On a recent beach walk I came upon these gulls appearing to play a little game on the water. I was fascinated by their behaviour as I had never noticed anything quite like it before. The water was fairly calm with occasional gentle waves rising and breaking on the shore. They sat on the water with their backs to the waves waiting for the wave to break, whereupon they flew up in the air and then immediately dropped after the wave had broken and passed on. They repeated this several times as I watched them.
They could have positioned themselves further back where they would rise and fall gently on the waves, but they seemed to prefer to be at the precise position where the waves broke.
To adopt a more logical view, they may have been intending to catch some little fish in the breaking wave. That’s what I originally thought they would be doing, but they appeared to be making no attempt to dive into the water.
Either a bad fishing day – no fish, or they really were just playing and enjoying the heatwave at the time.
On a recent beach walk on Béal Bán Beach, Ballyferriter, near Dingle, I came upon this beautiful gannet. It’s not often I have an opportunity to get this close to a gannet. This bird was struggling to pull a piece of rope which appeared to have something heavy on the end of it. I watched it struggle up from the water, pulling its object up the beach. I stupidly thought she was doing this by choice, and that she may have some purpose in mind, for her piece of treasure. I took several photos, not wishing to get too close and scare her away.
Another passer-by, who was more enlightened than myself saw the bird’s distress and stopped to free her from the rope, which was apparently stuck to her beak. She must have become entangled with it when she was diving for food.
Having been set free, one might expect that she would fly away, but that didn’t happen. I can only guess that she must have been exhausted. She seemed unconcerned about me getting closer, taking more photos, and made no attempt to get away. I left her there, just standing on the middle of the beach. It was a sad sight. There was nothing more that anyone could do. I don’t know what happened to her; I hope she managed to fly away as the tide came in some hours later.
So, my reason for writing this post – just to make people think more carefully about what they throw into the sea, or leave on the beach for the tide to claim. Thousands of birds and other creatures suffer and die unnecessarily because of human carelessness.
Please visit my website for more animal and bird photos.
The gulls here are so used to tourists that they patiently pose for photos in the hope of being rewarded with tasty sandwiches.
A heron flies past just as I’m attempting to capture the egret
Tralee Bay with Sliabh Mish Mountains and Blennerville Windmill
To live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world is indeed lucky. In this post I want to show you some more photos from near where I live.
I actually hang out in two places – mainly Tralee and Ventry, in County Kerry, South West Ireland. I have previously posted photos from both these places, and as I frequently take walks with my camera near my home, I have hundreds of photos that will just never get seen.
So, this is an attempt to show just a few of these photos, starting with Tralee. My favorite walk is by the Tralee Canal (see previous posts).
Rainbow over Tralee beside the historic Ship Canal
Swans are so irresistible
A small pond and farmhouses in view from the Tralee Canal
An egret and a heron can be seen fishing in the pond beside the Tralee Canal
Tralee Bay and the Sliabh Mish Mountains at the mouth of the Tralee Canal
At the mouth of the Tralee Canal
Snow on the Sliabh Mish Mountains and birds in flight over Tralee Bay
More later on Tralee Canal and environs.
All enquiries regarding photos would be very welcome and can be made through my website http://www.helene-brennan.com
Down at the end of the Tralee canal, past the Blennerville Swingbridge, is the best part of this delightful walk. That’s where you can get away from all traffic noises on the Dingle Road, and hear only the sounds of nature. As you get past the lock gates and walk to the far end where it run into the sea, this is where to stand, or sit on a rock and contemplate the magic of this wonderful place. To observe the beautiful view of the Sliabh Mish Mountains on the Dingle Peninsula, Fenit Harbour on the other side, and the open Atlantic Ocean in between, whilst enjoying the feature that makes this place most special – the sounds of the birds, to be heard from miles along the coast – is a really lovely experience. There are all kinds of sea birds and others, creating a gentle cacophony, offering a splendid and natural opportunity for a relaxing meditation – fantastic, connecting and calming.