Today for the first time since weeks, I had the chance to get further from home than the Eddy's shop and the post office. The Sun was out and although JJ and my Coal Tits were trying to keep me up here at base, I simply had to go.
Since somewhere late I had not seen the little Common Teals (small Ducks) and I really wished to meet them again, before they would leave for their nesting grounds.
I have always assumed that the Teals were migratory birds, but my book is telling me that the SW corner of this island has residential Teal. Yet I never see them in summer, or anytime other than late autumn/winter or at other visits to the bay during the winter.
Before I spotted the Ducks in the bay, I was bombarded by the usual cacophony of the many Rooks and Hooded Crows repairing their nests in the large trees along the river at the church of Ireland. Although I tried, I was unable to get any shot of them. Sorry, Crow. (other time again!)
I was tempted to get up to my little "botany backroad", to see if the flock of LTTs or the Goldcrests were about. Mine might have perished, (this I assume because I haven't seen them since the cold spell hit these islands. However, the wind, very much down on previous days/weeks, was still bothering me too much.
After a little Sunny chat with a friend and her 3 dogs, en route to the school, I was glad to see parents still doing the walking school run, deciding to leave the car at home.
OK, many parents live out of the village, and a good few miles via the main road, but those who live just like my friend, between 1km-1 mile, should really let their kids get the experience of the road. It might not sound like much, compared with city traffic, I think we shuold start here. Kids should get used to either go walking, or cycling and it is quite a lot safer than the UK, yet even I would not let my kid, if I had any, out onto the main roads here. The traffic there is ruthless and it can even scare my wheels now and then. :)
As I turned onto the main road at the church of Ireland, about 5 birds were flying low over the water, and although I was unable to recognise their calls, a brief flash of black and white made me think that these were the ones I had been wanting to meet today! One or two landed on the water, close to the road, and I rode a little faster, while still trying to be as quietly as possible. From a distance, I had the feeling that they were far too small for my little Ducks, and my heart sank again. Yet the possible candidates, Black headed Gulls and Redshank, had no b&w markings on their wings nor any parts of their body. As quick as the birds had landed, they flew off again in the direction of the other bank, avross the bay. My sweet little Panasonic had not enough strength to reach that far, so her heart started sinking also.
In the end they congregated around the piece of piece of land sticking out into the bay, where the larger birds, Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Whimbrel, and Cormorants keep watch, and on which the Cormorants have "their tree" (totally empty now)
My camera had been able to shoot nice pictures of birds sitting there, I would have to do a little cropping for these photos,as these Ducks are quite a bit smaller.
My flexible case of my little bins would need another clean, I saw when taking these out, which needs doing quite regularly because the case is 'clipped onto my wheels. This way I am never without them. and also, they might be small, but I have no opportunity to bring them otherwise. I can hang shopping on the back of my wheels, for other people to remove it again, because there is no way I can reach any bag on the back. And if my neck was strong enough to have anything dangling from it, my bins would be in the way of my camera's bag which is on my lap.
In the end I was only able to get one or two shots; the wind increased and rain was getting too close. (which started indeed before I was home)
jj, our juvenile (well, 9 months old) Jackdaw,
House Sparrows in the garden:
Earwig, on my table in the kitchen, on the first tentative step to stardom:
LEAVE YOUNG BIRDS BE!!
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.