21 October, 2021

Battered Into Submission. Pt.2, The Application Of The Dark Arts

Saturday saw me back to the Nose, though inability to get out of bed night shift recovery prevented me getting there until after 8.

It was very misty, so I wasn't too worried. The seabirds [if there were any] would be invisible and the passerines in the bushes [if there were any...] wouldn't show until the Sun came out.

Which it did, with alacrity and Summer-like heat.

I encountered the Teacher, who was there with Number One Son and now, of course, The Artefact.

::Ominous chanting::

This being the Artist's former scope - he upgrading to the latestest biggestest and fanciestest one - which said Teacher has just bought. 
It's a Kowa 88. 
[If you know what that means, I'll let you go tidy up the drool. If you don't, just think 'very very flash' and shake your head sadly at the optics fetishists....]


Said scope, [which he calls The Artefact, btw] having been so many years in the possession of such a legendary birder, has become imbued with Rare-finding power. The Teacher's already nailed the first GWE for the Teign estuary - from his car - since selling his sou buying it.

[[ ::Stadium full of assorteds:: "GET ON WITH IT!!" ]]

Getting on with it, they'd already met the Top Dell Firecrests when I caught up with them, but said Dell wasn't as busy as the day before.

We worked our way down to the Toes - passing a couple more Firecrest along the Mud Path - where The Artefact ::Chanting:: was set up and assorted parties of auks and Common Scoters looked at as they went their ways past [South] at mostly 1km+ range. Against the light. I recorded 10 C Scoter and 30+ auks [I assume mostly Razorbills]. 
Passing closer in, at least at first, a lone sea duck showed gloriously white flashing secondaries; Velvet Scoter! Brownish hints* as opposed to utter blackness [also lack of standout yellow on the bill]* made it a female, and the dark belly showed not a juvenile [or 2cy, probably]. She angled outside the Ore Stone, but was not seen to pass it. At the time I thought she'd gone offshore out into Lyme bay, but she could easily have plonked down and loitered behind said massive lump of limestone. A Velvet passed Berry Head on Tuesday, so either is possible? [Or that could have been another bird entirely, of course...]
At least 8 Mipits and 3 Pied Wags were still on the rocks, and The Artefact ::Chanting:: picked out a Purple Sand on the Lead Stone, while 14 Oyks were spread out along the shore.

Overhead passage continued; a steady movement of again mostly Mipits and alba Wagtails, with at least 4 Swallow among the standards. Also four parties of larks were heard passing, but we only got eyes on one. Said party - 4 birds in/off from Lyme Bay - was definitely the one to be on, as as they passed over us my bins got on a Woodlark! Woodlark has a very different shape to Skylark [which the other three were]; with very broad wings and dinky tail, they look more like a woodpecker!

Couple of token pictures;

Mipit by the Steps Pool

[Count them.. ID them to sp.?!?]

Also of note, a Smoothhound was very close in at Sandy Point - as in right under the rocks - and the female Kestrel tangled with a female and [woo] adult male Sprawks. Yes, at once [she's hard].

Despite getting lightly toasted by the Sun [felt more like August], it was a lot of fun.

Be Seeing You...

[[* Blazing sunshine has its uses. ]]

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