Thursday 31 October 2013

Walk Through The Walled Garden

While I went to church, Eileen walked through Ward Park and I met her at the Walled Garden in Castle Park, Bangor, Co Down.  The garden closes at the end of October so this will be the last time we see it until the spring, so I thought on this occasion, words probably were not necessary, no questions, no answers, just a walk around the garden drinking in its beauty.  

So are you ready with your cuppa, sitting comfortably, click on first photo for the slide show and off we go.

I  hope you enjoyed walking round the walled garden taking in its beauty.

Thank you for visiting today.

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Radjah Shelduck

Wednesday is the day I bring you an Australian bird and today it is the turn of the Radjah Shelduck -Tadorna radjah, also known as the Burdekin Duck in Australia.  The genus name Tadorna comes from Celtic roots and means "pied waterfowl", essentially the same as the English "Shelduck".

 Both the male and female of the species are mostly white, with dark wing-tips and a distinctive "collar" of dark feathers. Seen from above in flight the birds have green bands on the tops of their wings. The female has a harsh rattle and the male has a breathy, sore-throat whistle.  

Size  49–61 cm.  
In tropical dry season these large dumpty Shelduck flocks congregate on mangrove-lined river channels, tidal mudflats and beaches, or remain inland on permanent lagoons.  

In wet season moves from littoral habitat to the shallow margins of the expanding wetlands.   

Flight swift and powerful; dashes fast and low between trees.  Very vocal, calling in flight, on water or land.

The species prefers the brackish waters of mangrove flats and paperbark tree swamps, but will visit freshwater swamps, lagoons, and billabongs further inland during the wet season.

The Raja Shelduck forms long-term pair-bonds, and is usually encountered in lone pairs or small flocks. During the wet season the males commonly become very irritable, and have been observed attacking their mates.

The diet consists mainly of mollusks, insects, sedge materials and algae. Pairs start searching for nesting sites during the months of January and February. They nest close to their primary food source, often in the hollow limbs of trees, which makes habitat destruction a particular issue.


Territories are occupied at start of wet season.  Most eggs are laid April –June so that ducklings have optimum feeding areas as flood waters recede.  Nest is a large tree hollow chosen by the pair and lined with down; same site probably used each year.  

Clutch 6–12.   Incubation time is about 30 days.  After ducklings leave nest they are attended by both parents and remain together in a family group throughout the following dry season .

The Radjah Shelduck inhabits the mangrove forests and coastline of New Guinea and Australia. In Australia, its primary range is coastal tropical northern Australia, from central Queensland through northern Northern Territory (including Kakadu National Park) to the Kimberley in Western Australia.

The Raja Shelduck is listed as a protected bird in all states of Australia and penalties exist for harming or disturbing them.

I hope you enjoyed hearing and seeing the Radjah Shelduck.

Thank you for visiting.

I appreciate all your comments and I thank you for everyone of them.

Tuesday 29 October 2013

Sunset at Flood Gates, Newtownards

After Eileen and I left Castle Espie (yesterday's post) we travelled to my 
'old caravan' where we had lunch, then while returning homeward we visited other parts of the Lough shore, finishing at the Flood Gates to see the sunset.  The tide was out (again) but if you are very clever you will see hundreds of Brent Geese, 2 Heron, Redshank in photos 5 & 6.  
The last photo was taken by Eileen.

So once again, this is the time for coffee, sit back and watch the slide show. Enjoy.

Thank you for visiting my post today.

Many thanks for all those people who left comments on any of my posts.  
I appreciate everyone of them.