14 January, 2012

White Wings

Another Saturday, another involuntary lie-in [I have an excuse - I turned my alarm off in my sleep. Seriously.], another late prowl around the Patch. This time no Hawks in Distress to distract, so I covered a fair bit of ground.

Mostly it was what you'd expect - standard suburban and coastal birds in unspectacular numbers. A Goldcrest showed very well from The Bridge on the Downs, but it had nothing fancy with it. Still cute. The wind coming from somewhere around ESE [it kept shifting] meant pretty much everywhere on the coast was exposed, and that combined with some twerps on jetskis meant there was little doing on the sea - not a single grebe of any flavour was to be had! There were the usual phalos and a few auks, though, which gave me something to play with in the big swell. No divers either - I was hoping for a nice 'ardcore GND or maybe even a Black-throat, which can sometimes be forthcoming off the Nose in conditions like this, but 'twas not to be. Oh well.

Torquay Harbour gave me some nice views, though. A Razorbill in the Inner Harbour was now not unexpected but still welcome. Two Guillemots [one in w/pl, one starting to moult] were sheltering from the jetscum in the Outer Harbour, while a couple of Razorbills were using the exposed rocks off Torre Abbey in the same way. The Real Living Coast had at least 8 Purple Sands and 2 Turnstones, plus one of the Rockits looked very nice for littoralis. On I have to say a sadder note, as I passed the Trawler Wreck I was given the beautiful and tragic sight of Choughs, Noddy Terns, and Red-legged Kittiwakes surfing the air. The Choughs especially were hanging and tumbling in the updraught created by the very brisk onshore wind [with extra spray from the rollers]. Wonderful to see them so close, but they should be doing that at Prawle Point or Bolt Tail, not in a cage. Breaks my heart.

I may have been a little more emotional than normal then, though, having just dropped what looked very much like a Blackstart uphill from the Imperial. Went into a rich person's garden, what can you do? It was faster than me today.

Before that, though, at the Nose I was scanning for divers among the rollers when a gull caught the eye. White wings! No, not an Iceland, let alone a Glonk, but a smart adult Mediterranean. It went by south, though seemed to re-orient towards a trawler out in the bay [[which was too far off to pick out any Glonks lurking - see DBN for that one]]. Meds are fairly regular on Patch - mostly lurking with the BHGs around Torre Abbey / Livermead - but scarce enough to make cold days out pounding the streets worthwhile. :)

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