24 January, 2018

Staggering About The Patch

Well, I hope there was plenty of seawatching done today. I was unable to join in due to a) work and b) having come down with plague. It started annoyingly - not least as this was last Friday - and has worked up to proper levels of suffering. [[I feel your sympathy even through time and technology.]] Yes, I am getting on with it.

So, cut back to a weekend when I am still only wondering where I got that cough from and can I send it back, please?

Fresh air is good for you, and I wasn't about to start letting some pesky pathogen  stop me getting more awful blobs and blurs to inflict upon you get me down.

I restricted myself to the inner Patch, and as in the previous weekend tried to cover as much coast as I could.

Ok, my head won't let me think up too much more burble, so let's get on with the affliction of visual outrages;

Adult male Blackcap

Didn't expect that, did you? As you can see [and I have more angles if you doubt] this is an adult, not a fleck of brown up there, so definitely at least two Blackcaps coming to my little skygarden! :D

Earlier, and in less favourable conditions;

Tipping rain didn't stop 'a' male Blackcap

La Blackbird

Not out of place in New Guinea

Good luck with that!
['scuse reflected laundry..]

Does this mean that the 
Council actually felled a sick tree?

Yup, catkins

It might

Be thinking

About Spring

Ok, on with the birds..

Very olivaceous Rockit

Sleeping beauties

There were at least 9 Purple Sands on the Real Living Coast - but they were quite twitchy [the jet skis blasting about may have had something to do with that?] so I didn't tarry close enough to be sure, let alone get fancier pics.

Just the one Turnstone on show

At least 2 GND, 3 GC Grebe, and a nice BTD were on the sea, with 2 Common Scoter and a/the Slav flying about. All at too much range to get even blobs in the chop, alas [stop smiling].

Instead, here's something that did get close;

Not bad

BHGs are so much nicer when you can't hear them. Now if only the Bony's would do that for me..?? [Oh, stop laughing]

Now that you're feeling all spoiled and relaxed with the odd decent picture, let us head over to the Blackball roost... [is that ominous music I hear? It was certainly rain...]

The birds are out there..

Now, my darling little camera has an autofocus with some rather picky habits. It does not like being pointed at water, or sky, or through any kind of precipitation. It also throws a right one when the light drops*, even when you start wandering through modes to force it to not take 5 second exposures of moving targets.....

So you might consider taking more than usual caution with enlarging the following, as many are not properly sharp, even if they look like the should be.



[you had to have some, stop moaning]


Grebes being annoying

Hold on a minute..

One..two..three! Three divers!

Oh dear.

Periscope up

I need a really big flash..

Hand-held multi-second exposure
I feel proud

Some numbers;
112 Kittiwakes, 126 fugly gulls incl 2 LBB, 1 maybe 2 Common Gulls [one if it could move very sneakily], no white wingers of any flavour...
5 GND, 1 RTD [1w], 2 BTD
16 GC Grebes, 1 BNG, 1 RNG [off Petitor; I tried but I got a blob.. :( ],
3+ Guillemot, 2 Razorbill

And now for something completely different;

Chimney ftw!

I love this thing. Always stop for a slightly head-shaking admire whenever I pass by. This time, I had a camera... ;D

Right then.

Normal service may resume, but I still have a couple of horrors in the pipeline, so who knows?

Be Seeing You..

[[*This one I will admit is slightly reasonable; it's only using a teeny objective to gather light, after all.]]

19 January, 2018

Ketchup 6; Into 2018

Yes, yet another one....

At least we are into this month now [I'm sure I've forgotten something, but never mind eh?]. Just.

The first sees the calender year tick over and all your yearlists belong to us. Oh yes, that siren lure...

I couldn't help myself, I had to get out there. I did not make a serious effort [which would have involved being at the Warren at first light, for starters!], for reasons you are well aware of, but I still made a day of it - starting on Patch at first light, and ending said light up on Haldon, it giving out as I staggered back back back from eventually getting eyes if not pixels on Hawfinch[es]..

Birding the day away was not the plan. But events had other ideas; at long last my first bird of the year was Tawny Owl [as I'd hoped so intensely for when I made my Devon Big Year] and the joy would not be restrained. So I hit the Exe and, while I managed to horribly miss the AmWig [note to self - git that varmint!], and find then lose a frickin' ghostbird*, I still had a very pleasant day's birding.

As I tap away, I think I actually posted about this but didn't unleash much if any pictures....::looks down a long way::

Oh yeah. Pretty much repeated myself, there.

What the what, here come some pics!

Bowling Green was a bit damp

"Fancy a dip?"
"Nah, looks a bit chilly"

Now this is a counting challenge...

Looking high

Looking low
['scuse the exposure]

That Crow is either very brave or very stupid

It looked glorious at the Goatwalk

Obligatory dots Avocets

Told you I saw a Goosander

Distant hiding striped things..

Ok, change of subject - time for that which cannot fly away or hide behind a tussock! Yes, while hanging around watching the light fade with my hopes for Hawfinches seen and not just heard, I found some fungi to photo  :)
Even better; just after I'd taken these, put my camera back in my pocket, poured the last of the coffee out, and gone 'oh well, time to drink up and head back..', a Hawfinch flew right over me. I told the rest before, so I won't do it again. Instead, look at some small but not too 'orrible funguses;

I think this is an Oysterling 
- maybe Moss?


Could be Conifer Mazegill

[Different form]

It's past its best.
Possibly Tyromyces chioneus

And  finally;

There's a liiiiiiight
shining at the Frankenstein place

Thought it? Reader, I sang it.

Hawfinches do that to people.
[It's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.]

Be Seeing You..

[[*That'd be the new term for the smaller, dark-crowned version of Snipe; which cannot be seen if its name is spoken aloud. Or even thought too hard.]]

18 January, 2018

Ketchup 5; Will This Ever End?

Words similar have been uttered more than once along the way I took for this one.

I was a' wandering up the Dart from New Bridge, idly looking for Dippers and whatnot.

This is back in the mists of time when my legs were working like they should and all I had to worry about was not bending them the wrong way again. Oh such halcyon days.....

This was also another of the 'odds and ends' I took part in in December, after regaining full mobility and making sure I didn't miss anything silly while waiting on my moment for FT. Yes, I still had to scramble to get up Laughter Tor.. Oh dear.

Anyways, it was one of those overcast manky days, with enough wind to be annoying but not enough rain to be serious, if you get what I mean?

Watching, waiting

Having found an interesting spot, I spent far too long hoping a Dipper would show up. Eventually one would fly past me - sniggering in Dipper - but that would be it. Oh well.

Less evasive was this lurker;

Interesting bill tone, there

Speaking of posing, this isn't the sharpest, but I love the pose;


Having given up on a Dipper picture, I wandered up a way, then wandered back. Here's a shot I took once before;

On the high path

Of visible note amongst the trees were these;

Tree clams?

Blackfoot Polypore

Through the trees

Birch Polypore

Brick Tuft

The details

It wasn't spectacular, there were no big shows - fungi and the glorious winter scenery aside, of course - and perhaps the best term would be quiet. Not bird-wise, there were plenty about [just no decent photos of them]. But it was lovely.

Be Seeing You..