31 March, 2012

Just A[nother] Quickie

The conditions looked promising for migrants today so I dragged myself off to The Bolt. Long story short; tons of phylloscs and bugger all Ouzels. I did have a close encounter with the female Merlin which has been wintering in the area - as I flushed her from right by the path! Bugger...

I tried staring at the sea [and the only nice Ouzel-friendly slopes not likely disturbed by passers by - took a little scrambling to get the viewpoint, mind..] and got one passing LBB, a small group of Gannets [albeit diving in their usual spectacular fashion] and nothing else passing but yachts and twerps in power boats.. Drat.

Giving up, I tried Slapton, [no Kentish, of course, but I don't count it as a dip as it buggered off yesterday morning, didn't it?] where there was no sign to be had of any Garganey. I met [Devon Birder], who hadn't had any luck either. The Beast of Beesands was present, as was my first Sarnie of the year*. I headed inland, where a couple more Willow Warblers and a fair number of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were the best of it. The plastic duckies were nice, though. Especially the Wood Ducks [they seem to be down an male? ;) ] and Ruddy Shelducks. Ahem.

*I'm not chasing a Devon yearlist, but I am keeping count, and that makes 150. Wow...

29 March, 2012

Abandon Hope..

... Yup, here we go.
Ok, first up, we have all the stuff I haven't gotten around to telling you;

The Traditional Mothers' Day Family Picnic was held at Inner Froward Point [as cunningly recce'd by yours truly - combination of seawatch and picnic site shufti]. Avoiding the frisky showers we enjoyed the sun [ok, they mostly enjoyed the sun..] and kept out of the wind in one of the searchlight emplacements, which were just as good as I remembered. It was unsurprisingly quiet bird-wise, with only a light northward passage of LBBs noteworthy.

Prior to my seawatch at the Nose, I paid a few visits to Yarner, hoping for LSW and failing horribly. I also went to a Secret Place and saw a Secret Bird, if you know what I mean [[I really hate having to be so obtuse.]] [[[No, I really do.]]], though not as well as I have in the past, but them's the breaks. My last visit to Yarner, however, was notable in that as we were leaving [for I was with the Folks] I saw something I've been looking for there for a very very long time. I saw my first ever Mandarin on the car park pool in 1986. On Wednesday I saw a pair there. Yes, that's a 26 year wait. We stopped the car and sat there watching them bathing at a very close range for Mandarin [cars do indeed make handy hides].... Absolutely magical. I cannot express how over the moon I was. I mean, come on, 26 years I've been waiting to see a Mandarin at Yarner. Its not like they've not been there, I've missed them by seconds, some times...

Stuck in among those Yarner visits was a day on't Moor. A Tuesday, no less. I got into Scorhill car park [its very small and fills very fast] - second to last spot - and set off into the brisk westerly. Oh, but it was a good day's walk - most likely the last peaceful day I'll get up there until November, but anyway - with barely a soul in sight. There were still a few Golden Plover knocking around, the biggest flock being 37, and I met Red Grouse twice [ :D ] but other wise the wind and drizzle coming on to light rain kept things subdued. Not that I minded that much, it was wonderful just to be out and up on the tops! From Scorhill I took the usual route out to White Moor Circle, which for once I had all to myself - joy - then it was left hand down a bit, past Hound Tor to Wild Tor for lunch-and-see-what-flies-past. Bugger all was the answer, so onwards up Hangingstone Hill, then right hand down a bit and on to Cranmere Pool.

As you know, I'm old-fashioned, and think GPS is at best not cricket. Map and compass should be all you need, and ideally not even that. So it was with some satisfaction that I got to Cranmere via a route I have never used before, for the first time in several years, using memory alone and hit it dead on. As Cranmere sits in a little depression in the peat and is invisible from any distance, and as there are no paths coming from the east, this was reasonably impressive. I was delighted to find a proper book and a stamp [ok, used to be two stamps, but still] and spent a long while reading through it, admiring the frequently beautiful stamps [where do they get them from??]. Eventually it was time to got, so I looped around Taw Head [just to be able to say I have, its not impressive] and back up Hangingstone, before stopping again at Wild Tor [I really like Wild Tor] for more sitting and waiting. No Hen Harriers. Then I cut down into the Teign valley and looped back to Scorhill. Aside from the bag full of rubbish, it was a very pleasant day.

