I needed to be in Seaton this morning, so for a change began the day at Black Hole Marsh. I had the Island Hide to myself, and was 100% ready to take on the responsibility of finding, putting a name to, and circulating news of, a rare Nearctic wader. While I waited, this Curlew Sand
crept right under the hide, nearly...
|Juv Curlew Sandpiper, Black Hole Marsh|
That photo was taken in pretty dismal light at about 07:00. The poor camera had to struggle with ISO1000 and 1/30sec shutter speed. I'm amazed it captured anything remotely sharp.
No Nearctic waders, but I still had time to play with, so ventured up Beer Head...
|Beer Head, looking west. I love this place...|
I was amazed to see zero Wheatears
. In fact it was very poor for grounded migrants, but overhead there was a fair bit going on. Lots of hirundines
moving W, and Meadow Pipits
. I didn't count anything properly, but Mipits
were certainly in excess of 500, and shortly before 09:00 I made an effort to estimate House Martin
passage at the time; it was 'hundreds' of birds per minute, which is quite a spectacle.
|I forget what this derelict chunk of WW2 concrete was actually for (a radar mast or something?) but it's a bit different to the usual pill-boxes, bunkers and whatnot that litter this coastline.|
|Spotted Flycatcher in the Beer Head sheep walk. Best bird by far.|
Results from this morning's Beer Head plod were typical for your average E Devon/W Dorset coastal walk I guess. Yesterday I was at Cogden first thing and did much the same, with 4 Wheatears
and a dozen Chiffs
for my pains. On Sunday morning Cogden gave me 5 Wheatears
. On Sunday afternoon I managed a few Yellow
and White Wagtails
at the Bexingtons (East and West) plus a meagre helping of Wheatear
. And largely, that's how it is. Much slog for a few bits and bobs...
Probably I could do better if I worked harder, or perhaps worked smarter
. You know, covered more ground, different habitats, scanned the sea more often, carried a scope, etc, etc. But do you know what? I don't care. I am happy in my little world, and as far as I'm concerned that is all that matters.
|Cogden Wheatear. Almost the perfect pose.|
|Looking towards Portland from the East Bexington high ground. Abbotsbury Swannery and the Fleet in the foreground.|
|Spot the Curlew Sand. Last Monday at Black Hole Marsh.|
|Also last Monday, a smart juv Ruff.|
|Juv Ruff again.|