29 April, 2023

Patch Silver

When not cooing over Bar-bottomed Beauties [[oh be-have....]], the odd other thing's been going on about t'Patch,

A sight that strikes terror
into the hearts of flies

Love a Willow Warbler.

This one took a break from lilting away in the Sweet Chestnut to reduce the local insect population, tracking it actually gave a decent picture for once [yes, yes, backlit as hell, but this is a pocket camera, not something the size of your leg that costs as much as a decent used car, come on....]

Let's see, what else?


Whimbrel with
[very annoyed] crab!


Syrphus torvus



Common Storksbill

Musk Storksbill


Speckled Wood
[sneaky one]

Raptor ID Challenge!*

And finally, a bit more on the Big Bird Event of the month;

That Barwit!

Yes, you see right, a Bar-tailed Godwit on an entirely un-sandy and very rocky shore, picking away among the rock pools.


How's this for a view?

Minus the zoom,

Twitch shot!
That's fieldcraft, not laziness, btw, keeping under the skyline to avoid stressing the bird.
Front to back; a Big Scope, a couple of Hope's Nose Irregulars, Sandy Point incl. a Barwit, Thatcher Rock,

We have had light passages of Whimbrel [six overhead that one on the deck the biggest group], Swallow & House Martin, Wheatear, and pulses of regular warblers [some mornings you'd find a load of Chiffs, other times Blackcaps - three males in one small bush with no grief = definite migrants! - and with the odd Willow or Garden Warbler mixed in]

The Guillemot and Razorbill colony on the Ore Stone is well up and running for another year, and two different pairs of Oyks have been seen gettin' their thang on - we shall see how well they hopefully do - as have four species of finches.

More recent news to come, honest, as soon as my Muse gets her act togethe- Muse, "I think you'll find it's your lazy arse that's the issue, my dear"  ... Yeah, well, ahem....
So, one way or another I shall at some point
Be Seeing You...

[[* Answers on a Comment or you'll have to wait until i remember]]
[[** :) ]]

24 April, 2023

Patch Gold

I was in the process of trying to drag myself up and out on Saturday morning when I got a nice surprise from The Veteran; news of a Bar-tailed Godwit at the Nose!!!

Now, as you may have guessed from the utter lack of estuaries, mudflats, sand flats, marsh, wetland, or anything else wader-friendly about the Patch, non-rocky waders are thin on the ground here.
Most of my records are flypasts or flyovers [Blackwit flypast while seawatching, Snipe audiomig {real ears, too!}, for two  :D ].

This was neither.

I passed on the news to a Teacher, grabbed the artillery, and zoomed over [as fast as you can in a 20, that is], hoping the doughty Irregulars on site could keep the frenzied hordes and their rampaging dogs at bay.

Arriving at a strangely light-on-mundanes Nose, I allowed myself a little hope. And tried not to leg it down too fast; a careful approach was required for a bird that was not out on the rocks, oh no, it was close.
How close?

This close!


There with a little yellow grass snail sp.. She [2cy female, I believe?], after waking up, proceeded to happily probe the sandy soil and low vegetation of Sandy Point like it was the Bight at DW, finding many things to scarf down.

And yes, those browny smears are intervening vegetation, as fieldcraft trumps 'perfect' photographs. Especially when you have would-be viewers still on the way!

While the undoubted highlight [Patch Tick for all concerned, even the Veteran!], this was not the only event of my little extended weekend, but all the rest shall await future missives.

Be Seeing You...

23 April, 2023

Not Rain Nor Sun Nor Distant Divers

Will stop those Brave Messengers from their task.

Or something like that, anyway....

Not a jot.

Proximity of The Artefact ::Ominous Chanting:: may have helped a little...  Ahem.

Distant divers!

Just like it says up there.

Now... ID challenge!!

Go on, you've got all you need.



Oh never mind, bunch of landllookers, the lot of you.


Nice Blackcap

Buff-tailed Bumblebee

I had other things to say, I'm sure, but I cannot now remember them.

Oh wells, never mind.

Be Seeing You...

[Oh yes, 'diver sp.' but I reckon they're Red-throated. ]

19 April, 2023

Back In Black

It had been a little while since I'd been to the Black Hole. It had been a longer while since I'd had a good natter - done as best, over a good bird - with the mighty JT, and it had been absolute years [about six of them..] since I'd last seen the One and Only Woolley.

Also been a fair while since I'd laid eyes on one of these;

Black-winged Stilt!

Ain't she a darling?


What? You weren't
expecting only one pic?

Random civilian:
"I saw this black and white bird
with a long beak and
pink legs.?"

Just sweat on that one...

Blackwit in fancy duds

Blackwit with bling



Time for bed...

Ok, ok.

Be Seeing You...

16 April, 2023

I Was Not Eating Eggs [All Weekend]. Pt.3, I Had To Do It.


Wind [forecast] rain - big boss squally showers, even.

You know what I had to do and where I did it...


Itsa Wheatear inna tree!!!

First landing in/off, too.  :)

The same story with this one, though landed a little lower down [and further off]

"Wait... You're seawatching?!?!?"

