Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Liffey Birds

A sunny morning, a misty morning...

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Botanic Gardens - Flora

I meant to post this last night...
Not only is it the time of year for the Sculpture in Context exhibition in the Botanic Gardens, it also feels as if we have been having more sunshine than we had all summer, almost. It's just a shame that it's so late in September that there isn't a lot of warmth left in it, but it's beautiful to wake up to blue skies and sunshine for several mornings in a row. Saturday was one such morning, so we headed over to the Botanic Gardens for what is, I think, our first visit this year because of the weather having largely been so uninspiring.

Still life in the peony border...

The kitchen garden was mostly faded, but the chard was a glorious riot of colour

From a distance, this looked like a little cameo, and at first we both thought it was part of the sculpture exhibition!

Colchicum - they looked as if a shower of little darts had landed in the ground

Bokeh effect - lily leaves, sunshine, and water

Sunday, 20 September 2015

France - le fin

A dragonfly photo I missed out on earlier because it was the only photo from a walk in woodlands near Le Teich.

Le Teich reserve was our last day. We shopped for dinner on our way home, and after dinner, took down the big tent, set up the small one ready for a quick getaway the following morning, and packed up the car.
And then we decided to go and find the port that we were within metres of finding on our first night, le Port Des Tuiles. It was much less "developed" than Biganos, port, and the little cabins weren't as spruced up. But it was a lovely way to spend the last evening. The name comes from the fact that it was the port where tiles manufactured in Biganos were put on boats and distributed to all the ports around the bay, where the oyster growers used them as a substrate for growing the baby oysters.

We had a long drive ahead of us the next day - nearly 700 kilometres. We left in good time to fit in a supermarket shop in the town before Roscoff, and still had time for a short walk round the town of St. Pol-de-Léon to give our legs a good stretch after a day in the car.

One last bird...

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Le Teich Ornithological Reserve (4)

A final few birds, some non-bird photos, the local "harbour"...

Little ringed plover

Distant lapwing

Lizard in the sun

I remember when we had our boat trip in the Marais Poitevin, the "ragondin" was one of the animals our guide mentioned as being an introduced species and somewhat of a pest. We saw some of their tracks, but didn't actually see any. This little one was grazing happily away near the birds. I think he looks very cute munching away, but they can do a lot of damage to the local ecosystem. His coat looks so shaggy, and he was so small, that I find it hard to see why they were farmed for fur.
Coypu. Nutria (myocastor coypus)
This was the local harbour near the reserve. As everywhere else in the bay, it was very tidal. You would certainly develop a great awareness of time and tide, I am sure. The first photo was taken when we walked to the beach to look at the swimming area and lie in the sun for a while after our long walk round the reserve. Even by the time we were walking back to the car, the tide was already rising.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Le Teich Ornithological Reserve (3)

United (Bird) Nations

Did you spot the bird of prey in the background of the previous picture? I think it's a buzzard

Crested Grebe

LBJ in hiding...
The next three photos are all the stilts. They are so elegant, I wish we had them here! The first time we saw them was at Lake Korission in Corfu. In the second photo, taken from behind, you can see how the legs really widen out below the knee. They start tapering in again a little towards the foot. They are related to the avocet, which we don't have here either.


Grazing shelduck

With the golden eye-ring, I'm sure this was a little ringed plover

And more unidentified birds - perhaps one might have been a wagtail of some sort...