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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wagging Wings

When the cold snap moved into these islands and the west of the European continent, a pair of Blackbirds settled here also. More of the Tits arrived too, and I was delighted to see my little Coal Tits again, which had been away from my garden for a bit.
Feeding in the planter has become more challinging for most of the birds. Despite a female Blackbird generally bigger in size than the male, this one is very small for a female.
it is himself who calls the shots here most of the time and at that moment the female is downgraded to the level of Chaffinches, Dunnocks, and Robins. I cannot remember when we had this severe frost in December. Here in the SW of Ireland cold weather would usually be restricted to the first two months of the year. So not only for us, but for the wildlife also, this cold weather feels very odd. And although I do not mind the frosty weather as such, it does restrict me in my movements and independence related as such.

Apart from the bossy Blackbirds, the other ones which make themselves heard and seen, are the Wagtail whichwas also forced to feed here in the garden, and its loud shrill call can be irritant to say the least.

Blackbird, (female), Turdus merula.

Introductions start fine and without violence;

But soon tempers flared, and the Wagtail was trying to look bigger than it felt.
(Note the tail which has gone limp suddenly, and compare to the picture above. Fear?)

Blackbird, {male), Turdus merula.

The Dunnock too is being bossed about, and it approaches carefully therefore. I counted 3 of these delightful little birds the other day.

Dunnock, Prunella modularis

Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

Another bossy specie:
Chaffinch, (female) Frinilla coelebs


Bue Tit, (female), Parus caeruleus

And then the rains and Galeforce winds returned and feathers start flying about again, as this Pied Wagtail shows here:

The only birds not to be phased by the arrival of the Blackbirds are the Corvids. Both Rook and J|ackdaws do not hesitate to show the newcomers the door.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Christmas & a Very Good 2010

I wish all my readers a very good 2010, and that it will be one, in which wildlife and the environment will be considered seriously by our governments. (for once!)

Both of my Blogs, Birding on Wheels and Wildlife on Wheels were featured in the Autumn issue of Spokeout, the magazine of the Irish Wheelchair Association. . Some very nice reactions came in, but not much on accessible areas I am looking for. Next year I will again send emails to the Branches of Birdwatch Ireland for help in locating these.
It is not that I want to push myself to the forefront; far from it. however I do want to show that people with limited mobility can go out there to watch the Birds, take in the beautiful colours of our native Wild Flowers, or hold your breath on spotting a marine mammal. in the water.

Locally, in and around Bantry town, there are a few more places my wheels might be able to get to, but I will leave these till I have had a chance to go there in 2010.

And apart from these plans for Birding on Wheels, the Birds in the garden as well as those which captured elsewhere, will still feature on the blog as usual.

I myself have been out of sorts for some time; probably a sort of belated effect on Elly's passing at Easter this year. I'm starting to crawl out of it again and trying to get grip of my life again.
Wildlife on Wheels has been quiet this year.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Herring, and Blackheaded Gulls

These pictures are from last month, when I spend a few hours observing these immature Herring Gulls, Larus argentatus. It was nice and dry during this time, although the wind did bother me a little.

The harbour master kept a check on business and yet it was not bothered by my approach. It stayed where it was while the other two kept going to and fro-a game of flying off and landing again-

Sometimes they were on terra firma just long enough for the shutter to close, like here when they thought giving the master a few extra eyes might win them a few points.

A little further, near the old pier, I took some time to watch a number of Blackheaded Gulls, Larus ridibundus, a much smaller specie than the Herring Gull.

This Blackeaded Gull, Larus ridibundus, was the proud owner of its own island. peace didn't last long though; with the wind speed and water levels rising, real estate like this became sought after by more of its specie.

Not easy to keep hold of what you got!
A young Herring Gull, Larus argentatus,

The wind was picking up fast and the new tide was coming in also; This Blackheaded Gull stood on top of a bit of rock,, and looked very vulnerable.

Blackheaded Gull, Larus ridibundus.
the water kept swirling around its feet, and I caught this one in a moment of shame perhaps, that it was too scared to look at all this water getting higher and higher.
Eventually, the Gull did look down and the "shock" of all the water has it loose its balance. Lol.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Garden birds in pictures and a smoking Rook?

We've had quite a lot of rain (yes, again!) and this meant that a lot of the bird seed germinated in record time in the planter. Luckily I've a few eager gardeners; always ready to dig deep to get out the seed.
Female Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs

not that she doesn't find to grab a quick bite from the seed above ground.

Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus

Great Tit, Parus major

At the beginning of this week, north western winds brought the temperature down to about -4 in very early morning, bringing two Thurshes into the garden, looking for food, a male Blackbird which I normally see out on the bits of grass on the council estate. And a Song Thrush which appears at different times of year, to see what's cooking.
I guess that with the frost, their usual breakfast was temporarily out out reach, it wasn't long before they could start foraging on the ground again.

Song Thrush, Turdus philomelus

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

male House Sparrow, Passer domesticus

I had spread soaked bread and out mainly for the Corvids. and this Wagtail, which feeds up after the kids have gone back inside again (together with the Rooks, Jackdaws and Hooded Crows) had spotted this apparently; quickly descending on our side of the fence. It will soon relocate to the planter, although I was surprised that it did not follow the other ones( Tits, Sparrows, Dunnock, and others) which were feeding at the time. Last year it was fighting them all off to get its share. Won't be long now, I guess.
Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba

(Adult) Rook, Corvus frigulega

(Juvenile) Rook. C. frigulega

(Juvenile) Rook.
Rooks use smoke to rid themselves of parasites in their plumage. They will stand above a smoking chimney. It has also been observed that a Rook will pick up a smoking cigarette butt in its beak, and wave this underneath its wings. This picture of my juvenile reminded me of that, although it was not a cigarette it had found in my planter.

Dunnock, Prunella modularis

A female Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs, showing off her beautiful green back, usually hidden underneath her wings.

And two more Blue and Great Titmouse.

The Blue Tit which was in competition with my Wren for a spot of wood, then moved on to sit on a dead branch and moving upwards, started feeding on the many Insects underneath the rim of our garbage bin.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Yellow browed Chaffinch

Chaffinches, are among those birds which, in autumn, migrate to the Ireland and the UK where they join resident Chaffinches. The males and females travel in different groups, and this is also where the bird got its scientific name; (Fringilla) coelebs, meaning bachelor.
Around the country we see the numbers of Chaffinches, Starlings, increase. And I became suddenly aware of this little lady with very bright yellow eyebrows.

(esp. Female) Chaffinches are my favourite bird in the garden; they can be so expressive and so sweet.
To others she might be just another LBJ, but to me she is a real character and special little bird.

Robin, Erithacus rubecula:
(resident Robins are also joined by migrants from NW Europe, as are our Blackbirds, among others)

Great Tit, Parus major

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

This visitor is one of those nervously flitting caller, who usually spends its time underneath the wooden structures and it is not often that I see it. This time it was in competition with my Blue Tit, which is still at its habit of taking bits of wood out of the shelf and my planter. It was not only difficult to get a picture because it was so quick, but the window was soaking wet also! Aw well, next time better. Sorry for the poor quality.

My Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes,