31 July, 2018

A Quick Note

Due to circumstances, my posts about the weekend have become a little delayed.

While you wait, here is a little light photography*;

Juvenile Mediterranean Gull

Juvenile Herring and Black-headed Gulls

Wait.. that's not a gull!
Name that skua!**

::Muffled:: "I hate moulting.."

More [with burbling and numbers and everything] will follow soon.

Be Seeing You...

[[*As music is not yet available on this blog.]]
[[It's an Arctic. Not the skua from the last post!]]

29 July, 2018

At Last

Yea, though the times were dire and beset by sunshine and woe, the Faithful stayed strong and so the Goddess of Birding did smile upon them and it did rain. Rain it did indeed and sideways too, for She did send the winds also to reward those suffering souls with seawatching and it was Good.

What? You were expecting sanity from me?!?

Yes, at last, at long long long long long long last, the dreaded drought has broken and it has rained. It has winded. There has been seawatching and it has indeed been Good.

Two days in a row I've been at the Nose first thing, two days in a row I have admittedly thought 'oh but what could have been', but two days in a row I have seen some very nice birds indeed. Though not many of them.

Longer and horribler posts will follow, as I have a vast slew of pictures of lovely larids to inflict upon your screaming retinas put up for your torment entertainment.
Not just gulls, though, as while not a single shear of any flavour [and there have been flavours, oh yes] got in the way of my camera, a few other things did.

You know what this is, right?

As The Boss would say, "You've got everything you need, there."  ;) *

Just a few tasters this time, mixed days and themes because why be sensible about it;

Who says young gulls aren't beautiful?

Surf's up


A day later

Just look at that luverly slick in the foresea** there.. :D  No, not churned up sand, that's The South West's Biggest Chumming Machine doing what it does on the best seawatching days. 'Tis just a pity the wind wasn't more westerly, but what can you do?

Something pretty to finish with

One, two, three, four, five.. Hold on a minute?!?!?

I'm sure it just came off in the wash.

Be Seeing You...

[[*I'll show some 'better' ones next time if you're going 'Whaaaaat???']]

[[**I don't need to explain that, do I?]]

27 July, 2018

(Very) Local Birding

Including a few things that have wandered indoors recently.

Wave/Shell sp.
[Ok, I really need a Moth Guide...]

Silver Y

Rosy Footman


I only ever see these on my ceilings

Very small, very active wasp sp.
A Trichogramma, maybe?

And we need something feathered and horrid - no, we do - and as the local Herrings have been as busy as they can...

Because of all the YLGs 
on show online right now

Note the notching extending along all the coverts and on the tertials, and the rounded head with slim bill, despite the 'contrasting pale head with eye mask', 'broad tail bar', and [when not stretching its head up to see where the next meal is coming from] big chunky build.


Despite varying levels of co-operation [Those Y's never behave], the real factor in determining sharpness is as ever my deranged autofocus. It does not like things sitting on smooth surfaces!?!
Oh well. You can still see what they are, at least [which is better than some of the stuff on here, after all].

Looking a bit further off, this sight had to be photographed, and actually worked for once!

One of at least 18 up - after ants, I think

Swifts and the Moon, oh yeah.  :)

And that is likely to be all of the Moon I'll be seeing today; looking out of the window right now, I can see that, yet again, the only thing you can guarantee about interesting celestial events is that you will get 8 oktars of cloud...

Bloody weather.

And it still didn't rain properly.

[[But. But. The weekend. Wind? Cloud? Raiiin?   Maybe, just maybe. A wisp of a chance.]]

Be Seeing You...

23 July, 2018

Rain! Blessed Rain!... Oh, More Sun.

Which sums up the weekend nicely.

The effects of going on to Nights during this weather meant I didn't get any proper expeditions done, despite plans for at least another odonate-hunt. Oh well. On the plus side, after some happy dancing in the rain, I did at least get my Lavender re-potted at last [yes, mid-Summer, really ideal time to do it], I've also made the Skygarden birdies even happier, and I plans to go further, oh yes.

