On the 15th of September this blog was three, yes, THREE years old. I really can't believe I've been finding enough material to keep going so long. I was going to put on an anniversary post but circumstances prevented it (eldest off to university amongst other things) and since then I've kinda got out of the habit. I've still got a few things from the summer that I really want to get on here (as a personal record for me as much as anything) and although I've not been out and about that much recently I've a few bits and bob to talk about. I've actually had two lifers over the last few weeks, the first being the Semi-palmated Sandpiper
that was found on patch a week last Saturday. I didn't see it until it had been around for a whole three days! How slack is that? I was due in work when it was first found and the next day I went to Burpham in West Sussex with Bun and Nick to spend over five hours standing by a field. What fun that was! ;-) I finally caught up with the Semi-P
on the estuary on the Monday and got reasonable scope views. It was never near enough for decent photos, but you don't need to see any from me coz they're plastered all over the internet! This Sunday Bun and me had another shot at Pallid Harrier
( the bird we didn't see at Burpham), this time much nearer home near Cheddar in Somerset. We we're successful this time but still had to wait nigh on three hours! The bird was first spotted on the horizon by a famous Dawlish birder, not often seen 'off-patch' (nice to meet you again). However, for some reason Bun and me were the only ones to set off to look for it over the hill it had disappeared behind (only about a kilometre away, if that.) We were rewarded with superb views as it flew almost directly over our heads. I think most birders saw it later in the day at the same place, when they eventually made the effort! ;-)
You've seen the rest, now see the best!
We also made a visit to see the Sabine's Gulls and Grey Phalarope at Exmouth beach, leaving it a bit late, (6 days or so) so that when we arrived there was only one Sabine's Gull left. They were unusually flighty and after we'd been there about five minutes they were gone. I took a few lame photos of these too, actually I kind of like the Grey Phalarope ones even though it's distant.
Grey Phalarope, doing what they do best.
A few photos from Black Down, Cheddar, not featuring the Pallid Harrier, which was way too quick for me.
The bird had been reported showing by the trig. point, so most of the birders there stood right on it. Nothing like making yourself blend in!
This made me smile. A photographer with netting draped over is enormous camera making it look like a small cannon from a distance. But not as much as this.....
Don't ask me what this was all about!
The things you see while scanning the countryside for a raptor. Yes, it's two blokes with animal heads on being photographed by a young lady. Art project? I hope so!
If you don't like Spiders...
Look away now!! Whoops, too late!
We have a plague of these in the garden at the moment, seems to be a web attached to just about everything. This one's on the wheelie bin.
Cats aren't good for birds, we all know that, but they do have their uses. My cat Fidget used to kill the odd bird and I was always a bit upset by this, but he killed about ten times (probably more like a hundred times) more rodents. Unfortunately ( or fortunately if your one of those cat haters) he was run over a few months back and since then I can't really feed the birds, because if I do this happens.
This one's just a baby! They even get on the hanging feeders.
I don't know what I'll do in the winter when the birds really need to be fed.
Finally, I haven't completely lost my ability to take a decent photo, so after all those lame efforts here's one I got right.
I'll endeavour to not leave it another month until my next post! :-)
PS: Anyone who read his when I first posted it will have noticed the deliberate mistake. What can I say but...whoops! You'd think with a master's degree to my name I would at the very least have the ability to count from eight to eleven sorted out.