01 December, 2023

Insert Dodgy Violet Pun Here

Saturday dawned cold and frosty. I lugged the heavy artillery to the Nose in the vain hope I'd get some nice views of the Black Redstart. [He did show wonderfully. To the Teacher, with The Artefact ::Ominous Chanting::. After I'd left.     Drat.]

I bashed bushes to feck all little reward.

I scoured the sea and found it diverless [well, once I'd texted that out, one appeared, but that was just to take the piss inevitable].

But behold, on my way home;

It's Spriing! November.

Glorious Devon, folks.

I did eventually find the odd thing; that GND, and the Common Scoters and Eider around the Buoy Farm.
There were a fair few Guillemots on the Ore Stone, many of whom went off North in a sudden rush

"Last one to the chippie pays!"

Near-futile scanning with the Big Scope of a loose spread of feeding gulls produced a surprising number of Harbour Porpoise - this outside the Ore Stone and seen over it from Sunrise Bench - with at least 6 present. [You rarely see more than two or three here]

But really, it was pretty quiet.

Here's a piccie of those scoterses, taken a little later on from the IMD Lookout;

One, two, three...

Much better through the scope, naturally.

Let's have a panorama in three parts [due to blog limitations.]

Berry Head beyond Sandy Point, Thatcher Rock,
Thatcher Point

Thatcher Point, Sandy Cove and
the South Side

The South Side

Taken while waiting for the Blackstart to not show.

The Sun was all shiney [for once], but it was hard yards.

Still, 'tis Patch birding.

Be Seeing You...

28 November, 2023

30 Seconds Of Joy

Oh, behave.

Firstly, something atmospheric,

After the fun stuff, the sunshine.
[Sort of]

To the biggie;

Hope's Nose, Top Dell, 1042 on Sunday and at very long last all that Patch-bashing I've been doing paid off with a very active [though when are they not?] Yellow-browed Warbler, foraging along the Back Wall before vanishing behind the Olive Tree* while I was getting the news out. [Yes, I really ought to start paying more attention to this blog by going for camera first and phone second, but well....]

It didn't call [though assorted Robins and Wrens weren't helping] but was so bright that I wondered if it wasn't a Pallas' at first. Sadly a good view of the top of the head - while it eyed up its next victim - showed that it wasn't [no crown stripe] and said brightness ruled out Humes' [which are famously dull, though you really need the call to ID one as some YBWs can be very Humes'-looking].
This was on my way out, having undergone a surprise seawatch - after arriving to find unforecast stiff wind and sideways dizzle - and then confirming not only continued presence of 4 Eider and 10+2 Common Scoter, but fixing them as 1 2w, 2 1w males and a female type [too far to be sure, still] with some good light scope views at a distance that only gave photos like this

3 out of 4 by a buoy
2w m top left, f left,
a 1w m to right
Yes, 2w as if older he'd be moulting into adult basic plumage by now. He looks like he's wearing a black suit with white shirt and white scarf. :)

Also, a few Grey Seals on Thatcher Rock.

How many seals?

That's six Grey Seals.

Yes, six. There's a pale one behind a dark one, side-on on the left.

Did I say seawatching weather?

For 40 minutes it was promising

Then the vis lifted

Exit good stuff, stage right, 
enter sunshine, stage left.

Also on camera,

A scattering of Guilles 
on the Ore Stone

Just a few.

Right, seawatch numbers.

Glonk Cormer, 1hr

Auks [95%+ Razorbill]                                                 1007
Gannet                                                                             148
Kittiwake                                                                         165
Fulmar                                                                               2
C Scoter                                                                            4/7
Pom Skua [light m, ad, 0858]                                           1
GND                                                                                  2
Med Gull                                                                           2
Com Gull                                                                          13
BHG                                                                                 5/2
[Note, probable L Auk, 0848§]

[§ Overtaken by large auk group I was clicking through, I kept clicking, went back to confirm... but couldn't refind. There were a fair few rather small juvenile Razorbill in and amongst, but this stuck out.    Bugger.]

861 of those auks were in the first half hour, about 15 in the last 20 minutes! Big groups, a right pain to click, but impossible to count without; real fun! Also keeping an eye for extras within, as big winter auk passages can carry all sorts of goodies. Not that I got anything [just...], but you have to look!

Also a Grey Seal off Longquarry, making 7 in the area.

As well as a small siberian, at least 1 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff and a Song Thrush were in the Top Dell area.

It's perhaps inevitable I had to leave sharp due to an ill-advised committment to work [well, the forecast wasn't great even the day before, let alone earlier in the week...]. The Teacher went along later in the day but couldn't connect with the Yellow brow, though he did get a storm petrel sp. passing by, so swings and roundabouts.!

