04 May, 2013

Who Turned The Sun On??

My fault, today. I put the bumbleshoot up, and within a ten count out came the sun....

I'd had far too much fun yesterday to stop for a bit of afternoon shuteye, the payoff being needing to actually get a decent amount overnight - no matter, not like the forecast was promising, really. Anyway, after catching up on some sleep I thought I might as well have a sit down at the Nose; it being a bit windy and a bit drizzly, so you never know? Not much else doing in this weather..

I get on site and it's frickin' raining sideways, the sea's got whitecaps and you can't see the Ore Stone clearly.. SHIT! I scuttle down, rueing needing to actually sleep, notice how the rain only seems to be at the top of the hill - a couple of hundred feet of altitude do that - but set up anyway. It's drizzly and windy and there are actual rain bands coming through.. On the second one I give in and put the brolly up - not wanting soaked kit - BANG. Sunshine...

It's not like there weren't birds, either. I'd not even got to the end of the Grassy Bit when a frickin' Hobby comes over, and I mean right over! 1s, gorgeous.....  :)
Swallows and the odd Swift [no Martins, though] steadily trickled in/off, with every Swallow getting a grilling [I think the only way to see one is to find one...]. A couple of Whimbrel were heading south [?], a female Wheatear was dodging the Rockits, and that was it for land migrants. Except for the Big Surprise, but that's later.

The wind kept up, the sun wasn't total, at least at first, and more importantly I was there and had my lunch, so I watched for three hours. There was passage, mostly auks - for Berry Head, I was careful to not count the Ore Stone Mob - but also a few Kitts, a steady trickle of Gannets, a few Sarnies [heading for the Bay, no doubt], a few Fulmars - including an odd-looking one with a pale grey tail but rump concolourous with it's uppers - and a couple of groups of Common Scoter. Also a bird that came in from the south east and went north that had a sooty black body and silvery grey wings - it looked horribly interesting until it turned and yes, it was a fucking Racing Pigeon...

Better were the [count 'em] 4 Puffins and 2 s/pl BT Divers - though they were all too far out to properly enjoy. One of the Puffins even hit the deck, but south of the Ore Stone and in the chop and sodding heat haze it was unwatchable.. Drat.
As to the Ore Stone, the Big Scope gave me a count of 266 Guilles and 2 Razorbills. I sincerely hope the missing hundred or so were out fishing and not killed by PIB...

I eventually gave up when even the most distant Gannets had stopped moving and sweated back up the slope - but wait... What. The. Fuck?!? No, not hearing things, that's a Cuckoo!!!!! Only my second on Patch and not something I expected to hear singing here!

A Cuckoo was also to be heard yesterday, though this was in the much more likely setting of Trendlebeare.
After work I hit the Nose, where I jammed onto a Garden Warbler in the same bushy tree thing the Lesser Whitethroat was in last week - sweet, if typically skulky - and also found a nice couple of long-nosed waders on the Sole; a Whimbrel and a [1w male by the bill] Curlew. Both of them had a bit of a fly about and with all the calling it got quite estuarine.. A couple of Wheatears and a Willow Warbler were the rest of the migrants and a count of 13 Whitethroats was much more like it. The Nose was also alive with butterflies and all of them were Speckled Woods; dozens of them.

I went on to Yarner, hoping for a quiet day to go for a nice amble. Despite the car park being pretty full, this is what I got - brilliant! - though the fancier birds were feeling quite bashful. 3 Wood Warblers gave precisely two verses between them, with the best one just foraging in the canopy. Redstarts and Pied Flies sang and called but weren't big on showing. Tree Pipit, Grey Wag, and that Cuckoo likewise didn't feel like being more than fleeting on the eyes. It was the same with butterflies; Brimstone and Orange Tip had been reported, but after a lot of looking I only found one Brimstone, which buggered off sharpish. Oh well. There were birds, still, and even when it clouded up I was still happy just wandering the ways.

Only two notable posers; The lone male Mandarin sat and posed on a log - I didn't bite, though I thought about it. Secondly was a very vocal buck Roe Deer - six points on this one - which stared at me for a few seconds, before deciding I wasn't worth bothering with and going back to his attempts to roar like a Red Deer stag.. :)

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