30 March, 2022

Caught Between Immovable Object And Unstoppable Force

Was how my head felt last Tuesday as I suffered the effects of plague while hitting the Nose after work.
Said plague had opened up on Sunday evening and still holding on at time of writing.
Not covid, oh no - negative test laughs at me - just a markedly evil cold feeling very much the need to live up to more successful cousin.... Not even serious enough to keep my from work, even, just to stop me enjoying myself.
The Veteran had clearly had the same idea as me, but he outpaced me so we never spoke. Yup, not on good form; that was the worst day, looking back, so maybe I broke it. A bit.
More positive - only positive - was how I did catch La Starte Nigra in the open and zap her again;
I see you...
This indeed proved to be the highlight of the visit.
No Wheatears, or anything else migrantly attractive.
I tried again on Friday and Sunday - losing Saturday to my head and Monday to work - with the same result -the BlackRed.
Only very still things were caught;
Is it Spring?
Ask a Weevil

Or a bumblebee!

That a queen Buff-tailed, looking for a nest site; my windchimes did not measure up [thankfully!]. Buff-taileds have been very much in evidence, also a smaller spp. which has teased me repeatedly while not allowing even a blurred photo.. Tut.

Anyways, work [as well as getting between me and a Spake... grr] produced something newsworthy yesterday; a male Blackbird with a billfull of small worms!?! FF already! Well, I suppose the weather's been so mild, they might as well...

Ok, enough of this.

I do have more to say, might even get to it?

Be Seeing You...

25 March, 2022

Always Look For A Good Haha

When seeking a picnic site up on t'Moor.
Yes, not always possible, but helps so much, especially when you're accompanied by a Little Black Dog Of Infamy.. :)

Like this;

Enjoying the view

Took a day for an amble with the Folks about Bellever. We found said spot and sat and enjoyed the view - clear of any pesky Red Kites blocking the scenery, more's the pity - though this was after we'd found that the FC had been rather, er, 'keen' with their felling policy...

"These trees were my friends..."

Edge of the clearfelled area, showing what happens when you suddenly expose trees to wind. Weak roots = blown over, strong roots = snapped in half...
I know it's a commercial forestry, but that was a big area to take at once.

Anyways, also in the camera's way

Cairn circle with central cist
[second in background],
with LBD for scale!

Bellever is home to an impressive array of these in particular, now seemingly the subject of a special trail [they have these fancy new posts]. If you archive binge back enough years, you'll find a post - from when the trees were quite different! - with a fair few of them up in pixels. [Or just look online for better ones.!]
Of the expected Moorland spp. of birds about, it was pleasing to hear and see displaying Mipits. One posed for me;
It was actually quite windy!

We didn't go very far, but then we're all somewhat out of practice with the whole yomping thing - fecking viruses - so it was more a case of slowly building.
And waiting on the offchance.

[Note: As it happened, the very next day.... Ach, drat and other comments]

Be Seeing You...

23 March, 2022

The Second One

Considering how much my head was hurting when I wrote most of this post, I think this is quite good.

The second day, the second principle of birding, and indeed the second individual of the sp. I'm going to be talking about and indeed showing you!

I started by taking an opportunity to look about the northern part of the Patch, looking for sheltered rocky bits which may have contained Wheatears.

Massive spoiler alert: they didn't.

Chiffchaffs were singing, which was nice.

Then the inevitable news of something arriving. An allegedly showy Garganey at Exminster demanded a look, over and above yearlisting requirements.

It wasn't there.

I did not give up, unlike other disappointeds, and after 90 minutes or so of reposition, scan, reposition, scan [etc. et-frickin' cetera] in a blowing hoolie and blazing sunshine [neither of which help looking for small birds on water]

But eventually, I found one of my very own [turned out to be 3 present]. It was even awake.....

Even swimming!

Albeit not for very long...


Stealth Ruff

Sand Martin

I'm afraid I'm a little under the weather right now - not even C19..! - so I'm cutting this short.
I do have more to post, and will be getting to it when staring at a screen doesn't make my bonce start aching..

Be Seeing You...

[Though not up close for a while..]

21 March, 2022

Oh, Whatever....

It's still not Spring here on the Patch.

Of course, you can't tell some things;


At least the Blackstart still thinks it's Winter.

"I smell fascism"

[Wind blowing from russia, what can you do?]*

To even further improve your moods, here comes another gull shot;

"Woss goin' on down there??"

Ah, but what have we here?

Crime Scene

Many empty but intact snail shells to be found about the Nose, especially near Sandy Point.

I've made a breakthrough in the case.

"A Crow dun it an' ran away"

This Crow was reaching under the yellowish slab behind it and prising out snails, which it pulled out from their shells with impressive ease.

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

Lots buzzing about now.

Oh, it's just too
scenic for words...

Be Seeing You...

[[ * Blood temperature still well into three figures, I'm afraid. ]]

18 March, 2022

Waiting For Wheatears. Pt.2, BLEEP Them, Then. Let's Seawatch Instead!

In blowy dizzle and fading light on Saturday and sunshine interspersed with squalls on Sunday, yours truly - aided and abetted by the Teacher for an hour each day - got in five hours of seawatching. Woo.

Getting a little meta

The wind was a petulant S to SE depending on what would be least helpful to the poor would-be observers, strong enough to need getting out of.

