Monday 21 November 2011

On The Roof

This morning Bun and me went to see what appears to be the most photographed roof in Devon. My cunning (but risky) plan of waiting until Monday paid off nicely as there were very few people there. I'd never been to Mansands before and it wasn't an easy place to find by road, so thanks to Mark for the directions and gen. When we arrived the roof was showing very well and what a superb roof it was too! Absolutely teeming with creepy -crawlies and therefore very attractive to birds. On the roof this morning were a Wren, a Rock Pipit, a Pied Wagtail, a pair of Stonechats, a Black Redstart and a Desert Wheatear ... so not too shabby as one of these was a lifer for us both :-)

The famous roof, which belongs to the coastguard cottages at Mansands near Brixham.
On the very right hand side (just behind the solar panel) you may be able to see the Black Redstart. The Desert Wheatear is sitting on the furthest chimney just in front of the pots, you'll have to take my word for that though.
 As you can see the footpath here is raised above the level of the roof, which made for easy photography, the rain and cloud didn't. There were some brighter spells though.

Being used to the more crowded twitch, Bun solicits the attention of passing ramblers...

Soon we can't get a look down our own scopes!

The lovely Black Redstart.

The stunning Desert Wheatear
EDIT: I don't know why I didn't notice before I posted it but the bird was in the midst of a rather private moment here!  So I'll add this less embarrassing version...

.... Sans poop!


He was a bit too near at times , I only just got him in this one.
( It's worth opening)

Thursday 10 November 2011

On The Beach

I popped over to Seaton Hole with Rex this morning, he can't manage long walks these days but still seems to make lighter work of the steep accent from the beach than I do!  I was hoping for at the very least a nice Black Redstart and although conditions on the beach were superb (tonnes of  seaweed and millions of flies) there was very little birdy activity. All I saw were a few Robins and a couple of Rock Pipits.  While Rex stretched his legs I had a rummage about in the seaweed looking for my favourite gastropod (doesn't everyone have one?) Patina pellucida which feeds on kelp.

 Fitter than he'd have me believe.

Lots of lovely kelp, just a shame the birds don't seem to have noticed yet.

Patina pellucida, The Blue-rayed Limpet.
These are very small, only about a centimetre across and have the most beautiful bright iridescent blue spots. When I first spotted this one I thought it didn't have any. Worryingly though, they are all too obvious in the photo. I'm going to have to start taking my reading glasses into the field soon!

I stopped to chat to Steve on the esplanade just as a flock of six Greylag Geese flew over  and straight out to sea, they didn't look like stopping before they reach France. Steve told me the Snow Buntings were still there so I popped in to see them on the way home. I took a couple more photos but with my super-zoom this time. I thought it would be interesting to see how it could do.

Not bad. This shot of the male turned out quite well.

It was nice to get a shot with them both in it as when I digiscoped them on Tuesday they were just too near for one.

I tried to get an arty-farty shot with the waves breaking in the background but you'd probably not know there were waves in the background if I didn't tell you!

And just in case your not sick to death of the Snow Buntings (as if anyone could be) here's a video I took of them this morning. Turn the sound down as there's lots of wave noise and yakking in the background.


Tuesday 8 November 2011

Snow Buntings on Axmouth Beach

I didn't manage to get any photos of the White-rumped Sandpiper yesterday because  unbeknown to me at the time my camera had a flat battery ( too long since I'd last used it, so my own stupid fault!) Fortunately it was recharged and raring to go this morning when Steve found a couple of gorgeous Snow Buntings (male and female) on the beach near the yacht club. The habitat always looks ideal for them here but these are the first since  a single in 2006! They were very confiding as always. Definitely one of my favourites, they're so cute!


The gorgeous male

A close up of that funky bunting bill!