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, August 20, 2009

The Midlands: County. Tipperary; Cabragh Wetlands

Cabragh Wetlands Nature Reserve.

The Cabragh Wetlands is a small reserve in county Tipperary. It is run, and created by a small group of volunteers.

I hope the reserve will see its fair share of birders, using wheels, because here we can find a bird hide with a lift.
Unfortunately, the other parts of the Wetlands reserve are not accessible, which

For news, visit the blog, The Snipe.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Early last month, I was nominated by Rena Jones for the Kreativ Blogger Award. Other things kept pushing themselves inbetween, before I got a chance to do my honours.

Apparently there are rules though. Which we have to adhere to.

1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. List 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ bloggers.
6. Post links to those bloggers.
7. Leave a comment for each one to let them know they're nominated.

Done 1,2 and 3.
7 Things about myself:
Listing 7 things about myself. a lit more difficult. And although I, like Rena, cannot do eyedrops into my eye. (well, would like to see you manage that with just one hand!) I take the lazy option. When I was told that the sudden and abrupt watering of my eye, which always happens on the road, could be prevented by daily eye-drops, I told him I was not going to use anything I would need help with. More surprises though, he told me that I had this infection since I was a very small child. I've been wearing glasses since I was 10 or 11, and no eye doctor ever told me this, so how come he can spot this, 40+ years later? I only needed new specs, nothing else. And I never mentioned it until he said I had an infection.

  1. I am fascinated with ice and snow. Live in the wrong country for this.
  2. The medical college at University of Utrecht, Holland, made a film about me when I was 12/13 years of age. About how people with disabilities live at home. Filming me at home; walking to the busstop at 7am, at school, etc.
  3. Never had any problems with spinach or Brussel's Sprouts.
  4. I have got pins & needles in my foot for 9 years, already, never stops. No-one knows why or where it comes from. Very annoying, and very hard to take your mind of it.
  5. I got my first job in a ward kitchen in the rehabilitation near my home.
  6. I hate being indoors.
  7. I also hate shopping.
At last: Nominating the winners:

  1. Liz
  2. Katie
  3. Peggy
  4. Midmarsh John
  5. Wytchwood Ramblings
  6. West Country Birding & Wildlife Diary.
  7. Debbie

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chiffchaff brings its mate.

I had a Chiffchaff visiting, on the 9th of this month. It was incredibly confused and nervous about it all; not helped by the House Sparrows and Jackdaws, which were in the Hawthorn behind the gardenwall, and about to gather overhead.
At first I had assumed it to be the Willow Warbler which housed in said Hawthorn.

Yesterday, it (or at least, a) Chiffchaff called into the Fennel, very assured, and it sat in the Fennel at first, hopping from the different stalks to another, picking off an Insect here and there. Then it flew back onto the wall. Yet it wasn't ready to leave my Fennel yet. Somehow its body language made this very clear. Kind of lingering, avian style. A little later I understood: a second Chiffchaff arrived.
This could have been a youngster. It was my first instinct anyway, the way it hesitated between wall and Fennel, a couple of times, then again, it could also have been its mate.
To make things more difficult for me and my camera, number two was either on the wall/fence behind the Fennel or at the back of the Fennel itself. This was creating too many obstacles in-between my camera and subject, so this is the best I could do, regarding Chiffchaff number2.

Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita
The Bird at the top is the later arrival.

Some of you, those from the N. American continent, were amazed at the life of the Willow warbler; that such a little Bird can fly all the way to Africa.
The Chiffchaff, which is famous for being the look-alike of the Willow Warbler, is similar in size also. Apart from the length of its wings. Unlike the willow Warbler, the Chiffchaff 'only' flies to the Mediterranean where it is warm enough for this little Bird to overwinter. Some of them will stay in Southern parts of the UK as well as Southern parts of Ireland, and in France.
With climate change there will be less reason to migrate very much further.

I love these summer visitors. These Chiffchaff, and my lovely Swallows, make my spring and summer. Giving me enough energy again to face that long winter again.

