19 February, 2019

The Earth Is Doomed

Friday. Mid-February in Devon. 15° on the thermometer at a Dartmoor-edge nature reserve.

Clearly, the Earth Is Dooooooomed.


I went shamelessly looking for Little Stripey Woodpeckers.

No, that's not what LSW properly stands for, but never mind, eh?

Having my old work pattern back means I can sneak off birding after work when I'm on Fri-Days :), so that's what I did. I figured a gentle amble about Yarner wouldn't be too bad, and to be fair, it wasn't;

Who needs filters when 
you have a touch of mist?

Anyways, it was all sunny and not too windy, so I foolishly had some hope. Lesser peckers, though, are right little wotsits, not unlike Dartfords, and can show amazingly or be invisible and this occurs entirely at their whim. They had apparently been showing and calling and all the stuff in the morning fog, but in the afternoon sun? Ho ho ho.
I ended up after 3 hours with Heard; 1 Seen; 0

But, I did see a few things, not least a nice view

Looking over Lustleigh Cleave

Looks like just another hill, doesn't it?

Other things were closer to

Ants in your pants

All the way from France

Wood Ants were on the march and had taken over my lookout log. I offered bribery of sarnie bits, but they'd go no further than leaving my stuff alone. Hard bargainers [insert political joke here]...

You may think the odd little ant wouldn't be much trouble? Well, the things is, they can call for reinforcements...

We're going to advance!

LOTS of reinforcements...

I'll get to the birds.. While the LSWs were feeling bashful, the big Redpoll flock were in evidence, indeed they came to me*, so I couldn't not take too many pictures of the wee darlings.

How many can you see?

Yup, Redpoll on deck

Spot the Redpoll

Nice undertail coverts shot,
showing the distinctive 'Lesser
strong streaks'

A more typical utc shot


I didn't just photo Redpoll, despite the 30+ band being the highlight of the day, so here's some more birds

Marsh Tit!

That doesn't look comfortable.


They've been quite busy

The inevitable pink limestone

Once a Mandarin-haunted pond!

Still some pond, though

Let's see a close up from back there

There's a story in the soil

Under the upper mixed up layer of assorted debris, you can see the dark peaty pond deposit contrasting with the older orange soil - mine runoff! It can be easy to forget that Yarner was an industrial site for a lot longer than it's been a reserve.

And finally;

Bleeding Broadleaf Crust

No, I didn't slice it**, being of the 'take only photos' school.

Ah, Yarner. Always a pleasure.

Ok, it was for the hour I spent staring at not much in case something flew past or started calling, [even though nothing did] and then again after three, when everyone else had given up..!
[Yes, yes, I'm an antisocial git...]
[[In my defence, it's hard to quietly look for birds when you meet people every hundred steps..]]

Shutting up now.

Be Seeing You...

[[*As the saying goes, Stand Still, Stay Silent  :) ]]
[[**As you may guess, this one has red stuff inside!]]

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