15 February, 2016

An Actual Catchup Post

Ok, I'm far too plague-struck to write a vast epic in the style of Tolstoy, let alone Tolkein, so I'm just going to crack through these...

Starting on the first lost Friday;
Inspired by the early front, I scurried over and seawatched at the Nose. Not a lot doing; 12 GND, 2 RTD, and a nice adult YLG the best of the birds. Star sighting was the Grey Seal which hauled out on the mainland [by The Mound] - not usual!

Saturday was windy and increasingly wet. I got around the Patch and ended up at Blackball, where all 4 grebes were on display! A high count for the winter of 28 GC Grebe, plus 3 BN 2 Slav and the/a RN. I was not expecting that. Also 8 GND and a probable BTD, but only 3 C Scoter.

Sunday I had a grand day out and no mistake. Despite the overcast and sogginess, I was determined to get out somehwere at least Moor-ish. I went up to Fingle.

Turns out they've been very busy up there, among others things turning the riverside path to Clifford Bridge into a racetrack. Now, I'm all for encouraging people to enjoy the great outdoors, but trying to watch Dippers is hard enough with the regular flow of civilians, without having to keep at least half an eye out for zooming cyclepaffs. Maybe I'm being overly crotchety, but does everywhere have to be made cycle friendly? What's wrong with walking?


So, they've also put in a big easy way up to another of the dinky hillforts that overlook the Teign gorge. There already was a nice hardcore route [pretty much straight up the hillside..], but certainly not a Parent-friendly one. I went up the fun way, which had almost as much water coming down it as the stream it parallelled, and down the easy way, which had views and everything. Time for piccies!

Adorable ickle waterfall.

View from Wooston Castle
[guest starring new scarf, knitted by Sister!] 

 The new track, cut into the hillsi-
-ooh, look at the strata!

Three hundred million years ago, 
these were ripples on the seabed

After that, I went upstream and took the extra fun way to Hunter's Tor, then back the high way. They've been busy up there, too. I covered some ground, got a bit muddy and had a fair old time.
Scenery, rocks and birds, the day had it all.
It didn't even rain on me :D

On to the end of last month, and a weekend I stayed on Patch. Numbers were down on the previous weekend, but the C Scoters were back up to 6, and I found 11 Purple Sands at the Real Living Coast on Saturday and a 1w Med Gull at the Nose on Sunday.

February's start saw another seawatch at the Nose. Yes, the day of rain rain and more rain, with lots of wind too. I foolishly believed the forecast of a tight front in the early afternoon, followed by a wind shift and a clearing...

The wind stayed between S by E and SSW [with much gusting and more sea devils than I've ever seen in one day before] and the rain stayed too. Mostly sideways. Still, there was a slick, and while I couldn't keep a brolly of any kind up and still look at anything, I had my waterproofs and a bit of shelter at the TSWS, so I beasted it out.

3 GND and 19 GC Grebe were hiding in Hope Cove, a variety of gulls were at the slick and a fair few Fulmars [plus Kitts and Gannets] were passing. Hmm.
One of the Fulmars was a lovely Blue one. A really soft and blue-looking bird. It didn't tarry. Neither did the tatty moulting one with the dark-looking tail..
Oh well, you put the hours in.

Best thing about the day after was the 2 Nuthatches on my feeders at the same time. :)

And here we are back to last weekend! Being rather under the weather, I didn't do much more than a slow toddle each day for some air. Saturday had nowt to write home about, but Sunday I actually saw something good!

With the NNE wind, I figured Meadfoot was worth a try, and scored a variety of divers and grebes. Best by far though, was what zipped along the shoreline; Kingfisher!! Not seen one on Patch for a while now.

Also on the shoreline [a bit further east] was this beauty;


This is a slab of sandstone showing textbook palaeoripples. Phonebinned from IMD, if it's still intact when I'm feeling better I'll be after a closer look. [Definitely low and falling tide only, folks..]

Also of note;
I know they're fakes, but still,

Dearie dearie me, second week of February....

Ok, th-th-th-that's all, folks!

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