Sunday 26 April 2009

Apathy, Adrenalin and A Mutant

Another three birding free days for me, which I'm sad to say is mostly due to apathy on my part. I just can't seem to get up any enthusiasm at the moment. This has been compounded by Rex's illness, because I haven't been taking him for a walk, which often gets me out in the field and seeing stuff even when I don't particularly feel like birding. On Friday evening I heard about the Marsh Harrier on Colyford Marsh at around 7.30 PM, I was out of work by eight and had plenty of daylight left to at least go to the Farm Gate for a look. All I did was stick a scope up in the bedroom window and quickly scan over Axmouth and Colyford Marshes. I gave it a whole minute or two.

The last two mornings have been ideal weather for seawatching, but I haven't done any of that either. Apathy gain? Well only partly this time because anxiety also had a role to play. Good seawatching conditions usually equal strong winds which also (in my case at least) equal scope accidents!! Seeing as I'm using a borrowed scope at the moment I just can't take it out in anything approaching a strong wind without feeling a bit uneasy, so best not chance it I thought, especially as my own scope is at this very moment is winging its way back to me and is due to arrive tomorrow. It's in the capable hands of everybody's favourite courier, you know the one that rhymes with 'city link'. I'm not holding my breath!

I haven't received any texts regarding seawatching goodies so am hopeful I haven't missed something too good, not that I'd have probably cared much if I had, which is sad really. I'm sure I'll feel differently when I set eyes on my first Pom of the year. :-) Talking of texts, I haven't been able to reply to any I've received lately because my phone's keypad is faulty, so I can't type anything intelligible with it. I've put my sim card in an old phone which I found lying around the house this evening though. It'll suffice while I get my other fixed.

Rex was well enough to go out for a walk today and at first I tried Morganhayes Wood but couldn't find anywhere to park, every gateway was full of cars, cars belonging to people too tight ( OK I shouldn't judge them) or too impoverished to pay to take their car into the Axe Vale Point to Point, which was in progress at Stafford Cross just down the road from the woods. I always keep well away from anything horsey these days, least I become too tempted! It's six years now since I sat on a horse and I miss it terribly. I could go to a riding stables for a ride anytime but one just wouldn't be enough! I'd be hooked. I miss the adrenalin rush too, I'm sure there can be adrenalin associated with birding, quite a lot I suspect on finding a mega, or even a nice rare bird, I can't speak from experience on that score though. I must admit that in my three years of birding so far I haven't experienced a real adrenalin surge, although I'll admit a few trickles have occurred. But horse riding, that's adrenalin on tap! There's nothing like a flat out gallop cross country - used to do it for me every time! Also riding a horse after it's been out grazing on the first of the spring grass and become 'turbo charged' it's scary but FUN!!

'Those were the days'
Rosie and me enjoying a nice fast canter in Autumn 2000. I last rode Rosie on 23rd January 2003. I retired her due to her suffering from a type of cancer common in grey horses, she lived happily at grass until February 2008.

I kid myself that I can't ride anymore due to my arthritic neck but if money was no object, I'd buy another horse tomorrow!

Anyway enough moaning and reminiscing, I'll tell you about my walk with Rex this afternoon. Instead of Morganhayes we went to one of the green lanes above Axmouth. The sun had come out and it was really quite pleasant. The best birds seen were a pair of Bullfinches and a singing male Whitethroat. There were quite a few Orange Tip butterflies on the wing too and AMAZINGLY a couple of them landed for more than a millisecond allowing me to take a photo or two, one of which is the very first I've ever got of the wings fully open.

There was a nice variety of wildflowers along the hedgerows and I was looking for an interesting one to photograph when I spotted this Bluebell, not an ordinary Bluebell but a spectacular mutant.

Mutant Bluebell, below each flower it has also grown a new leaf.
Take a closer look...

How weird is that!? I've certainly not seen it before. It would be interesting to dig it up and see if it would propagate more of the same. It's illegal to dig 'em up though so I wont. I'll try and remember to look for some in the same spot next year instead.


Nat and Baileys the Goldie said...

Hi, just want to say how much I enjoy your blog, and that I can sympathise with the apathy. It's my day off and I'm indoors with the dog recovering from surgery. I'm very bored but just can't get the motivation to go out. Hope Rex is ok.
Nat (birdsdogs...etc)

Karen Woolley said...

Hi Nat, Rex is much better thanks. It's nice to read a blog by someone else who successfully combines dogs and birding. Shows it can be done! :-) Wishing a speedy recovery to Baileys.