All photos on this blog, Wildlife on Wheels, are taken by me. If you want to use any of my photos for anything other than personal use, send me an email and we'll talk about it. The email address is listed in the sidebar on the right .

Save Dunmanus Bay

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

J.J's Debut movie.

On Birding I had posted a short movie, starring JJ, already. This is the original Debut video however which I had hoped to post there first, but things got mixed up. So here he is: Junior, aka JJ.

And like in the movie 'houses', posters of the leading male/female is the by-product of any movie

During the summer I've been seeing a tiny Moth very regularly, without it giving me a good chance to take its photo for an ID. Yesterday I got my wish granted: it was giving me the perfect opportunities to take a picture and then end up with something decent enough to post at the Yahoo-Moth Group, where I hope someone can put a name t this gorgeous little creature.

This picture gives an idea of size, where it is sitting on a hinge of the window. Which is about 8cm high.

"Insect" pictures; I love the structure and way the legs fold in/out and the sharpness of these. They just intrigue me. Don't get me wrong though: I'm not a creepy crawlies type at all> far from it!

And finally: Insect being caught at the bottom of my tub! Insect was very obedient in going into my tub and also at departing later when we went outside. Only problem is, Insect has been back, daily since. Amazing how it flattened itself onto the bottom immediately.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Egrets and Micro Moths.

For a while now I have changed my bay visit routines, and have changed these to the high tides in the morning. I initially had changed this to maybe catch a sight of an Otter –or perhaps 2? - And the Common Terns, I would love to see again also.

It has been very cold in the mornings though, which is similar across these Islands.
Yesterday I had taken all my morning photos in RAW, forgetting that I’d loose the EZ in doing so, because the picture quality jumps back to 7megapixels automatically. With the EZ I loose this, but still there are that situation when 18x zoom is not enough. However I also had my pictures of those white birds, over exposed and so not much lost there. Only this morning did I manage a decent picture, the problem is just that they are right across the bay. They do fly in from the west, so perhaps I can find them a mile further on, at the shingle strand, a few hours before high tide, one day where they would be a lot closer to the road than here. Just have to wait another week and a half at least, for this to be at a suitable time. What was unfortunate though, was that in one of the pictures from yesterday, I spotted a Hooded Crow sitting with the Egrets and it was the slight 'difference' in size was immediately apparent and showed how large the Hooded Crow is!

I have been getting quite a few Moths these days, but often send them packing before reaching for my camera. This little “Face Moth” as I have started to call it, had to wait for a few ID-photos though. The face is very eerie when you look close at the Moth; it is so precise and lifelike, that I really love this little Moth. I had to set it outside of course, which is why I rescued it from the blind in the first place. This one can call in again.

Mute Swan,

5, and 2 species, Herons in the Bay, one Grey and 4 Little Egrets (or Silver Heron, as it is called in Dutch-a beautiful name for a Lovely bird.) Each morning I find them on the same spot, first two, then two more fly past the pier towards the others. And always with one Grey Heron, as if he is standing guard, almost!

Blackheaded Gulls, 10 of which greet me every morning in the bay.

different angles and times of day, images of Dunmanus Bay from the pier and the road.

Cormorant, landing at full speed in the water; was a tat misty, this is the best I get out of it. The Cormorants have had a hard time, constantly being dive bombed by the Black headed Gulls, as soon as they get within 30cm of the BHG 'crèche' of where all ten are sunning in their morning reunion. Two will fly up and pester those blackies away, often being repeated several times before the Cormorants give in.

This little "Face-Moth" I found this norming, by opening up the blinds. Isn't it cute?

This Brown, velvet-like Moth has been entering through my windows several times in the last few weeks. Yesterday perhaps for a last time?

Pied Wagtail at the Pier;

A bit of Dunmanus Bay Art?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Terns calling from the Air.

I went back to the pier; I'd heard in the shop that several Otters had been seen in te bay regularly and so I had an even better reason than only the Sunshine to go out.
i have only caught a glimpse of the Grey Herons. What really captured my attention were a group of Terns, which were flying about, looking for food and they kept in constant contact with each other (they mostly flew in pairs) via their insistent call.
I had hoped and tried identifying the Terns from my pictures, however I soon discovered that it was their call which really stood out, because the pictures are just not good enough.
Their call was like the Arctic Terns, however they do seem to miss the red beaks/legs.
I have no idea which they could be otherwise, and I do hope they stay, giving me another opportunity to ID these lovely little birds.
A couple of Cormorants were fishing nearby, as was a Black headed Gull.

Tomorrow we are off to town, and I hope to have time to get a glimpse of the birds in the harbour again after a few months of absence.

