30 June, 2022

A Good Day

After the getting over the shock of seeing the Solstice Sunrise for only the third time [10% hit rate, woo] I gave the sea an hour as I just happened to have the Big Scope along*

First light in late June? Hmm, what could possibly go by?

Well, not a vast number of passing birds**  but a ridiculously unseasonal [so much so that it took far too long for my confuzzled brain to register what a black-hooded bird with dark underwings might actually be....] Little Gull was the utter highlight?!?
I suppose - as it went North on the Manx Line and so wasn't exactly tight inshore - it might have been a subadult and thus possibly wandering about. Or a failed breeder.. [[A mischevious little voice in my head wonders if - as it passed at 0520 - if maybe a lot of things are there but only before we get up to see them... {naughty naughty Voice!} ]]

My plan to hit Wild Tor [where else?] was iced by Her Majesty's Finest, who were playing with the fun stuff all over the north Moor. All week.

So the south Moor it was.

Tragedy, how ever could I cope?

The Fledgling Of Consolation


I walked the Duck's Pool loop, with quite a few stops for hydration because phew it was rather scorchio up there [more like you'd expect in August, but with stronger sunshine]. Also stops and detours for some annoyingly frisky coobeasties, which got  a bit uppity with me [and they weren't even being barked at by a single LBD, either].

But those aside it was all rather lovely up there, and 33 Wheatears certainly didn't hurt.

Yes, you read right.

Nun's Cross

Fox Tor

Surprise Merlin!
Black Lane

Erme Head

Four-spotted Chaser,
Plym Ford


"I've got my eye on
you, human"

Not just Wheatears up here.

Scenery wasn't bad, either.

"Yeah, I was over there.."

The Trans-Moor Railway Scheme
didn't end well

"Do you ever get the feeling
you're being foll-

Looking down the Erme,
a little of the
Longest Row

Pretty clouds.
Oh, and Plimoth.


And with that,
I'll hop off.


Be Seeing You...

[[* Well, seeing as how it usually rains on me - often sideways - on the Solstice, the scope usually comes along.]]
[[** Impressive totals of 5 Manx, 5 Gannet, 4 Common Scoter, a Fulmar.. Under the sea won it with a large group {for here} of 49++ Common Dolphin foraging well offshore [to the NE and E], 2+ Harbour Porps in the outer Bay and a Sunfish!

Breaching Common Dolphin!

27 June, 2022

Well Look At That...

The Summer Solstice.

I've been [mostly trying to] watch the sunrise for, oh, about 15 years, I think?

I've seen the Sun rise exactly twice.
Several times a 'clear' forecast has meant a line of cloud on the Eastern horizon, even...

This year, a 'not a cloud in the sky, honest' forecast turned out to be this;

The view from IMD

Six oktars... Come on Met Office, this is getting silly.

But, that sliver, that thin wedge...
Could it be?


Drums, please.

Hail to the Sun!




Yup, over there

Now that's a way to start a day.

And it was quite a day.

As I'll tell in - yes, you guessed it - another post.

Be Seeing You...

25 June, 2022

Green-eyed Monsters!

Not that many years ago [though a seeming lifetime, Pre-C and all that] I spent a hot annoying day on Exminster Marsh. I was looking for what would have been a dragonfly Lifer, but the only success was Horseflies finding me...

Anyways, fast-forward to the Now and oh look,

Norfolk Hawker

Like the name says, 'supposed' to be limited to a couple of bits way way eastaways..

Climate change rulez ok?

Not as easy as that looks, as they were right little buggers for a long while before finally deciding that yes, we meant it, so they might as well sit and pose.


Have another!

The two in view at the same time. Indeed those shots taken while the other was posing for the depicted picture.
[Not bad]

Of course, someone had three the day before..
[And two of those were definitely not either of mine, so that's minimum 4!]

Methinks maybe three or four years ago, somebody missed a couple of big brown things buzzing about the Ley...

Yes, this Ley;
Slapton Ley
Also in view;
Black-tailed Skimmer
Black-tailed Skimmer

Ramshorn Snail

Otter spraint

Marsh Woundwort

I took an hour's look at the sea in hope of terns and managed to hear a Sarnie. Not see it, mind. A smart adult Med Gull flyby was a little consolation, and it was worth a go.

Back to the important stuff, those wonderful gorgeous NH;

Let's have another pic!

Look at those 
beautiful eyes...



Be Seeing You...

23 June, 2022

All In All, It's Just Another Moth On A Wall...

No, not apologising for that.

It's the sunny half of the year and so - a little late perhaps this time - the moths are fluttering about the night [and indeed day] skies.

Sometimes they wind up here, clinging to walls [or ceilings], hoping the birds and spiders won't find them..

These are the few the local bats have missed - though I've only detected Pipistrelles [regular and soprano flavour] so far this year, neither of which are big enough to threaten moths in anything but their wildest dreams! - so think the luckiest, smallest and flattest ones...

Anyways, I'm getting on with it;

Waved Umber,
Lacewing sp.
[and very hopeful spider!]

Brimstone and
a noctuid of some sort

These all attracted to my balcony light while I scatter soaked worms for the birds [I do this after sunset so they're there for the birds at first light. This being the time when ground foragers especially are most vulnerable to cats - which watch where birds go and then go out in darkness to set an ambush. Little darlings. - and so having a cat-proof place where they can get their first food of the day is very useful.]


Willow Beauty

Pale Tussock

Satin Beauty

Buff Ermine

Mottled Beauty

Riband Wave

July Highflyer

There, that's a few.

Moths still coming, so so will another post.

[Oh yes...]

Be Seeing You...

17 June, 2022

The Sun-Blasted [??] North...

Everybody knows that the further North you go, the colder it gets.
[Ok, unless you're an upside-down Ozzie type ;) ]

And yet it was all hot and sunny up on the Taw/Torridge. The wind was blowing [it does that, there], but woo..

Anyways, while cooing over a Great Winged Terror was the priority [and it was nicely on show when we rocked up, which is always appreciated!], there were a few other fascinating lifeforms about.

I managed to miss the super-sexy Long-horned Bees [drat!] despite being right there. Twice. But I did find the odd thing. [I should put it on record that Murphy, S - finder of bees - found the grasshopper in the last post, btw]

Such as - and I'm quite fond of both the animal and the photo - this;

Five-spot Burnet Moth

There is also the commoner Six-spot Burnet [extra spot at wing tip]*, and both occur at the Nose [I've put photos up in the past if you care to archive dive for them], but well, that's nice to see.

[[I should add that it's not a proper rare rare thing or anything, to still the rolling of eye of those who know stuff about moths]] 

Let's hit the montage;

Snipe Fly,
on my notebook

Scarce Chaser

Common Blue,
very well-worn

Azure Damselfly

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Broad Centurion



These occur at the Nose now and then, but I've never even got close to photographing one before :D

Moss Carder Bee[?]

Stock Dove porn....

I suppose I should say that,

I was there for this.

Much more exciting in flight

The whole Taw-Torridge is a lovely area, as you may recall from past posts [the Danube Affair for starters!].

Shame it's so zoggin' far away [and petrol is so ridiculously profiteered at the mo'....]

But I will be back.

And of course also

Be Seeing You...

[[* Also the Narrow-bordered Five-spot, which is commoner nationally, but not in the SW, and which this wasn't.]]