Thursday, 20 December 2012

Rose Tinted Spectacles

So.....after a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a mega rare yankie passerine, was discovered slutting all over feeders in Hugh Town yday I have been severely tense. It's weird on the Farnes, birds are so accessible and visible (if you live there!!) so a bird in gardens was extraordinarily frustrating to persue.

After promising myself I'd be there for first light I somehow managed to miss it leave the roost after dipping the day before...blast! However after a 6 hour vigil the news broke that I'd not seen the bird because it had taken a liking to a garden round the corner! A frantic rush remeniscent of bygone Octobers later and there it was, 10ft away, frantically feeding in the fading light. Thanks Joe for the kitchen access! Crippler times 2.

Worst photo ever? I've surely taken worse....and better! Will give it some time in the coming days so stay tuned people.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Silent Assassin

Woopsy daisy. Been a fair while since any sort of verbal word-vom splattered over my blogspace. Reasons for such disembodying silence include not much happening...and loads of stuff happening!


Last Friday my second season on the Farnes finished in a final booze filled fury. Needless to say I felt suboptimal the following day, as you do.

Anyway birds and shiz. The final weeks of the Farnes consisted of alot of wind, mainly from undesirable directions that saw a few highlights of Snow Bunting, Short-eared Owl, Waxwing forms as both numbers and variety of birds decreased incrementally with the temperature and vegetation!

Classic winter seas off the Farnes.
And there were victims of these conditions, besides Seal pups, this male Eider came onto Inner Farne to shelter and was later found dead. Handsome boy eh?!

Since the Farnsenally of my 2012 northern adventure I have returned to a southwesterly flex for christmas on Scilly. I tell you it's noticeably warmer down here, that's a good small-talk point I feel is working well for me at the moment - feel free to use it. Anyway I digress again.
From one island to another...

Birds. Yes. Birds. First weather. The domination of blustery SE veering WSW winds over the past few days have kept temperatures reasonably high along as with rain volumes. Understandably bird life is thin on the ground but a trip to Porthellick yielded the White-fronted Geese plus some Chiffchaff trying to be rare, a metric f##kton of Rock Pipit.

The rare sight of grey geese on Porthellick
The wintering Chiff population seems well, lots of morphs including this smart pale nominate bird.

The Longstone patch has been fairly productive with daily Woodcock, Blackcap and sprinklings of Redwing. However a major highlight came this evening when a (seemingly wintering) Long-eared Owl came millimetres from taking a cocky Blackbird about 10ft to love birding for such amazing experiences, a new one for me at that!

Crested nugget. Gold nugget!

Other wanderings in pseudoclonic weather produced mre Chiffchaff, Snipe along Porthloo Lane and a cracking Firecrest at Lower Moors that absolutely blew my trousers off! Which was embarrassing for everyone concerned. An unfortunate shoe malfunction meant the woodland carr dwelling Dusky Warbler eluded my for tomorrow.