Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Birds and things ...

Wednesday 8 November

It is a cold day again only 3 degrees celsius but it was so bright and sunny, perfect for my morning walk.

Birds in my garden were feeding happily all through to day. The robin family were busy guarding their territory. They were stationed all around the garden and were quite successful in chasing blue tits over the back wall but failed with the starlings and bigger birds.
There was a little sparrow munching on nuts earlier. His name is Alan. He is from Ivy Terrace over by the Football Club. He comes from a large family so they need all the food they can get. He will send his siblings over for dinner before dusk tonight.


Monday, November 6, 2017

November Blog, BIRDS and Things....

6 November

This morning I opened the bedroom curtains to great activity in the garden. There were birds all over the trees feeding on the stations then flitting back to the trees. They danced amid branches, almost bare. The flame colour of the cherry tree and yellow and golden hues of the Silver Birch are glorious. The rambling roses along the garden wall are rich shiny red hips and there are offerings of riches from the ivy and solanum too. It was a delight to see the activity around feeding. I got some tea, came back to bed and watched a blackbird and thrush, then robins, sparrows, blue tits, coal tits, starlings and magpies. The whole neighbourhood was feeding in my garden.  Jim had the binoculars, it was a wonderful to see them up close and for long periods of time. The Robin family who live here had their work cut out trying to defend their territory.  The Father Robin (Maxwell) was on the compost bin issuing warnings to the tits. The Thrush was speckled and very beautiful. His name is Bram. There is a female Blackbird called Caroline. She is confident and well able for Max's abuse. She took up a position on the garden pillar where she had a full view of the front garden. The tit family children are Castello, Charlie, Melodie, Cobalt, Chloe and Primrose.

It was a mild November day by the sea. 12 degrees celcius, overcast and dark by 4.45 pm. The clocks went back two weeks ago.

Blue tit Charlie

Max Robin

Birds and Things November Blog

5 November Blog

Yesterday we bought two Bird Feeding Stations in Aldi for 20 euro each. There has been no activity there but it will take a few days for the birds to get comfortable with visits and feeding. 

It was James's 35th Birthday yesterday (Sunday 5 November) so he and Elaine came out to celebrate his special day. I do not know where time has gone to but it is gone!!. We are all growing older by the day.  I made an apple cake with the last of the garden apples. It was delicious. We sat around the kitchen table chatting into the darkness and a Beaver moon. 

Photos of the Bird Feeding Stations

Front Garden Station
Back Garden Station

A swing with seeds and nuts for larger birds

Greystones Coast Daily Blog on Birds and things.....

November 4, 2017


Finally we have time to welcome the Birds of this area into our Garden.  I have been planning to do this for years but with work and other commitments, I did not get around to it until now.

Recently I watched Autumnwatch on BBC2 TV and decided to do some watching and note taking in my own back yard. There is so much that happens out there that we do not take time to see.  Now that I have more time, I will invest in the birds, keep this blog going if I can.

It is November and I have a view of the South beach from my bedroom window here in Greystones. The train runs along the track from Greystones to Wexford on the half hour. I used to live next to the Railway track that ran from Waterford to Tramore as a child so trains are important to me. I love to hear the whistle blow, to watch the train trundle down the track beside the beach. I especially love to watch it in Winter, cabins lit up, people looking out as it passes into the darkness.

Sitting on the bed in the back of the house I can see the tree tops in my garden. I have a 20 year old weeping Silver Birch, a laurel of the same age, an 18 year old Cherry, a Bramley Apple tree and a Pittisporum which I planted in 2004 when we came to live in this house.  I have various large shrubs,  acers and plants in the beds and a huge variety of roses... tea roses and climbers and ramblers that span walls and trellises. It is not a very mature habitat but it is pretty at this time of year and full of ripe hips. I have other climbers such as ivy, solanum and honeysuckle that offer seeds and berries to the birds. They grow on walls all around the house. The garden is rich with Autumn colour just now. The Cherry is a flame red today and the birch yellow and golden hues. It is a beautiful time of year and a perfect time to feed the birds as Winter is here. The clocks went back two weeks ago so it is dark most evenings around 5.30 pm and first light is around 7.30 pm. It will of course continue to get darker until the December Solstice when I look forward to longer days again. We have a short period of Winter here in Ireland and it rarely gets below zero degrees celcius.

Today was chilly at 3 degrees celsius but it is usually around 10 degrees by the sea. We are lucky to have only passing rain showers on the East Coast.

Jim and I bought two bird stations in Aldi today and installed one in the front garden by the den window and one in the back garden by the conservatory. We will monitor and take notes of activities each day as we go about our lives here. We actually have a family of Robins living in our beech hedge in the front garden. They patrol the trees daily from the Silver Birch in the back to a Silver Birch in the front. I hope by inviting all birds into our gardens that we do not upset the Robin Family too much.

Below is a photo of the Birch and Cherry trees in my back garden.

Trellis area is covered in Rambling Roses, Wisteria, Solanum and Ivy
Acer is so red at this time of year.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

September 2017 Cruise on the Shannon River

Inis cealtra and Mountshannon

On the road that runs behind the harbour at Mountshannon,
Apples hang bountiful from high garden walls.
There were figs and vines too
As we walked through the maze.

All these towns along the Shannon remind me of my child years in Tramore,
Gardens lush with Fuchsia, hydrangea, climbing roses,
The old Refectory, church steeple, grey stone, mossy walls,
Walks across fields of soft sodden years
The earthy scent of September.

I almost expect my grandmother to be sitting outside a house
Knitting in hand
Passing the time of day.


Inis Cealtra

A cormorant poised on a river marker,
Wings outstretched
As we say goodbye to Mountshannon harbour
And I think of the saints who came to these shores
To Holy Island so long ago.
The round tower high above the Ash and Sycamore,
The ruins of a monastic site,
A place of peace on these lakeside shores
Then and still today.

Shannon river September 2017

Notes and memories

Swallows follow our boat upriver
Silvery flashes in noonday sun.
Reeds nod in unison
And up by Corehlin Bay
A bevy of swans rise from inky waters
Into a blue noon.


A gaggle of ducks
Sweep over the brown marshland Of Lough Forbes
Where swans silently slumber
And hedgerows extend ruddy sweet haws and hips
Of early Autumn

The river is swollen
With sweet Autumn rains
Rich ripening haws illuminate
Buttercup meadows,
The shape of the breeze in tall reeds.

Passing showers
An alder sapling
In the lock gate

All along the river's edge
Nuts and berries
Autumn red

Bridges the town connecting
One home to another


River fog
The clarity
Of robin song

Caught in gorse webs
Day lifting

Jamestown Canal

September morning
Crossing the Canal,
Mist lifting all around
Along the bank
Fog trapped in webs
Draped across gorse