Thursday, 15 October 2015

Siberian night, holy shite!

Dub here, opening up a can of rare in your vicinity!

A week ago today I stumbled across a distant wheatear, that with due diligence, turned into a hyper-erectile Isabelline Wheatear! Read my account below...can't be arsed to write it again!

So feeling thoroughly jammed out of my face we hit a magic weekend where low cloud dropped a sweet array of birds! Starting with my classic cliché 'small large pipit', almost certainly a Blyth's by how it was sounding mega weird and that, two calls and all. However I had my hands full rescuing a Cormorant so couldn't nail it. Just as well the Cormorant was found dead the following day, having infested me with lice and no sign of the titillating pipit - tilipit? So all round win.

Sunday dawned murky and rare. Flyover Hawfinch and Serin garnished a Michelin fall of scrace birds with Lesser Whitethroat, Osprey, Firecrests and all sorts getting into my face. However news of a Red-flanked Bluetail on Agnes, and transcontinental Siberian mythgasm of a vagrant bird. So. I calmly went to Aggy and enjoyed 'on the knob' views of this fantastic blue tinged door-unhinger/

A bolt out the blue!
Even this tiny piece of wing and tail is enough to send me in a cyclonic fit
As if this wasn't enough the following day heralded Radde's Warbler in the Morning then Blyth's Pipit in the evening! Shit is getting eastern. Soy eastern. HAHAHAHAHA. Get out.
Here's looking at you crippler!
 Some people say they don't like looking at birds in the hand, but it's a beautiful bird about to be released - it could by up your ass for all I care! With sexy consequence's? Shudder.
Anyway back to the job at hand. Here's a very poor pic of the Blyth's showing that, it is, indeed, a small large pipit. Confirmed.

We've caught up! It is now exactly one week since you started reading. Or maybe it just feels like it. Still conditions facilitated a decent fall of Redwing and Fieldfare this morning with thousands pouring into the islands, the largest number I have ever seen! Remeniscent of eastcoast fall days.
Great to see and hear flocks of winter thrush zipping about. A very evocative experience. Yar.
After some great vismigging my morning circuit at the southeast and east of St. Mary's was fairly quiet bar a few Firecrest so I decided to hit the northwest and re-do Trewince/Telegraph/Pungies Lane after having two Richard's Pipits there the previous day. During this circuit I walked the Content fields in the hope of a Red-brested Fly scoring a wash of thrushes flowing from any berry bearing shrubbery but little else.
My first pic of the bird, blurred panic written all over it!
However as I reached the fields bordered Pungies Lane I remembered a distant pale Stonechat I'd seen just before the Dick's Pips but lost and forgotten about during the ensuing Dick chase. Hmmm wonder if its still here as I saw a couple of Stonechat flycatching during my approach. Amazingly, there it was! And instead of bright sunshine, some overcast lighting showed it for the pale peach sweet it was! I knew besides the overall appearance that key features were the black auxiliaries (on the underwing) and a pale streakless rump. But would the bloody thing sit still or give me any chance to clock these essential traits? Well no, no it didn't. Rude. After 10mins of disjointed views I felt it was too weird to keep quiet - so shouted on the radio to get people onto such a fantastic looking beast, but also to get some pics of the features as the bird was flying!

The crowd duly arrived and scored pics of the key features, and eventually the bird allowed that rump to be seen, coinciding with overcast periods where sun glare wasn't distorting the birds colours. The crowds arrived, the bird showed well in its various fields and the sun set, one week on fro my mega chat, with in my opinion, an equally mega chat!

In the sun and against the right background, coupled with my poor skills, show this bird to be deceivingly warm. But at the other end of the field...
These fantastic pics by Ian Grant demonstrate just how cold and strongly marked the bird was!
A cracking end to a brilliant 7 day period, and oh wait, its easterly tomorrow. See ya in the field

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Hear no evil, Seabird no evil

The dub-birder has awoken. Like a woodsman from a slumber, here to turn brain perceptions into lumber. Well, probably more a plumber flushing the collected unmentionables out his toilet fingers. Either way body parts are involved. 
So there has been somewhat of a gap between post. Forgive me won't you? Dearest stranger in the intermist? Anyway enough sentimentalilty, lets get in the mentality. I was going on about herons and such last time. Well children, lets take an adventure through another far more expansive and gyrating group of birds, dem der seabird burds, Like ones that like the sea and that. Let us begin with the past.
Ringo Star! Ringed Plover, little stars. Rock stars.
I love Thrift. I love Fulmars. Double ended face joy!
Beside the 12, yes twelve, yes XII jobs this summer. That's an X and two, yes 2 I's face absorbers! So not braggin' but had like well loads of jobs, but one of them was like my special reality or summat. Between May and July inclusive, sedusive, I was submerged within the sacred womb of my holiest and mythical of bird groups amongst some of the most breath-taking scenery I have eyed up, so far. 
 So along with the above couple of compositions (yes they are COMPOsitions darling, veeeery arty) those down below beneath and beyond allow glimpses into an otherwise unseen and rightly undisturbed world of Scilly's seabirds and vista's that will hit harder than a granny scrambling for a facebook account.
NOT seabirds, but almost. The most coastal passerine species in the UK - Rock Pipit chicks. Note monster insect in left mouth, that shall be my inspiration when eating for now on.
Some islands such as Annet were large enough to support other songbirds such as Wren, who;'s intricate weaved grass nest, stuck to an emergent Thrift hummock almost introverted me! Stunning.
Views like these remind me that humans don't really matter. Try and make your house look like that dickhead. Probably make a documentary about it. Up the vista's!!
My favourite UK seabird and chick. Razorbill y'all! The ever smooth and clean cut post-modern Puffin as I call them. Nesting in boulder-screw like some uber-reticulated pythonist.
Tree Mallow taking over space, time and my mind, colour, depth, the gravity...oh the GRAVITY.
More mental auks, this time Guillemot, nesting in cracks and crevices. Cream available by prescription only. Guilleroids.
Cormorant chick sitting in there own faecal buildup. Some people say this is what separates 'us' from 'them', but I imagine their mouths and rather free of faecal buildup even if their toilet rim ain't.
Human see patterns in nature.
Conditions were variable as demonstrated by the aboves, grazing sun to biting mist on Round Island.
Frontline conservation allows for moments that exceed most hormonal states, with the few occasions where Manx Shearwater were visible in their burrows and hideouts an absolutely paralysing experience.
Hear know evil, sea no evil, wave no evil
Orchids, Pyramidal Orchids I believe. Yorchidding?!?!? ROLFLOLOLOLOLOLatron
And just look at that. A Storm Petrel, electrical in it's paralysing properties when viewed through a rack in some grass. Utter unadulterated privilege. 1000 volts mate.  
So that kind of sums it up, well sums thousands of photos, and hundreds of hours in the field, breathing in the spores of joy these birds exude. Or maybe that's the guano. Either way it tasted lovely.

Anyway, must move on. Lots to cover. dub-birder is weird about so many things.

Insect interest ticked over during the summer months with chilly temperatures and dogged winds really putting the willy's up most stuff keeping both numbers and diversity down. I did bother to emerge from the cave and lick a few with my optical receiver though.

This moody Striped Hawk-moth wouldn't sit still so I recorded him visually keeping to this them. ooo daaaark
A very good influx of the rather aptly named Hummingbird Hawk-moth occurred mid-summer with tens of these delightful zippy ragamuffins adorning the various nectar sources including Red Valerian as shown.
Undoubted exoskeletal highlight of the summer goes to these Thrift Clearwings which I observed duelling over a female! A microcosm and gasm.   
It looks like a Hornet but its a Hoverfly! Zonaria or something before I zoned out..
Aha. Yes yes. Bo selectah rewind blud. Here come the rares. Like a rash that is worrying satisfying to rub, and it keep getting worse and feeling more intense so why out that lotion on? Sorry I seen fixated with cream and lotion analogies (haha anal).

The late spring summer ish type period produced some good stuff while so far the autumn has delivered faster than UPS if it had sex FEDEX and some other courier brands. Involve your eyes please.

Four Bee-eaters trilled and thrilled on a sunny afternoon. Note the 'through the bush' lensjob. Nice
One incredible afternoon saw Red Kites and a Black Stock descend, ascend and imbed into my cornea at Harry's Walls. Excellent Stork pic I know. STORK OFF! 
Much like pissing through the eye of a needle, photographing the bonny adult Purple Heron was difficult.
Been a nice run of Pectoral Sandpiper at Porthellick. Piping sand and mud nicely
Some good arrivals of birds have occurred with Bant's Carn smashing two more Wryneck bring the site tally to 5 this year! Bomm shalakalaka
The undoubted highlight however was discovering this Western Bonelli's Warbler at Longstone, as many of you already know, my home patch. After so many hours staring a empty bushes twitching head and shoulder awkwardly towards one another and muttering about Wrens and that Robin. After all this it is beyond exhilarating to spot a movement only to see this southern spanker emerge!

Got these epic atmospheric shots at nearby Sandy Lane. Sand my brain.
Another was found some time later which I got an equally identifiable shot of. Bloody lovely silhouette on it.
And how could I not mention the ultimate trans-continental rectal tightener! One of those magic moments in birding when you are part of the mental awakening as to what a bird specifically is. PECHORA. A brilliant hour where one look at those long big lad primaries sent shivers of ecstasy directly down my peripheral nervous system. I would go into more detail but I feel this blog has been extreme. I am tired. The brains weird centres are fatigued and so I must retreat into the chest of drawers where I spend most of my time.

Look at that funny long wing. Don't see many like that
Oh hell have a Sunfish sucking off a Dogfish