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.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A big shock for the birds and us.

Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus.

Last week, the birds and I had quite a shock, when the raised planter, aka bird table, collapsed. In truth, the real birdtable was blown off its perch years ago already. The raised planter, underneath the bird table, has been used by the birds since then. A large Fennel has been offering countless perch opportunities. Leaving stalks into the ground, and not tidying removing these at the end of the summer, meant that there was always room for eager little feet. Apart from serving as a perch, I have spotted Coal and Blue Tits remove Insects from the hollow stems in winter. The planter itself had been built around a metal pole, a remnant of the metal railing, which was put along the path, according to building regulations, according to the county council. It was way too restricting for me, and although it would be great for any resident walking here, and needing support, to me it was of absolutely no use. (I’m always sitting or half hanging bent over my knees or my arm rest, in order to get my macro images.) We were afraid that one day I would seriously hurt myself on those bars, so Francis removed them. Those on the wall we left. The perch of the old birdtable had been hammered into the steel pole; which means that it is useless now.

The planter was ideal to photograph my birds. At 1.5metre from the kitchen window, I only had to look over my shoulder to see who was eating what. As a plus point, the windowsill offers a nice support for my wrist. And of course, most important of all, the birds could not see me.

Replacing it is not very easy. If my little hill allowed me to, I’d just get a feeder pole, push it into the ground, or get one with a patio foot. Unfortunately, we’re on top of a large rock here (we are in Ireland, after all!) and have not got any soil to push it into! And, being higher up, too much wind is the other factor.

The Birds have again provided me with the next (though temporarily) option: The Fatsia, growing in a black bin, has been used by the Sparrows this summer, and so the most logical thing to do was to put a little tray with mixed seed into the bin. The advantage for the birds is that the soil, and thus the food, is at least 15cm below the top rim of the bin. Unfortunately, I cannot see the birds any more. Needless to say, that in a case like this, the birds come first!. Francis is trying to design a feeder pole. which can be attached onto the remnants of the steel pole covering (part of the good old planter)

Our local garda station has a lot of Fennel in its front garden, and I will check with Brendan if there are any smaller ones among them. Their flowers attract Insects, and these in turn attract birds like the Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. (of which I did not get any photos this summer, unfortunately.) Besides, I've been drinking Fennel Tea since 1988.

What is left of the planter/birdtable
Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

Where is my breakfast table gone?

I feel sorry for my birds, i know they need time to adjust to the new situation, and therefore, the main aim now is to get the peanutfeeder up.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Seasonal signs are drifting in.

Starling, Stumus vulgarus
Starlings have been raiding the Hawthorn bush behind our garden wall, since the fruit hatched in early August. Although I cannot reach it, and can see only parts of it with a lot of difficulty, I can hear them, loud and clear.

While the Starling party was going on, Rooks and Jackdaws flew in to see what was the racket about. And pretty soon, the Jackdaws would fly towards the bush from the top, and shooing off the smaller Starling. You'd think that the Jackdaws would then claim the larder, wouldn't you? Of course not!
no, the Jackdaws would sit on top of the nearby (our) fence, and look intense (I'd imagine) anytime any Starling showed itself in the area.

Juvenile Starling, Corvus monedula

Rook, Corvus frugilegus

Hawthorn, Crategus monogyna

These Haw pictures I took at the other side of the council estate. A little more than 100m to fly for the Starling.

Is summer coming to an end?

Hooded Crows, Corvus cornix

Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba.

Barn Swallows, Hirundo rustica

This juvenile might have a few problems in flight due to its short tail.
Another reason why it is not ready for a long migration to Africa yet.

Great Tit, Parus major

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

male Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs