Just had another Tawny Owl flypast - this one flushed by a firework display... WTF!?!?
Anyways, here is some more blathering about what I've been up to [which isn't that much - I've suffered a terrible lack of energy this week and haven't even managed to twitch that sodding crow. I mean, come on...]
Monday at Fernworthy saw loads of birds, dragonflies, and butterflies. 9 species of lep's and 5 of od's may not be much compared to some sites, but the Azure Damselflies and Meadow Browns were present in such numbers - easily outnumbering all others put together several times over - that it was still pretty impressive. It was pretty warm, so not much was sitting still, and the best I could get with the phone was this;
I had another look around for Marsh Frits and was entirely unsurprised to find none whatsoever. However, this was not wasted effort, as if you don't look for them you can't be sure they're not there...
Skippering forward to Wednesday, when I toddled a brief 15 mile meander over t'Moor, and the best bits were the hordes of adorable juvie Wheatears! 8 different sites held them, often more than one age group present. they too were very good at moving, and here is my best effort;
A more typical view would be this;
The Devonport Leat was well stocked with both finger to hand-sized trout and also odonata - in favoured stretches - with Golden-rings and Emperors patrolling over Azures, Large Reds, and Beautiful Demoiselles. In Princetown I added a sixth species with a flypast Black Darter - I don't think I've seen one in June before :)
Oh yes, the way I went.. From the Tavistock road I followed the tramways south to Burrator, then the Devonport Leat to Nun's Cross, before cutting down to Hingston Hill Circle, then across to Eylesbarrow Mine, up the crystal path to Princetown, then over North Hessary Tor back to the Tavvy Road. Paths all the way, though as the plentiful cattle have young calves, perhaps not one for dogs for a little while [I was eyed carefully despite being alone]. If you cut out the Hingston/Eylesbarrow and started and finished at Princetown, it would be a very feasible year-round walk, too.
A pretty picture;
Friday's watch - I can't believe nobody was at Berry Head - was far better than I expected or indeed had a right to hope, especially considering the brisk [at best] wind and all the sunshine, plus the lack of a proper fast-moving low. In terms of passage, Manxies ruled the day, with 320 in 5.5 hours - all but one south! - including an impressive flock of 56. Highest numbers went to the Guillemots of the Ore Stone, with a high count of a brilliant 472 adults and young! :D Also 3 Razorbills [though all adults]. I think this is the highest number I've ever counted there, though of course I usually don't have the visibility and time and Big Scope all together so maybe it's actually down on past years?
I've already mentioned the variable-strength showers and how the birds were around their edges [as you'd expect], so on with the bits; a Puffin, an Arctic Skua, and a Bonxie all went straight through, but at least one adult Med Gull stopped for the slick. A Grey Heron also passed south; getting grief from the breeding Geebs [whose wingspans weren't much smaller than their target!] but passing on unscathed.. except maybe for nerves! Gannet rate was about 16/hour and Kittiwake 6/hour. Twas a fun watch - well, except when the rain was bouncing off the ground, under my bumbleshoot, ricocheting off my hat and into my ear..!
On my way back up the Second Slope in the lovely hot sunshine, I came across a new species for me;
Getting that shot took far longer than you would credit..
Oh, almost forgot - first juvie Herring Gull!
And now back to work. Joy.
P.S. This is post number 600. Who'da thunk it?