30 August, 2021

Beauty And The Beasts

Another day, another grind at the Nose.

[You were warned....]

Sunday proved both hotter and even grocklier than Saturday, with a blance of fewer things of interest to me. Not sure I appreciate the tradeoff, there. Warbler numbers halved, with not a hint of even a scarce one. Definitely grinding.

But one highlight was the emergence of these;

Autumn Lady's Tresses

Lovely...  :)
Also catching the lens;

Greater Knapweed,
white variant


Hoverfly sp.
on Sea Kale

Bee sp.

More Stonechats than
you can fit on a post!


Perhaps the only thing I can record is at least 12 Oystercatchers on the Lead Stone [and I have a photo, though it's not pretty]. No other waders [oh, for a nice Knot...], no sexy gulls, not a sniff of a shearwater...

And no chance of a Wryneck with all the hordes camping around.. Yes, despite the council enacting yet another bylaw [now 3 layers of legislation on offer to prosecute all the oiks], nothing has actually changed, because laws are just words UNLESS YOU ENFORCE THEM. But they'll never fine a tourist, cos "oh, what if they don't come back...??"  Makes you sick, it really does.
Also seen;
Name that raptor!

You know what it is... :D

Be Seeing You...

28 August, 2021

Another Day...

Well, after a slightly extended working week, I eventually dragged myself over to the Nose this morning - arriving after the Teacher had left - and gave it a go.

Unsurprisingly, the horde of bank holiday weekend grockles meant not a chance of a Wryneck [they even were trampling over the Wryneck Run.. Fortunately I think without any broken bones]. The fresh to brisk NE wind meant the Top Dell was sheltered and there was also a chance of things at sea, so those got the bulk of my attention.

ID Challenge!

What looked a lot like a Reed Warbler popped up while I was writing in my notebook, and by the time I had it away and bins up was flying up into cover from which it never emerged.. Bugger. Otherwise, lots of Chiffchaffs and a few Blackcaps.

At sea, a fortunately-posing Balearic showed a lovely brown belly as it arced [well, as much as they do] up with perfect timing for me to get on it. It was, however, [2 Gannets aside] the only seabird on offer.

Insects... Well, awful pictures due to utter lack of stopping, but I think you can tell what this is?

Hummingbird Hawkmoth!


At least 5 fighting each other around LookOut.  :)

Small Tortoiseshell

Hoverfly sp.

Impressively wasp-like buzz from this one!

Also of note...
Last night, on getting in from work in the early hours, I went to step onto my balcony. Switched on the exterior light, drew aside the curtain and right at that moment a Tawny Owl landed on the railing!
I froze, one hand still on the curtain, as it looked about, shifted position to opposite me, then hopped up onto the arm of the feeders..! This was less than 1m from me, albeit with glass in the way..... It again looked about with interest for some time before pouncing off to the other side, by the Berberus.. Where it proceeded to grab and swallow a couple of things from the ground; slugs!! All in, the Tawny was present for 4 minutes, mostly spent observing from perches.
My skygarden is home to legions of slugs - I frequently ask the Blackbirds why they don't eat any and they just laugh - and I am overjoyed that something is eating them [until we get flying Toads...!!!]. Also interested that a Tawny is clearly after them; this was an owl with a purpose. Indeed I suspect that my turning the light on prompted it to come; after all, slugs are not the noisiest of prey, so having plenty of light to see them by couldn't hurt, could it? You'd also expect turned-on light to deter wild nocturnal birds.

And yes, not just another excuse to roll this out, it looked like;

Tawny visitor


[Nope, not getting tired of that one]

Be Seeing You...

[[ It's a juvenile Whitethroat.. Oh yes, now you get it. :) ]]

26 August, 2021

Well, We Spotted One Migrant, At Least...

Sunday early afternoon saw me scuttling over to the Nose in response to a text from the Teacher.

He'd found something and in a shocking turn, it was not only still there, but posed quite beautifully, too;

Spotted Flycatcher!

In the North Side trees - the same place I've seen every Spot Fly at the Nose - about halfway down the First Slope. Also in the immediate vicinity were several phylloscs; at least three Chiffs, a probable Willow, and a very white-bellied warbler I never got on properly.
A definite Willow was in the Top Dell, with the only Blackcap of the day.
While I was there [and after I'd finished cooing over the Spotfly...];

Small Copper

Nurseryweb Spider
[Pisaura mirabilis]

The nursery web contains recently hatched spiderlings, guarded by the female.

Dark Bush Cricket

Finally got a shot of one!

Common Field Grasshopper
[if you can see it]

Pyrausta despicata

The moulty adult BHG was inshore off the Sole again and joined briefly by a frustratingly mobile juvenile Med Gull, but the sea was quiet, with only a lone Gannet finally seen from IMD as I was leaving! [Big contrast to the day before]

All the good stuff - and quickly all the mobile birders - was in cornwall, it seems....



I shall 

Be Seeing You...

24 August, 2021

Moths Moths Moths Moths, Sitting On My Wall Again....

With my shoulder, back, legs, and car knackered, this is what you can expect....

[Oh stop whining and get on with it!]

Jersey Tiger


Noble False Widow scoffing
an unlucky Coronet

Another Box-tree Moth

Bleached Pug
[A worn individual,
note barring on hindwing]

Double-striped Pug

Small Phoenix

Rosy Footman

Four-spotted Footman

Also... Forgot to put this in to my Nose posts last week the week before last [oh dear];

Probably a very sneaky Deceiver...

And this!

Caterpillar on Tangleweed
[no idea..]

Lots of fun, oh yes.

Be Seeing You...

[[* That is the actual name, btw. Yes, really.    Moths... ]]

23 August, 2021

The Three Amigos Stand Again!

