30 Oct 2006

A few Bird and other Photographs that I have taken in the last week

No new birds

I came home from work on friday and as I walked into the house I saw a Sparrowhawk sitting on the hedge just to the left of my bird feeders. I crawled along the floor and grabbed my camera and raised myself very slowly and took about fifty photos before to my horrorI realised that the memory card was in the card reader. I crawled back grabbed it and thank god it was still there. They were taken through double glazed windows so could have been better but nice to get the shot anyway.

On Saturday I went after work upto Donegal to stay weekend with my parents. My mother had stayed the night before nearby so I picked her up and went and showed her the Belfast Harbour Reserve Hide which I think she was suitably impressed with. The tide was high and so alot of birds on reserve; nothing outstanding. Even though I probably missed the Green Wing Teal in eclipse plumage photographed here by Derek Charles The following day.It has been around for about a week so far.

We arrived in Donegal mid afternoon having driven through pretty unpleasant weather to find it a lovely afternoon. In my parents garden there were goldcrest, long tailed tits and a Mistle thrush protecting a rowan tree full of berries and very noisy it was too.In the spring we have a treecreeper that nests and the goldcrests also nest in their beautifully made nests. Its a lovely garden with a great view of Lough Salt Mountain. When I was walking around garden I found a Boletus edulis I think (Not going to try it though)

On sunday I decided that I was going to try and see Golden eagle and Dipper as I havent seen them this year yet. Glenveagh Estate nearby has some Golden Eagles that have been released into the wild. I have yet to see one though. The last time I saw one was about four years ago in the Outer Hebrides out beyond Amhuinnsuidhe Castle and it was brilliant it flew fifty yards away from the car and paralleled me for over a mile. Yet again camera in boot of car.

I drove the road over Lough Salt Mountain and took a picture of the View Donegal is a beautiful County sadly now blighted by excessive development of holiday homes built in totally inappropriate areas. The percentage of housing in Donegal owned as holiday homes by people from Northern Ireland is very high.

Well I didnt see any eagles or Dippers so will have to try again. The only bird I photographed was a Hooded Crow

After work today I went out to the reserve in Belfast weather was very overcast and took photos of juvenile black headed gull and a rook.

Afterwards I went home and picked up dog and as I was getting into car to go to Killard this Grey wagtail that has been around for a few weeks landed fairly close by. Infact it seems to live on a car in the drive and is covering the wing mirrors with p--h!

Went out to Killard which makes Pickle extremely happy and was photographing a Grey Plover at some distance. When the plover and the surrounding waders exploded in all directions as a Merlin dropped into where they had been standing. Then an oystercatcher came into land just behind it
before the Merlin took off again Now if someone had asked me for a photo of a Merlin I would have thought the chances of success were remote. I was on a real high after that and the only other photo I took was of a distant Pink Footed Goose.

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