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, January 21, 2009

some of my last photos, compiled

The storm might have passed us, but after more hail, sleet, the temperatures were low enough to keep the flakes frozen in the planter and on any other horizontal surface. This is unusual in our warm corner of the island.

Anyway, as soon as the temperatures rose slightly, rain came our way once again.

My lens managed to peek in between the - still- wet window now and then to capture my little visitors, and I've already got quite a collection of Goldcrest pics. Even got one, out of focus Goldcrest in the Fennel. At least I got it in time, which is a start.

So I've included a few into this slide show, which is just for fun.

Or at least I thought it would be fun, but my, it made me sigh on a very regular basis, as it was not as easy as it made out to be.
Then again, might be better next time? Yeah right! As if.

Not that this one is perfect, far from it. some photos might be a bit off kilter also.

It's at the bottom of the blog.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The storm has past

A storm was and forecasted for Saturday for this island of Ireland, and that of the UK, with our West coast and the west coast of Scotland mostly exposed and therefore facing the and receiving the brunt of it before the West country and Wales would be getting the tail on the next (Sun) day.

With the gales raging around our house at 100miles an hour and with hail popping down most of the time, I was concerned for the little visitors of the garden and had scattered little pieces of bacon rind around the planter which were greatly received by birds like the Pied Wagtails, Chaffinches and House Sparrows.

I am always amazed how small birds will still come and fly in and come here to find their food. OK, it is logic also, because they do need their calories in order to fight the cold spread by the strong winds and when you need to eat something like 6x your own bodyweight, just so you can get through the night. (I am not sure these are the right figures, it could well be more times bodyweight)

Still, a lot of people do record less birds in extreme conditions like these, but not here. OK, not all of the Great Tits might come for dinner, yet I was thrilled to see the two little Goldcrests land in the planter, for a good feed on peanut cake and anything else they could find on their nose-down ramble around the planter and peanuts. I had feared they would not make it against these strong violent gales of force 11, tiny as they are. However, I was wrong and 2 of those little birds did manage their way into the garden.

I am still trying to attempt a Goldcrest photo when sitting on a Fennel stalk. It is very hard to do one of these. They will fly into the planter, or rather they show up in there quite sudden, flit around, feeding when they can, take a bite of peanut cake into their beak, then up into the Fennel before getting bak down again where the feeding will proceed in the same manner.
(This is whenever there are no other takers at the peanut cake.) Finding the tiny mass of feather and fluff on the Fennel stalks is the hard bit. And I haven't even been able to focus yet! So before I can post one of those shots, I have managed these shots

And for those who have followed the progressof our young Jackdaw, here are a few more of today's shots of the lovely boy or girl.

And another little fighter which battled its way through the storm. A brave little Blue Tit. I think I took the photo when we had a bit of an invasion of Rooks and Jackdaws this afternoon. It looks a little bit scared, doesn't it?

Here is one of the Rook culprits, looking for a portrait I believe:
And a picture of a female Xhaffinch and a Pied Wagtail are included here too.

Although we had decided that it would be best for me to stay indoors, rather than go to the shop, when it cleared up a little in the afternoon, I timed it well and was able to get down and up in one piece. As soon as I came off the estate and onto our little back road, I ws swept up almost and was pushed forward with the wind in my back. Now we, reasonable people, all know that any wheels like mine, have their own speed limits and will eiter go not faster than 6,8 miles per hour. (all depending on the state of your batteries in reality)

Yet, I was convinced that I was going a lot faster than whatever is the fastest my wheels can go. One day, when we know a storm is brewing, I want to try this out with all the apparatus needed.

It was therefore very funny that Francis asked why I took so long? At which my answer was (of course) that it was hard craft battling against the storm on my return.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Focussing on spring

I was pleased to see my usual male House Sparrows accompanied by a few females. And although the official harshest winter weather is still to come, my Robins have taken to liking and accepting each other again, and come feeding together, even if they feed with some distance between them. It is just good to see them like this again.
It gives me this special spring feeling, when I start to realise that nature is preparing itself to procreate. It is all a lot harder for these wild creatures to get their instinct Be it plants, birds or any other wild creature, these first months of the year can be as exciting very exciting, for us birders and all other nature lovers.

After a few hours at Rehabcare today, where I was treated with a bowl of hotpot, the girls took me downtown for a bit of shopping and for a brief period it looked as if the wild weather might shift to leave us dry, but when we came out of the bank it had started to rain again.
I did manage to pick up a new mouse for my laptop also, on my way to Organico, one of the town's two health food shops.
Once I had been dropped off at home again, and been down to the local village shop for the luxury items like wine and cigarettes for my other half, I was delighted to see a Goldcrest feeding, even though it was as good as dark. Spotting one of these little birds stil get me excited, they are so tiny! I'm still trying to discover the size difference between Coal Tits, Wrens and birds like the Goldcrest or Firecrest.

