30 September, 2012

Chasing Migrants

Is largely an exercise in futility, as they can fly far faster than you can...

This weekend I did best [and this is of course a relative term] when I stayed put and let them go past. First up was Hope's Nose [you were expecting Spurn? ;) ], where a large number of Chiffs knocking about catching flies got my hopes up. Ho ho ho. I did find a Nuthatch, which is a really good bird for the Nose, and nearby [though not actually in Nose bounds] my first on-Patch GSW of the year! Really odd, that - Greens everywhere.

Anyway, I was thwarted in my hopes of finding something rare and sexy, and the other notable sighting was a Fox!

I then, after some pondering, said Sod It and went up on't Moor. The South West side - after a quick look about Foggintor Quarry for Wheatears [nowt there but a Common Hawker] I followed the tramway out to a nice viewpoint where I could see over the Walkham valley and out to a large chunk of SW Devon and into Cornwall. There I plonked down and waited to see if any Honey Buzzards or the like felt like passing. Ha ha ha.

28 Swallows went past west [one in touching distance] in an hour, as did assorted finches - Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Siskin etc. No big numbers. There were a LOT of Mipits about, and they seemed to be on the move, though in a slow casual hopping from one feeding spot to another manner. One party had a juv. Yellow Wag with them - I'm not sure it knew what it was doing there, though there were cattle aplenty about, so maybe it did. I spent a fair amount of time going through said Mipits - I am a masochist, it's true - being very interested by the variation among them. They're almost as bad as Dunlin and large gulls...

The usual moorland birds [so that'll be Crows] were about, as were increasing numbers of bods in the sunshine. I eventually found a couple of Wheatears - one of which was one of those autumn jobs. You know, with the pale colouring and stand-out alula, broad tail bar and very upright stance. It was not anything other than Northern, I must stress. Just one of those birds that aren't in the books - lot of that going around, isn't there? Also of interest, the first Golden Plovers of the autumn, though they flew along the other side of the hill so I only heard them - not a big group, by the sounds of it.

Today, a slight case of miscommunication, a change of plans, and... well, various other factors led me to rock up at Prawle far later than if I'd meant to go there from the get-go. It was very windy, but more than that shall have to wait, as again I'm out of time. I love Days.

Oh, ok I'll tell you one thing I saw;
The 'Grande Napoli'.

One of those floating breeze blocks car carriers, in a lovely scheme of off-white and yellow, with Grimaldi Lines on the side. Too far out to see if it actually was Monaco registered...

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