I will not go into the whole pollution thing, apart from the statement that my preferred way of transferring between Continental Europe and the UK in the days I was still travelling a lot on the UK mainland. We tried it from our little SW corner of Eire too, in 1986, but having to go home from The Hague or Rotterdam-Harwich, Swansea-Rosslare-Waterford, Cork, by rail in UK and by bus in Eire took days on end. And the surprise waiting for us at home?

Sassie, one of our cats kept scratching the bedroom door for hours during the night and we also kept hearing this meowing, and yes, her litter was in the old sideboard in the bedroom.
Point is, rail doesn't go any further than Cork, although not from Rosslare,, which has no station and the next hiccup is then that the last bus to Bantry is leaving at 6pm from Cork. Still, we then still do get transport home. Public Transport is also one of the big reasons to return to the Netherlands which has excellent rail links. With my wheels it would be even more energy sapping to travel by anything other than air. I rather stay home though, if I'm honest. I'm done with travelling for holidays for the time being. Not that I would not love to go to other places.

Many countries or cities on my wish-list would not be the same when visiting in wheels. Like Prague, the city of 100 spires. I love getting to the tiny corners, the old buildings, churches, without having to enter via the new addition where shiny ramps are giving access to most of the inner sanctum; yet much of the building will keep itself hidden from me. And hidden too much from me to enjoy it. I know, because I have visited many in the past.

Mind you, I have been sensing all along that Holland will not be my final destination, that it will not be tha last country I'll be living in. No idea which country will be that place, or when even.
It will be awhile yet before we move from here anyway, so, who knows what will happen?

Fennel seed-head in the garden,

Last week's 'Silver Birds in the sky'

Adding a touch of colour to the Sunset already in progress, and which had caught my eye in the first place.

Smoke. in the air

Every spring we are confronted by an increased number of planes flying over en route to the US most likely and back.

Recently we've been having a lot of air-traffic

Fennel seed-head in the garden,

Last week's 'Silver Birds in the sky'

Adding a touch of colour to the Sunset already in progress, and which had caught my eye in the first place.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Red Legs, Wings and wishful thinking

I had planned to get out on Tuesday, according to Sky News’ weather forecasters. As we all know, this is one of the most difficult jobs on earth, unless you are one of the US weather girls. They make a real showbiz out of their job.

Tuesday came and went, it was dry mostly, but it was those few showers which would get in my way and keep the Lumix locked in her bag. Thursday sounded good, yet it was too far off for me and my trembling wheels, which needed strong ties to keep her indoors. So on Wednesday, Francis left for town and the shopping. A few hours later and I was off too. I needed to be quick though; being on the road around three o’clock till four is a very busy time with school pick-ups and when many do their local shopping also. High tide was way off, coming in around five or six, but I didn’t mind, it was the fresh air one needs and any Birds would be a bonus.
Last autumn the bay was honoured with five Common Teal Ducks, and somehow I am hoping that they, or any other of their species have returned to this part of the world. Have they? Will they? (And then, when you browse the books again, you suddenly notice that they are Resident Birds! Silly me-thinking-no, -being convinced- that they were migrants- Then why have I only seen them in February? Mallards I have seen this summer, but no Teal, which are so cute. Anyway, here they are: Four of the five I saw that day.
Common Teal, (Anas crecca)

(sorry for the quality of this photo, I only had the camera for 2 months, and was still getting to grip with bird photography. )
I will keep looking for them or any other wintering species. And what has happened to the flock of Long Tail Tits? Are these still around up there? I have not seen them since. Have they bred here? Successfully? So many questions, where can they be..

I am happy that we still have (late) Bees around, along the road and in the garden.
Last year's Redwing, which I spotted near Riverside Cottage, our previous home in February, is also on my wish-list for Soon-to-be-seen-Birds. Or it's cousin, the Fieldfare perhaps?
(those observant readers among you, might even note that there is no talk of maybe or perhaps in that line either. I just really expect these ones to return for a better portrait. If not them, than perhaps some other migrants coming this way?
Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

After turning around from the pier, all I saw was mud, beautiful blue-grey mud, full with life underneath, yet boring above... or is it? Wait, I can see something glitter amongst the blue bottom of this bay. It walks slowly, bill down into the grey mud, coming up with its lunch. The Red legs are standing out like traffic lights. It is amazing how obvious these are. And then all of a sudden it takes off-no not into the air, yuo silly!-it starts running, something they are amazingly good at. Before, last winter/spring, when I tried good photos of them, they would race away from me. This time, they did not spot my camera (and bag on my lap) until I had a few images already on the card.
Redshanks have always populated this bay, and the most I've ever spotted were three,and not only that, I've hardly ever seen them apart. Here's two of them,
Common Redshank, (Tringa totanus)

Blackheaded Gull,(Larus ridibundus)

Many Hooded Crows were flying about or foraging the mud, lying bare for another few hours till the new tide comes in, here's a few pictures, of the two which agreed to posing.

I'm a lover of the Living Walls with the Lichen and Mosses growing over and on it. For weeks I have been smiling at the many Wild Daisies which grow along the road, their roots going down deep and I often wonder if they are realy adapted to survive on salt water. Do they? So many of the Daisies actually grow in-between the stones of the coastal wall along the bay, and grow inside the bay, so to speak. These are some of the few which are growing on dry land.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A different kind of game

one of my Rooks was inviting me to a game today. At first his face came through the Fennel (shutter too late-as you can see) and soon we came to get involved into a game of hide and seek, Corvid style-which holds in more or less-We(the Corvids) eat as much as we can while you try to capture our face while it is bobbing up and down whilst feeding. And of course, a Jackdaw had to interfere too.
I was trying to upload yesterday's bay photos, but never had a chance! So those will come tomorrow.
And as usual with new games, it is the other who makes up the rules, not me. besides I was never told about them. It was the way the Rook was looking at me, which challenged me. Well, judge for yourself. Here's just a few images of today's session
he had the top spot in the planter and somehow I think he knew that behind the wall separating us, I was stirring grinded peanuts and a lot of other goodies into the suet for their peanutcake.