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.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hooded Crows, the Irish Grey Crow.

On the road, the council estate and in my garden, the Swallows are often flying so low that, one day, one will get stuck in my hair with its feet!

Barn Swallow, Hirundo ristica.

Magpie, Pica pica

Jackdaws have been breeding in the school's chimneys since quite some time now. JJ was born in the 2nd chimney. When I was watching a Jackdaw on the 1st chimney yesterday, from the open door, there was a loud calling of young and hungry nestlings in there. Wonder how many little JJ's are in there, and in the other chimney, were another pair has their nest. I am uncertain about the third chimney. This is on the roof of a later addition, built last summer. I've seen birds there, but were they roosting or nesting? We'll find out soon. I d not see the adults in the garden, that often. It is mainly the 4 youngsters from last summer. JJ and his siblings.
The roof of the national school next door.
this is also where I will come to vote next week, sitting obediently in front of the entrance, and voting outside because I cannot make the turn to the right, inside the corridor.

The other day I received 2 polling cards(!) which both had the 12th of June as the polling date. The day of elections is however a week earlier, on 05/06/09. So to rectify this the council has sent everyone a letter with the proper date. with each stamp costing them 0.54cent, it just annoys me so much. Even if it was only Cork county which cocked up, even then it has cost them a large amount of money. Do they really have no one checking things?

Lately the local Hooded Crows have been coming in to feed in the garden. Having told here before how hard they are to photograph, these ones (or they might be the same bird) have been very quiet, instead of the fidgety behaviour I see usually.
At the bay I counted 10 birds, they were scattered all over the mud, foraging for small crustaceans,Insects and worms. I think that they need my garden's suppers just as my other Birds need it: a bit of food for the parents, which re-energize their drained bodies, and after they keep on feeding their offspring. And the food which they find in the bay, is a perfect feed for the brood. Whilst here, the seed, oats and nuts, will keep the parents going. (just as I am writing this, at 7.35am, one of the Hooded Crows is watching my open window from the fence. The Magpies are taking advantage of the extras here too, it seems.

The Swallows too are watching from the fence, and Mr. Blackbird comes only to show off the large grub in his beak. Another youngster with a full belly. Pity that I hardly ever get to see the Blackbirds. Winter& Spring 07/08, the female was hardly ever out of my planter, feding on the peanutcake and mixed seeds. Once she packed up to go and start the motherly duties, she left and did not return. A pity for I really liked her.
He, on the contrary, did hardly ever come down to the planter, but would often sit on the fence after foraging in the field below. This spring/summer though, I've hardly ever seen him, so his visit was a surprise.

However I did manage a few pictures for those, who are like me, lovers of the Irish Grey Crow, or, as is their official name, Hooded Crows. Corvus cornix. This is the best season for me to get pictures, in autumn and winter their visits are more hasty and the birds themselves more skittish. There is good news for Jackdaw lovers too.

Hooded Crow, Corvus cornix.

Hooded Crows on the mud, foraging by removing the strands of seaweed. They will pull at the long chains of seaweed, not only by moving their head backwards, but often through walking backwards also. It is great entertainment! Just to get a little idea, I made a little video clip. Unfortunately, the bird flew off almost as soon as I had pressed the shutter to start.

One of my Blue Tits. They keep flying to and fro, hardly ever having time to feed on what they pick out of the planter.
Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus

One of the Collared Doves, I spotted this one, sitting atop a telegraph pole, calling it's heart out. Had I been at home, I'd have been wondering where it would be, cause I always hear it without sighting it.

Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Lovely Blog Award

On the 18th of May, Rena Jones from Montana surprised me when she announced that I was awarded the "One Lovely Blog Award.

I needed all this time to think of which ten blogs should be next. You see, I don't have that much time, let alone energy, to read many blogs.
And it is ironic perhaps, that Spokeout, the magazine of the Irish Wheelchair Association is doing an article on my blogs and blogging.

