Wednesday 29 October 2008

A Bit of Vis Mig

I managed to surface reasonably early this morning and hurried up to Axe Cliff where I knew Steve would already be 'vis migging'. It was really, really cold, and once on Axe Cliff there was a fairly gentle, but non the less freezing, northerly blowing. When I arrived at the edge 0f the golf course Steve was already frozen, so much so that I felt compelled to lend him my gloves and we all know how nesh I am! Just look at him, poor lamb.

Warm enough?

While in possession of the gloves Steve was able to continue to record the bird numbers (I'm sure he'll post them somewhere) while I stood around with my hands in my pockets. Actually I found that trying to accurately count all the Wood Pigeons in each flock took enough concentration to momentarily forget how cold it was! Steve relied on the good old 'best estimate' method and I must say he's extremely good at it! One flock he estimated at 180 Wood Pigeons actually contained 176. Some flocks were too big to count, the biggest was around 350 or so. Unfortunately a lot of the passage appeared to be quite a way inland. Funny isn't it, how one of the most mundane of all birds can become quite entertaining moving in big flocks. I don't know the total number we saw, it was over a couple of thousand. A flock of 11 Stock Doves was the most I've seen together.

A highlight was my first Brambling of the winter, pointed out by Steve, obviously! I'd never have noticed it's call myself, hopefully if I hear a few more I'll get the hang of them eventually.

Steve told me that there were lots of golf balls in the next field, he'd seen them on his way here. "There's at least fifteen" he said.
"Ooh really?" I replied, my face lighting up with enthusiasm, I eagerly waited for his response. He just looked at me with pity and said nothing. I could tell what he was thinking, something along the lines of " You really are very sad Karen". None the less, when we left we crossed the field in question and sure enough there were a few golf balls lying around. Steve's also very talented at spotting golf balls, so it seems. Picture the scene if you will.... As he strides across the field he says, "there's one" and "there's three over there, and another four there." I eagerly scurry around picking them up, giving the occasional shriek of excitement, the ear-flaps on my Peruvian chullo hat, wafting around in the breeze. I must have looked like a demented spaniel!! Steve had his camera with him but I think he probably squandered the opportunity of an embarrassing scoop! I do hope so!!

When I got home I emptied my little haul out onto the ground to count them. There were forty-one of them. There were, really, here they are:

The morning's catch

Strangely one of these was a driving range ball, and as you can see one's a smashing flourecent yellow one. My favourite is this one though:

The 'Attack Life' from The Greg Norman Collection.

Being a girl* I like this one because of the pretty rainbow coloured shark on it, obviously!!

* The use of the word 'girl' here and on my previous post is a bit of poetic license.

1 comment:

Gavin Haig said...

Makes my meagre collection of 7 or 8 look quite pathetic. At least I've got a proper golf bag (with clubs) to put them in. Mind you, keep checking those fields and hedges and in time you'll probably wind up with all that too!

I can ID the range ball - it's the one at bottom left with the red stripe. Andrew C found me one like that on Scilly - some tight-wad golfers around!