Monday, 29 November 2010

I Did What!???

Sorry for the delay in writing this post, I have had a very busy weekend! But yes the rumours are true - I have been birding in Devon NOT on patch.....

Last Friday, I had to go to Exeter, but thought I'd make a bit of a day of it! So I was at a very cold and frosty Ide by 07:40...

Up to 70 Redwings flew over, as did a Golden Plover. A Chiffchaff showed in an adjacent hedge, and at 08:05, a Hawfinch dropped out of the sky, landing on a fairly distant tree for about half a minute before flying off west.

This was the trees and field I was looking over...

...basically where I was told to go and where I've seen them before

But after a further hour, I hadn't had another sniff of Hawfinch. I was going to give up, but decided to try a little further down the lane just before I headed off....and there they were!!!

Hawfinches suddenly started calling from above me...


You may need to turn the sound up for this video!

There were three chasing each other around, one flew one way, another went another way, but one stayed put for a short while, allowing me to fire off this quick pici with the Lumix...

Cracking birds!

I left here, popped in to Exeter, then carried on south - I was heading for Torbay.

Broadsands was my first stop, here I met up with Mike and Josh.

A perfect day for it

In the bay were seven lovely Black-necked Grebes and a Red-throated Diver. We then headed for the 'bunting fast food restaurant' where up to 14 Cirl Buntings where showing, although very jumpy thanks to passing noisy dog walkers. Also here a couple of Siskins were feeding in alder trees with Goldfinches.

Cirl Bunts with a Reed Bunt and a Chaffinch

I then headed for Berry Head, where a tame Lapland Bunting had spent the last couple of days. I'm pleased to say it was still there! It really was tame, with dogs, children and prams passing within feet of it!

I didn't like to get too close to it as there were other birders and photographers there, but these are my best pics with the trusty Lumix...

What a bird! It is clearly a first-winter, and almost certainly a male



And here's a short video; it would have been much longer if a passer-by hadn't started talking to me!!

After another meet up with Mike, a look off Paignton failed to show the Long-tailed Duck, but there were singles of Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver and Black-necked Grebe. It was then time to come home and go to work.

Well - I really enjoyed myself, great to go birding in this part of the county again. I can see a few other off patch day trips in the months ahead...

I did no birding at all during the weekend, just plenty of wedding planning, a day at work and a three hour gig. This morning though I've been back out on the patch, and have seen a few interesting birds. Expect another blog post later or tomorrow....

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