09 May, 2014

And Now...


That's right I'm back, the Backward Birder - birding from the Channel to the Celtic Sea - blogging to you live from the Eyrie on the sunny Riviera and I've gotta tell you it's glorious to be here folks, really it is. It's 0600, what does the O stand for? Oh my god what am I doing posting this before work....*

Yes, I'm back - internet is up and running and while there's still plenty left to do I can announce I'm doing it from a place of my very own. That's right lovely people, I am a man of property. [[To be clear; I own this place, the bank owns me...]] Thus all the slacking off from birding and being unable to twitch Pratincoles and even hear about Kentish fucking Plovers that stay overnight the little [CENSORED].. Ahem.

Anyway, here we are again.

FYI 'Twas not a radical move; I am still on the same Patch, I now just live a hill closer to the Nose  :)

Speaking of...  Early visits over the weekend got me a couple of nice scarce sylvias - Garden and Lesser Whitethroat - the latter a singing male vexingly driven off by a couple of Commons! :(  Speaking of them.. I've counted up to 12 singing males, so that's pretty much a full house, which is good. The Nose is a good place for up close Whitethroats [though slogging back up in hot sunshine is even worse than the climb up after a seawatch..] - due to the proximity and density of some of the bushes to well-used paths. Also of note on Sunday were two pb Brents passing south - at one point in formation with a Cormorant!

Also on Sunday a wander about Yarner with the Folks - 4+ Wood Warblers were lovely, and we covered plenty of ground, getting up to 12 male and 2 female Pied Flys! Two of the males were having a proper claws-up fight, too! [I'm using lots of !s again, but I care not, I'm too excited!] 3 male Mandarin and an inevitable Mallard [they've everywhere - including on the cliffs by Thatcher frickin' Point..!?!?] were on the Pond, a Redstart, 3 Willow Warblers, and 5 Chiffchaffs were in the trees, and a lovely male Siskin was on the feeders.

That evening I finally connected with the Swifts, too - at least 6 over Ellacombe at 2000. This is, I think, the most appropriate time to see Swifts. Why? Add an 'm' and you've got zooom!! ;)

And zoooming is what my new Swifts were doing yesterday when I got in from work :D  Oh yes, I'm still in Swift Country, so all's right with the world. I didn't know this for certain - one of the many punts in buying a new place, as 99% of sellers don't bother to record what birds they get [most inconsiderate] - so I am a most happy chappy about that.

Ah, but what I have seen. May Day, what a day. I have a sea glimpse and I've been keeping an eye on it and oh but that's paid off already.. Only seen an Osprey!!!!!!!
At last, at long long last.... :D

Not only Osprey on the Home List, either. I've had flyover Cormorant [!] and in the first week, a bird that's spent decades coming so sooo close to the Garden List but never quite made it; Jay!

Yesterday, with the weather still being frisky when I got in but having no time to actually get to the Nose, I tried a Woolley-style seawatch; Big Scope set up at the wide open window. What did I get? Gannet! Fulmar! Kittiwake! Auk sp.! [it's a rather long way, even for the Big Scope..] Canada Goose! [15 of them went south!] I'm hopeful of getting Manxie [in ideal conditions] but I doubt Balearics will show up well enough to nail. Soaring Bonxies, though... ::Rubs hands gleefully::

I've been rather happy.

Well, apart from when I got my phone to work online again on Saturday afternoon...


Monday saw me heading up looking for Whinchats. I needed no other reason to be out. Whinchats ROCK. I must admit I like them more than Wheatears [heresy!] Mooching about Vitifer, Golden Dagger, Challacombe, and Headland Warren got me 14! Score! Some cracking males, too, but with the wind they weren't even vaguely photographable, alas. 3 Cuckoos, a singing Redstart, a stunning male Crossbill [looked like it was coming to drink, but got flushed by cyclists... Grr], 14 Willow Warblers, displaying Siskin, my first Wall of the year [up there!] and this beautiful thing..

Just look at the amazing eyes on that!

A superb male Emperor Moth! WOW!!!! Never seen one before, they're amazing..

Speaking of pictures;

Here be pretty flowers!

Wood Anenome

Wood Sorrel

Both from Yarner - and next to each other!

Right then.. I don't know when the new normal service will start, there's still so much to do, but I am here. Oh yes, that I am.


[[*With apologies to Mr. Williams' best performance..]]

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