27 February, 2023

Prettier Post

It's That Time of year again, when flowers bloom and I take pictures of them.


Ok, getting on with it;

Gratuitous Violet

Yeah yeah...



Have I told you
I'm a fan?

Following the theme

Well, you've got
to have both flavours

Developing it a little

Or a lot

First Patch Primrose

[Not in a garden]


with friends!

it's a bit green

That white one

White two



Coming up on Backward Birding;

About A Crow, a tale of modern birding. With half decent photos.

Not So Little, Not So Black, a tale of getting out in the cold and the mud. With some half decent photos.

Be Seeing You...

Rubbish Pictures Again...

Winter is still here, but Spring is coming, and the two get one wandering up away around parts of the countryside in search of birds of a usually elusive nature. Sometimes you even see them, some [even fewer] times you get something like a photo. Patience, persistence, and the favour of the Goddess of Birding are useful things if you want to succeed.
Close up [if you stay put for an hour or so, dontcha know?] views of small striped thing, 'somewhere in Devon' this year.

Dinky li'l darling

Very very non-close views of dots blobs blurs

Soaring raptors

Closer-to and better-lit,

Wait a minute....

... It's ALWAYS a Buzzard.
[Ok, that's two Buzzards, pedants.]

::Whistles innocently::

How to see woodland birds? Go somewhere with a feeder.

Ooh, what a 
greedy wotsit!

Marsh Tit with three sunflower hearts!
[I suppose it's quite energy efficient, minimises time exposed at the feeder and so on, too]

Much more polite

Female Siskin [why does everyone always only photo the males?]

Better posting may follow.

Be Seeing You...

23 February, 2023

Things (Don't) Change?

What's going on about the Patch?
Well... Not a LOT new, really. The Irregulars bash away daily, The Teacher and I weekendly, and such lovelies as Eiders, Blackstarts, GND [just the one], GCGs, Firecrests, Common Scoters [handfuls], Med Gulls, and so on show as and when they feel like it.

A few pictures from weekends recent;

Spot Mr Blackstart

Actually got pixels on the male Black Red at the Nose! Not close pixels, and taken in the teeth of a howling icy blast, but still!

"This is how you strike
a pose, you orange-arsed muppet"

Rockit doing it better.


8+ regular about the Nose. The odd Purple Sand, too.

gull shot

Because you've got to, don't you?

I have closer- to pics of Prettier Things, which will be up shortly [well... Directly.   Ahem.]

Also I've been off chasing stripey things and actually scored, but Rules apply.

[And as to that topic... ;) ]


Anyways, I shall

Be Seeing You...

21 February, 2023

Getting On With It



After a year of only leaving the county to chase Lifers, I've resolved not to do that this year. So it was that with half-decent weather and something approaching impetus, I managed to get myself up to the Levels [er, last weekend, like the sign said...]

Easier said than done, with a sleep-issues affected delay added to with interest by a big accident on the M5, which I got neatly caught up in...

Anyways, I got up the Ham Wall mid morning [first light would have been ideal, but what the what] and set to ambling about looking for interesting things as well as the usual winter lovelies.
I wasn't the only one
keeping an eye out

Prime target was the highly exotic prospect of a wintering male Garganey. 
Naturally, I didn't see it.

Bitterns and Beardies were seen [and heard, mostly with the latter] but evaded any attempt at getting nice pics [or indeed any pics...], other birds I'd already seen in Devon were also naturally, far more forthcoming,

More common than Grey Herons...





Beed Runting

Vexed by a lack of G-things [there was this Isbis, too, you see....] I took stock and in a fit of madness bid to seek new life new sites, new birds, and new straight-edged reedbeds, I wandered right out of the far side of the site, right hand down a bit, and went wandering down thattaway in search of a reported Lesser Scaup.

After finding many new bits [like that one up there] not entirely unlike the old bits, I eventually found the right big rectangular patch of wet stuff.

Also many duckies. One was a Goldeneye, which was nice, but eventually giving up hiding behind an island;
Confusion pair??


Lesser Scaup
of a female nature

Having seen one wandering yankee, I boldly tried for another.

That gap, by the by, is nowhere near as long as I sat and waited for the male AmWig to drag his vermiculated arse into view on Meare Tank 2.

But when he did...

American Wigeon
of a dozy nature 

Head only came up when behind vegetation, the git, but OH was he gorgeous through the scope. Never had one anywhere near so close - he hid behind the near bank, you see - and oh dearie me...

But all this wandering and waiting had used up the already limited time I had. The hordes of gibbering oh-yahs were gathering for tha Stahhhhlings, yah? and I too had my limits.

I also had an elsewhere to be.

