Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Mad Dogs and Backward Birders

Yes, out in the noonday sun again today.

Nowhere near as far afield this time, just a couple of sites about t' Moor's edge. I got unsurprisingly toasty - well, it was 30° - and at first rather brassed-off, as my [longstringofrudewords] autofocus pulled a royal one and refused to lock on to the most showy butterfly I've ever met that wasn't actually dead...

Yup, after butterflies. Frits to be particular. I did not get shots of everything - the heat had given them superpowers - but I got shots of somethings, so cover your eyes....

Small Heath, pauses for microsecond too long...

Speckled Wood, thought it was out of range

So did the Marbled White

Meadow Brown shows them how it's done
"Just vibrate realllly fast and you'll look out of focus!"

I did say frits, though, didn't I?

ID Challenge!

Ohhh, it's a Silver-washed!

Remember how I said I was vexed by my camera? Observe. No zoom, no crop;

This was attempt no. 7..

Yeah, High Brown Fritillary, 'most endangered butterfly in Britain', flew up to me, perched, posed, ignored me totally. And my camera would not focus on it.

It was far too hot to shout and swear and curse, but oh, I thought some very hard thoughts indeed....

A change of tactic was tried, with my classic 'find a nice spot, have some lunch, see what flies by' routine selected.

You might want to look away;

ID Challenge 2

"So, which do you think is my best side?"

"I reckon it's this one"

Higher than High...


It wasn't all plain sailing; the other frits were in no mood for even stopping, let alone letting me try photography at them.. Oh well.

It wasn't all butterflies, either;

Female Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Male Keeled Skimmer

Willow Warbler


Not a Buzzard...

..Though with a Bunny!

And thus the lack of locational clarity. ;)

Be Seeing You..


The longest day, high point of the Wheel of the Year.

Hail to the Sun!

Be Seeing You..

Tuesday, 20 June 2017


In more detail and with less.. 'Arrgh I've been out in the sun all day..'

So, the basics being that this was my first chance to go after a Lovely Lifer, all nailed down and so on. I've got this week off work - as usual it being Midsummer - so it seemed like a plan. Yes, the tern was mobile, but I'd have all day and even if it swanned off fishin' for an hour or six, I'd get it in the end..

Ok, I hadn't counted on the weather, but these things you beast through.

The traffic was.. unfortunate. Most notably, a poor lorry full of scrap metal tried a bend too fast and went over.. I hope the driver was ok, but the hold-up wasn't fun. Lots of little things added up and.. Oh well.

As it happens, being there at first light would have only given me a 50/50 on it - it shot off so fast - and as for the not coming back; hey, what can you do?

Dips suck. They don't make the ticks feel better, though they do add a touch of vengeanceismineyoubugger - see the Great Revenge At The Warren, for example - when you get them in the end. Of course, the next Elegant Tern might be in 20 years...

Ok, not all bad, as Pagham Harbour has it's pluses; Little Terns! Commons and Sarnies! Med Gulls!

Watching a Little Tern fish in a channel maybe 30m from you is worth the trip.. Med Gulls, stonking s/pl adults, flying right over calling [gulls that sound nice...horror!].. All the fun of a tern colony.. ok with hordes of Block 'eads, but also resident [and advertised and protected] neighbours  :D

I took the odd picture, some even worked out;

Pagham Harbour
Tern Island is out there...

Time for a close-up;

The Elegant used to be 'right of the sign and left of the conservatory'

Enough landscape, here be a few locals;

Mediterranean Gull

Tern ID Class

Right then, time for action!

First, the hover.
Somewhere between Kestrel and Hummingbird

Fish spotted, tip over..

And roll into an inverted dive, like a tiny Gannet!

Did I mention how much Little Terns rock??


Not giving up until far too late did have the odd benefit. One being missing most of the roads full of fools that had vexed my trip out [[Oi, no ranting]]

The second being neatly in time to take a minor detour to my pet spot for these wonderful things;


This was shot from the hip..

I'd taken the camera out as I thought 'Hey, why not?' After all, as I wasn't using a flash, it wouldn't do any harm except eating memory with bits of black..
The birds were on good form; a cracking male had come for a look-see before I'd even shut the car door! In all, at least 6 churrers, multiple males in flight, with a couple of females seen, too. Brilliant!

The lack of wind equalled hordes of midgies, but that's what SSS is for :) [yup, malice of forethought, people ;) ].

Time for a quick bit of pretty scenery;

I like my spot

Right then, there is a little more postage to come about other things, but this'll do for mow.

Be Seeing You..

Monday, 19 June 2017


Spent the day at Pagham Harbour.

Hotter than the euphemism of your choice.

No sign of Elegant Tern.

Definitely Monday.

To cheer myself up, here's a lovely iphoned shot of a Spadger, courtesy of Sister The Youngest;

On The Shed. Yes, THE Shed.

"Cor' blimey guv'ner"

"If you're going to propitiate dreadful stereotypes, I shall depart post haste."

Be Seeing You..

[But not that {BLEEEEEEEEEEP} Tern...]

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Ok, Who Broke The Thermostat?

It's just too hot.....

After a day of getting things done and cowering in the shade, today was a day of getting out for the Traditional Fathers' Day Nicpic... and cowering in the shade!

Well, the dappled shade of a lovely Sweet Chestnut;


We had a very nice time, if a bi- ok, a lot hot. The heat made the butterflies about - at least 2 flavours of Frits, most notably - supercharged, with a resulting total failure to even nail said frits to sp., let alone photo! Fortunately, the odd bird was less speedy;

We were serenaded by Yellowhammer

And Raven!

Where exactly did we go? Here;

View from Here

You know, near where there are these gorgeous things;

Gorgeous Devonian palaeoripples!!


Be Seeing You..

