Saturday, 13 February 2010

Well here it is, not by popular demand, not for any purpose at all in fact, my blog. Don't expect daily postings of fantastic birds, cos I have another life these days that means birding has to take second place to more serious stuff.

But talking of birds - Clerk of Works and her assistant are away for the weekend, so I got out for several hours for the first time in a while. Siblyback was cold, grey and predictably devoid of birds. I would be lying to say there were any highlights. Unless you like Canada Geese....which I don't....or Coots - I'm still traumatised from the sight of several thousand Coot at Laguna De Medina in Andalucia many years ago, and a desperate (and ultimately futile) search for a Crested amongst them. The sharp eyed amongst you will have immediately noticed Hewy, Lewy and Dewy the Barnacle Geese in the cripplingly outstanding photo above. They're not real, no really. And I could have had a lie in! Ho hum.

I'll have a blast round to Dozmary Pool thinks I, having heard that a Lesser Scaup has been hanging round. Now Dozmary is one of my supporting cast of sub patches and as the crow (or indeed duck) flies is not far from Siblyback. En route I stop at the north end of Colliford Lake and the first bird I see is a drake Lesser Scaup-like thing. Trouble is, and this is the reason I hate Colliford - it's half a mile away. It's small, its quite dark backed, but that's it. Now I'm not one to doubt others and apparently better views have been obtained, but I had crippling views of a Lesser Scaup type thing last winter at Siblyback (a bird that had been at Dozmary so surely the same). At close range the black on the bill just spread off the nail, but at any normal view it would have looked just restricted to the nail. Now I'm no expert (plainly) but comparing that bird to photographs at the time I concluded it probably was real. However, others concluded otherwise. So forgive me for staying out, jury wise. Anyway, there were 3 Shoveler, a few teal, 3 Pochard and a Goldeneye - so there.

Down to the coast and Hannafore. Now I like Hannafore for two reasons - it's a good place for Divers and Grebes and for seawatching, and you can sit in the comfort of the car and listen to the football. It's also a good place to take the Assistant Clerk of Works when she won't go to sleep, as by the time we get there she's snoozing in the back and I can spend an hour combining being a brilliant father and scanning the sea. Today, being solitary, I could actually get out of the car, immediately wish I hadn't (it was bloody freezing). Still the cafe was open and I could buy a hot chocalate and sit in the car again. Seven Med Gulls, including one adult just coming into Summer plumage, an immature male Eider, and a Grey Plover were the highlights. Now the Grey Plover is one of my favourite birds, and I realised how long it had been since I'd seen one - I really do need to get out more.

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