[Ok, several, but hunting Bewick's Swans and a GWT had to be kaiboshed, alas]

I drove, I climbed [in one. Just...]
and yes, I once again beheld the view, the view from

The Mump!!

[Yes, yes, that's the view from the Mump - though containing a bit thereof :P - not of The Mump, but you get the idea]

You may compare with images past and wonder where all the water is. I did too.

Fields far drier and far emptier of waterfowl... Drat.

No wild swans for me, oh no.

No Cranes, either, in the gathering gloom...

But not one but TWO Barn Owls - at scope range, alas, but still lovely - ghosted their way across the landscape. One to the back right of this view, the other off right of it.

Birdie type picture;

'A few' Lapwing

It is not widely appreciated, but Starlings are not the only birds which murmurate. Indeed any bird which forms flocks and roosts communally; I witnessed about 500 Lapwing do it - low to the ground - and it was spectacular. :D

Be Seeing You...

16 February, 2023

To Whom It May Concern

I aten't dead.

Not yet, anyway.

I know, tardiness in the blogging again, just as I'd got caught up, too... but what can you do?

[And are you really shocked?]

Here's someone else waiting for a proper post;

"What.    Ever."

Really unamused-looking GWE.

I have posts with actual half-decent pictures to add, of miles walked and birds seen. [As opposed to miles walked and birds unseen*, of course...]

Anyways, when I can summon enough energy at the right time I will, I hope, 

Be Seeing You...

[[* CHORUS: "Pics or it didn't happen!" "Photo or it was a Buzzard!" Ahem. ]]

10 February, 2023

Getting Out There. Pt.3, At Last, Oh At Last

I haven't been up for a proper walk on t'Moor all year.



It definitely wouldn't do, so - having failed the day before - I got myself up [only an hour behind plan] and went to...
Well, where do you think I'd go first??


Oh, wait, that's the last bit...


Where to? Where else?

Oh yes.

Wild Tor.

One of the true Tors of t'Moor, you just can't cheat it* you've got to walk. And cross water, bog, and large pieces of scenery. There are views, there's always somewhere to sit out of the wind... What more do you need?
Views from an amble.

Trees and fields, fields and trees

Scorhill Circle
Kestor Rock
Hameldown Tor

The White Moor Stone

The White Moor Circle

Yes, that's Hay Tor behind Kestor.

Onward, and you've seen this shadow before,

View from;
Yes, West Mill, East Mill,
Row, Steeperton, Belstone ridge

The Hangingstone,
on the eponymous Hill

Slice of the vast view
from the top;
West Mill to Cosdon Beacon

Time for a close-up!

Heath Waxcap

If you know, you know.

[I've photo'd that close up, once upon a time, if you realllly want to go archive binging]

Taw Head Mire

Fur Tor!
Black Hill,
East Dart Head

Castle Drogo,
The Thurlestone at
Watern Tor

View from,
including Drogo and the Belvedere

The Pole Bridge
over Teign

A bit - just a little bit - deeper than last time [when I forded the river.!], would have been over my knees and it's dropped quite a way from where it was...

Wildlife time.

Grazing with the sheeps

..Told you.
Is he looking at me?
Yup, he's looking at me.
Sunset. Clapper bridge over Teign.
...and Walla.

Only a slightly different walk than that last one [also a case of 'I'll see how I feel... Ouch.'], with 20km of rather damper scenery covered.
Now to the good bit.

[Wait, what??]

Oh yes.
We start en route, with a couple of Brambling in with a Chaffinch flock near Highbury Bridge. The high Moor was in standard winter state, with a lone Golden Plover seen near Wild Tor and decent-sized flocks heard but not seen [calls carried on the wind from the south], and totals of 3 for both Mipit and Skylark! Despite the paucity of small birds, a female Merlin was hunting over Metherel Hill [I almost got a photo!], while more expected Buzzard [2] and Raven [3+]  patrolled from higher up. A small party of Red Grouse were flushed by a couple with a dog [which was on a lead, shock] from 'somewhere on Dartmoor'** while I was chatting to a local - to our mutual "Grouse!" - and two Snipe were put up by myself whilst traversing Taw Head to get to Cranmere [that camera just laughed at me... :( ].
Best wader on the way home though, as a Woodcock was by the roadside just north of Chagford Bridge and went zipping along ahead of me for 20 yards like a Sprawk before flicking over the wall!

And of course there was that stag.

Sometimes the Goddess of Birding [and indeed all Wild Things] smiles.

I still am.

Be Seeing You...

[[*Unless you've got a helicopter, and good luck putting one down there. Oh and you're in a live fire range, too.... o:) ]]
[[** Very rare breeding species,  you know the drill. ]]