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Looking Out The Window

This evening, watching the Swifts - 11+, btw - and a Grey Heron flies over. Nice and low, beautifully lit by all this sunshine we've been having.

Ah, if I'd had camera in hand..

That's it.

Be Seeing You..

Sunday, 11 June 2017

My Turn

After all the news earlier in the week of people seeing Stormies all over the shop, finally the weather was forecast to be good for me to have a go. Well, it was forecast earlier in the week. At one point it looked really good for a certain set of conditions, even.. :)

But then the jet stream zigged and off the lovely low went and so.. I went anyway. A front was forecast for the afternoon, so get there early and wait for it, right?

The weather laughed at me quite a lot. Not as much as the Stormies, though.

Nope, not one.

I did see a few birds in the eight hours I gave it. Yes, eight.

415 Manx and a Balearic - not bad? 9 Puffins - not bad at all.

No Sooties, no skuas [of any flavour]. One Common Scoter. One. [I'm not sure I've only seen a 'one' before...?] A scattering of Swifts, two gorgeous Med Gulls - one a pristine adult WOW - and the usual Gannets, Kitts, and Fulmars.

I gave the Ore Stone a look and there were more than 500 auks. Yes, 500 [I got 523 in all, including resting on the sea in vicinity]. At least 6 Razorbills, with birds coming in FF [looked like Sandeels and smaller fish, maybe Sprats or Whitebait?] and everything. :D

Nothing sexy came close enough to shoot, but that didn't stop me;

Leading elements of a horde of 29...

Yes, 29 *&?@$%*£$!!!!! on jet skis. I might observe the proportion of them who were shall we say, the type who might be expected in other circumstances to buy a Harley Davidson and last maybe two or three weeks before...?
 Of the 34 jet skis in all, I could tell you how many weren't.

Ach, where's a trained White Shark when you really need one?

Let's see a nicer surprise, name that bird!

Not expected on this date.

Much more expected, here's a couple of target practice shots;

2cy Gannet


One of four, there.

And finally, because I haven't inflicted one on you in so long, here's something truly horrifying;

Moulting 2cy Herring Gull



In case you're in the dark, that was a full s/pl G C Grebe up there. Quite what it was doing tarting about on the sea when it should be on a lake somewhere I do not know.

Also of interest; the first Sunfish I've seen in an age, a Cormorant catching and [once it had fought off 5 GBBs!] narfing a humongous Bass, and a brief glimpse of a grey cetacean - probably a Harbour Porp, but I got so little on it..

Despite it seeming that not a huge amount happened, the time went quickly - always a good sign - and indeed, 4 of the Puffins and quite a few of the Manxies came through very close.

Ah, if only there'd been decent rain to turn the chummer on, I reckon it would have been a corker..

Be Seeing You..

Friday, 9 June 2017


I don't talk about politics on here.

I may occasionally bang my head against the wall in the near vicinity, but don't mind that. The dents are gradually forming the work of modern art that will secure my early retirement [just as soon as I get that hypnotism thing right...].

So, I will speak of this week in only incidents marked primarily by piccies [oh dear...]

Such as, visitors to the rations I put out;

Mr Nuthatch

Through a [pane of] glass, wetly.

Mr Blackbird
[plus The Bucket, with Acme Pigeon Guard™]

Also in rain, though less vigorous.

This afternoon, I sought brief sanctuary in Yarner, even managing some proper peace and quiet.

A bit too quiet - no specialties except for a couple of distant Pied Flycatchers!

Not empty, though;

Grey Wagtail

Song Thrush

"No really, I'm a Veery!"

[Oh dear...]

Now, I know I have my 'no politics', but that doesn't mean 'no awful humour';

It's all Green here.

There's got to be a Lib-Dem joke in there somewhere..

I'm stopping, I'm stopping....

Be Seeing You..

Monday, 5 June 2017

A Seawatch! Also More Planes.

Sunday saw some actual almost proper weather when I could get at it at last at last at last......

Unlike today, when definite proper weather turns up on a work day. Booo hiss etc. etc.

Anyways, I toddled down to the Nose and had a look to see what I could see.

And less than three hours later I gave up due to sunshine and imminent jets.

This is not to say the weather was universally sunny, just that it had noticed me and was feeling capricious;

East Devon having all the fun..

I don't know what deal the organisers of the air show did with the Dark Powers to arrange the weather so neatly, but it certainly worked.

In the meanwhile, however, I actually saw some birds! Woo! A Balearic and 126 Manx went south, as did 8 Common Scoter [one of which was very big!], my first non-Sarnie tern of the year went north, as did a white-winged gull which was probably a Med but might have been one of those nasty BHGs [not a great view, tbh]. Gannets, Kitts and Fulmars were moving, with an interesting Fulmar in a very tatty state, with a dark rear end but alas tail matched coverts.. [Keep checking..]

Closer to, the Ore Stone colony is in full swing, with Razorbills again in the Cave Of Doom - adult seen heading in with bill full of Sand Eels!

Yes, that blob IS a Razorbill...

On shore, birds included juvie Rockits and Ravens.

"Did someone say flapjack??"

"Feeeeeeeed meeeee!"

Not just birds on land, either;

Yes, you are gorgeous.

Ok, time for the noisy stuff!

Yes, second day of low-flying shenanigans, and just to show you it wasn't all Arrows and Typhoon, here's something different!!!

[Designed to combine pilot training and suppressing the people in one handy package]

Not only, but also;

The Tigers on their way in

Ok, enough of that, here's what you wanted;

Can't get enough of them!

And of course, it wouldn't be a proper show without some serious waaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Straight and level?


Nae chance..

Again, not so much Exit, Stage left-, as Exit through the Gods, pursuing Bear..  :D

Ok, that'll do.

Be Seeing You..