Friday 29 March 2013

Raptor Spectacular!

No photos and no time, but I just HAVE to post this!!

I was in Plymouth for most of yesterday - I got home at about 14:15. Earlier in the day, I had mentioned to James Mc (who was out birding on patch - mate you gotta do that more often!), that it was classic Marsh Harrier day, nice sunny morning and early afternoon, then clouding over.  Within half an hour of my return home James phones "Marsh Harrier Colyford Marsh - a male too!". I ran upstairs to the bedroom with my bins, where I can look over Axe reed bed and the air space above...

All I could hear were the words "it's going north" and "low". Words that weren't good to hear, as I can't see any of Colyford Marsh. James kindly kept the running commentary going, and gladly the bird gained height and began heading south, which is when it came cruising into my view (along with the customary pursuing Crows!) before dropping into the reeds. What a great patch year AND house tick - nice to see a stunning male too. Later, it was seen to be wearing green wing tags, which means it has to be the bird that was at Exminster Marshes recently.

So that was great, but there's more to tell...

Less then an hour later, just as I was about to have a pre-work shower the phones goes again, it's James... "Osprey over the Estuary". Agggghhhhh!!!  I went back to the bedroom window, and I could see all the birds taking flight on the upper Estuary - but no Osprey. I looked a bit further down river and there it was, circling amongst a group of mobbing gulls, before heading off down river.  It's a pity it didn't come up river as I would have got great views - but what I saw was more than good enough. A great patch year tick, and another house tick!  It was also the first Osprey I've ever seen whilst wearing no clothes!!!

Having already dipped two Ospreys, it was top of my 'Most Worrying Gaps on my Patch Year List' list. So it's not there anymore, but has been replaced by Waxwing. Yes - the terrible news filtered through on Wednesday evening that a Waxwing was photographed in Colyford on Tuesday afternoon. Needless to say there's been no sign since...

Right - must get ready for work. No Easter break for me, I'm working today, tomorrow and Sunday!!


  1. My 'While Wearing No Clothes' list is very small, but you've got me thinking now - could be a great way to fire things up when the weather gets a bit least, until I get arrested.

  2. I have just got home from visiting relatives in Axminster where I found a small flock of Bramblings. Are these a scarce bird in that area ?

  3. Hi Nick

    We do get Bramblings in the winter, and in some gardens small flocks can gather. Always notable though as never a common bird.


  4. Steve,

    thanks for the reply. I enjoy reading your blog.

    All the best