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Renewal: Nature's cycle of rebirth continues as we battle with pandemic

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A goosander duck parades her large brood of chicks. Photo: John Murphy Photography

A goosander duck parades her large brood of chicks. Photo: John Murphy Photography

A goosander duck parades her large brood of chicks. Photo: John Murphy Photography

Even as Ireland struggles to cope with the damage wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic, nature's great cycle of rebirth and renewal goes on.

One nature lover has combined his lifelong passion for birdwatching with a new-found hobby of photography to chart the changing seasons of nature.

John Murphy, from Cabinteely, Co Dublin, has captured stunning images showing how the natural world continues its ancient rhythms even as our world is disrupted in unforeseen ways.

The woodpecker, feeding its chick, is a recent arrival to Irish shores and still unknown in most parts of the country. This one was photographed by John in the woods at Killruddery estate, Co Wicklow, where the birds have bred for the past 10 years.

The long-eared owl chick, part of a family of four who call to one another like banshees in the night, was also photographed by John in woods in north Wicklow.

And the goosander with her huge brood of chicks is one of Ireland's rarest breeding ducks, with a small population breeding in Leinster since the 1990s.

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A long-eared owlet almost ready to fledge. Photo: John Murphy Photography

A long-eared owlet almost ready to fledge. Photo: John Murphy Photography

A long-eared owlet almost ready to fledge. Photo: John Murphy Photography

"From a young age I've been very lucky that a lot of birders and people who love nature have shared that passion for me and shown me where to look to find beauty in nature," John says. "Birdwatching is a wonderful passion and watching the young birds fledge is a message of hope for the future".

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A great spotted woodpecker feeds its chick in Killruddery estate. Photo: John Murphy Photography

A great spotted woodpecker feeds its chick in Killruddery estate. Photo: John Murphy Photography

A great spotted woodpecker feeds its chick in Killruddery estate. Photo: John Murphy Photography

Irish Independent