After failing to get out birding on Friday, Saturday saw me eventually drag myself out to the Nose, where I was delighted to come across not only the Teacher, but the Veteran, too!

The three of us spent a merry while down on the end of the Mounds, catching up and seeing what if anything might fly past.

As it would happen, a lovely light morph Arctic Skua noticed and gave us a flypast at about 500m. [This might sound a lot, but for a seabird that's close!] Unfortunately, my camera stuck its tongue out at me and despite seemingly good conditions for a picture, I didn't even get a blur...  >:(
Also past were groups of 9 Common Scoter and 11 Manx Shearwater - both on the Manx line [ie. 1km] - as well as a very moulty adult BHG.

Wandering back up, the trees by the High Meadow gave a party of 3-5 phylloscs, which included what looked to me like a good Willow Warbler, but there wasn't much else on offer apart from resident raptors.

Common Blue Damselfly

This in the Entrance Bushes. Common Blues are damsels of large freshwater bodies, so this one definitely wandering!
At least 2 Migrant Hawkers were patrolling the Patch - one the First Slope, one earlier in Wellswood - and another hawker sp. along IMD frustratingly evaded the camera.
Lots of these were new out;

I don't need to name this, do I?

And finally...
On my way back, as I'd got up to IMD, a dark falcon came zooming along the clifftop, and I must admit to the excited thought that I'd actually got a Hobby, but then the local Kestrels noticed, combat ensued [much more serious on their part] and getting a better look, I realised what it was;

Bit big and chunky for a Hobby...

Look how rangy Kestrels are

"Who's next..? Ooh, a Geeb!"

Juvie Peregrine! A very dark one, and having a whale of a time dodging irate Kestrels and bouncing off surprised GBBs..!!!

Certainly gave things an entertaining finish.

Be Seeing You...

21 August, 2021

Battered About The Nose

Being back on nights, I had some time on Monday afternoon, and decided I ought to hit the Nose at least once - having spent the last two days swanning off about with the Folks - and so had a good look about for... Well, not a lot.


Feeling sneaky.

Juvenile gull

Best I've got so far...

Immature Shield Bug sp.

Pictured running away from the camera, the little git.
Running away far more effectively were a couple of Common Lizard!s at the entrance to the Top Dell. Nice to see there are still some reptiles there.

Scattering of Chiffchaffs the only migrants.

Oh well, keeping on keeping on.

Be Seeing You...

18 August, 2021

Out For An Amble. Pt.2, Proper Summer Weather

After a nice stroll about Yarner, we decided to do a little more the next day and take some supplies with us, to make more of an afternoon of it.

The forecast was less helpful, but after it was much sunnier than forecast the day before, you had to wonder...??

It - of course - decided to rain, drizzle, mizzle, and oh yes blow a bit too. Rather warm, very humid, the odd burst of brightness serving to lure you to take your coat off so the next rain band could have more chance of soggifying you...

Needless to say, this didn't stop us.

We're frickin' locals. Rain is the default weather setting and we expect nothing less. Especially during school holidays!

[It also works as handy grockle repellent.. :D ]

Proper Deb'n Summer!

We walked the White Wood loop, stopping at a nice point overlooking the Dart gorge for coffee and ginger cake  :D  
While we were sat there - enjoying being out of all but the odd drip - we were treated to parties of Swallows and House Martins - sometimes coming right under the canopy of the trees sheltering us - as well as a pleasingly large band of juvenile Siskin [8++] and a flyby juvie Mistle Thrush. 
Speaking of birds, Summer migrants still in the area included Redstart, Garden and Willow Warblers, and Tree Pipit.
Dartmoor woodland..
Few butterflies in evidence up high, but in shelter lots of assorted insects on the wing, sadly including a Horsefly.. Sadly for it, as it chose me for lunch and lost the ensuing single combat. RIP

Nothing like a little damp weather to help the fungi come out;

Slender Brittlegill
[plus very old Parasol sp.]

Dung Roundhead
[on deers' leavings]

Ashen Knight

Oilslick Brittlegill
[slightly munched!]

Up on the Moor proper;

Heathers  :)

Very pretty.

Despite and indeed partially because of the weather, we had a lovely time.

Be Seeing You...

16 August, 2021

Out For An Amble. Pt. 1, In The Sunshine

Being part crippled slightly damaged and with a car I can't risk driving for fun, my birding now relies on my feets and the kindness of others.

Of course, when the Folks feel like going out for an amble and ask me along, it'd be rude to say no, too, wouldn't it?  :)

Yarner in August is not exactly a focal point, birding wise.

You want Spring, early Summer, for visitors, or late winter for residents [and no more about exactly what they are. You know, you know, right?]

Thus I wasn't expecting many birds, certainly not visible ones. A few butterflies, maybe. A few fungi maybe?
Hopefully not any fecking Horseflies...

I got, well, all of the above less the Horseflies, so a result!

Most photogenically, was this lovely lady;


Wowzer! I had an utter basta quite a bit of trouble getting the camera to behave... Fortunately, she was feeling helpful, or at least hungry!
Though she looks very green in this pictures, female Brimstones are actually creamy off-white; the colour of clotted cream, and notably less 'detergent white' than say a Large White, with only some greenish 'airbrush lines' on the underwings.

Woo, what a beauty!


At least 3 Brimstone about, though this one the only poser. Two Silver-washed Fritillary likewise avoided infamy getting photo'd.
Red Admiral
Dor Beetle
[apparently feeding on a fawn's leg]
Insects aside, the usual expected birds were present, mostly heard; most notably a couple of flyover Crossbills.
Finally of interest;

Rowans in very full berry
this year

We had a very nice stroll, so much so that we dicided to take another the next day [and this time with rations!].
It would be a little different.

Be Seeing You...