Well I had a feeling the blog posts would start drying up, but I won't apologise because spending so much time on Dartmoor is proving an incredible experience. I have seen so many birds and I know you all already know, the scenery is absolutely stunning. I am delighted to be part of the team that is mapping bird numbers and distributions on Dartmoor for the Moor Than Meets The Eye project (http://www.moorthanmeetstheeye.org/).
|Sadly we can't always park this close to the survey areas!|
|A singing Grasshopper Warbler in silhouette|
And spending so much time out on the moor means we encounter more than just birds...
I do have a bit of patch bird news to tell, rewind back to 21st May and it was one of those days I was not enjoying missing! Although not all that much was seen off the patch in the first few hours of the day, Lyme Regis and Sidmouth had seen a nice selection of skuas and a heap of passing waders. Early afternoon though Dan at Sidmouth really upped the grippage with two Pom Skuas and a Storm Petrel - ouch. I wasn't home until late afternoon, but immediately made a bee-line for the seafront.
I was really lucky to get down there when I did, about 40 minutes into the watch the weather completely changed. All the cloud and showers cleared through, the wind dropped off and the sea went almost flat calm. I would have loved to have got here sooner, but I still managed a few nice highlights. Best of all being a lovely pale phased Pomarine Skua west at 18:25. It seemed to be a full adult, with a long stiff tail but no spoon on the end. What was best about this was five minutes earlier a pale phased Arctic Skua flew west, albeit much further out. I am always worried we throw some Poms away here with the distance some of our skuas pass, but seeing these two flying in the same direction in such a short space of time has eased my worries somewhat, the second I picked up the Pom the flight style and wing shape were just so obvious.
Other than these two skuas, 60 Manx Shearwater and a mixed flock of 35+ Dunlin and Sanderling were all I noted.
And that's about it. Well except for a Red Kite east over the Donkey Sanctuary on 28th May...
|Pic taken with my phone - it really was low!|