30 September, 2021

Another Sailing Beauty

Looking out to sea from a far sunnier and windier Nose on Sunday morning, I was greeted by a marvellous sight to the North;

Rainbow Warrior!


Here's hoping she's scoping our cold water coral reefs and eelgrass beds for a few protective boulders...
 [Hey, I can dream]

Getting back to the business at hand;

The Nose was far quieter than the day before [odd, that], with most of the warblers having cleared out overnight. Passage was ongoing, with 102 hirundines in groups ranging from 3 to 41 [slightly more House Martins] counted moving south, often pausing for several minutes to feed in the plume of insects blasted up over the North Side by the wind. Also moving were pipits, with 31+ Meadow and 2 Tree counted, and the first 3 Chaffinches of autumn.

The sea seemed as quiet as you'd expect a sunny day to be, though 2 Balearic Shearwaters passed south along the Manx line. Then a surprise as a party of 3 hefty juvenile Arctic Skuas popped up into my line of sight just outside the Lead Stone [oh, if I'd seen them coming!] before heading outside the Ore Stone and indeed out into Lyme Bay!

Arctic Skua, intermediate morph
[gingery head visible!]



I didn't get a good one of the second bird, those are two of the third; again the contrasting golden head catching the sunlight, and shaft streaks making the outer primaries look funny. Upper shot has a nice contrast between all black tail and barred rump - not as obvious barring as on Pom - and the lack of visible projections is another pro-Arctic feature. [Note though how long this 'short' back end is compared to a young gull, clearer in the more side-on lower pic].
Well, I can see all that, anyway..  At least you can [sort of] tell what they are..?
Moving on.
Minimum 16 Oystercatcher present on site, mostly roosting over the tide at their favourite spot;

Count the Oyks

1w Stonechat

Quoth the Raven:

Posed so nicely, so I had to.

Common Storksbill


Be Seeing You...

27 September, 2021


It was with something approaching joy that I drew back my curtains on Saturday morning to see mistyfog shrouding the landscape..

Could it be that there might actually be something good lurking in the bushes of the Nose?

Oh stop laughing...
There was, however, this;

Juvenile male Eider
[Lead Stone in foreground]

As picked up by Mr Peregrine, off Thatcher Rock. [It was hiding behind it when I swept the sea hald an hour earlier. Definitely.] It later moved in close to the Lead Stone, was driven off by jetscum, then came back again, a bit.


Seconds later..
[Eider head just visible]

Ban non-electric jetskis, I say.


There were good numbers of warblers along IMD and especially in the Top Dell, mostly quietly and determinedly stuffing their faces and not posing

Standard pattern Chiffchaff

Yellowy one.

All were Chiffchaffs. Those that weren't were Blackcaps. 7 and 2.  Massive numbers.

At least 5 Swallow were in the Quarry early doors, and a Mipit was with the Rockits [possibly more than one, 11 pipits in a flock were annoyingly mobile around the Mounds]. At least 12 Oyk on site.
Despite all the reduced visibility, all I saw offshore were a 2cy Med Gull, 3 BHG and 3 C Scoter; all South.

Even in the absence of sunshine, insects were still in evidence;

Here's something smart!

White-tipped Darwin Wasp
Ichneumon albiger

And not just insects, of course,

Female Garden Spider
Araneus diadematus
Weaving a new orb web
[normally done at night]

More Eider.
Showing the dark colouration of a juvenile [females far sandier, adults with white bill tip which would show at this range] and the white supercilium marking indicating a male.

Not great pics, alas. Earlier on, he did come inside the Lead Stone, but jetskis beat my camera...  :(

Not - as I thought at the time - a Patch Yeartick, as I'd had a female flypast into the Bay while seawatching from Meadfoot at the end of January [blogged early Feb, as sharp-memoried readers may recall], but great to have one that stuck around. Indeed it was twitched [!] by no less luminaries than MB and BoBa* as apparently the first gettable one this year! [Less gettables have also occurred on the Exe, I think the Mighty MK has photos on his blog]. Oh how things have changed, there used to be wintering flocks - flocks! - including at the mouth of the Harbour, where you could stand on the breakwater and look down on them...

Be Seeing You..

[[ * The Teacher's nickname for Bailey Senior. I don't know if he knows enough Starwars to be amused..? It does appear to be sticking, though. ]]

25 September, 2021

Third Bite

And so we come to the last visit to the Nose, from, er.. last weekend. [Oops?]

Getting on with it;

Sunday morning, dragged myself out again despite less favourable-looking conditions.


What, you were expecting something else?

Sadly nowhere near, so I couldn't tell for sure if this was actually the third BT with heretical sails, or merely a lookalike with whatever sails it felt like carrying.

Getting on with it more, a typical 'record shot'...

