Sunday, January 30, 2011

5 mins from Drimnagh

Finally had to go to the dr's and get antibiotics, so spent yesterday staying in. Well, I say staying in - we went into town to buy some earmuffs (€5 from georges st arcade- bargain) and a neckwarmer to avoid future antibiotic prescriptions. Seems I haven't been togging up properly going out and the freezing air has been causing my sore ears and throat. Went to see the King's Speech (not bad, great visually, 6.5/10), tried to get a coffee in the hyped Foam cafe, which was closed, so ended up in an all you can eat Chinese for €6.95 - happy days. Ended day watching dvd of Social Network (very good, 8/10).

Today I drifted places which were close to home.
I drove round the Crumlin Brent Geese haunts to try and get some tags. GAA was on in Pearse Park, GAA was on at the school fields and no BG's on Clonmacnoise or Sundrive.
There was a big flock of 100ish Redwings in Sundrive, along with 15 Greenfinches, 5 Goldfinches, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Bullfinches, Song and Mistle thrushes. No Brambling.
Black Cap, Sundrive Pk, Dublin 12
Brent Geese over Crumlin
Brent Geese landing in Sundrive Park cycle track, Crumlin
The only tag in the flock of 109 geese - WRSX - there were 8 juveniles in the flock

I waited about 20 mins to see if any more geese would join their buddies but it didn't happen, so when they flew off, I did too.
I was going to head over to Phoenix park, but for a change I called into the Irish National War Memorial gardens. It's a really lovely, old mature park, with some areas giving off a Roman or Greek amphitheatre feel. Maybe that was just my fancy, but it's a place to go and take a book and read in the warm sun. Maybe.

View Larger Map

One of the first birds I saw there was a Sparrowhawk which was pretty cool.
Sparrowhawk, bars going across the chest and rounded wings.

Again there were a lot of Redwings, Song thrushes and Mistle thrushes foraging in the leaves.

Amazing camouflage, no need for a Real Tree jacket here. Mistle Thrush in the leaves. Honest.

Mistle Thrush
Song Thrush

Song Thrush

Song Thrush
Walking along the river, there were plenty of Rowers rowing by, teams of girls, boys, singles and doubles.
Rowers along the Liffey, Dublin
They didn't seem to disturb the family of 8 Little Grebes, Moorhens, Mute Swans, BH Gulls, Mallards or Coots.

Little Grebe, already moulting into summertime breeding plumage

Little Grebe, still in full winter plumage. River Liffey, Dublin.

Heron, River Liffey, Dublin.

Yes, you really have got huge yellow feet. Moorhen, River Liffey, Dublin.

The sun went down just before 5pm. In the light of the sunset I saw the pink buff of a male Bullfinch and the red spot on a Lesser Redpoll nearly glowing before the night set in and everything turned dark.

Glowing buff of male Bullfinch, there was also a female in the tree.

Glowing red spot on Lesser Redpoll's crown. There was a small flock of 6. All with streaky rumps, all lesser Redpolls.
So, that was my day. Nice to have the evenings staying brighter, longer.