I tried tracing the award and only was able to go back three times or so. all on the N. American continent. But now it has moved east, onto Europe.

But so here we go:
Gwirrels garden

Tricia's Tales
The Quacks of Life
Quicksilver Birds
Coastal Zone
Donegal Wildlife

Wytchwood ramblings
Goldbutton Studio
Katie's sketches
Drawing the Motmot

I do enjoy those blogs that I do manage to read, and a big thank you to the following for all the enjoyment you're giving me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our Eagles need your signiature

34 White Tailed Eagles have already been killed due to poison by farmers, and please help to make this stop!
The Golden Eagle Project has launched a petition for the Government in the hope that these will finally wake up and for them to take action.
Apart from a petition you will find videos/interviews and news on the three introduced species, The Golden Eagles, The Red Kites and the White Tail Eagles.

Up in county Donegal, in Glennveagh national Park, 2 new chicks have been born.


Monday, May 18, 2009

West: County Clare.

Ballyallia Lake in Ennis:
Wide footpaths give access to the east for viewing of the Ducks. It is a well tested site for wheels; a new generation of birders at Enable Ireland, the national organisation for people with cerebral palsy.
There is a ramp to the edge of the lakeside, but from here you will need a scope to watch the more distant Ducks. Apart from many all-year- visitors and breeders, there are also many wading species around the lake on the meadows bordering the lake.

Lakes in the Burren:
Lough Atedan and Lough Inchiquin, Both have good access to the car-park and there is good birding from here and a popular spot by Clare birders.

Bridges of Ross:
This is a viewpoint on the north side of Loophead, and birding is good from the car-park, with birds flying past and over. This seems a very popular spot with birders in Clare indeed. (the great advantage here is that it is good and comfortable from a car if the weather turns on you suddenly!)

New Quay-Lough Murree:
From New Quy, a small village in North Clare, there is a road from Linnanes Pub to Lough Merree. The road follows the flaggy shore to Lough Murree. A good opportunity to get close to the shore and have a good view of the divers. Black Guillemots, Grebes, Brent Geese and Wildfowl on the lake

In Galway city:
The Alexander Nimmo Pier is well accessible and there is good birding here. A list of all regulars and other visitors here. (bottom of page)

For more, local info;
contact: John Murphy: jemurphy@esatclear.ie

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Internet debut for presidential Blue Tits

That the 13th is always a lucky day for some, showed again when the Radio 1 show'Mooney Goes Wild' launched the Blue Tit nestbox webcam on the 13th of May. Ornithologists with the show, had installed a nestbox with camera, in the garden of Aras an Uchtarain. the residence of Ireland's president, Mary McAleese.

The nation will be able to follow the mother Blue Tit, sitting on her six eggs, via the Internet and I am sure these will get a lot of fans among the people of Ireland.

President Mary McAleese, who is patron of Ireland's main conservation organisation, Birdwatch Ireland, gave this address on the birds' new home:

"These Small creatures have chosen to make their home here at Aras an Uchtarain in a man-made nestbox. Given that human beings have pushed a great many species to the brink through the destruction of their habitat. It is heartening to see how we can restore that habitat, create safe nesting places and make our gardens a lot more fascinating at the same time.
Much of our landscape has changed a lot in a very short time, and has made life very difficult for wildlife. Their natural habitat is our cultural heritage. It is a huge part of what makes Ireland so beautiful and so attractive. We all have a vested interest in nurturing and cherishing it.

These little feathered ambassadors from Aras an Uchtarain will, I hope, bring that message out around the country, helping us to appreciate and understand the importance of wildlife to al of us and to our country.
Their lives will beam into classrooms, and living rooms around the country. We will get to know them well, and they will have a lot to teach us, as we see their world open up to us through their eyes.