The day before... Is another post!

[And no, I haven't forgotten about that Yet More Fungi and Stuff Post. It is coming......]

Be Seeing You...

[[Yes, it's actually a Holme Oak or something, evergreen and tree-y, but I call it that because a) I'm me, and b) I hope if I do it for long enough, eventually an Olive Tree Warbler will appear in it.**]]
[[** What? I'm allowed to dream.***]]
[[*** Anyways, it'll be Summoned by The Artefact ::Ominous Chanting:: while I'm at work, just you wait and see.....]]

23 November, 2023

They're Heeeeere! [Wait, Have I Done That Before?]

Finally a little variety at the Nose.

Except for all the Little Gulls. And the storm petrels [that's plural species :D ].
Try again.
Finally wintering species arrive.

Apart from all the GNDs. And we've had Redwing [ok, The Teacher has had Redwing]


Ok, finally some more wintering species have turned up.
Yep, that works.


Adult male, folks!

And what a stunner, too.


Viewed despite a slightly howling gale beside Teacher and Son [I suspect The Artefact ::Ominous Chanting:: may have drawn the Blackstart out..]

Also Summoned, on Saturday four and on Sunday no less than five Eider out at the Buoy Farm [with 27 Common Scoter nearby]


Five not so little ducks in a row

Yes, that is an adult male in the middle. Immature male on right, 1w male centre right, female types on left.

Scoter pics are even worse, but there was some passage also and five came in close [very briefly]

Teasing things, they were

Also heading south,

GND passing Ore Stone

With at least 17 sat about on the sea,



More than one in shot

Still the odd

Med Gull

amongst the BHGs and Common Gulls.

Three Grey Seals

Up to five in the area.

On Sunday, a juvenile Swallow in/off and on Saturday 195+ Guillemot on the Ore Stone ledges were of interest.

Two hours [separated by a call to the Eider] seawatching from Glonk Corner on Saturday gave

Gannet S                                              29/12
Gannet N                                               4/5
Kittiwake S                                           1/17
Razorbill S                                           27/2
Guillemot S                                          20/2
Com Scoter S                                         5/0 [though 5 more post watch; see above!]
GND S                                                   0/1 [see above]

Earlier on Saturday, while I railed against gravity, The Teacher had had a Long-tailed Duck past S along with more Common Scoter and 3 scoter sp. [due to gunk, mist, and so on]. Drat and so forth.

Less mobile sightings from the two days will follow in their own [rather more colourful] post directly.
Here's hoping that a) that LTD hangs about the area into next year, b) so do those scoter sp., c) the Eider do too and also come over to the Lead Stone. [The Harbour Entrance - like Eider used to do in The Good Old Days - would be even better, but, well, there's hopes and dreams, aren't there..]

Lots of hope, but hey.

Be Seeing You...

20 November, 2023

All That Fun gi You Were Missing Out On

Now that I can post photos again, I'm going to do just that.

I might even add some IDs
[and they might even be vaguely accurate. Though only might...  ;) ]

[[Don't bother trying to escape, Minion is ready with the restraints]]

Let us begin with a few I noticed whilst yomping about t'Moor.

Heath Waxcap

Butter Waxcap

Meadow Waxcap

Pink Waxcap

Crimson Waxcap

Not a waxcap
[Entoloma conferendum]

Heath Navel

Grassland Puffball

Mosses and Lichens!!


H. helobia

H. reidii

Ah, but these waxcaps are on Patch!


H. persistens
[rather late]

Meadow Waxcap


Ok, slightly greater than expected absence of IDs going on there, though most if not all have been up here before [with possibly even the right ID attached..?], but there is a slight temporal issue ongoing, so I decided to post first and ID later maybe.
I can state that they are not all waxcaps and not all at the Nose and do so with confidence. [[Beyond that, however...]]

Something slightly saner may ensue in the possibly near future, though I wouldn't count on it too strongly.

Oh yes, but before we part [and those nasty restraints are removed].


Right there.

That black thing right in the middle there is a Stormie, south of the Ore Stone and buggering off at speed.

Here it is in front of said Stone,

Below the white water, wing raised, white rump
visible behind it even with this graininess.

I've never even hit a Stormie before.

Closer to,

Look at all that black!
2w Med Gull

It's so much easier shooting a much bigger bird coming towards you at 1/4 the distance when it isn't raining.

Ok, letting you go now.

[Minion, you can release the eye clamps and unbolt the shackles, they'll work them loose soon enough]

Be Seeing You...