Saturday 7 November 2009

Hey Up Me Ducks!

Or if you don't understand that. Greetings, friends! I'm afraid I've had another bout of Blogger's Block this last couple of weeks. I'm not sure why, but I've been suffering from a feeling of general malaise and apathy lately and the first thing to suffer has been my blogging, simply because I've never been a natural writer an do actually find writing very difficult at times. It's cathartic though I suppose (in a purely emotional sort of way!).

Well what's been happening that I may have blathered on about on here? Firstly ( I can't remember the date) the horrible, hideous, heinous Black-throated Thrush dip. After walking for over two miles (all uphill) onto Dartmoor to look at an empty tree for a couple of hours, Bun and I  were delighted to hear, much later (once safely back in Seaton) that the thrush was back in the self same tree, where it obligingly stayed put for over an hour giving  almost all the birders who'd dipped that morning ample time to get back to see it. Never mind though, we've been able to see the bird in all it's glory 'all over the Internet' courtesy of Dave Stone's gripping photos. There was one positive though. I had the pleasure of meeting a couple of Devon birders for the first time, namely Steve Young and Mark Bailey, the latter of which appears to be able to walk faster than the human brain can conceptualize!!

After this, I enjoyed a couple of days and many, many, many hours dipping the Otters, which just about everybody in Seaton saw, except me! (I've never seen a wild one) If Otters weren't so utterly fantastic they'd be on my list of enemies by now for sure.

A few days later though things were looking up, our next twitch succeeded in getting us both a lifer, the bird being the Church Cove Greenish Warbler. We were quite happy to be twitching a Greenish Warbler but because the bird had been identified as a possible Green Warbler there were masses of listers there on the Saturday morning (31st), including most of the top  2009 yearlisters. We had good views of the bird but it was very mobile. That fact, coupled with the general crowding meant I couldn't get any photos of the bird.  Surprisingly it was exactly as some people had previously suggested,  'a chameleon' one minute looking strikingly green and the next decidedly dull, depending on the background. I personally couldn't see any yellow on it  at any time though. Nice little bird. Incidentally I went on this twitch without my phone, I'd forgotten it but thought "Oh well, it'll be okay, Bun has his with him so if we're missing something colossal on patch I'll still here about it" Imagine my surprise when I got home to find two missed calls from Gav, and what's more two Voicemail messages!! Eek! What had I missed? It had to be something BIG, didn't it? I urgently rang back my mailbox to hear - Message one - "Rustle, rustle, squelch, squelch, thud, rustle, rustle, squelch." Etc.etc...   Message two was identical, sounded like walking about on Axe Cliff to me. 'Twas just a 'Bum Call' or two. Phew!

Here's a couple of snaps taken at the twitch, recognise anyone?

I haven't seen a great deal on patch lately, four Black Redstarts at the yacht club last Tuesday being the only notable birds until today. They didn't hang around too long though. I didn't bother trying to take any decent photos of them because they like to hang around on the dormer windows of the houses on Trevelyan Road, hence digiscoping them is a  bit of a no-no, unless you want reporting for being a 'peeping tom'. I did take a quick snap of one surreptitiously with the S3. Very naff indeed, but it shows that this particular Blackred was having to fight for its vantage point (the window) with a Grey Wagtail; not a species I'm used to seeing on rooftops.
The Grey Wagtail was a very yellow individual too, take a closer look...

See, lovely and very yellow!

I said they were the only notable birds of the week until today, well that's because this morning Phil spotted two Whooper Swans in with some Mutes, in the 'Swan Field'. I'm very late with this news if you've read the other 'Backwater Blogs' today but I took a photo so I'm sticking it on here anyway.

Can you see them?

Now you can!

The moth trap has been out on a couple of occasions since we got back from the Scillies and two new moths for the garden have been November Moth and Yellow-line Quaker, far too dull to prompt me to photograph them. Talking of which, I found these caterpillars of the dullest moth on the planet chomping away on what's left of my outdoor tomatoes.

Bright-line brown-eye Caterpillars.
Why is one bright green? Or to put it another way, why are five dark brown?

Not very attractive I know. How about a bit of 'cute factor'?

Somehow, I seem to have acquired a few of these....
All lettuce donations gratefully received ;-)


Joe Ray said...

Hi Karen

Can I steal a Whooper pic for the website? I'll plug your blog in the caption!

Bad luck with the thrush - I was stuck on a birdless Scilly, and couldn't come off early for it. I dipped the Greenish too, so consider yourself lucky!


Karen Woolley said...

No problem Joe, just help yourself in future. :-)

Sorry you dipped the Greenish, a bold attempt straight off the Scillonian! I'm sure you'll soon connect with one though ;-)