Three posts in as many days.. What is the world coming to?
I should perhaps have called this 'listen to your instincts', as today I didn't and then did.
I decided to have a wander about Fernworthy - and do I really need a reason? No I don't - but due to mental malfunction I took the wrong road [Stormsdown instead of Chaggers]. Not the end of the world as there is a way to cut across - which I remembered despite it being many years since I scouted it going the other way [not bad] - but my route did take me past Vitifer. Indeed, the Goddess of Birding may well have been trying to hint to me, with coobeasties waylaying me three times. The third incident involved Highlands with Great Big Pointy Horns - always pay them attention, folks! - but I was too fixed on my route to think about it. So, why mention Vitifer? Only a Great Grey Shrike tarting about there! Drat.
I did listen to my instincts to stay put in the hide at Fernworthy and not give up at the paucity of action, resulting in me being treated to two male Mandarin fly in!! Here is an awfully burned out phonescope of one of them;
I also had the pleasure of a very close swim-past by the Cormorant which was busy working the reservoir; a 90° bird, though far too active to get a picture unfortunately.. Also 2 Tufty, 19 Teal, a Little Grebe, a Coot [only one?], a Grey Heron and a couple of Mallard.
The gull roost was building nicely when I left [About a 3:2 Herr:LBB ratio, plus a few smaller jobs], but no Goosander were yet present. I did meet a small group of Dartmoor Birders - only the second time I've met someone at the hide! - as I left; they'd had slightly better luck with Crossbills [ie. they actually saw a small group], but met no Redpoll at all.
Oh yes, the birds...
I heard a couple of [regular sounding] Crossbill fly over, had some Redpoll see me first and fly off, had Siskins move past me without stopping, and met only three Goldcrest bands and a few tits. It was veeeery quiet! I did see and hear some woodpeckers [You're spared the awful Green Wood shot] in the plantation, get rattled at by a Mistle Thrush, and watch three lovely Stonechats messing about near the Heath Stone.
The sunshine was glorious, as was Castle Drogo's scaffolding!
Here's the view without bins;
I covered the bits as yet uncovered this autumn and no, bugger all cones anywhere... Something tells me a Two-bar flock, let alone Parrots, will be hard to find in Devon.. :(
[[Cue 20+ of each over at the Backwater tomorrow!!]]