Thursday 29 November 2012

Location, Location, Location...

Well this blog has been about as active as the UK sun cream industry over the past few weeks. As usual, I apologies, but there is a reason... I've moved house!

Yes, at the ripe old age of 27, I thought it was about time I moved out!  So, Jess and I have moved in to a lovely and already very homely two bedroom mid terrace on the edge of Seaton.  We moved in last Friday, when I really enjoyed spending the day with this...

So much fun to drive!
Living at the old house for the best part of 21 years ensured a decent garden/house list built up, about 114 species in all. Before I got a driving license and a car, I spent a lot of time sea watching from here (the sea is about a quarter of a mile away), this really helped the list with Balearic and Manx Shearwater, Arctic and Great Skua, Kittiwake, Sandwich and commic Tern, Great Northern and Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Common Scoter, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Tufted Duck.  Vis mig was always pretty good over the garden with Hobby, Woodlark, Redpoll, Crossbill, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting noted.  In the garden, a couple of Firecrest, Black Redstart, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and Lesser Whitethroat were the best birds seen.  With Dad still living there I'm sure there will be additions to this list, but for me that will probably be about it.  

Moving in to a new pad means the list starts from zero.  How exciting!  At the moment our garden isn't all that atractive to wildlife...

Wood, wood and wood!
We do plan to change this, although I can't see that being until the middle of next year.  There are so many great points about where we are though. 

This is the view from the bedroom window...

Ignore the houses!
Yes we have a view of the airspace above the Estuary across to Axmouth.  I can actually see the Tower Hide, a little bit of Black Hole Marsh and a few banks of the Estuary.  I have already seen the wintering Blackwit flock, a few Curlew, Little Egret, Wigeon and Shelduck. I have VERY high hopes!

And if you look a little bit to the left of the above view, you see this...

There's fields behind these trees

These trees provide an ideal perching place for birds in the area, with lots of finches and pigeons already seen here, along with a nice flock of seven Fieldfare and a couple of Redwing the other day (Waxwing next?). There's been a Chiffchaff here daily too, along with the usual tits, a Goldcrest and a Treecreeper.  In the fields behind there always seem to be a big flock of Wood Pigeons, although I am still searching for a Stock Dove!  Meadow Pipits and Skylark have also already made it on to the house list courtesy of these fields.

I won't bother posting a photo of the front garden - a square foot of gravel isn't photogenic!

The very first bird on the house list was (very pleasingly) House Sparrow.  They were rare at Mum and Dad's, so waking up to their chirping is very pleasant indeed.

With lots of report writing at the moment, and moving house, I have done such little birding lately.  I look forward to things settling down and having the chance to get out there.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

It's Been A While!

Anyone following my twitter account will know from the quality of my recent tweets that I haven't done any worthwhile patch birding for probably a week - if not longer!  I have been a busy boy, lots of bird surveys, too much working, and the usual county recorder duties.  

So what have I got worthy of a blog post?  Well nothing.  I just wanted to let everyone know I am still alive, and that hopefully I will be doing some birding soon!  I'm really annoyed to have missed yesterday, it sounds like there was a very impressive Pigeon movement along the south coast, along with other goodies. Oh well - I keep telling myself "they are only Pigeons", in truth though I'm gutted!  

In the mean time, I'll leave this photo here for you to look at.  I've already posted it on Devon Bird News - thanks to Bun for getting it to me.  It was taken on a trawler 38 miles south of Plymouth on 26th Oct by Fred Bartlett, and the bird remained on board for about 12 hours...

A Dark-breasted Barn Owl!