To the weekend, and Saturday saw the Patch getting an almighty bash from one end to the other. two adult LBBs and a Mipit in/off at the Nose were the only definite migrants. Oh, plenty of singing Chiffs and Blackcaps, too. No Swallows, no Sarnies, nuffin'. Don't even mention sodding Ospreys...

Sunday was Fur Tor with the Folks! Its a favourite for a reason and I won't go on about it again. I will mention one of theose 'interesting' Stonechats, though. A rubicola-type, I believe is the term the kids are using. I wouldn't go any further than that, though, so don't go prowling up the Dart on my account.

Right then, now for the fun. Mine, that is... ;)

First up;

Spot the Birdie!

I know, I know.. But I couldn't resist. You may be able to spot- Nope, not going to say. Instead there's a prize* for anyone who gets the bird [and what its with] right.

Oh sod it, here's another;

Spot the birdie!

That one is doable... and here it is;

Adult Night Heron at Woolacombe.
For comparative purposes, the wonderful photos on Devon Bird News were taken by a chap standing next to me. As was the shot of the 1w. Here's my version. I've had to mess with it a bit as it was the last shot on the film and so I couldn't do my usual spread of shutter speed / aperture / compensation that I normally do to try to maximise my chances...

One final pic from the roll. I'm sparing you the horrific mess I made of the Shorelark, which caused Blogger to crash when I tried to upload them, they were so bad...
Instead, here's a nice if not sharp shot of that wonderbird the Desert Wheatear.

Ok, that's it. You can stop gibbering now!

Until next time....

[[*I am legally obliged to state that this is merely getting your name up in type, with suitably impressive compliments as to your skills. Sorry.]]

28 March, 2012

Not Yet. Tomorrow, I Hope.

I haven't forgotten about the great big 'orrible post I've threatened promised, you know. Barring Unfortunate Events, it should be up tomorrow. Won't that be fun? ;) Almost as fun as the weather.. come on, 21° in March!?! [23° en route home, but that was Outside Patch Bounds]. Never mind June, its blimmin' August already....

But enough of that...

Just this afternoon, indeed all of 20 minutes ago, a Grey Heron low overhead - mobbed very vigourously by a Herring Gull. The gulls have been going off regularly since I got back from work [I hate day shift...] but no Ospreys.. [Did I mention I hate day shift?]. Did see a Collared Dove at work today, which is new for there, but no Swallows yet.. :(

I did have a very welcome if very brief visitor to the Garden on Monday; a flash of green into the feeder bushes made me grab bins in the hope that a Greenfinch had finally found a way in [not had a single finch since the Holly came down. Not one.] but no, a Willow Warbler! It sat in the bush for all of seven seconds before flying back the way it came...

A final thought... I hope Bob ringed that Little Bunting on the left leg so we can tell them apart! ;D

Be Seeing You...

23 March, 2012

A Little Cracker

Still not the mind-wrenching avalanche of drivel big update, but instead a quick [maybe] and happy [definitely] burble on today!

When news broke on Monday of the Little Bunting [yes, thus the horrific pun..] at South Milton Ley DBWPS, I thought to myself.. "Ooh, I need that for Devon." I also thought "There was good reason why I named the Cornish bird the Little Bastard wasn't there?" With no news of firm sightings, I decided to hold fire, especially as you usually need sunshine and light winds to get them up where you can see them.

Today I thought "Right, enough's enough - time to tick or dip trying!" [[I really do apologise for that one]]. The mistyfog faded as I headed into the Deep South of Devon and blazing sunshine boded well. The Bunting is hanging around on the DBWPS reserve, stuffing it's face on provided grain [kindly donated by Soar Mill Seeds, give them some custom, folks!], vaguely associating with a bunch of Reed Buntings and frequently getting attacked by Blue Tits [?].

As you may have deduced from that paragraph, I did indeed see the bird, and very well too. :D The Big Scope helped, its not easy bin range. A clothes peg might have helped, too, as the site is literally next to the local sewage works - compensation is in the form of Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaffs. The Little Bunting is, well, a bit of a git if it decides it doesn't like you. You may jam straight on to it, but for an unfortunate few, such as the Finder and [Very Famous Devon Birder], its very elusive. I got lucky, with a very good sustained view, 2 good ones and 3 short views in three hours. Basically, you need to give it time, have your scope ready, and watch out for the sneaky Reeds. A couple of the females have ear covert spots, one of those with a very chestnutty cheek, and one is very pale and Little-y underneath - though bins its very hard to pick. The Little is utterly distinctive through a scope [that eye ring, the wingbar, the sheer stripeyness of its head etc..] though, when it does show up.

