I am situated in Cork City, a place that offers upon close examination a surprising variety of wildlife, particularly birds. These birds go largely unnoticed by most who simply assume that the countryside is the place to be if you want to see anything with wings. Here’s a brief list of some of the birds living in and around the people of Cork City.
Little grebe, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted duck, Shoveler, Ring billed duck, Teal, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Common gull, Herring gull, Lesser black backed gull, Ring billed gull, Mediterranean gull, Black headed gull, Kingfisher, Pheasant, Great cormorant, Moorhen, Coot, Woodpigeon, Rock dove, Collared dove, Little egret, Grey heron, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Rook, Jackdaw, Hooded crow, Magpie, Blue tit, Coal tit, Great tit, Long tailed tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Wren, Treecreeper, House sparrow, Blackbird, Song trush, Mistle trush, Robin, Redwing trush, Barn swallow, House martin, Sand martin, Starling, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Blackcap, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Rock pipit and so on....
Anyway, if you are doing some walking in the city this is a great time for nesting birds, in particular Blackbirds, Robins, Song trushes and grey herons which can all be seen at the moment feeding newly fledged chicks, the robins (above and right) in particular are entertaining to watch and easy to find as they are very common.
Wrens too can be seen all over the place singing and tending to their tree hollow nests. They are quite twitchy, constantly moving through the underbrush and are therefore hard to catch on camera. The best time to catch them is when they sing. Its tiny size and brown colouration also make it difficult to spot but closer inspection is worthwhile as its plumage is actually very nice.
The two most common members of the trush family; Song trushes and Blackbirds can also be seen on every piece of green in the city scavenging for worms, snails and material for their nests. Blackbirds in particular aren’t usually bothered by the presence of people so getting a picture is easy. The male is jet black whilst the female is a dull dark brown, in spring and Summer the bill and eye ring of the male becomes a particularly bright yellow. Song trushes have a similar build but are a light brown with streaking.
Blackbird, Male (above), Female (below)