27 November, 2019

Up On The Moor. 2; Rinse And Repeat

Almost caught up, folks: This is now only last weekend before last weekend...!

Only a short one, this time, as I had plans. So I reckoned to just amble up Great Mis Tor, get out of the toothy wind, and have lunch while admiring the view and maybe even some nearby birdies.

Well, it sort of worked.

Looking out from the Mis
over Walkham valley

It was quite nice up there.

[Out of the wind, anyway...]

Scenic scenery;

Middle Mis Tor

Up Top

A couple more outcrops
[Great Mis being covered in them]

Spot the Mistor Man

The southern west tors* and away past Plymouth

 Mostly it was very quiet, bird-wise. It took more than an hour for even a Mipit to show itself, even. [I doubt the wind the the whole weekend thing helped]

That saying, eventually it got very birdy;

Just one or two...

Feel free to count them for yourself o;)

I also got some close ups..

Golden Plover

Up close

What at first seemed to be a group of 80-odd, swirled around the hill and got bigger every time it re-appeared until I got that first shot as they climbed and moved off eastwards. Hmm, why was that, I wonder?  This;

BLEEPing drone..!!!!

Not amused.

With all the birds driven off, what was there to look at?

Brent Tor

Nitrous Waxcap

H. reidii

P. semilanceata


I also stopped off at Vitifer on my way home, just 'cos. Only a quick look from the Overlook, though.

That Happy Valley


Lots of berries on the Hawthorns

Heath Waxcap


It was all very nice, drone aside [[Long rant excised]] with lovely if slightly hazy sunshine, though a toothy wind in spirit if not velocity.

Be Seeing You...

[[*Roos, Great Staple, Cox, and so on]]

26 November, 2019

Good Birding Bad Birding II: Usual Service Resumes

You may recall in the first GBBB post, I was a Good birder and bashed my Patch, resulting in a lovely Blackstart, then went filthy twitching, resulting in SOFFWPGOLF

Oh come on.. It's See On First For West Pal Get One Lifer Free!  Obvious, right?


So, a Sunday morning saw me trying the same. Sort of.

 Again a normally annoyingly un-shootable woodland sp. struck poses;

"Is this my good side?"

Hey hey Jay.


"Argh! No, not the bad side!"

"Ah, stuff it, I'll sit against the light, then"

Oh dear.

Now, why three shots? Well, getting a Jay to sit for one is rare. Also, compared to what's coming, this is something you may want to look back to [to stop your eyes bleeding...]


:) Well, that one's a migrant. And a tree pipit [note lower case, pedants] ho ho ho.


Hmm, what's that by the buoy farm?

Blobs! Aaaaaaaaaaargh.....

But just look at the schnozz on the one on the left... Hmm. 'Interesting' is probably the best you can call it, certainly 'worth keeping an eye out for on the off chance'

[Ok, yes, awful shots in bad light at ridiculous range.. If only I'd had the prescience to lug the Big Scope down]

Speaking of..

160+ Guilles on the Ore Stone

Ok, in focus;

Cedarwood Waxcap
[and yes, they really do smell of it]

Inland [it's not all Hope's Nose, you knows];

Love an Acer

Spectacular Rustgill

Tinder Bracket

Rather muddy P. adiposa..!

Three spp. on one stump.

News broke of a showy male Surf Scoter tarting about off Broadsands, and I was unable to resist. I've seen a lot of females and immatures, but a male is a sight to see, so I went over.

Needless to say, when I arrived, it had vanished....


Still, scoter were present;  a nice female Velvet and 22+ Commons were about, along with a RTD and at least 3 GNDs. Awful pictures, taken into the usual icy blast [love Broadsands]


Blobs Scoter, assorted

More blobs

Yeah, well, I tried.

These were much closer!

Fairy Ring Mushroom

Snowy Waxcap

Aren't they nicer than nasty blobs seabirds?

Be Seeing You...

22 November, 2019

A Hunting We Will Go

In which I get to that oft-delayed Hawfinch Hunt.

Also I then try for a long-gone Glossy Ibis, on the principle that absence of news isn't news of absence.

[Spoiler Alert; It's absent]]

Hmm, sounds like a lot of waffle, even more fungi, and sod all birds [at least photos of them...]

Well, oh cynic, read on and learn...

That bit on Haldon where sometimes Hawfinches, those flying nutcrackers, may be seen. I went there, and what did I see? Well, firstly Crossbills and Bullfinches. [No Greenfinches, which was a little disappointing] Then, after a brief encounter nearby, getting flown over by a whole frickin' flock, even, and being treated to the pics of the chap who was there '5 minutes before you arrived', indeed after almost two hours being very patient [I did take a foldy stool; I'm not entirely daft]...


That's no moon Greenfinch!

Awful light, long range, subject swaying in the howling gale wind... But still. Not bad for me.

I got closer! The light got worse...



I got a bit closer to the Hawfinch, but still note comparative size and structures, there.

Better pictures of easier subjects;

Sulphur Tuft

I messed with the colours a bit as for some reason the camera washed them right out. These things were bright!

Common Funnel, I think

C. rivulosa?
[don't think that's actually a ring on the stem]

Aromatic Knight

Fragrant Funnel


Found this chancer hanging on to my little car when I left. It got a free ride to Exminster, and baled out while I was there.  :)

Speaking of;

Water and birds. Lots of birds.

Some very confiding [with a little care]

A very nice Ruff!

Right by the causeway. :)
This despite some rather over-enthusiastic use of the flail...


I yomped up to the M5 and indeed past it, but no sign of any ibises; glossy, soggy, or any other flavour.. Oh well, worth a try. The female Marsh Harrier put in an appearance, but went the wrong way for a photo attempt, the minx. A Kingfisher zipped over the canal, and a Cetti's did the same with the towpath.

Less confiding.

This Cormorant on the canal just would not let me get close, even when I stayed put and waited; when it popped up nearby and in sight of me, off away it flew.

The views were far better with bins - the light never helpful, being either bright behind or just dull and horrid - even more so set up on the Hawfinch spot with the Big Scope I'd lugged along :D, but what's new?

Be Seeing You...