Thursday, 16 May 2013

Death and New Life

I went to the RSPB Belfast Harbour Reserve today where I found both death and new life.   There was the death of a Great Black backed Gull and we witnessed a Buzzard having it for a meal.  Then there was 3 young Coot chicks being feed and looked after by both parents.  The chicks are only a couple of days old and the parents were very protective of them and any other bird that came close to them, got short shift.  They are very comically cute!  Really only their parents could 'truly love' them!

Coot Chick

Another young family appeared.  This time it was a Mallard duck with her 7 ducklings. The last time I was at the Reserve she had 12 ducklings so it was sad to see that some had been taken.  You can see on the video that some of the other birds are still giving them a hard time.

Mallard with her ducklings

The Tern island still had only Black headed Gulls nesting on it even though there were about 30 Common Tern arrived and sitting on the far off grass, however there now didn't seem to be any room for them on the island.  This is worrying as they may not come back next year if they cannot breed here this year.  Then I spied that one of the Black headed Gulls had a couple of chicks.  They must have been only 2 day’s old and although this photo and video is not so good I thought I would include it.

Black headed Gulls with 2 chicks
I had not expected to come upon death and new life at the reserve when I set out today.  Now I journeyed on to a funeral of a friend of mine in his 40’s and I thought this was going to be a difficult and sad occasion.  He was a loving husband and family man who was a committed Christian.  That made all the difference to this service as we celebrated his life knowing he was now with Jesus.  His eldest son spoke wonderfully even with humour and when he finished, everyone clapped.  That does not happen often I’m sure at a funeral.  Even though he had died physically, my friend had the hope that his spirit would go on living for eternity.  

So like at the Reserve, there was death and new life, I found the same at the funeral.  When I arrived home, one of my nursing friends Ruth Wilde, who could not come to Derry yesterday, send me this photo, so thanks to her, we are able to see her new Starling chicks that are 7 days old.  They nest every year in her letter box so today I have been privileged to see Coot, Tern, Mallard and Starling chicks.
Starling chicks
Thank you for looking in at my blog and I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. ducklings and chicks are so vulnerable, it is amazing any make it to adulthood.

    i am sorry for the loss of your friend.

  2. Yes, in every day there can be joy and sadness but it how we handle it that matters.

  3. Sorry to hear of your friends death Margaret.

    Interesting what you say about the Terns not having room to nest, because of the Black-headed Gulls. The same has happened here in a couple of places I know off. I hope nature gets the balance right in the end.
    Enjoyed the videos; and the Starling picture at the end is lovely. Hope they soon grow up so your friend can have her letterbox back lol

  4. Hi Keith You comment regarding the 'letterbox' made my laugh. It is good to laugh.

  5. Looks like a wonderful place to take photos. Those coot chicks are so funny looking :-)

  6. It is a fairly good place to see birds but from the Observatory, we have to take the photos through glass windows so that is not as good.