Musings and photos of wild and everyday life

Posts tagged “Lamb

Springing Up

Ducklings Grand Canal

Ducklings on Grand Canal

What a great change to the weather and suddenly, it seems, Spring is everywhere.

.The great hope of light and warmth and growth, after the dark and cold of winter, is inspiring.

Of course, as usual, everything is a bit later here in the foothills of the mountains!

Snowdrops

Snowdrops in garden

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Snowdrops have bloomed,

Snowdrop

Snowdrop in garden

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Crocus hybrids

Crocus hybrids in garden

.

.

.

.

.

Crocuses are waning.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Daffodil in garden

Daffodil in garden

.

.

.

.

.

.

And now Daffodills brighten our roads and gardens and confirm the Spring promise.

.

.

.

.

.

.

12 of 13 Mallard Ducklings on Grand canal

12 of 13 Mallard Ducklings on Grand canal

.

.

.

.

.

.

It seems early  but we have already seen ducklings in the canal.  13 tiny balls of puffed up fluff darting around under the watchful eye of Mammy Mallard and 2 Drakes.

13!  That sounds like a lot of painful egg producing effort.

I don’t know if one of the Drakes was a friend, lover, brother or a security guard?  If a guard, he doesn’t seem to have been much good, as a couple of days later, no ducklings could be found!

We can hope they moved elsewhere but they seemed too tiny to go far and the birds on the Grand Canal do suffer great predation.

.

.

Lamb in field Co Kildare

Lamb in field Co Kildare

.

.

This is also lambing time around here and little white quadrapeds have been appearing in the nearby fields for about a month now.

.

.

.

.

On the other hand we start to say goodbye to the Geese & Swans.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Greylag Geese in rear field Blessington

Greylag Geese in rear field Blessington

.

The Whoopers have already dissappeared but the Greylags are still feeding in the grass fields – probably stocking up for their long flights. .

.

.

.

.

Anyway here’s looking forward to plenty more springing up in the coming weeks.

Advertisements

Moving On

Greylag Geese in Blessington FieldA very brief ‘less cold’ spell seems to have convinced the Whoopers to migrate back north.  The Greylags were not so easily fooled and still graze in Willie’s field.

Walking down the Liffey quays towards the lifting bridge, a group of Brent Geese had gathered a couple of weeks ago.  They are probably about to, or in the middle of migrating.

It is interesting to note their amazing travels while we lament their passing.

Whoopers typically fly to Iceland and northern Europe from Ireland while Greylags mainly return to Iceland.

Brent Geese, quite common flying over Dublin or grazing on grass fields, including football fields, in the Winter, head for Greenland or Canada.

Brent Geese on Liffey at Toll Swing bridge Dublin.

.

.

.

It seems that when temperatures are beginning to get tolerable for us, the winter migrant birds get hot under the collar and feel the pull for colder climes.

Of course the weather this Winter and ‘Spring’ has been pretty miserable – one of the coldest March months on record.

But spring really is in full swing regardless of the cold and frost.  Witness the Crows at their rookeries, the Jackdaws sitting on wires or branches in pairs, not to mention the cute spindly-legged foals and the gorgeous young lambs.

Sheep & Lamb in Frosty field Rathmore Co Wicklow


Waterford weekend – Birds & Lambs

Just had a nice weekend in Waterford.  Kittiwakes on ledge Dunmore East Weather wasn’t great – cloudy and hazy – but it was dry.

Visited a good few lakes and reservoirs as well as coastal towns and harbours.

In Dunmore East, a Kittiwake colony seems to be more or less permanent. Certainly I didn’t expect to see them on a cliff ledge in early March!

These gulls are distinguished by their plain yellow beaks and black legs as well as their call from which they get their name.

The scenery in this part of the country is great but we had to imagine how its real brilliance in sunshine.

The various lakes didn’t seem to have too many birds but there were a good few Mute Swans.  On one reservoir I came across this unfortunate specimen amongst a small group of Mute Swans.  It seems to be a Whooper from the beak colour but has an unusual bump on its beak.   Perhaps it has a deformation or is the result of a mixed species relationship?

Whooper Swan variation reservoir Waterford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way back we had lunch in the beautiful Inistioge in Kilkenny and a walk along the Nore and in the grounds of Woodstock House with its magnificent trees.

Some of the fields sported fairly new lambs complete with baggy skin and fussing mothers.

New Lambs Inistioge Kilkenny


Tanzania & Ethiopia Birds – Review of 2010 – March

March

Work brought me to Dar es Salaam where I stayed on the coast.  There was a great array of birds on view at the lagoon.  This included Indian House Crows, Kingfishers, Sacred Ibis, Whimprel and these Crab Plovers Crab Plovers Dar coastwhich have thick heavy-looking beaks.

I’ve always liked Dar but it is not everyone’s cuppa.  Very hot and sticky in the day time with dreadful traffic and road problems for its 3 million people, it is still a great mix of styles, chaos and life.   The evenings are lovely with nice temperatures and peacedul sunsets.

Sunset Dar coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From there I flew to Addis Ababa for the first time.  It is much more spread out  and spacious than I had expected.  I also expected it to be very poor which it is in parts but it is also growing fast and the economy is good – at least in the main centres.  Addis has nearly 4 million people and like all of Africa, Chinese money and projects are clearly visible.

Speckled Mousebird

 

Again I didn’t have too much time to go far but even the birds in the city look quite exotic like this Speckled Mousebird with an impressive tail.

Pied Kingfisher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before flying home on the Saturday, I managed a quick visit to the crater lakes at Debra Zeyt to the south.  Here there were great numbers of birds and many I didn’t recognise.  On one of the lakes there was a huge flock of Little Grebes while Herons, Ibises and Cormorants hugged the margins.    Small birds gave voice to the trees and bushes all around the edge.

Malachite and Pied Kingfishers were reasonably common.  I was only sorry not to have a better and longer lens having to do with a 70-300 to fit in with a business-like briefcase!

Returning to the city I found many vultures flying around or sitting on the roof tops.  These included White-backed and Ruppell’s Griffons (below L&R),  Hooded and Egyptian.  There were also a few Maribiu Storks brightening the sky.

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture

White-backed Vulture

Flying home there was a good view of Dublin port.  Somehow it looks more impressive from the calm sky with the hum of the jets, compared with walking on the ground where you are more aware of  litter.  On the other hand, Bull Island which was also clearly visible looks interesting but nothing like as amazing as it is from the ground.  This is one of Dublin’s jewels and still survives despite the determination of planners to destroy it through the second causeway without a bridge or channel for the water.  Silt is still filling in the lagoon.

Dublin Port and Bull Island from sky

Home in Wicklow, I was reminded that it was spring by lambs at The Lamb.

Lamb at The Lamb, Blessington Road