Earlier, on my way down I encountered a First [or third, depending on how you look at it] at LookOut,

Got it!

Wheatears in the sunshine aside, I had been intending [being the poor trusting fool that I am and actually half-believing the weather lies forecast] to do some seawatching.

And I did.

Because it was rather windy, those showers were supposed to arrive, and I'd lugged both Big Scope and rations down to Glonk Corner.

I even gave it 4 hours [shock]

But what did he see?

[Aside from Zog All, A Herring Gull, and this,

Itsa yatchit

All S [or S/N] unless stated;

Manxie  8
Shearwater spp.  2
Gannet  32/14
Kittiwake  1
Fulmar  7/4
Common Gull  1
Razorbill  6*
Guillemot  6*
Auk sp. [prob. Puffin]  2
R-B Merganser N  1
Grey Plover N  4
Sarnie  4

Wheatear in/off 2
Swallow in/off 4

[* Only birds passing far anough offshore to be definitely not associated with local colony counted]
Those Greys were in full sum/plum. btw; black head and body, grey angled pointy wings, whiter rumps, going like the clappers low to the sea in the spray and heat haze, and the same size as a small tern.....
VERY early for Black Tern, of course, but oh they had me going for a bit.

Also of note,


Actually stayed put for a photo!

Unlike a Hummingbird Hawkmoth, which hummed [they really sound like hummingbirds!] right past my ear, then refused to stay even slightly put for a picture, the tiny fiend...

Much better behaviour from Blackthorn, Gorse, and Pear;

Bloomin' lovely

Ah, to be seawatching again.

Oh, for me to get to do it with decent weather!

Be Seeing You...

13 April, 2023

I Was Not Eating Eggs [All Weekend]. Pt.2, Out For A Meander

A day out with the Folks started up on t' High Moor, but an absolute hoolie interrupted play, so we relocated to lower more sheltered ground [in a nice deep gorge]

This proved something of a Good Idea;

Dippers display!!

Woo! :D

Before that, a little scenery, once we'd found somewhere to hear voices below a shout;
View from the One
Place Out Of The Wind

When we eventually dared to venture back into the Blast,


Holding on very tight...

Hiding from Miss Miller

We will be back when the weather decides to be more like the forecast.

Getting back to more sheltered climbs, those two were not the only ones by the river;

Grey Wagtail

Another Dipper!

Not just damp birds on view.

Wood Anenome

Wood Sorrel

[proper one]

Oil Beetle sp.

A taste of the local geology

Canis horribilis bicolour
[sporting his new ElecTrek PDD*]

More bird?
Listen [ok, you can't] Look up, then

Singing Mistle Thrush

Serenading our afternoonses
Dippers DO perch
in trees!

Despite the wind's best attempts, we had a nice time [once we'd warmed up, anyway... ]

Be Seeing You...

[[* Parent Dragging Device.  If you're old enough {or gaggle hard enough} to remember the neon on black masterpieces** of 80's rucksackery, you will have already wondered why not the yellow one...]]
[[** Well, they were very fancy at the time. ]]

11 April, 2023

I Was Not Eating Eggs [All Weekend]. Pt.1, Not Just Twitchin'

After suffering grippus maximus over a certain awfully-timed tern [::Mutter mutter mutter::], I got myself out to finally have a quick look at the Lower Otter Scheme.

The slight issue of a Lesserlegs was a mere co-incidence, naturally...


You know, this little thing;

Getting spangly

All the legs.

And that darling little upturned bill...



Sadly, the local council's moneygrubbing evil class warfare extortion summer parking charges meant I couldn't do more than have a quick look up as far as White Bridge. Very promising indeed, and despite losing a lot of reedbed, my first Reed Warbler of the year was chuntering away in one of the remainders. Ok, the 'screens' are awful, but I still haven't managed hunt down the 'architect' who's designing these monstrous shams of birding building...
At said Bridge I met an interested civilian, got chatting about waders ;) and lost track of time.


So I can still can hoof it with a scope [not that old yet] and have as a side effect finally found out how to get the local Hound Releasers to actually make way... ramming speed! :D 
I made it [just] and after taking advantage of my car's defibrillator [hybrids are wonderful] I made my way to somewhere where those who aren't millionaires are actually welcome.


Well, thing is, there's this Unspoken Rule [Typed Rule, not spoken] about Scedule 1 Species and their potential breeding sites.


Oh yes,

On a heath 
'somewhere in Devon'

"Stuff this, I'm getting 
out of the wind!"

Those took a couple of very windy hours to get, with bird, once found, showing for a few seconds at a time. I got one sequence on him, behold the sharpest.

Despite it looking like a Fail [Dartfords are verrrry tricksy, sometimes easy, sometimes invisible... Even without unforecast gales], it was rather fun. Ok, the Tick Attack not so much, but the little BLEEPs happen.

I'm sure there's more, but I want to get a post out and well, I can always edit it, right?

[[Rhetorical. My posts get edited more than you may credit.     Got you thinking, hasn't it. :) ]]


Be Seeing You...