It was a nice twitch, leaning on a gate, chatting with many of Devon's finest and a few visitors [including a chap down from Warks, for whom it was a Lifer] and playing spot the pop-up Buntings.. Lovely place, there. Almost forgot, a heap of butterflies on the wing - Red Admiral, Peacock, Tortoiseshell, an early Green-veined White [Ok, that's about the limit of my knowledge!] in balmy temperatures of 17° [according the my li'l car's thermometer]. It really does feel like June...

22 March, 2012

I Can't Think Of A Title

I had this plan, you see. I was going to inflict a post upon you that would have crashed your poor innocent browsers, it was so insanely long. Unfortunately, even the best plan rarely survives contact with Reality, and this one was no exception.

Thing is, I've had this week off - carried over holiday that had to be taken - and have been putting off babbling about it until I had.. well, you'll see [eventually]. There is news, there is joy and something so long in the coming you'll have to sit down again. Suffice to say that I will be burbling to the point of flooding.. ;)

But not right now. I want to get up in the morning, and spending half the night wrestling this frelling keyboard is incompatible with that. Instead you're getting a brief bit about today, as I've just looked at Devon Bird News, and [Famous Devon Birder]'s update is an interesting comparison.

Yup, today I went seawatching, for the first time in an absolute aaaage. It wasn't bad, not bad at all. There was a constant veil of fog at just outside Ore Stone range, with a gradually easing wind and pretty rough sea.

Hope's Nose, 9 'til 1;

16 Fulmar S, 1N
1 Puffin S
305 auks S [about 80% Guillemots - I'd assume a lot were going to the Ore Stone* - ~200 in the first hour] 7 N
55 Gannet S, 9N
38 Kittiwake S, 3N
23 Common Gull S
13 Black-headed Gull S
2 Curlew S
8 Dunlin S
3 Red-throated Diver S
1 [moulting] Black-throated Diver on the sea; preening, fishing, and generally hanging around nicely close.

[[*The wind was east enough to make me sit out of sight of the Ore Stone, so I couldn't distinguish which auks were going there and which were genuinely passing.]]

Compared to Berry Head, it makes interesting reading.. Where did those Velvets and LBBs come from? Where did the Dunlin and Brents go to? A lot will be due to the fog, the swell, and the Torbay Triangle**. Bitch about those Velvets, though; I've seen Velvet Scoter exactly once on my Patch... :(

[[**Birds go in, they never come out.....]]

On the home front, news in the form of the return of 'our' Chiffchaff, who started singing yesterday! :D Always a mark of Spring, that. Right, where's the Swifts?? ;)

17 March, 2012

...But I Did Today!

A gorgeous male of the really pale variety, though not at the Nose - he was sat on Wheatear Ridge at Meadfoot. At Hope's Nose there were a couple of migrants - Skylarks - and a notable decrease in the numbers of Blackcaps singing [migrants going t'other way, then?]. Though the Nose was Wheatear-less, there was some drama to watch; a barny offshore as a Cormorant caught a big flatfish [looked like a Dab]. It fought off several Herring Gulls and another Cormorant, but just as it was swallowing its catch, a big boss Geeb landed on it's back! This propelled the fish out of the unlucky Cormorant and the gull duly grabbed it. Things were not over, though, as while the Geeb was in turn trying to swallow the fish, the Cormorant took to the attack! It held itself straight and rigid and raced towards the Geeb, looking like a powerboat as it speared over the water. The Geeb did not hesitate to take flight and retired to the shore, where it ate the fish the slow way, surrounded by a dozen assorted gulls in a just-out-of-pecking-range semicircle...

Right then, as threatened promised, here's more detail about those wonderful Herons of the Night...

Day Herons at Woolacombe
Fridays are always last-minute affairs, as I'll never know in advance how tired I'll be after work. This one was an important one, though - Night Heron being a Lifer [I was working for the Prawle one and as for the Dart bird...] and me having work on Saturday and Family Stuff on Sunday. As it happened, it was a good shift and I felt safe [ish] to drive, so onwards to Woolacombe! Its a nice run the way I went, following the Exe and Taw, and I made decent time [very traffic-dependent, though]. Looking out for birds while driving is always tricky, but I still have a go and this time saw five pairs of soaring Buzzards and a drake Goosander [they stand out] on the way, not bad!