Is this little rail enough to keep my wheels from dashing in from the pier?

A fleshy succulent like plant on the bank underneath the Scots Pines along the main road. Jenny Seawright of Irish Wild flowers tells me it is a Wall Pennyworth, which gets tall spikes with white flowers. I will mark this one certainly in my mind and "map" which I intend of making of these roads around me what grows when and with descriptions. My photos will help here too.

Some kind of Fungi growing on the same bank:

I am still trying to get the hang of photographing birds in flight; these (Arctic, I think) were the perfect models as they were flying about and now and then diving Peregrine Falcon style into the water. Their call was amazing and I could not believe how loud it was.

This Blackheaded Gull was fishing, in most comical ways!



In the Garden, fans of the peanutcake, it appears..

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Herons and,an Otter too

Instead of rain, we got a peek of the Sun again today, despite a forecast showing us deep in rain and other black thoughts. I wanted to finish my post on Friday first though, before going out and thus it was already 2.30pm by the time I left for the bay.
Soon I met an English woman, walking her two dogs. She tipped me on the fact that there were ‘loads of Herons, with loads of babies’ at the pier. This explained the sight of One or two Grey Herons on almost every outing. And although late in the day, I decided as I was passing the pier, I might well take a look. What I did not understand was that I on so many of my trips I paused on the pier for at least 5-10 minutes, watching the other bank, where somehow I expected the Herons to be! And had I spotted any? Once! And this was when a fishing boat had just come in, and although one of the guys saw me, and we talked briefly about the sea birds, he never mentioned the breeding family across the bay.

I soon spotted one from the pier however. Also I kept thinking about where the Cormorants could be and when these would be returning? Last I had seen them was quite a few months ago, when I’d seen 5 in the bay, near the pier. As I sat pondering of earlier times, I was startled awake by a loud splash after a more metallic noise on my left. As I turned to take a look, a second Heron flew up, flying across. I looked down on an empty dinghy and wondered if there had been any fish left on the fishing boat, anchored next to it. As I returned to my spot of the platform, which is the pier, and rode to my spot at the end, two more Herons flew up from right underneath! Needless to say they startled me, I think? Cormorants appeared too. Four. Although only one showing up from the water close enough for a picture.
And all this time a club of about 12 Swallows were circling above and around me, skimming the water, going up, narrowly over the low edging at the end of the pier where I sat, going up, several times skimming over my lap, shoulder and up into the air. Somehow I seemed to attract Insects? All this went far too fast for me to either take a photo.
One of the last two Herons landed in a tree at the edge of a field and right at the bank of the sea. Immediately this tree rooted itself into my head for further reference as roosting tree perhaps, and otherwise to keep an eye on next spring.
The other ones, still about, sat on either side of the workhouse. The Workhouse, an old grain mill, is a very familiar sight to us. It was one of those beacons for us of coming home; we only lived about 400 metres from the pier, and this ruin was the first thing you see whenever you came from our former home at the river behind the Church of Ireland. One of those favourite buildings I often used in paintings/drawings and sketches.

The shout of a Gull, across from me, alerted me, and when I looked up, an Otter humped its way across a few boulders. I was way too late to take a photo, mostly because I just sat and watched it slither past. It went so fast, no one would have managed a photo from my position. I didn’t mind either. It was my second wild Otter and I felt delighted and totally stumped. My first Wild Otter I and Francis watched just 400metres from here, sunning itself on top of a boulder in the river beside and surrounding our cottage. Without the Gull I would have missed it slither over the boulder and disappear back into the water again. It was time to go. I had hardly seen it, as it was getting darker soon. And my binoculars? Safely at home; they would have been useless here anyway, I still held my camera in my hand, and it would have occurred too fast anyway.

One of the Cormorants, on one of those few occasions it was actually above water! And a Blackheaded Gull.

The Heron photos:

The hairy specimen of Friday's post: it is a Mulleina member of the Verbascum family.

Yarrow, before opening up into its umbellifier of tiny flowers; ;

Wild Ivy, another one of those favourite Wild flowers of mine. While I was sitting next to it, astrong waft of this lovely scent overwhelmed me and I'm sure it must have been the Ivy. Also because every year I smell this gorgeous scent on my way home from the shop too, always passing the Wild Ivy Hedgerows. Wish I had a Scentorder.

I love those 'Living Walls' found here. There is always all kinds of growths on them, Lichen, Ferns, among others.



Pictures of the old Workhouse Ruin, and the bay, towards the Atlantic and a view onto the Church of Ireland, hidden behind the tree.