Three little birds...
ID Challange.

These having just been flushed by mundanes whilst I was stalking them. What are they? Pretty easy to tell, right?

Moving on, [once I'd finished muttering], I refound what I thought was one;

Common Sand, of course!

Then, oh look..

The other two!

That first one being by far the best ComSand shot I've ever achieved on Patch. Not the best views [met one at about 10' amongst the Mounds once.. We were both very surprised!], but still.  :D

Three not-so-little birds!

Came swimming by, but then flushed by angler boat [too much frickin' flushing going on...] and flew off towards Brixham Harbour.

Earlier, it was very good on approach, with hordes of warblers along IMD - most notably 14+ phylloscs at the Brandy crossing point, with half as many small tits [but nothing sexy] - and then a marked passage of hirundines along the coast. 122 counted, with a 7:4 ratio Swallow:House Martin and at least 5 of these mixed in;

Sand Martin!

But the Nose bushes were quiet... A few more Chiffs and 3 Blackcap was it.
Likewise the sea, much calmer, too. 6 Common Scoter went by north and a handful of Gannets were way out. Despite calm seas and ideal viewing conditions, no cetaceans were seen. [Wonder why...?]

Also a light overhead pipit movement, mostly Mipits but a Tree Pipit went overhead, calling and low enough to get on with bins nicely. :)

[[ Do I need to say all non-scoter movement was South? No? Good. :) ]]

Still hordes of bees, hoverflies, flies, butterflies, midges and so on on the wing.
Including many of,

Eristalis pertinax

Ups and downs.

Be Seeing You...

23 September, 2021

Yeah. Another Moffs Post...

Because it's still that time of year.

[Long-lasting 1st Gen., too!]

This taken 16th September, when it should be 2nd Gen. insects on the wing, but this big brown well-marked example is clearly a 1st.

Common Plume

Light Emerald

Large Yellow Underwing


Maiden's Blush

Large Wainscot

[Very large Wainscot... :) ]

2nd Gen. Riband Wave

Yellow Shell

Small Dusty Wave

I have no idea...

Can't even get close to it..?!?

Buttoned Snout?

A bit [Dorset...] outside published range, but said to be expanding, and it really does look like one.

White-shouldered House Moth..

Garden Carpet

And there are still more to come.

Be Seeing You...

21 September, 2021

A Slight Shift In Things

Which may have had something to do with the mistyfog lurking about the place.

Saturday morning was slightly different to Friday afternoon [odd, that].

Another Brixham Trawler

See? Different.

Note the aforementioned mistyfog. Actual reduced visibility gave seawatching potential, and as the Teacher was on site, we decided to sit down on the Steps and give the sea a little time. 
Turned into an hour and ten minutes [would have been more, but he had places to go and birthday cake to eat {oh yes, I know the truth! ;) } ].

Scores [all S unless noted];
Gannet  66
Kittiwake  8
Fulmar  3
Guillemot  3
Auk sp.  6
Swallows  12
Arctic Skua  1 [adult light morph, inside Ore Stone]
Balearic Shearwater  6
'shearwater sp.' [Sooty. It was.]  1
commic tern  2
Sarnie  3
LBB  1
Common Scoter  3 [N]

Also a Wheatear...

Mobile about the Sole

...A Blackcap and 11+ Chiffs.

Insects again notably active in numbers;

::Knock knock::
"Who's there?"

Ivy Bee!

Ivy Bee 
on... Ivy!!

Said there were lots out.

Silver Y 
still plentiful

"No, no, look at me;
I'm hovering! I'm a Rough-leg, honest!"

::To Buzzard:: "Er.. what about the obvious?'
::Buzzard:: "Well, there was this escaped Tasmanian Devil..."


Be Seeing You...

19 September, 2021

The Grind

Another week, another set of reports from the Nose. Plús ça change and all that.

Brixham Trawler

Something different to start with.  :)

In a fit of madness dedication on Friday I went straight to the Nose from work [no, no overtime or getting important stuff done for this little black duck..].

I even took the li'l scope with me [though not a tripod, worrying about weight on injured shoulders..] and found a sheltered spot [Glonk corner] to sit down and stare at what came by for an hour.
It being a sunny windy day [wind fresh to brisk for S to SSE] that was... Well, not a lot.

Itsa Herring Gull

Best thing in the air beat the camera, though;  Spitfire!!
Gannets 25
YLG 1 [N, from far side of Lead Stone, the git..]
C Scoter 3 [N]

Wooo, right?



All the low-flying raptors may explain the 6 Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap being the sum total of possibly migrating passerines on site.

Also of note [and too slow to avoid photography..]

Painted Lady

A few Oystercatchers

It was worth a go, though. Don't see if you don't try. Got to put the hours in.


Be Seeing You...