Welcome to my Blog, firstly let me apologise for creating an account and then neglecting to post anything before my blog was kindly plugged on Gavin Haig's wondrous blog 'Not Quite Scilly'. I spent ages getting to grips with how the whole thing works and just didn't have the spare time left to post anything. If you have been reading Gavin's blog you will know I am one of the ' Backwater Birders' based in Seaton, East Devon and regularly post my sightings and accounts of my birding day on the 'Backwater Birding' thread on Birdforum. I enjoy taking photographs on my travels in and around the Axe Valley and will probably be featuring many of them here, which is preferable to the present arrangement of featuring most of them on my hard drive!
Secondly, about the title of my blog. I must admit to blatantly stealing part of it from a book I have been reading recently, entitled 'Wild Wings and Some Footsteps' by J. Wentworth Day (London, Blandford Press. 1948) A very interesting old book mainly about wildfowling but it has some fascinating accounts of british coastal birdlife. There are lots of little gems in it that I will no doubt be sharing with you at some stage. One I've already mentioned on 'Backwater Birding' is an alternative name for Turnstones being tangle-pickers, interesting or what?! There's plenty more where that came from! I thought I'd change the 'Some Footsteps' part to something more alliterative - so wanderings it was! This was a good choice because it describes what are likely to be the two main themes of my entries here, namely my wanderings around the local area ( and hopefully further afield too), but also the wanderings of my mind, (a side effect of the aging process perhaps) to totally random topics, although I'll endeavour to keep this to a minimum. ;-).
OK, I'll now write what I should have got on here yesterday, worth the wait? I doubt it!
At first light I met up with Gav at Axe Cliff because the previous morning the birding was excellent up there. Yesterday it wasn't, it was really quiet. I've already mentioned what little we saw on the 'Backwater Birding' thread but as pointed out subtly by Gav I neglected to mention the highlight. As we ambled around the deserted golf course my renowned argus-eyedness and quite frankly, superior fieldcraft, netted me a self-found tick - the titlest NXT -tour no less! Although insanely jealous, Gav photographed it (as seen on his blog) but his photo doesn't show the clinching features, so here's one that does:
The NXT Tour: A control / feel 3 piece, don't ye know!
I can honestly say, hand on heart that it's the best ball in my whole collection!
Later in the day I went to watch my daughter doing a spot of kayaking, she's joining the Axe Valley Canoe Club, the sworn enemy of the Backwater Birder! I certainly hope she doesn't venture near the Colyford hide while Phil and Bun are there!! Here's a snap of her:
I bet that stopped her talking - momentarily anyway!
Later in the afternoon I popped over to Colyford Common to see a new arrival, a Spotted Redshank. It was a nice juvenile and an even nicer patch year-tick, which brings my list up to, in the words of Tony Green " One Hundred and Eighty-y -y ah!"
A wonderful bonus was an Osprey which had just landed on the reserve, atop of an old telegraph pole (especially placed on the reserve to house a Kestrel nest box) with what looked like a large Mullet. It started to devour the fish but it almost lost it's grip a couple of times as the fish continued to struggle even though partially beheaded. Here's a distant digiscoped image of that lovely scene.
and a closer view:
This morning there were 4 Ruffs on the scrape at Colyford Common, here they are all in the same photo, all distant and all blurry...
The Osprey was fishing again but was still unsuccessful after almost three quarters of an hour, mainly due to been harangued by 8 very persistent crows.
Oh! Almost forgot, yesterday there were lots of butterflies in my garden (or small area of gravel) feeding on the valerian, including unbelievably my very first Painted Lady of the year! And here she (or he) his:
And that's it for now. Phew!
Frankly it's been a bit of an ordeal getting to know how the formatting works on here. I can't seem to be able to move the pictures once uploaded, or get them the right size. You'll have to make do with the small ones I've added. I'll try and get them to enlarge in future but I've run out of time, also excuse any glaringly obvious typos, I haven't had time to proof read properly either. Oh well I'll get the hang of it... Eventually.... Possibly!