Woolacombe is a beach with a small grockle-pot attached, at the end of a proper Devon valley. :) An ickle stream runs down it, lined with bushes and small trees - which turn into big trees up towards the very nice garden of the very nice lady whose pond attracted the herons in the first place. Walking up the footpath that runs parallel to the stream I kept my eyes open for any surprises [a dirty plastic bag in a tree got me the same as everyone else who passed it!] but saw nothing better than a Chiffchaff before I reached the pond. Which is behind and in front of a whole bunch of very dense trees. This did not look promising. Another birder arrived as I did - there was nobody on site - and we shared a view on how finding small herons among all those trees, with a mostly-obscured pond and a whole bunch of gullies and sections of stream that couldn't be seen, was going to take time and patience.

An hour more or less passed.

Cue a local birder, who came down the footpath, stopped for a chat then went on.

Maybe a minute later, said local birder waves us down to him, where he has an adult Night Heron sat besides the stream at about 40'....



Scope-filler at minimum zoom... It eventually started to work its way upstream, moving with an almost cartoonish deliberateness. Then, when stood upon a fallen tree trunk, it just hopped off. Dropped pretty much it's height into the water. I'm sorry, but there's just no way I can describe how charming I found that one action, you had to be there. [[I'm sorry also for using that phrase - terribly annoying of me, I know...]]. Eventually it made its way away from the stream to the slope beyond, where it tried out several logs before seeming to find one that fitted its feet comfortably. Another north Devon birder had by now arrived, and several interested passers by had been shown what all the fuss was about and were duly impressed by the 'very pretty bird'. After I think maybe 15 minutes of attempting to doze, it flew up to the pond and, though re-spotted by the eagle-eyed local birder it then moved again out of sight.

Any attempts at re-finding it were curtailed by news of the 1w, which the first birder had found down the valley while leaving. Right down the valley, sat by the stream on a gravelly weedy bank in full view of an open field and the path. You couldn't pick it unaided, though - just too cryptic. Eventually, after giving the four of us present a very long look, it too decided to move - into a tree! After nearly losing its balance on landing - only frantic flapping kept it from going over backwards - it hung on a for a while, defying gravity and the brisk wind, before finally admitting defeat and flying up towards the pond.

Morning had become afternoon and I decided that I'd had great views of both adult and young and that staying longer wasn't going to better them, so it was probably a good idea to get going before the Dreaded Friday Rush began. [Yes, I know, terrible, putting convenience ahead of going after Spoonbills or Black Brants...]. On my way back I only saw 3 Buzzards - though they were all together and having a 'discussion' - but bettered the Goosander with a Dipper on the Taw! I know, a Dipper from a car; pure spawny luck or what? Ok, maybe not entirely luck - I'd noticed the good-looking section of river on the way up and as there was no other traffic I was able to drive a little more slowly and glance a little more often while maintaining due care and attention.

Oh, but those Night Herons are beautiful! The books really don't do them justice, neither do the photos. 'Little black and grey herons with yellow legs', right? Wrong! They're blue! The 'grey' has a touch of lavender in it, the bill is powder blue shading to near black [ok, changing due to breeding condition, but go with me, ok?], that 'black crown' is royal blue - it lit up in the sunshine! The mantle and scaps are midnight blue with a wonderful blue-green sheen.. They may be 'more active at dawn and dusk' but if you see one in good light, you won't forget it.

Right, shutting up now...

16 March, 2012

No, I Didn't See a Wheatear Today...

...I was too busy being wowed by Night Herons!!!


Work [which is why I'm being brief now] and family commitments this weekend, plus feeling pretty fresh after my last night shift, saw me decide to go for the Woolacombe Night Herons today, and what a good idea that was. Suffice to say that they are very very very much worth the trip, were performing amazingly during the middle of the day, and are utterly gorgeous. Also the adult[s] is [are] very very blue! 'Black-crowned' my arse. Ahem.

I'm saying very a lot, but I'm just over the moon.

I will burble euphorically tomorrow.

11 March, 2012

What Happened To Spring?

Summer's already here!?!!?!!

Birding in a t-shirt today, deary deary me...

A long and hot prowl around the Patch as I kept it local the whole weekend for the first time in ages. Still no Wheatears, but I got into double figures of singing Blackcaps so not all bad. The hordes too seemed to think it was summer, and everywhere swiftly began to fill with the teeming masses. [[Insert anti-social git-type rant of your choice here, folks]] I don't actually hate other people using the Nose [or indeed anywhere else.. Ahem.], just as long as they shut the gate, take their rubbish away, clean up after their dogs, and don't burn holes in the SSSI with their barbecues... That isn't too much to ask, is it? Anyway, before I start muttering about the need for a nice suppressed sniping rifle [[AK-47s are very nice, but far too noisy. We have to think of the birds, don't we? ;) ]] on with the bird stuff...

