The weather is most of the problem at the moment. It’s been a very disappointing few weeks of weather. Persistent rain has provided enough water at a time of maximised sunlight hours to invigorate our hedges well beyond their normal confines.
The photographer in me had four excitements today. None could be enjoyed for their photography but there were other compensations to hand.
Stellarium informs me where I might see the Neowise comet this week before the moon starts waxing and reflecting photons that will make the comet harder to detect. This early morning and late night, either sides of midnight should have been ideal.
I can see on Clear Outside that there is nothing but cloud cover for the few nights that Neowise is easily visible to us. I wish I hadn’t accepted the Clear Outside cloud forecast earlier when this was taken by Dr Antonio Martin Carrillo.
There’s a baby buzzard in the nest in the tall trees beside the house. Not our house but a house nearby whereby the chickens, ducks, bees and pigs live as noted in the Chicken Shoes post. I know that it’s illegal to disturb the birds and their nests. A parent did swoop down and over our car on arrival but that’s because the buzzards placed their nest in a tree beside the house and the driveway that leads to it. It was a lovely sight as the buzzard buzzed us. Buzzards are surprisingly big close-up.
We walked through the mature trees that since Frozen 2 are a small but enchanted forest. The buzzards have conveniently stained the tree so that we know where to look up and where to be quiet and careful. Looking down from at least 20 metres above us was the chick. (S)he was watching us and the small children looked back as we wended our way beyond the nest.
I could hear the parents calling from afar. Very far afar. Not alarm calls, more like a chatter to tell the chick that dinner is delayed. The carrion supplies and rabbit warrens are reduced by pressure from the competing buzzard families of cousins we can hear that must be within a few kilometres of this frontier nest-stead. They must appreciate the motorway at this time of year.
So far, no comet nor buzzard photos.
We thought we’d head to Greystones for a walk on the beach. Greystones wouldn’t be our normal walking place but we have chemotherapy ongoing in the house and a radical change of scene was called for. What better motivation than to go look for a Brown Booby that has never been recorded in Ireland. I can’t complain about the weather that brought the bird to visit though it arrived tired and in need of sustenance. The bird had instead been taken to an intensive care facility in Kildare. I guess there’ll be another chance given that the first ever Brown Booby in the British Isles was recorded in Cornwall only last year.
So far, no comet nor buzzard not booby photographs. Yes, as a journalist wrote the other day, it’d be odd to hear the many keen twitchers, mostly men, standing around on a beach fantasising about the sight of a brown booby.
Red kites are expanding their range in Ireland but I didn’t see one of them either. The Mum was out in the garden earlier after we talked about an opportunity to photograph buzzards soaring overhead. She said a kite came by instead and that the kite was surprisingly big. They were only reintroduced and breeding in Ireland in 2010 not having done so since 1792 according to the ultra-informative Bird Atlas 2007-2011.
I love the idea of these avian scavengers that were not present during my formative bird watching years. Ignorant persecution, myxomatosis and organochloride pesticides eliminated them from our skies. All three are human interference so it’s appropriate that we help restore them. Organic farming methods and an educated awareness of their importance will, I hope, enable them thrive.
It is disappointing that ignorance and prejudice persists and that these carrion eaters are still being poisoned for fear that they will take newborn lambs, calves and kid goats. I can understand, though reject the prejudice over the peregrine falcons that help control the feral pigeon population. There are too few peregrines and indeed too few pigeon fanciers to justify their actions.