#SundayStills – Encounters Of The Bird Kind

Warning – There are a few photographs towards the end of this post which may be upsetting, although there is a happy ending…

Birds are fascinating to me.  There are large birds, tiny birds, they are resourceful, clever, delicate yet tough little beauties, they survive harsh weather and have to dodge so many predators.  They are beautiful.

Here is my contribution for this weeks #SundayStills photography challenge, ‘For the Birds‘ hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt.


We’ve had a few bird encounters over the years, here are a few…

As we live on a boat, we are lucky to say, swans and ducks are our neighbours.  Pure beauty and elegance.

This cheeky fella below, seemed to be talking to us while in a beer garden in Cornwall, “Hey, why aren’t you ordering lunch?”  

Our reply, “We’ve just stopped for a pint mate, no crumbs here, cheeky!”


At the base of a ski lift in Whistler, these cheeky Grey Jays are so friendly, they were landing on people’s heads and just seemed to be saying, “Hi there, any snacks?”  This moment was wonderful for me – and they weigh nothing!


Recently we were walking in Scotland and this little guy, one of my favourite birds, a Robin, seemed to be following us for a while, probably making sure we moved along swiftly from his patch.  He was quite happy to sit there posing for us to take photos, while chirping, “Move along, move along, nothing to see here!”


Another amazing moment was when we found an owlet on the ground in our local woods.  It was exciting, but also quite scary because we were concerned about doing the right thing.  You can read about it Here.  We learnt a thing or two that day.

I was so excited to see a Woodpecker feeding on Jon’s mum and dad’s bird feeder in their garden while we were there.  Aren’t they beautiful?


Warning – some people may find the following photographs upsetting.

I wondered whether to add these as it may be a little upsetting to see, but it’s something I feel quite strongly about.  I decided to show them as I believe it’s important for people to understand what a sad existence these caged birds have.

A good friend of mine, Karen rescues hens who have lived all their lives in cages.  She picks them up from the British Hen Welfare Trust.

I’m sorry if this may be upsetting to see, but I have included some photographs below of when the hens first arrived on my friends farm, they are quite shocking.

But…You will also see that I have included photographs of what they look like now – Happy Hens!

Below are photographs of the hens, a few days after they arrived at my friends farm.  It took them time to come outside from the barn, as they didn’t know what to do.  They huddled in a corner together for the first few days.  One by one they slowly started to come out into the sunshine and they even, cheekily wandered into the house.  They eventually found the fields and felt grass for the first time.

Below are photographs of the same hens after a few months of being free to roam.  Their feathers have grown back, they stand up straight and their red combs are looking beautiful.  They are now very happy hens, still cheeky though as they wander into the house, or sit on the stable door.  They have personalities and they follow Karen, their rescuer, everywhere!

A happy ending for these lucky hens!

Please think, before you buy eggs.  Please look for free range eggs.  Look for eggs laid by hens who are able to roam in fields.

Thank you to Terri for this weeks #SundayStills photography challenge.

Terri is a fabulous photographer and her blog is well worth a visit, better still, why not take part in the weekly ‘Sunday Stills’ challenge Here

I hope you have enjoyed my contribution, thank you for visiting!

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Me with Crazy Rose (left) and our beautiful, (late, but always remembered) Jenna 💕

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25 thoughts on “#SundayStills – Encounters Of The Bird Kind

  1. Delightful photos! (except the poor chicken of course) In the US the terms “free range” and “cage free” can be deceptive. They are used by factory farms to describe chickens/eggs the were produced by chickens who live in large over crowded barns and although they are not confined to a cage they have very little room to roam and never get to see the light of day. The term pasture raised would indicate that the birds actually were foraging outside the way chickens should but unlikely you would find such in a grocery store. It is best to seek out a local farmer and ask how the birds are raised.
    God bless your friend for caring so much.

    1. You’re so right and it’s the same here in the UK, personally I’m lucky because I do have access to my friends farm where they are free range and happy, but there is one company who put on the egg boxes (in shops here) where they state hens are free to roam in fields. I do hope that’s true 😊 thank you for reading

      1. We have been raising out own chickens for seven years. We allow them to free range occasionally we lose one to a predator but that’s the risk we have to take in order to have happy, healthy chickens. The eggs are wonderful as well.

        1. Hi Ruth I’m so happy for you, and your happy hens 😊 I used to have hens years ago & remember losing some to foxes but they were happy and did what chickens do naturally 😊 free range eggs are the best 👏 thank you for reading

    1. You are so right, buying from a local farmer where you know they are free to roam is best, I’m lucky I have that option, but most people don’t and have to buy from shops. The descriptions should be clear on the egg boxes for sure 😊

    1. Thank you Anabel, it’s so lovely to see cygnets on their mums back 😊 yes it did take quite a while, but after a rubbish start to their lives, they are now very happy 😃

  2. I almost didn’t scroll further after your warning but knowing there was a happy ending, I went forward. I don’t think most of us really know where our food really comes from. We see pictures of happy cows, pigs, chickens, etc. and tell ourselves it’s all good. Thanks for the eye-opener!

    1. Hi Janis thank you for reading. You’re right it is an eye opener, I was so shocked when I saw these poor souls when they arrived, as you say I had no idea, I now only ever eat eggs from hens who I know for sure are happy, healthy and roaming free and the eggs are much nicer too 😊 thank you for reading x

  3. Great post, Sam. I only buy eggs that originate from chickens that are free-farmed. We had chickens that were ex-battery and they roamed the orchard and the eggs were so bright and tasty. Haven’t had any that taste quite as good. Getting rid of battery farmed chickens is a big thing here. Though we don’t seem to be able to get the high rate of domestic violence down, Funny old world we live in!!
    Very cute Mum and chicks photograph.

    1. I knew you’d be one of the super hero’s helping the chickens 👏 free range eggs do taste so much better! Yes definitely a funny old world we live in xx

  4. Not only did you captures the wonderful birds with your lens, I think that one captured your heart, Sam! Those poor hens! Glad you showed us their plight and very glad to see them healed with their freedom to roam.

    1. Oh I’m so glad you were ok with me showing the hens Terri I really wasn’t sure wether to or not, but they are close to my heart 💔 lovely to see them now though living a fabulous life x thank you Terri x

  5. You are quite the photographer! I’m glad you shared the plight of the hens as well as their new paradise. For years now we’ve bought eggs only from farms where hens can roam freely. Thank you for highlighting that.

    1. I have to give credit to my iPhone camera as I just point and shoot, these phones are great aren’t they?! Thank you Marie, caged animals are something I feel strongly about, and the world is beginning to take note now if it’s cruelty so hopefully it’ll get better x

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