Monday, 12 December 2011

Just me & Mr(s) Humes

Certainly have got a thing going on for little sibe leaf warblers...aren't they just the best - can't imagine how exciting it must have been to find this one cos its lovely!
Up early and my trip to Hampshire had a 30 minute bit of travel fat so a very short divert past Wyke Regis and (as per Birdguides) a 0.75 mile trot across a few fields with a fab view down the Fleet towards home. Now if anywhere in the country is due a Desert Wheatear it has to be in the army bridging camp here, just made for them & probably got some Afghani dust in the treads of the vehicles too.
Which way to go...think like a bird and head down into the bushes and just as the sun came up over Portland Harbour I was in place. Thanks for the placing of 'Post 12' and about 5 yards away '13' because the second I found the post, I turned to the willows let out probably 3 gentle 'pishes' and immediately out pops a the Hume's Leaf Warbler calling. But what a bird, pale to the point of silver with a wacking eyestripe and big broad wing bar just total class. Throw in eye-level views against a dark background at about 8-10 feet...heaven. Sorry Steve, your's was lovely (back in 2007) but it was always against the sky..this was awesome! Less than 60 seconds and it slunk back into the bush and that was pretty much that. Wow.
And then I turn around and see the Fleet, a million Brent Geese and probably more Red Breasted Mergs than I have seen in my combined life (62 in just one area plus a ton elsewhere)...all displaying and flying around and stuff. Wonderful.
Back to the car - 28 mins - and off to work.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Skive tick

5 minutes on the way to a pool session in Newton Abbot gave me a chance to finally have a look at Stover CP, somewhere I've wanted to check out as they get Goosander once in a while.

Small lake but a handful of Tufties n a skive tick - a female Pochard - was nice. Don't see many of them in East Devon. Kingfisher was only other thing, tho good to hear a bunch of Coal Tit...haven't seen one for ages round our way since last winter.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It didnt move for me...

Had long been trying to wangle a lunch meeting at Darts Farm to see the Red Breasted Goose and finally managed all of 14 mins before casually walking into the cafe right behind the people I was seeing.

Darts is easy for a quick walk but as I was in a hurry I drove down, amazed at the finch flocks coming off the seeds. Looking to the fields, the Brents were clearly in & its so like a zoo I didn't even bother looking till I got to the blind from where the whole flock wad visible. First quick scan and it wasn't obvious so I had to work marginally harder & half way across I found it, dozing. The only thing I can say was I found it a nice brick orange which wasn't what I had expected. I must have looked at it for all of 20 seconds before the Teal n Wigeon proved far more interesting but nothing among them. Another glance & the goose was walking, couldnt make the patterns of that bird up, should be renamed Picasso's Goose.

So a minute on te RBG, a couple on the Teal, same for the Wigeon and also on the lovely Brents which were real close. So if you do the math that left me with about 5 mins after the driving etc...what did I do with that? It was lovingly spent on the Chaffinch and Greenfinch flock but to no avail...

So why didn't a beautiful bird do anything for me? A zoo like environment? A park n tick? A ungulate of a bird? Dunno, I guess its just this gorgeous bird has been forever spoilt by crappy duck ponds for me & unfortunately it would have to be a family group in the taiga that'd change that....but do I tick it? To be honest, I'm really not bothered.