Today I made some beautiful shots of my House Sparrows and of J|unior. (juvenile)Jackdaw. Then, as soon as the male 100m sprint final had finished in Berlin at the Athletics World Championships in Berlin, I started sorting my pictures, by deleting the worst of the lot before uploading.
And so, yep, I got rid of them all. One of those stupid things we do, at some times in our lives. And there were really some nice ones on my camera. Ah well, c'es la vie. hope that Junior can repeat that silly look he managed this evening. ?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

South West: Rosscarbery

I've been wanting to check out the birding access in Rosscarbery for quite some time. The lagoon next and behind the Celtic Ross hotel, and the estuary in front of the hotel.
Roscarbery is no stranger to nature lovers; if you read the local mouthwatering species list on the town's website you know why I too would love to get there.
I have been here very often. Mostly in the evening for Irish Wheelchair Association committee meetings of the regional branch. A pity that I did not have a camera on me in those days, because there's lots to see.

We went to Glandore first. A lovely little village. It sits nestled in the hill above a lovely natural harbour.
I've been here several times before. It is one of those places where you take visitors. Many UK celebs have the same idea, I think, because lots of these have a 2nd house here, either in Glandore or nearby Union Hall.

Glandore, County Cork, Eire. Looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Glandore harbour. A dinghy race was to begin shortly after our departure, and I love the piling of these dinghies at the pier.

Glandore, West Cork. Ireland.

While going down the steep little road, there is a door inviting you in, and where you do not need to take your shoes off.

Always Open House, in this residence:

It was mostly (and only) Herring Gulls which flew about the village and harbour, hoping for a few scraps from the many visitors and tourists taking advantage of the tourists. So, while watching some kids in one of the dinghies, getting ready to take part in the race, I suddenly spotted a lone Herring Gull a bit further away on the quays, where it was strutting about. Because of the obstacles between us, it was a challenging me to get close. This meant that I had to cross part of these quays which had quite an awkward dip, and somehow I had to scale my wheels over this without slipping, sliding or bumping into the many little boats, resting here.
I ended up above the h. Gull; I decided that I would first get some pictures from here, before risking my life and wheels by dipping down further to get closer and perhaps ending up scaring my new-found friend.
I was pleased with this resulting shot.

Herring Gull, Larus argentatus

The main road, the N71, between Cork--Clonakilty and Skibbereen, follows the coastline of the Rosscarbery estuary, when you reach Rosscarbery. The town itself is built on a hill, overlooking the the estuary.
The Rosscarbery tidal estuary, known for its many birds, is split in two by a causeway. This has created a lovely lagoon. The N71 runs over this causeway.
There are two roads running along the lagoon.. the first (coming from Leap/Skibbereen, is
immediately after the Celtic Ross hotel. This is the road into the the town of Rosscarbery. The second road, to Reenascreena, follows this beautiful lagoon all the way. And its sheltered location means that there's lots of avian life here.
On the south side, there are also two roads. One immediately across the Celtic Ross hotel, which follows the west side of the lagoon.
Along the estuary too, two roads follow the coastline here. Sian and I went down the first one, directly across from the hotel. I only had an hour here, which was way too short, to do some serious birding. So I have to return soon. Most of the waders were in the middle of the estuary, which was quite a bit from the road, and below you can see a picture of the waders I took with my Lumix, using only Extrazoom, of 28x zoom, at 2.5mp.

Curlew, Numenius arquata plus Great Black Backed Gulls, Larus marinus
and Herring Gull, Larus argentatus

In Rosscarbery, we had lunch in the Celtic Ross hotel. It is a lovely hotel with good food, and a beautiful setting. and a too small wheelie toilet. One of those where you cannot close the door, and yet there is space enough in a next-door lobby. I do not understand it whenever I come into an old(er) building, where they really have to juggle the available space, to fit this extra (and larger) toilet in, but where it concerns a newly built building on a large patch of ground, and where they have really compromised on these facilities, where space does not seem to be an issue. I really can get very angry. You might think I'm overdoing things here, but you see, I come upon it everywhere!
And here they do create a one or perhaps two, 'accessible rooms' but downstairs we, wheeling visitors, are forgotten to take part in hotel life in a dignified way. Sometimes I'd love to invite those at the top to go and use this toilet with my wheels. Just as much as I'd like to get those of the Cork county council to go for a little ride over the roads here.

