Tuesday, 21 May 2013

As they say in the films - 'TAKE 2' - PLUS update on Starling Chicks

View of Groomsport from the pier
Today you will know (if you read yesterday's post) that I was taking the Nature group on the same walk from Ballymacormack Point to Groomsport.  The sun was out but there was a bitter wind.  The first thing I spied as a Small Tortoise Butterfly.  It was sheltering against the warm wall.

Small Tortoise Shell Butterfy
Again we saw the Sandwich tern, Herring and Black headed Gulls over the sea.  We hadn't walked to far before we saw Stonechat and Reed Bunting.

Reed Bunting

Along the path we came across Common Scurvy Grass. In the past, it was highly valued by sailors and was taken in the diet as a preventative for scurvy on long sea trips.

Cochlearia officinalis
I thought these tiny bluish flowers (below)were very delicate and I loved the hairy seed heads.
Close  up of  Soft Cranesbill - Geranium molle
Like yesterday we also saw Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Hooded Crow and these Jackdaws.

You lookin' at me baby?
We also saw a wonderful male Wheatear that saw on a rock for long enough to get the telescope up and let everyone see him well.  Further on, we saw a female Stonechat.

Stonechat - female

I also was fortunate to see A Sedge Warbler and heard a good many more singing. Only 1 Willow Warbler seen.  As we reached Groomsport for our coffee and scones I noticed this small plant on a rock.

I am not sure what this plant is called.  Anyone know?

Now to tell you all how our baby starlings are doing.  The first photo from Ruth is went they were 15 days.  Still 6 chicks and we can still  'just' see all of their beaks.

This next photo below is day 16 and you can see that one of them is standing on his mates and he is looking grown up now and I am sure it will not be long until they fledge.

Ruth, my friend says that it is extremely difficult to get them all in one photo now as she does not want to disturb them to much.  Any guesses how many days they will fledge?

Thank you for looking at my blog today. Please call again to see how the Starling Chicks are doing.


  1. the chicks are really grown up! love all the blooms and birds you shared!

  2. Wow those starlings do like they're going to leave the nest anytime soon, that one standing on it's sibling is already showing it's "bully-boy" behaviour.

  3. HI Douglas
    I wonder jusst how many days they haveleft in the nest. Not many I agree. Margaret

  4. Hi Tex Glad you like the bloom and chicks. I don't think we will have them much longer. Margaret

  5. Not sure what your mystery flower is. My best guess would be some sort of stonecrop?
    The Soft Cranesbill is lovely.
    The Starlings; you can see them growing on the screen! lol
    I reckon a couple of days, and they'll be gone.

  6. HI Keith
    I think you could be correct about the starling. Didn't hear from Ruth yesterday so don't know how our Starling are doing. Thank for suggestion about plant but the leaves don't look like Stonecrop.I have been thought 1483 species of British Flora and cannot find it. I am beginning to think it is cultivated not wild! Margaret

  7. The small tortoiseshell is becoming quite rare Margaret. I have only seen one this year, which is one more than last year.

  8. Hi Roy I didn't know this butterfly was getting rare. Now that would be a shame. This is the second one I have seen this year adn the only other butterly I ahve seen is the small white. No Orange tips yet either. Margaret