Saturday 8 November 2008

In The Doldrums

If by some chance anyone out there is eagerly waiting for me to post something, I will. There wont be much bird news coz I just ain't seen much since the White-fronted Geese on Tuesday. I suppose my best bird sighting would have to be on Thursday morning when I had superb views of seven Crossbills feeding in a pine tree in Morganhayes. I'm not seeing them that regularly now, this sighting being the first in five visits.

Friday morning I joined Steve up on Axe Cliff for some vis-migging, there was one small catch though.... nothing was migging at all!!! "Worst vis-migging ever" Steve was heard to say.

This morning I figured the strong southwesterly wind would lure some local patchers out seawatching, me included! When I finally got out of the house I could see Phil and Bun were already hard at it, so decided to leave all the goodies to them and venture up the valley for a look around first. Total waste of time though because there were several 'sportsmen' hidden in the reed beds just to the north of Coronation Corner, trying to blast the Teal and Wigeon to bits no doubt. A few brave Curlews and Blackwits were on show at Bridge Marsh along with a handful of pretty hard/stupid Wigeon, strangely Colyford Marsh, Common and Black Hole Marsh were deserted. It really is laughable that on one side of the river is a small but soon to be expanding nature reserve while on the other side lies the domain of the wildfowler!

I was soon back at the yacht club with Phil, Bun and Ian M, they hadn't seen much though and before long we all made our way to the field opposite Colyton Sewage Works where we stomped around for a bit in the stubble and manure, and we saw.... you guessed it....nowt! Well that's probably a bit unfair, there were birds, but just Skylarks, Mipits, Pied Wags, Stonechats etc. A massive highlight was a single Chiffchaff, yes CHIFFCHAFF!

Almost forgot, there was a single female type Black Redstart on rooftops at the seaward end of Trevelyan Road this morning and later in the day among boats in the yacht club. Here's another stunning effort from the S3.

Easily the bird of the day ( it wasn't a difficult choice)

Later in the morning I took the dog for his walk at Morganhayes but it was short lived because the local hunt, The Axe Vale Harriers were in there!! I decided to try Axe Cliff instead but on my way there got stuck behind a slow moving tractor and trailer, the trailer being full of beaters!! Crikey not more shooting!! No innocent creature was going to be safe today!! I gave up...

A bit of gardening is on the cards for me, why? Because I have too much of this for a start:

Ivy-leaved Toadflax

Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Linaria Cymbalaria) also know as: Ivywort, Aaron's Beard, Climbing Sailor, Creeping Jenny, Mother of Millions, Mother of Thousands, Thousand Flower, Oxford-weed, Pedlar's Basket, Pennywort, Rabbits, (I like that one best) Roving Jenny or Wandering Jew is a lovely plant, if not, as these names suggest a teensy bit rampant. I let it grow umchecked because it's certainly more attractive than slabs and gravel. As can be seen in this picture however, it's been getting very close to the bottom of the French doors of late. Not to worry though it wont get in through them. Not much it wont!! Look at this:

Unwelcome-ish Guest

I spotted this intruder last week but I left it growing just to see if it would continue to thrive, obviously it did, it's flowered! The incredible thing is that it's worked its way in not between the door and the frame but underneath the door frame and the carpet. It is actually growing out of the carpet!! Perhaps I shouldn't have published this picture because it does rather show up my woefully inadequate housekeeping skills!! I only learned today that a friend who stayed with us this summer described the house as 'Bohemian'! I'd like to think he didn't mean messy!! Doesn't everyone have small piles of books everywhere?

Tomorrow's inshore waters forecast says SW Gale 8 - going severe gale 9! Leach's Petrel then!?

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