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.

Friday, March 25, 2011

"Eastern Birds" Richard Crossley's ID Guide.

A copy of this book has been on my table or awhile, and because it is a guide different to any other, I keep delving into it.
Crossley has taken digital birding photography and the concept of ID guides to a whole new level. Here you get the specie in its own habitat. But not just from one viewpoint. Here we see several birds showing the reader its front, rear, side view, and in flight, or preening underneath its wing, revealing the underside.
Added into the mix, we also have adult, juvenile or 1st winter, (depending on the changes after moulting.

In short, I am dying for Richard, who is English after all, to come back across the pond, and create a British/Irish version of his American book. Or two books on East and West European ID guides.

Mind you, this is not a field guide. But if you are planning a ,North-East, American birding trip, you definitely need to bring one of these to check your sightings with the many specie samples in the photos.

I'm definitely sold on Crossley's book, and I'll be looking forward to other bird ID books, by this photographer. , I feel that this will be the way forward to new and exiting bird ID guides.

The website Crossley's Birds states that he has two more books coming soon:
The Crossley ID Guide: Great Britain
The Cossley ID Guide: Western Birds.
I know which one I'll be looking forward to!
This website also features interactive pages of the book.

The Crossley's ID Guide, Eastern Birds, is available at Princeton Universiity Press,
554 pages, with 10.000 colour photos. At $ 35.00 or £ 24.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

my white capped house Sparrow, Passer domesticus.

The other day, I spotted this little House Sparrow, Passer domesticus, whose head seemed very strange

There are no white flowers in flower in this area; so it is not pollen. (my Blue Tits will often show up with heads in summer, covered in pollen. )
Any ideas?

Starling, Stumus vulgaris

The starlings have now discovered the fatball feeder at the front of the house, which is used as battleground between the male Sparrows and the Chaffinches like to play their part in it also.

male Blackcap, Sylvia atriciapilla

Greenfinch, Chloris chloris

A rare moment of a territorial Sparrow sharing with, surprises this little Coal Tit, Parus ater

Trying to find that tastiest nut? Great Tit, Parus major.

male Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs.
Each day, I get about 20 Chaffinches feeding here.

Blackheaded Gull, Larus ridibundus.
Ready to pounce & dive...

or perhaps not.

And across the estury, Curlew, Numenius arquata

Little Egret, Egretta gazetta

I had not been out onto the road since December, due to the ice, and snow at first and then because of Francis being ill. So it was great to visit my local patch again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

February Birds and a Big Blow

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

All these photos were taken during January and February. I've not been able to post over the last weeks due to some personal problems at home. (see further down)
I will soon start updating on what is happening here at the moment.
Blackcap, Sylvia atriciapilla

Great Tit, Parus major

Blackcap, Sylvia atriciapilla
2 of the 4 male Blackcaps in my garden.

I am sorry for my long hibernation from blogging. I should be happy that spring is here, but it will be an empty one, this year. And the years to come.
One day in January we celebrated the 62nd birthday of my dear Francis, husband, best friend, and carer, and 4 days later, now 5 weeks ago, I had to say a final goodbye to him in the Merci hospital in Cork.
The GPhad diagnosed a chest infection, but in reality he was suffering from kidney failure, blocked Aorta and further blood cloths at the top of his legs.
The post mortom report, due in about 3 weeks, will reveal the extent of all those, and that will hopefully clear up how he died exactly. andwhat/how long he had been suffering from. For more than 3 years he had more and more trouble and pain with walking and breathing. And how that big blood clot in the Aorta developed. (I was assured that it could not have been due to heavy smoking, by my GP, who kept checking up at me for the first 4 weeks.)

While waiting untill I get a PA (personal assistant) I have now home help for 30-60 minutes a day. Just enough to help me into bed.

Not the right time to put out food for the birds. Like filling up feeders in the areas which I cannot reach with my wheels. I am hoping that Cork county council will pave the area between the path and the wall. In late spring, autumn and summer it will be okay for my home helps to fill up feeders, and put out the food, when there is no risk of injury due to lack of light.
So I need to make history, in my quest to get homehelp to help me put out the bird food in the morning. Until now it is not a recognised "need" with the Southern Health Executive, apparently. (yet)
Blackcap, enjoying a banana 'kebab'

I had put this out for the Blackcaps. A friend had told me once how her =Scottish= Blackcaps enjoyed the bits of banana she'd left out in this garden shrub. The shrub soon became the banana bush, because they seemed to love it! Well mine love it too. And it wasn't long before the other birds took to it also. Especially Chaffinches and the Sparrows.

. once Francis had died, however, she did manage her way outside and laid a dead little Sparrow there where I had found Francis, in the bathroom. From then on, it became soon clear that I was unable to police her at the door, and besides she was demanding too much. So, while I needed to try and sort out myself, my house, and get an idea of what next, Niña went on a well deserved holiday in Dunmanway. Sally, the kennel/cattery owner, knew Niña from previous visits, and had the heatlamp warming up her bed, and the birdfeeder next to the window was refilled again that morning. (Here she could watch. but not touch the birds. Every cat unit has a feeder outside its window!)
Niña's photos were placed on the website of Rural Animal Welfare Resources, after I got in contact with the lovely Muriel, who coordinates cat re-homing in and around Bantry. I had sent her photos on the Tuesday and by Saturday my lovely cat went to her new home here on the Sheep'shead peninsula. There she has an acre around the house, to play and roam to her heart's content.
She has settled in very well, whih is a huge relief. It does mean that the house here is now extra silent, suddenly.
This Chaffinch female is blind in one eye after she had been attacked by a local pet.

Our cat had been kept indoors during these days, however