Opposite the hotel, across the causeway, part of the large flock of Mute Swans, Cygnus olor ,was gathering along the road. Waiting for a bit of bread from walkers and visitors to the hotel. It was here, and to the left, to the lagoon, where I wanted to go and see what other birds were about.
Mute Swan, Cygnet olor,

It was difficult to get close to the wall, due to the state of the sides of the road, where there were so many gaps, holes and pieces missing, that I decided I would spare Sian the agony of having to pull me out, and stayed a bit back. at the other side of this little road, I spotted something else I was interested in: the tiny flowers of Ivy-leaved Toadflax.

Ivy-leaved Toadflax,Cymbalaria muralis

I spotted something white, other than Mute swans, further along the road, so this is where we headed. I only had an hour, and we had spent part of this already by talking, and deciding which way to go. Anyway we came upon a Little egret with a Blackheaded Gull.
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta

Blackheaded Gull, Larus ridibundus

Next we spotted two of what looked like a Curlew, with a large flock of other, much darker, larger, waders behind it on the sandbank. These looked very much like Curlew, their beaks seemed smaller than the one in front. And yet on my photos do the flock like Curlew. Strange. Double reason why I should go back.

So, who's who?

OK, so I promised to check out the access to go birding here. Because I was relying on my Wednesday group at Bantry Rehabcare to get here at all, I only had an hour, while the others drove around the lagoon and along the other road along the lagoon. As such you can see enough over the wall from the road, depending on birds (or other marine animals; seals do visit here too, ) Annd I hope that I can return soon to check out the Reenascreena road along the lagoon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chiffchaff; a brief & nervous visit.

Yesterday morning, I spotted a Moth on the floor in front of my laptop. This, I had to rescue first, before I was able to wheel myself at the table. It was doing that trembling of the wings, which I automatically associate with Moths which had found themselves caught inside the house overnight.
The Moth had its wings closed, giving little clue to its identity. Not that I could see much from where I had my head in comparison to the ground. Because of the Moth, I got my camera and recharged battery, because I would need pictures to find an ID for this Moth. I kept the camera handy; just in case it would open its wings.
Eventually I got it into the carton and made a few pics of the Moth's wings in closed position, and with camera in hand, I looked up.

Outside, on the planter, I spotted the Willow Warbler, which lives in the Hawthorn hedge behind the back garden wall.
Somethiong was wrong though; this bird was clearly unfamiliar with the garden. It needed a better overview of the garden!

Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita

I expected it to get on top, or at least onto one of the stems, of the Fennel, at least where it can find food in the shape of Insects. Somehow, it took the way which Passerines take. Onto the planter where they usually find seeds and suet.
This bird too, landed in the planter. Looked around and about. It was soon obvious that it was not the Willow Warbler. I was dealing with a stranger. I was very lucky that I had my camera in my hand already so that I was able to take these shots of the fidgety bird. Once the photos were on the laptop, I noticed the dark blackish legs, and decided that it was not a Willow Warbler, but I had had a visit of a Chiffchaff.

Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita

Then the House Sparrows arrived, and the poor Chiffchaff was getting very nervous with so much noise about the wall, the roof and the fence. To make it even worse, we had Junior, screaming overhead to its friend, another of the young Jackdaws, which is a bit older than Junior.

Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita

It was time to go, but hey, what about food? Wasn't that why I stopped here in the first place? It was only then that it discovered the Fennel, and it must have been met with a loud kind of buzzing? with all the Insects about the fronds, the Flowerheads, and the stem. It was getting busier however with larger birds, and it would have to withstand all these sounds and sights of such a nice Insect deli bar. It spread the wings, and made it up onto the fence.
Here, my visitor got up and ready to leave, but then turned around and looked back down again. Was it viewing the garden or the Sparrows which had made their way down. (I must mention though, that the House Sparrows were looking just as curiously at the newcomer)

Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita

After the Chiffchaff had left, I was finally able to tend to the little Moth. Bending forward, I did manage to get it into my carton. With this I went outside. Sitting with it on my knee, it was soon becoming clear that this one would not fly away after acclimatising to the fresh air for a bit. I left it in a sheltered spot somewhere.

Unidentified Moth.
Some kind of Thorn Moth?

Back inside, I spotted this Fly. I'm told it is some kind of Cleg Fly. And a biting one.

And then... at last, another picture of Junior.

Junior, juvenile Jackdaw, Corvus monedula