Last week I finally met a naturalist who has become unwittingly famous, and he even let me take his photo.
Every time I come across a likely naturalist (any person with binoculars and/or a big camera) and introduce myself they ask me, if they don’t immediately assume it, if I am related to Shay Connolly. This has been going on for years, yet I had never come across the enigmatic wildlife photographer, until last week when I came across him after he had spent a morning photographing beautiful little migratory birds called Wheatears. He kindly agreed to let me take a photo of him for the blog and reveal to the world, finally, what the legend looks like. I’m seriously considering writing A Field Guide to the Naturalists of Ireland. The birds would think it a fair revenge, no doubt.
Anyhow, back to our story – a lot of people tend to assume that September is Autumn, but in all truth it is often as much if not more of an extension of summer than it is the first month of autumn, and this year is a perfect example. After a very cool August we have had a perfect ‘Indian Summer’ September. The weather has been absolutely fantastic and reliably so too.
In fact, it’s a little too dry for Wicklow’s ecosystem, but that will almost certainly change very soon, when true Autumn arrives early next week and the nights grow steadily longer than the days. But the landscape is still full of butterflies, caterpillars, moths and all sorts of insects and their dependants – bats, shrews, hedgehogs and many, many bird species. The swallows are still very much with us although some will have begun departing for Africa, and I saw my last swift two weeks ago, which is late in the summer for those birds.
To shake things up a little I plan to link some videos to my next instalments, which will hopefully be helpful to people although they are by no means perfect. But if videos aren’t your thing, please continue to enjoy the text and photos, which will be accompanying the videos.