Pictures, assorted;

Water fall from sky...!

Soggy Lavender

After the rain

Possibly the finest underwings around

The upperwings aren't bad, either

Not bad camo

Well, until they do this

Ok, enough Wall fun. I did a Big Butterfly Count there, and the Walls were the definite highlight [though the Count only publicly acknowledges a Chosen Few species]. Also present were a few Marbled Whites, plus scattered Meadow Browns, Small Whites, and hordes of Gatekeepers - my figure was a lot less than the total on site, but timed counts are timed counts!

Time for some more flowers, I think;

Love that Weed

Marsh Thistle
[Perhaps a species needing re-naming?!?]

Welted Thistle
plus Ground Elder

Stone Parsley

Wild Clary

And now.. The cute ickle juvie birdies!


Oooh, look at those tertials;
 Goldcrests are easy
[some times]

Why do they always move their heads so quickly?

Pesky Blue Tits

Great Tit
shows them how it's done

Juvie Woodpig: "I'm a vagrant from some Atlantic island, really I am!"
Adult: "You should have just stuck with Stock Dove, kiddo"

Oh dear...

Right. Time for some torment. Yes, even worse than Woodpigeons, I can only mean gulls!!!


One of these gulls is not like the others

You think those lot are an affront to the eyes? 
See what humans are up to:

Security company enforcing the law at the Nose?

Plus ca change

CCTV to stop fly tipping?

Builder's waste on IMD
[Are those your company's bags, there?]

I don't think I even need to rant in type, do I?

Hoverfly sp.

Time to buzz off.

Yes, I went there.

Be Seeing You...

20 July, 2018

Back On The Patch

When not busy with those things that just keep needing doing, I've been keeping an eye on certain bits of the Patch, in the [probably vain] hope of 2nd gen. butterflies.
Also, things have been getting busy in the Skygarden, with some entertaining interactions between 1st and 2nd brood Blackbirds, as you shall see.....

Summer on the Riviera

Well, some people are enjoying the weather.

Not just people!

Voice Of Attenborough:
"Here, on the Serengeti..."

Woolly-looking Spear

Butterfly numbers are falling with the ongoing drought, with the most numerous species on the wing now being these little things;

Six-spot Burnet Moth
on Wild Marjoram

And on Meadow Thistle

Marbled White, clinging on

Kidney Vetch, also still going

In amongst the grasses

Creeping Thistles 
laugh at droughts

So while the grasses are all browned, so far the legumes et al are still green. Good for some, not so much for others. Ach, when will we get some rain??


Right, time for a vast number of pics taken through glass, with the usual reflections and dirty bits associated with that.

Behold, the Black[ish]birds!!

Swallow-tailed Blackbird

"I am not part Song Thrush, you cheeky blighter!"

Frankenstein's Blackbird

Naumann's Blackbird

Strike a pose, darling

"Does my bum look big in this plumage?"

"Are you my Mummy?"

Simultaneously: "Feeed meee!!"

Who ate all the pies mealworms?

So, three fresh 2nd brooders, there.
While the photo doesn't lie, and the one on the right is bigger, it's the one in front in this shot that's the most, er, 'vociferous' as they say, frequently driving the others off the scratching patch [that's the remains of it up there, full of juicy mealworms and suet bits when loaded by yours truly] the last couple of mornings. The suet block feeder hangs above this point, so when the older ones have a go, the bits fall there, thus prime position!

It is not all Black though, with Coal Tits still zipping in for sunflower seeds, and while most of the Greenfinches are off moulting, you still get some colour,

Tucking in to Vine House Farm's finest

Going old skool
One of two juvie Blue Tits

"Oi, I'm trying to moult here"


Yes, that was awful even by my standards, but a night shot that you can [just about] recognise? Priceless. Also probably unique.

Ok, that's it.

Be Seeing You...