I spent a lot of time prowling around the Nose, and indeed waiting for an interesting-looking phyllosc to come out into the open in the Top Dell. It didn't. Drat. A few Mipits were new in and the littoralis had gone, so there is some movement happening, just not of the white-derriered kind. Speaking of, a Mistle Thrush went over north-bound as I desperately tried Walls Hill for Wheatears. Walls Hill has lots of lovely posts but no Wheatears will ever sit on them..

Finally, there is a beautiful sunset going on - its twisted, the weather. Once again clouds prevent me from seeing Mercury and Uranus. Ok, from trying to see Mercury and Uranus. With Mercury fading fast, it looks like I'm out of time. Bugger. Still have a shot at Saturn, though - Saturn's a nice planet; gets earlier, not dimmer..

EDIT: Oh, Saturn's more than a nice planet, Saturn's an absolutely gorgeous planet!!! Wow.......

[[Ahem. So, I got a very good view of Saturn tonight. Big Scope + Clear Night + Calm Air = Ding-Ding-Ding Jackpot...]]

10 March, 2012

Not Yet..

Spring is most definitely in the air. Since my surprise YLG its been all sing, sing, sing! on the bird front. Mr Blackcap's been at it, as well as many others on the Patch; a Treeeeecreeeper was merrily singing away today. :D I've caught birds nest-building [not just the Sparrows, either. Today I passed a Song Thrush with a huge billful of dried grass], displaying and indeed engaging in [CENSORED]. I tell you, the noises Nuthatches make when they [CENSORED], its quite an ear-opener, let me tell you.

I've had annoying stuff getting in the way of birding - not only time-taking but expensive car-related stuff. Drat and double drat. I managed to get to the Nose first thing yesterday, hoping for a nice Wheatear to grip the Backwater off, but no joy. Or again today - though I couldn't get down until the afternoon. The Guillemots are starting to gather on the Ore Stone - but only early on, today they were mostly gone, so not getting into the full-on breeding quite yet. The Rockits are very busy, with extra fuss today as the locals had a stranger to deal with - a littoralis, no less [when I first saw it, just for a second I thought it was a Water and my heart leapt at the thought of a Patch Tick, but no.]. Climbing back up the Lower Slope I stopped to watch a Dunnock feeding on ants - they each put up a struggle and had to be subdued, so quite a lot of effort [and formic acid in the chops?] for tea, there.

In other news, tonight there was a brief respite in the bloody clouds, enabling me to get nice views of Mars, Venus, and Jupiter [with all 4 Galilean moons showing very well] via the Big Scope. Of course, any chance at Mercury, Uranus, and Saturn [ie. what I really wanted to see] was foiled. [[So far - it still might let me get Saturn later on, you never know...]]. In yet other news, the new neighbours over there have decided to hack down pretty much every green thing in their garden, including the Holly the birds coming into our garden used to check the coast was clear. With no secure perch close enough, bird traffic has dropped by an order of magnitude. We are an island in an expanding sea of concrete, gravel, and decking. I'm very unamused. I'm also thinking about a leylandii....

06 March, 2012

Gull On A Chimney Pot

Not an uncommon sight here, it has to be said. I live in a built-up area with lots of said roof-adornments and lots of said gulls. To be more accurate, argenteus Herring Gulls, that is. They're ubiquitous; year-round residents, breeders, yarkers, rubbish-collectors, and raptor alarms. [Ok, the latter isn't as accurate as I'd like, but they've gotten me a few over the years :) ] [[Still not an Osprey, though. Or a passing Crane / Stork... And they go off on false alarms a lot. But still. Useful to have around. ]]

We don't just get Herring Gulls; Great Black-backed Gulls breed a short flight thattaway [and a longer flight thattaway and thattaway], Lesser Black-backed Gulls pass through and some hang around. Black-headed Gulls overwinter. All of these three show up now and again here at my home, though not frequently. This is a Herring Gull colony [to them, at least] and they don't take interlopers lightly, so BHGs just pass by without even trying to land and everything else gets escorted from the premises, with or without violence.

