19 October, 2021

Battered Into Submission. Pt.1, The Crack Of Dawn

After an entertaining week, without and with sleep, I managed to get to the Nose before sunrise on Friday.

Woo, right?
Oh pick yourselves up off the floor, I can get out early sometimes. [Especially if I'm already up...]

Clouds aided and abetted the chill and gloomy nature of the early times, and it was rather quiet. Until I got to the bottom [well, not quite, I'd clocked him from my watchpoint on the Second Slope...] where a familiar character was feeding right close in, inside casting distance, even, from the Toe of the Nose.

1cy male

Filthy underwing shot...

OoooOOOOOooooo!!! Indeed.

Now showing paler bits, almost certainly the same 1cy male we'd seen earlier this Autumn.

A stream of BHGs with Common Gulls were heading by inshore southwards - from Blackball roost mayhaps? - and I counted 45 and 7 in 20 minutes.
I could only find 7 Oystercatchers in view, though they had been joined by a Turnstone. Way offshore, as well as feeding gulls [no chance of ID without Big Scope] a shearwater spp. was too evenly dark and flying wrong to be Manx, and a skua sp. looked more like Pom than anything, but, well...
Closer in, Guillemots had returned to the Ore Stone ledges, but with the sun right behind them, I couldn't say better than 'more than 20'.

Eventually the Sun sort of came out, and I tried my fortune in the Top Dell. This proved 'quite', as I was not even in before finding myself face to stripy face with a Firecrest! It was far faster than my camera, though.. :(

Further in, and the Sycamore was alive - I kid ye not, alive - with birds! Chiffs and tits and crests all over the place, including another Firecrest [first one went the other way]. I spent far too long searching through for 'others' and indeed just trying to hit anything!



'continental race'

Note the contrasting grey head.

Death from below..

My autofocus can do it
when it wants to...

There's always one...

I counted minimums of 17 Chiff, 3 Blackcap, 1 Firecrest, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Blue Tit, 8 LT Tit, and a Coal Tit in one great group! Very few calls, they were too busy feeding.

Not just Chiffs.

Grounded Song Thrushes were much in evidence, as were Mipits and alba Wags [all Pied that I got on] on the rocks. Also on the rocks, a very slippery female-type Blackstart; which gave me one brief view [near the outfall] then vanished.

Overhead passage of again primarily Mipits and alba Wagtails, though with assorted finches and others - including 2 Redwing, Jays, and a Swallow - mixed in.

It was very stop-start, but the good bits were proper fun. It's been another funny year. Perhaps I should be thinking of it as the new normal, with falls an exception, despite any promising weather...?

And on that oh so cheery note, I shall

Be Seeing You...

[Backward Birding will return, and don't worry, there's more good stuff to come. Just not necessarily on camera.....]

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