Another look at the planter got me these images.

House Sparrow, female


Coal Tit

Chaffinch, female



Chaffinch, male

Blue Tit

Monday, January 12, 2009

Little and Big Birds.

although I reported that I was worried about my Goldcrest, the other day, and that I was afraid for its safety, I saw not one but two a few days ago.
I was just surprised how, after having found a regular supply of food,it had stayed away over these cold days, because it has such a tiny body and so needs all the energy and fats it can find. I do realise that because of this they are very much prone to danger too and that I should not be surprised when one of the two turns up missing. Won't be easy to accept, but nevertheless.

Anyway, with increasing temperatures it might get easier for all my residents, whatever the specie.

My male Blackbird, suddenly I have three Blackbirds again, after not seeing one since March.

One of my dear Coal Tits, Great Tits and Blue Tits.;


This is a female Bullfinch which I spotted the other day, when she was stuck on the garden wall, like many birds when they are feeding on grit, to help their stomach digest the food, I believe. (would it not make more sense for us to smash up small stones and dish this up for them on the bird table?)
It was pouring outside, hence the poor picture cause taking one was greatly hindered by the rained on windows. Other birds take up this position to search for insects, like the Wren and Great Tit might do sometimes. It is a first for me to see a heavy bird like a Bullfinch on the wall like this. Then again, Finches need their minerals too, I guess?

Male Chaffinch; One of which, is coming into its breeding plumage, but it was too quick for my camera; guess it spotted one of the ladies nearby. Yet again, this one did want the spotlight, it seems.

Another photo of J.J.

plus another silhouette, this time of the male blackbird. i love the line of this bird.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Synchronised Swans

A brief look out at the end of Dunmanus Bay, out yonder..

To cheer myself up, I got out of the house the other day, being fed up with my cold and the roll of kitchen tissue next to my laptop. My timing was good, knowing that the wind is increasing again by this weekend. So is the temperature and the rains.
First stop was these:


Inside the wall I spotted this one:

Something edible and very tempting had come in with the tide or had been left behind by a passer by and 4 or 5 Hooded Crows were feasting on this, beside the coastal road. Others took an interest and soon others moved in for their share.
Hooded Crow:


Mute Swans

I spotted these plants for the first time. The non variegated ones are a lot larger, about double the size of the smaller, variegated ones. I' assuming the small one is a specie of Fern, and because of its similarity with the Fern, I do think that the other one is a Fern also.

Hooded Crow, watching the going on's below.

Two flocks of Rooks/Jackdaws/Hooded Crows? was flying above me and flying above the trees lining the bay. I will have to get my lights mended to return a little later to see them come in for their roost. I think some already were coming in for this. As it is winter, they arrive earlier of course.

On my way back, I spotted two birds fly onto the phone/ cable spanning the road there where you enter the village again when coming from the COI. Their light colour
ing, hard to see exactly what kind of colouring-or whatever kind of bird. My heartbeat did increase though: would my patience pay off? Was the game up for my playing partner(s?) in the end? Smiling to myself, the winner, I urged my wheels around the bend. All I needed was a single photo! More were welcome, but only needed the one.

And so were there two, or was there just a single Dove which had kept irritating me?
Well, I did spot the second one, but a photo was too much too ask, apparently, as it was as camera shy as always.
(For years I have heard Collared Doves around the house, and only once have I seen them-sitting atop the street light which faces into the garden in the front of our garden. I was too late to get the camera, because all I wanted was a picture.
Before that moment, I had only once seen a Pigeon in Bantry/Durrus in the last 25 years. And now the two Doves.

Back home in the garden,

In the village, I met up with a -Dutch- friend and it took awhile before we had finished exchanging the important this' and thats of life. We had no idea that the other one is into photography. With the moon waiting for me, on top of our hill above a nearby house, it was time I got home.

I only see Blackbirds now and then. This young male-I think- shot up into the air vertically today when he spotted another one which had popped into the garden suddenly, which neither of us had noticed. His young and still brown wings got very eager and he used them very well in showing off to the other one. The departure of the other showed that this young male got his message across that this patch is taken.
Male Blackbird

Jackdaw, on a roof halfway our hill. It could have been JJ, then again, we've got a lot of Jackdaws around, so one will never know.

Mute Swan, wondering who is the most beautiful among the Swans.