A couple of grey crows arrived and sat on next doors garage roof. Madame Sparrowhawk was not at all impressed, finished up and left - only feathers remain.

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Looked out my kitchen window and slowly got my iPhone to take some pix and videos. A female sparrow hawk is finishing off a pigeon in the garden. What a privilege to be able to watch this wildlife up close
I did not want to move quickly or go out in case I interrupted the birds dinner.
There are three kinds of pigeon that frequent our garden - wood pigeon, feral town pigeons [AKA flying rats] and collared doves. Not sure which this one was.
Series of videos coming up in the thread.

Morning of our final day at the Slieve Russell Hotel. This part of the grounds known as The Secret Garden is my favourite place. I could stay here all day

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Later in the day we found the home of Co Leitrim’s Gunpowder Gin. The cafe is excellent and we have a lovely and well priced lunch in very pleasant surroundings. We then went on the Gin & Whisky & Vodka tour, where top class tales are spun.
There is also a very well stocked gift shop.

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The famous Irish author; John McGahern and his absolutely heartbreaking history.
A fully recreated old-fashioned garage
A typical racist sign, of the kind too often seen in England many years ago. It was not uncommon to see ‘No Dogs, No, Blacks, No Irish’ in boarding house windows.

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More delights in the Glenview museum. I had little leather Clark’s sandals exactly like these as a child - they made great blisters on my heels.
The list of ‘cures’ and their prices in the chemists shop is very entertaining.
A picture from Irish History.
This red Renault is a precursor to the first car I ever drove, and passed my driving test in - a Renault with the gearstick in the middle of the dashboard.

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We found this little museum place - The Glenview Folk Museum - privately owned, very well maintained and containing all kids of interesting stuff, divided into themed areas. There are some items there of historical interest, which show bigotry and racism was absolutely normal ; thankfully many of us have moved away from such horrible views and attitudes now. I hope we never return to these views.

On our return to our accomodation I noticed this formation in the hills. It’s called Caves at Kasesh. Very ancient caves of which there are more than ten. Surveys etc suggest these have been inhabited by humans and others since very ancient times indeed. This will be a trip for another day. Who doesn’t love troglodyte stories?

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Some of the birds which were in their aviaries, or flying today. I really like the close-up I managed to get in the first pix. The other two are species of eagle afaik, and the last one is my favourite - a barn-owl sitting on my hand. Such a privelege.

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Two of the characters at Eagles Flying; This must be the most elderly gander I have ever seen. His mate was there also, and they were never more than a few feet apart.
The other one is Bertie O’Heron - a play on the name of former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahearne. Bertie has a mate and a nest of young herons; but he’s really fussy, as was hand reared as an orphan chick. Will only eat day old chicks, which he takes to the nest. If he’s given fish it must have the head & tail removed and be a fillet - no bones. He has been offered release but refuses to leave, so knows where the home comforts and food is.

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We booked the afternoon at Eagle’s Flying - a managed sanctuary for birds of prey and owls. As we had some time to spare en-route we called in to King House, in Boyle, Co Roscommon. There’s far more to it but here are a couple of pix of an interesting sculpture outside the door. It will be worth a full visit another day, when we can see the presidential gifts received by Mary McAleese, and many other artefacts. The King family were the billionaires of their day, and money / expense was no bar to anything they wanted. So much so they build a second much bigger house at Lough Key - it burned down after a few years and was completely lost.
Anyway, here’s the sculpture. It could be a human head in a mask; move slightly and it’s a kiwi; move again and it’s a raven. Very interesting piece.

One of the butterflies - a very common sight at Castle Saunderson, but I have not seen these elsewhere.

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The Saunderson church in the grounds of Castle Saunderson. Note the ground plaque featuring a skull and crossbones; it is beside the entrance underneath the church.
Final pix is my absolute nightmare - a web containing many, many little spiders who were running around inside in it - shudder.

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This is one of the big brown dragonflies. I had my phone on video and caught this at the very start of a clip. They are very fast, and never rest, so really had to photograph at all. It’s roughly a hands length.

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In the grass, I found this small memorial - to Anne Behan - environmentalist, photographer and member of Celbridge Camera Club. I must do some research to find out more about her life and environmental activism. Apologies that the pix is sideways.

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OMG! I managed to take a pix of a dragonfly. They are so fast, and don’t stay in one place for long. We saw two types - these little electric blue ones, and big hand sized brown ones.

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Three notice boards with written information about the occupants and history of Castle Saunderson

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