Enough backstory.. This morning, as I was getting ready to retire for the day, a gull landed on a chimney pot across the way*. I glanced at it, froze, swore, then bolted for bins. A few seconds later it was still there, though a few seconds after that a Herring Gull asked it if it would like to move on, please. It said something about the Herring's Mum, at which point the Herring Gull's other half arrived and the two of them made their point more forcefully. The adult Yellow-legged Gull flew off.

I'm still smiling.

[[*Apologies for the rhyme, I couldn't resist.]]

05 March, 2012

It Really Won't Do

All this messing around, not posting until days after the fact, sparing you from deranged rants and pseudo-philosophies... Call myself a blogger?


Friday saw me trying to get at least a little bit of solitude up on't Moor - none of that on weekends now, with the TenTors hordes - my original intent had been to get on the north Moor, but the Army had other ideas and were busy making big 'splosions up there, so the south Moor it was. Starting at Shipley Bridge, I followed the lane onwards before making a right and taking Diamond Lane [now much repaired and almost navigable] up onto the Moor, going via Long Barrow to Hickley Tor, then up to Three Barrows. The thick mistyfog which covered much of the landscape failed to reach up onto the Moor itself, and everything was bathed in bright sunshine. Skylarks sang and a good-sized flock of Golden Plover [when they finally flew in a line long enough, I counted 118 of them] wheeled and settled, wheeled and called. Not bad, not bad at all.

Three Barrows is one of the high points of the south Moor and commands impressive views, or at least it does when you can see them. Stall Down and the Erme valley were visible, and very pretty in the sunshine. A few people were about, mostly following the tramway, but not in any great numbers. [[Yes, yes, antisocial git...]] Nothing spectacular came by while I was having lunch, and I moved onwards, linking up with the tramway by the bridge - where a Snipe and a Reed Bunting were noteworthy if fleeting. Its good going but the scenery is a bit samey and I found myself doing more litter picking than birding. Hmm.

I took a path off the tramway up to the Western White Barrow [the one with the surprise inside] [[No, I'm not going to tell you what, or it won't be a surprise when you go there!]], then followed the path from there to the Submarine. A nice spot out of the wind was unfortunately taken by mozzies, so I sat in the wind. Finishing my coffee and munching a trail mix bar thing [it was half price and I figured it'd be worth a go. Verdict: not bad, probably better on hot summer's days than a great big flapjack, but not worth paying full whack for. Too many rice crispies in it to charge that much!] I kept an eye on the surrounding slopes. No Hen Harriers. Mipits, lots of Skylarks, the odd Crow. That annoyed Raven who'd been perched on the conning tower until I arrived and now was circling periodically, saying rude things about my Mum...

I followed the ridge back to Shipley, then, with time in hand, tried a couple of sites for Dipper. And dipped. Then I tried the Great Mandarin Messup site and finally found where to park and how to get at the river... So simple when you know, so bloody impossible if you don't. But anyway, there I was. I got past the Guard Muscovies and was rewarded with no less than 8 pairs of Mandarin, showing very well indeed. :D Brilliant!

Saturday saw me working, then bashing the Patch. A party of overflying Crossbills were the undoubted stars on a day when, despite interesting conditions, not a single thing was forthcoming from the sea. Herring Gulls and the odd GBB. Even the Shags were staying out of the water. Huh.

With the Stone-curlew doing the expected bunk on Saturday night, I growled over to Exminster once the main rain had cleared to look at the Barnacle Geese. They were very pretty, showing well opposite the Estate. The American Wigeon eventually showed very closely too, though there was much to-ing and fro-ing before I finally had it at close bin range from the road between the Estate and the lane. Before that, much fun was had picking it out for people among the 400+ Eurasians still present. I got home, had a bite and gave the Patch a bash, with the Firecrest taunting me again near the Theatre. Still nothing on the sea, though this time with the wind onshore it was more expected.

I'm still vexed about missing that Stone-curlew. Oh well, maybe in another 5 years? Or 20.....

04 March, 2012

Ahem. Again..

This was going to be a very different post, with me talking about my yomp about t'Moor on Friday and my post-work Patch-bashing today. At some point it may magically transform into something along those lines, with tales featuring barrows [assorted], sunshine [lots thereof], mistyfog [avoided], and birds [seen and unseen].

What has caused the change? Well, I just turned my computer back on for the first time since I got back in from said Patch-bashing - when a quick check revealed no revelations - to find that Certain Blogs were covered in pictures of a bird I've never seen in Devon. Or, indeed, anywhere else.

Gripped doesn't come close.

Ah, the Joys of birding.