09 May, 2020

Grinding Away

In which I finally start talking about birds...


[[You may soon wish I'd kept schtumm...]]

I have been keeping at keeping at it; as much as work [oh yes, full-time employment ongoing for this little black duck], weather, and that dratted virus will allow.

Yes, weather a factor, as the conditions haven't exactly been ideal for it to rain tasty migrants on me.
But still, I've been getting out, looking about, and even braving the blazing sunshine on my lunch break in attempt to keep that yearlist ticking over. And it has, slowly mostly, but sheer effort brings the odd funky bird [note my betters getting Home Ticks of Stone Curlew and so on..!!!]. Thus it is that Redstart, Tree Pipit, and even Gropper fell to me at the Nose over assorted days [also Garden Warbler elsewhere up the coast for good measure] in the last week or three.

I've kept the forlorn hoping effort at work too; in recent weeks my lunch efforts finally got me my first House Martin [then one flew over calling when I got home, so I got Sun-blasted for nowt, but hey] - also 2 Swallows and a Holly Blue [the latter much lower!] - and you will remember my third work Hobby [I know I do! :D ]. This actual last Tuesday saw Swifts and House Martins passing over work in small numbers - things definitely started shifting this way that Sunday I think - and the local Swifts are definitely back after a short rain-related break mid-week.

The day before I was unable to join in the big fall [yes, waay back then...you remember that one?], I got extremely rained on at the Nose [I'd tried to get there before the forecast rain but it was more than an hour early and very happy to see me], but I defied it - I was going to be soaked, so might as well do some seawatching - and was rewarded with a few Manxies and an actual so-good-I-didn't-twig-what-it-was bird. [You know, one you're just not expecting so the brain doesn't register it for a while and you go 'wtfit??'] Which bird? Black Tern! :)
That was and remains only my second tern sp. of the year.. Go and indeed figure.

Since then I've been finally serenaded by both Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler - the latter along That Posh Bit. Bird of that weekend was a Reed Warbler at the Nose - for comparison, similar to Gropper in Patch rarity; ie. less than annual [as opposed to Sedge Warbler, for example,  which is pretty much annual] - foraging in the South Side early doors that Sunday.

Looking at this in comparison with other Patches, you can see it's all very apples and oranges. I gaze up the coast to Beer Head [or indeed down to Berry Head] with covetous eyes, all those regular Whinchats*, photo-able Redstarts, double figures of Wheatears, [never mind that frickin' GS Cuckoo... mutter mutter]. But then, the Backwater would kill for my seawatching viewpoint [let alone BH's!] and having singing Cirl Buntings would get most of the country north of here going various greenish hues [seen again last weekend, btw].
What would be so helpful would be a rarity trap, like Berry Head Quarry; where vagrants can arrive, take shelter, stay put, and be seen for a day or three... As it is, anything is likely to be seen once, briefly, then filter out of view never to return.. Lesser Kestrel and the very odd Wryneck being exceptions, of course.

Ok, enough of all that. Let's see something! An actual migrant!!


Never vast flocks [or more than about 5 in fact..] but still steadily moving through. I very fortunately and even more unusually saw this before it saw me - stood on the end of The Mounds - and was able to zap it before it was inevitably flushed by anglers.

You see that thing in the middle?
That's a singing Garden Warbler, that is.
No, really. Singing his little head off, he was.

As mentioned above, this was in a garden in a most select of locations, too.
[No, they didn't call the police on me, though I often get funny looks. I smile  :) ]

You see that thing in the middle?
Singing Whitethroat, that is.

Slightly more bashful

Now for something very annoying. This put up the gulls of Ellacombe when I was at Walls Hill one sunny afternoon - I reckon it probably went right over my place.. Aaarrgh.
Can you see what it is?

One of my best.
Look up, near the top, left of centre.

Errr, what's that??

Wonderful shot..!

Guesses Answers on a Comment.

Travelling back to the Nose [and back in time some more], somethings closer to and in focus;

Another Whimbrel!

[different to the one up there]

Finally, another migrant [or 'should be migrating soon, really!];

Someone's looking smart


Well, this post has been sitting in the Draft box for far too long - as you can probably tell by the awful disjointed way it's written... - so after a tiny amount of date-correcting I'm just sticking it up.

[[Yes, disjointed compared to... lolol and so on]]

I am attempting to return to more regular and indeed up to date posting. Something like more concentrated accounts and also some nice slimy stuff for good measure..

Isn't that tempting?

Be Seeing You...

[[*Yes, since then.. And no, no sign of anything eyebrowed still. I've seen more Wrynecks than Whinchats at the Nose, you know...]]

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