05 October, 2010

More Surprises

Well, Fortune has been even more than her usual fickle self these last two days!
Firstly yesterday, when I jammed on to another good raptor on the trip home from work :D This one made me work a bit, though. It was only a couple of hundred metres before where I saw the Red Kite [[I did seriously consider calling you right off, Joe, but I realised that a) it was going away from you rapidly, and b) you were probably still in detention! ;) ]]; a long-tailed slim-bodied raptor of a fair size, gliding into the wind with wings in a 'v' but a closed hand and very broad-looking arm. Colour against bright white clouds was 'brownish' at best. It was, of course, a ringtail Hen Harrier [probably an immature] - but as almost all of mine have been more or less level with me if not well below me, and none were gliding into a fair wind as the ground fell away below them, the wing shape threw me somewhat. After a drive spent going over in my head what I'd seen, I got in and as soon as I set eyes on my shiny new Bird Guide 2.0 [with extra pics all over the shop] [[I like birfdays]] I remembered 'Oh yeah, Hens have bulgy secondaries!'. ID was secure.

Today, I first looked up at the right point at work and saw the Med Gull flying upriver, then a helpful colleague came to ask me 'Why was a Buzzard hanging around over the car park?' Answer being that it was keeping a close eye on a female Sprawk that was doing some soaring! My Work List is now perilously close to 50...
Having had an otherwise trying couple of working days, I finally cracked and decided a Devon Tick was a good reason to go twitching. Down to Prawle I toddled after work....
Said 'muddy field' looked worryingly empty. But! Another one next door! It did indeed contain 2 birds, running around! Wheatears. Arse.
Day late. Bird short. Oh well, there were plenty of the usual suspects you'd expect around there, and I had the satisfaction of deliberately NOT looking for and this time not seeing Plastic Polly, so it wasn't a complete waste...

Then, I thought - "Well, I'm down here, so I might as well go home via Slapton - it's a nicer route when there's rush hour townies coming the other way, after all..." No Great Reed Warbler. No Great White Egret. No Bittern, but to my still-grinning-right-now-I-assure-you delight.... Her Ladyship!!!!!!!!!
Yes, all that fuss over a female Marsh Harrier. But I had honestly given up any hope of ever seeing her actually at Slapton [unlike everyone else, their dog, and his Uncle Fido...] - I think I've gone on about this at you before so I'll spare you it again.

I may have dipped Buff-breasted Sand, but I'm still pretty chuffed. :)

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