Birds were a little thin on the air, not to mention sea, but there were moments of quality to make up for slight lack of quantity.

Now, when I say 

That would be a GND disappearing behind the Ore Stone, there. Near full s/pl.

Same bird, past Ore Stone

Mega white thing

Contrast with a full w/pl RTD in sunshine. The levels of white make it glow, don't they? White face, white throat wrapping right around to the back of the neck, pale mouse grey upperparts unlike the black of the bigger spp.

GND in more
co-operative mood

Note the spangles moulted in on its back.

I will spare you more distant passing birds - I'm not entirely eeeevil - but I won't spare you moderately proximal gulls - I am quite eeeeevil - so avert eyes all who value their sanity;

Common and Black-headed


Something from Saturday

In case you thought it was all sunny on Sunday;

Giving Exmouth what-for

I suppose a few numbers are not inappropriate.

Saturday saw 35 Kitts, 9 Com Gulls, 1 LBB, 1 GND [plus 2 on sea], 3 Manx [1 in to the slick] in an hour, with Gannets, auks, and Fulmars uncounted.

Sunday was a little more organised.
In 4 hours,
Manx 2 [together, 1155]
Puffin 2 [together, 1059]
auk sp 1
Razorbill 34
Guillemot 8 [birds definitely not associated with colony only]
GND 3 [plus 3 on sea]
RTD 1 [plus 2 on sea]
[2 GCG on sea]
Gannet 94
Kittiwake 35
Fulmar 11
Med Gull 1 [looked 3cy]
Com Gull 11
All passage South

2+ Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal

All in all, far better than expected, or even hoped-for.
Though the news a couple of Little Gulls were tarting about the Exe and didn't come down was a little irritating [ho ho], but you can't have everything.

Wheatear'd be nice, though...

Be Seeing You...

16 March, 2022

Waiting For Wheatears. Pt.1, Failed Again

I have a dream.

One year I will find Devon's first Wheatear of Spring at the Nose.

I've never even been close.

Thus it proved again this year, with as of time of writing, pretty every-figging-where in Devon - including the north coast ffs* - having at least one.
Not here, oh no.



Spring Thing that doesn't avoid me;


First attempt's failure led to me shooting gulls.

[Oh yes, I'm going there...]

One, two, three, four..

Well, I found nothing particularly original or inspiring, but I'd given it a solid go, at least.

Have some more purdy stuff,

Much prettier


Danish Scurvygrass

Thale Cress

Things would change.
A bit.

Be Seeing You...

[[* For Felicia's Sake.        What did you think I meant??? ]]

11 March, 2022

Observation Skillz

When messing about in the woods, you have to learn to see neither wood nor trees.

At least, if you want to see little birdies, anyways.

Sometimes it's not
that difficult...

Sometimes it is...

There is one bird in each picture, not of the same species.

I spent much of the day messing about in the woods about the Moor's fringe, as despite the frisky wind, the Sun was shining. Redpoll and Siskin in mixed bands [though always about 4:1, never evenly mixed..??!?] really enlivened things, but never sat still enough close enough for me to get on pixels.

Catkins are far

Also spiders,
like this Araneid sp.

less so.

Let's have some more Sprawky glory;

"I meant to
land like this"

"I know you're in there,
little Blue Tit"

"Fine, I can wait..."

Wowzer and other comments.

Be Seeing You...

[P.S. Despite a valiant Bramble-defying effort, Mr Sprawk left empty-taloned. Poor thing.]

09 March, 2022

Patched-Up Post

Easterly winds and Patches don't always work well together.

Doesn't stop me trying, of course.

Effort brings birds.


I do have ok-ish [for taken in howling gale] perched shots, but a flight shot where you can see what it actually is?  :)

Common Scoter

Those going North; Spring movement!  :D
Also heading thattaway on Sunday was an s/pl [or very close] RT Diver, seen by the Teacher and myself from Meadfoot as we tried and failed for more RN Grebe-y goodness [he'd had a very nice view on the deck the day before; power of The Artefact ::Ominous Chanting:: and so on..]
The adult female Eider is still hanging about the oyster beds, and the odd GCG is on the sea

Very odd...

More Spring-like - and much easier to photo - are



And finally...

This worm is climbing a wall.

I suppose it had to get up to my skygarden somehow....!

Be Seeing You...

07 March, 2022

Time For Madame La Guillotine!

I've sought him here,
I've sought him there,
I've sought that bugger everywhere.
Looked up at Matford,
Down at Powderham as well,

But finally I got that damned elusive Great White Egret!!!!


Not the only BigWhiteThing on Exminster;

Spot the Spoonbills

Still fair numbers of Wigeon [very vocally] present, but numbers of other wintering ducks were markedly lower than during my last visit.

The shiny shiny Sun inspired me to pop over the river to the pebblebeds for an amble.

There were purdy things,

Of Gorse it's in flower

Posing Stonechat!?!

Oh yes, must add;

Bathing belle

Apologies for the unusual [for recent times] delay. I wasn't hacked by z-nazis* or anything, just distracted by stuff.

More fun to come, dear peoples, oh yes.

Be Seeing You...

[[* 'z' seems to have been adopted by herr putin's dupes as their swastika. Go figure.** ]]
[[** I will stop being non-birdy on here when my blood ceases boiling.*** ]]
[[*** This may not be any time soon...  ]]