Thursday, 28 February 2013

City Heron

Just a few very quick edits from Monday morning. It's hard to believe that the photo with the old shopping trolley and the reflections of the bridge was taken barely fifty metres from the others, which are right in front of Heuston Station.

Monday, 25 February 2013


Lots of photos in some glorious sunshine this morning. But Monday is a very busy day for me, and I won't have time to edit them till later on in the week.
But I have a few from the garden  - some we don't often see.
First up is a female blackcap, and with a sparrow. We've seen the male quite a bit, but this is the first time I've seen the hen.

Wow - some change in colour cast over the days - although also the first photo was taken through the window, and the second from outside. We don't often see long-tailed tits on the feeders. They're so comical with their tiny little bodies and stubby heads and those long tails. I've been seeing a lot of them round the place recently, and they always make me smile.

A siskin - female, I think. It's only the second time I've seen one ever. The first time was rather fraught on two counts; it was when my mother was dying, and we'd gone over to my sister for the afternoon for some time out and a break from the hospital, and one of her cats caught a siskin so she went tearing out to scare the cat before he damaged the bird. I'm pretty sure the bottom photo, with the goldfinches, is a siskin too, but I'm going to check that with my sister.

Not at home, although we have two hen and one male blackbird who are now regular visitors and fly in every time they hear me whistle for the robin. It's getting a bit like trying to feed two dogs who want to eat from each others bowls!! This one was in a tree along the canal bank. I enjoyed waching him while I waited at the level crossing for the barriers to go up.

And finally, this  is one from this morning. I often see a couple of grey wagtails flitting across the Liffey - usually I hear them first and know to look for the flash of yellow. This morning there were five of them, and instead of flying further and further away, a couple of them actually flew closer, and one landed on the wall quite near me.

We have at last had some welcome sunshine - not done with the grey weather yet and it's still bitterly cold in the wind, but oh, blue skies are a tonic!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Urban Birds...

...and a dash of optimism.

The photos are a bit grainy because I had digital zoom on for some of them.

I don't get to see black-backed gulls all that often - I think, from the deep black, that this is a Greater rather than a lesser.

I notice that some of the black-headed gulls are getting their summer plumage in already and starting to justify their name!

Cormorant, grooming.

On the chimney top of a house near the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art).

Outside a café just before my bus-stop in town. Spring?? It might have been sunny, but it's still pretty darn cold.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


February so far has been very grey. Saturday 2nd was beautiful, but we were out almost all day and could only enjoy it from the car. So, when I had to go down to get some fresh vegetables and meat on Friday, it was so dull that I made a deliberate decision not to bother with a camera. And I was nearly at the shops when I some birds that I thought were starlings, but they were flying in a very unusual flight pattern. When I looked more closely, I could see crests! More waxwings, and a whole treeful this time. I ran all the way back to the house, expecting that they'd probably be gone before I could get back again.
And they had, but I spotted this loner silhouetted against the sky in a tree on the other side of the road.

And then, after I'd posted my letter and done my shopping, I found another whole tree full of them in the car park between the school and the community centre. I was able to closer, too. But because of the grey weather, they're still not great photos. At least this time, though, I could clearly see not just the yellow but the red markings on the wings. I always remember about those from a Maggie Muggins story.

C, who did the shopping yesterday, went armed with the spotting scope but came back disappointed, having only seen goldfinches, chaffinches and blue tits.I hope he gets to see some soon before they migrate onwards again.

I usually wait till the end of the month before picking any cards to upload. But I had enormous fun making this one, even though it's hard to imagine finding an opportunity to use it. It was good therapy on a dull day when I was still getting over a bad cold, and had gone back to work too soon.

Friday, 1 February 2013

On the Way to Work

It's official - Dublin had the greyest January since 1964, with only 25 hours of sunshine recorded at Casement Aerodrome, and the highest number of rainy days since 1980. No wonder it hasn't been a good month for photographs! Yesterday I got the bus to the shopping centre after work, and I'd been planning to get another one back part way, and then pick up a package from Parcel Motel and walk the rest of the way home. But the skies opened and there was a torrential downpour. By the time the bus came I was very glad I had some cloth and PVC bags in my backpack to transfer the contenst of my rapidly disintegrating paper bags from TK Maxx, Boots and Dunnes into, and I did NOT get off to pick up the parcel. As it was, no sooner did I step off the bus than the rain switched to driving hail, so pretty much everything went into the airing cupboard to dry out.
Today, like yesterday, started out as a sunny morning, hence some photos. Like yesterday, though, it was raining when I got off the bus coming home - but at least nothing like yesterday. The bus driver was almost as glad as I was.

Ombre is one of the trends in card-making at the moment. I know I've posted a similar photo to this one of a pillar of the Frank Sherwin bridge before, but the light caught it beautifully this morning.
Then I saw a contrail lined up almost perfectly with one of the many cranes dotting the Guinness compound just now.

For all the times I have walked up Steeven's Lane and in towards town, I have never before seen the light shining through those two openings. It's got to be part of the row of old Guinness buildings fronting on to James' Street, but I couldn't see them from any other angle. Funny how you sometimes only see things once! Every time I go to the shopping centre now I look at the awning over the entrance where I saw all those starlings once, and I've never even seen one perched there since.

Lastly is John's Lane Church with gulls.