07 January, 2015

Dips and Grips

So, I've been busy.

A Hunting I have gone, and my Devon Yearlist is looking.. well not bad at all.

This is not to say I've had it all my own way; I'm on 3 Penduline dips now, with GGS added to that. But I have had one or two nice birds - via the application of patience, persistence, and a fair slice of spawny jam.

Yesterday afternoon, after dipping the Pendulines and the shrike in a few merry hours, I toddled down to Exminster to see if the reported White-fronted Geese would make it a hat trick. Fortunately, they were far more accommodating; hanging around in plain sight by the lagoon at a nice scope range. I also ran into a few of Devon's Finest, who mentioned that the wintering Merlin had been seen around most of the day and tended to roost 'off towards the bridge'.
'Hmm..' thought I.
So, even though the sun had dipped behind the hills, while they scurried off home, I wandered off up the canal bank. I had a big scope and a small amount of hope.. I'd almost got as far as Turf Lock when I noticed an interesting lump on a cattle byre.. Scope up and what did I see?

Merlin's Back

With apologies for my phone's awful low light setting...

A prettier picture from yesterday at South Huish;

Glossy Ibis

The Ibis kept us waiting - but the show it put on was worth it! :) We did have the Ruddy Shelduck playing hide and seek to keep us occupied in the mean time - surprising how well a big orange bird can hide in an open field..

I went on to Slapton and stayed until dark [something about a Bittern right by the bridge, I think?] - having spent some time counting ducks beforehand*, and also checking bathing Common Gulls for yankee visitors**.

Sunday afternoon I got down to Broadsands in search of the YBW [it being far more co-operative than the Patch bird] and friends. The Yellow-brow showed very well in the car park, I picked up some nice grebes on the sea - plus cracking views of the two Velvets - and then the Firecrest turned up from the road, followed by seconds of YBW! [Or was that 'second YBW'?? No way to tell - though my money's on the former]

Finally.. Rather than go on with a running total, I'm going to go with how far into last year it took to get to where I am now.
So.. I've now reached where I got to on ::Drum roll but no interminable pause:: the 28th of March.

Bloody hell.

[[*5 Goldeneye, 11 Pochard, 31 Tufty, 3 Gadwall, 7 GC Grebe, 'not that many' Coot...]]
[[**No dice]]

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