Apart from talking Blue Tits, the president and Derek Mooney also talked about disability in Ireland , a transcript of this you can find on the Mooney goes Wild website.

and that they don't suffer from lack of fame. And I think fame or not, the rain will be hammering down on the presidential suite as well as it is here.
I hope our own Blue Tits don't get bored with us. here is one, feeding at the planter, looking for a few seeds, no doubt.
Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

South West Ireland: Wheelchair & -car- birding in Dingle.

Sometime ago, I got a booklet from the West Kerry Birdwatch Ireland, branch. I received a Birding on the Dingle peninsula in PDF form, and the booklet shows there where you can go onto wheelchair accessible paths, and where there is good birding from a car, also, from which you can observe Waterbirds, Waders, Twite, Cuckoo, Chough, or the elusive Corncrake when you're lucky, or perhaps Barn Owl or Hen Harrier. In short, a very good place to go and spend a long weekend, or longer if you can afford the extra time in the hope to go and see the Sea Eagles of the Killarney National Park.

Jill Crosher of the West Kerry branch, did mention that the wheelchair accessible path has not been tested officially, yet. With the alternative being comfortable-car-birding- you won't go home disappointed.

I would love to go up myself, were it not for lack of transport, among other things.
Do you, reader, live in county Kerry, or do you plan a trip to the beautiful Kingdom, with birds in your uppermost mind, you might go and have a look at how the surfaces match up. I would love to hear from you.

I got the booklet in PDF form, but it is available in Ventry Post Office, where the Dingle tidal timetables are on sale too.

Contact details, are on BirdwatchIreland's website.

Apart from facilities for us, wheelies, last month the branch had organised a Dawn chorus with a difference, one for people who are visually impaired.

A quaterly email-newsletter is also available via Jill & Ian Crosher.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Two enigmas

Last week, when I went out to the shop one day, Francis showed me half a shell of what was once a blue bird's egg. He promised to put it on my table at my laptop so that I could take photos and look it up.
Underway I was confinced that Dunnocks lay blue eggs, what was bugging me even more, of course was Who had Taken this egg from the nest, and Where Was The Nest situated?

Once I got home, other things were on the agenda, like putting away shopping, making a cup of tea. I missed the shell when I moved a pot of soy yogurt to the edge of the table, to make it easier to put it into the fridge.
Only when I closed the door of the fridge, did I saw the way I had even further damaged the little egg shell. Without being able to tell you how I had done that! (which is what I thought was far worse than the act!, LOL.) Enough has remained intact for a possible ID, I hope. The colour is very pale, and the surface is not the glossy egg of the Dunnock's egg.
But who had taken this egg, to break it above my garden? Was it one of the pair of Magpies which have been flying around and about the house and garden again, who then took the egg inside its beak and flew above the front?
Or am I totally off, did another predator raid a nest in an attempt to catch the sitting parent, and if so which predator and where to the nest's location?

Broken eggshell: pale blue, rough surface.

I have been very worried, for awhile I had thought that it was JJ who had caught this virus or disease which made him/her loose the head feathers, get an 'infected' eye and was being pecked on by its fellow members of the clan and by the larger Rooks. It is one of the other juveniles, who had been born on the roof of the school. The parents, one of those Jackdaw partnerships which nests in the school chimneys. I've long been trying to photograph the Corvids on the roof there and on the roof of the community Hall, built also on the school grounds.
Trouble is, there is a lot of mesh fencing between my lens and the school

Barn Swallow, Hirundo rustica

JJ's parents, on the roof of the school and the hall next door, preparing for the next brood of youngsters.

When I found out later to fill up the birdfood in the planter, I found something which saddened me a lot more. The intact skeleton of an adult Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes with its tail still propped up, as only the Wren can.
Was a very sad day, which is why I not posted this till now. Last summer I lost a young Wren, but to loose both a probable chick and an adult of two different species, broke my heart, without telling me much on the predator's identity. (The egg was not from a Wren's nest, btw)

Here a cropped picture of a ?