02 December, 2012

Winter Has Landed


No, I'm not about to start singing. Promise.

Ahem. Right then.. Yes, yesterday I had Things To Do in Exeter - unfortunately, seeing Waxwings wasn't one of them - but I did manage to sneak over to Topsham in search of the Long-tailed Duck and Scaup that had been tarting around there [so much so as to come swimming down in front of the hide at Bowling Green, even!]. Unsurprisingly, they had buggered off somewhere [it seems they've actually gone gone, too] - I saw a couple of Mergansers on the Exe and that was it for diving quacks! At least 75 Lapwing, 121 Brent, and 45 Avocet were visible, which isn't bad seeing as the tide was unhelpfully out and the light all wrong from that side of the Exe. I even dropped into Dart's farm, but the Brambling had buggered off as it was dark...

Oh well.

And there were Waxwings on Patch that morning, too.

Mutter mutter...

After all that cold and sunny nonsense, today I looked at the forecast rain and went "Ha!". Sod staking out the Cotoneasters, time for a wander on't Moor!

It was a bit wet, with a little ice here and there*, and after about 1300 the cloud base dropped and it got into proper murk and rain mode. I had a good day. :D There is nothing like sitting drinking coffee on a cold wet winter's day - when you're neither cold or wet. ;) Of course, my mood had been helped greatly because less than 10 minutes after I arrived at Bennett's Cross I was, with great joy and exhilaration, watching a Waxwing!!!!

Ding-ding-ding jackpot.

I've heard a lot of people talking about how this is a bad year for berries. It's true that the Rowans haven't been weighed down and the Blackbirds have stripped them all very quickly. Also true that not all the Hawthorns are in berry, but those that are are very well endowed. Certainly the 1w that came a trillin' thought so. :) Alas, I was unable to enjoy the spectacle for very long, as just as I was starting to work on getting a photo, a frelling Green Woodpecker, of all birds, came along and drove the Waxwing off! W. T. F. ?!?!???

Flinging a few choice insults at the ant-molesting git made me feel better, but the Waxwing had flown off down the valley. I went after it, but found no further sign.

Right before the Waxwing, a group of Chaffinches had revealed a Brambling as they too flew off not to return. Five flavours of thrush were on offer, with a few decent sized groups of Redwing and Fieldfare, as I worked through Vitifer, Sousson's, Challacombe, and Headland. There were non-Siberian Stonechats and non-anything-but-Reed Buntings - including several of those nice 1ws that you don't see in the books but really ought to.. Mipits were thin on the ground, with not even double figures, and only one Skylark all day. There weren't even any Siskin, let alone Redpoll or Crossbills, though a flock of 16 Goldfinch in Sousson's were nice to see and hear.

Finally, still no sign of any German-accented Blackcaps, Blackbirds continue to try to politely kill each other, and both Blackstarts are still around. :)

[[*Though none of it anywhere near a road.]]

No comments:

Post a Comment