31 August 2011

Nothing special and,... not much else

A pretty high tide produced very little over in Gloucestcestcestershire, just more common migrants, lots of Yellow Wagtails, phylloscs, etc., and a few Wheatear and Tree Pipit.

[Addendum: there was something else, forgot to mention, had 2-3 Painted Lady flutterbys, first I've seen for ages.]

29 August 2011

Don't believe the hype

That's a parrotbill, not a tit,...

... and that's a moustache, not a beard...

... don't believe half of what you see and none of what you hear or, to put it another way, some writers I know are damn devils.

26 August 2011

I'm not waving, I'm drowning

Spent Wednesday getting bedraggled by a couple of thousand year storms. There I stood, on the English side of the stream, staring down-channel into the strengthening blow as the murky, hissing curtain of drench drew towards me; unfortunately, evasion was impossible and I just had to embrace the deluge. Luckily, my personal photographer was on hand to record the event for the inevitable, though as yet untitled, autobiography.

Despite saturated, figure-hugging (some might say lady attracting) combats and a nigh life-threatening case of trench foot, I did manage to stumble over Arctic and Common Tern, and a couple of Curlew Sandpiper.

My first terrible photograph of a Curlew Sand of the autumn.

One late-finish-cum-early-start later and the following morning broke all sunny and jubbly and smattered with passagey passerines. Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart and three Whinchat were the best, but a few Tree Pipit speeezed over, oodles of Yellow Wag and Wheatear decorated the dewy turf and the wet hedgerows were dripping with Whitethroat and phylloscs,...

... and all was well across favoured Albion's lustrous fields.

23 August 2011

Fear and loathing at Greenman

They had two bags of grass organic romaine hearts, seventy-five pellets of mescaline ml of aged balsamic dressing, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid packs of cherubino cherry vine tomatoes, a saltshaker half-full of cocaine oak-smoked salt, and a whole galaxy of multi-coloured uppers, downers, screamers and laughers dried herbs and spices; also, a quart of tequila raspberry & guava juice, a quart of rum kiwi, apple & lime smoothie, a case of beer assorted new world Sauvignon Blancs, a pint haunch of raw ether venison, and two dozen amyls Gloucestershire old spot pork sausages.

Holy Jesus. Who were these goddamn animals?

Somewhere, Andy Pandy's lifeless body lies naked in a nettle-filled ditch.

... and then everyone went home to watch The Great British Bake Off.

22 August 2011

That didn't take long did it

So the hides weren't even finished before being vandalised. Bored youth? Disaffected locals? Or bored youth egged on by disaffected locals? Random wandering arsonist? Surely someone saw something on a Sunday afternoon in August (or was everyone at Greenman or the Birdfair?); there must have been a grockle or two circulating, I'm assuming the tide was all wrong for a proper visit.

If anyone reads this and did see something (shifty-looking youth or, just as likely, adult) I'm sure CCW would like to hear from you. Contact details for CCW are available under 'Who looks after it' halfway down the linked page --> click here.

16 August 2011

An ex-owl

Barn Owl remains, probably a Peregrine kill by the sounds of it. From the shape of the outermost primary (not that you can see it in this image) and the uniform condition of the available primaries, it looks to be one of this year's young. The available larger underwing primary coverts have dusky tips and smaller underwing primary coverts miniscule shaft streaks at the tip of the feathers, enough to sex it as a female(?).

[Remains and info c/o CH]

15 August 2011

Harbour, island, heath, beach

[NB. Here are a few 'holiday' snaps, I'll add some proper words tomorrow]

One week later,...

All a bit 'lost in the mists of time', but,... a couple of days pottering around Poole Harbour and Purbeck produced the usual bits and bobs. An ill-advised trip to Arne on an August weekend afternoon was pretty pointless (I always end up there but I never know why), although I did locate a sacrificial crop which might be worth a visit later in the autumn, and Whimbrel and Knot were amongst the waders in the harbour. Various stops at Middlebere generated lots of Yellow-legged Gulls, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Knot plus Barn Owl, Hobby, Water Rail, Yellow Wagtail and Redstart; no Osprey or Marsh Harrier though. The best on a busy Brownsea was probably Spotted Redshank, Common Sandpiper, more Greenshank and stem ginger ice cream. Studland was inundated with the oily-broiling mass, did have a little paddle though; and an escape to the heath added Dartford Warbler, Tree Pipit, Black Darter and Small Red Damselfly.

They seek her here, they seek her there.

OMG! All that bollocks the farmers spout is true, they are evil,... or is he just hungry?

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.

I'd rather go for a paddle thanks.

12 August 2011


Slept through the alarm, bolted breakfast, cannon-balled the bypass and rocked up just half an hour the wrong side of the allotted start time. Luckily, the hunchback of Ochrwyth had already got most of the nets up, so I concentrated my efforts on identifying which was the blearier of my eyes and whether indigestion could be life-threatening.

Visible/audible passage was almost non-existent, just a couple of Yellow Wags passed over, the only other 'mentionable' was a Marsh Harrier but, basically, it was just another dose of acro.

The flow of Sedge Warblers continues, although they are mostly juveniles/first-winters,... unlike this one.

11 August 2011


Walking directly through barbed wire fences in the middle of the night. Not a completely safe past-time. Who knew?

The bloody aftermath following literally* hours of acute trauma care,...

If you think this is horrific please note my left leg is MISSING.

* Readers should be aware that 'literally' may be being used in a non-literal sense.

07 August 2011

Pray tell me, sir, whose duck are you?

A call duck with a faraway look in his eye, probably due to the fact that he is pondering the maximum amount of information required to perfectly recreate himself down to the quantum level.  I guess, were we able to listen in on his thoughts at the precise time this photo was taken, we would hear something along the lines of,...

"Assuming I have an average weight of 1.5 kg (excluding the post-Xmas bloat) and a volume of 1260 cm3, then my energy (E = m·c2) will be 1.34813·1017 J and, if I were a sphere, then the radius (V = 4·π·r3/3) would be 6.70030·10−2 m. Therefore, the maximum information needed to perfectly describe me down to the quantum level (the Bekenstein bound [I ≤ 2·π·r·E/ħ·c·ln 2]) will be 2.58991·1042 bit, implying my number of different states (Ω=2I) is at most 107.79640·1041,... quack."

06 August 2011

Should have got a job on the bins

A mornin' on the nets and another three figure haul of Sedge Warbler. Two bore rings from afar, or not so afar, they weren't our rings anyhow,... oh, the excitement of it all.

Very little on the newish patch of cut reed, just Beardies and Sedgies feeding around the edge, surely a Spotted Crake will potter out at some stage*. The only other 'just-about-notables' were a flyover Tree Pipit, a few Yellow Wags and a Marsh Harrier.

* Dear reader, please be aware that the phrase 'some stage' in this instance should be taken to mean anytime in the next 25 years.

05 August 2011

The endless ebb and flow

Another high-tide, another few hours at Goldcliff. A juv Wood Sandpiper feeding on the back of Lagoon 3 (viewable from the sea wall) was the best of it; 3 Turnstone, 2 Knot, 2+ Greenshank plus Whimbrel and Yellow Wagtails provided the support. Nothing of note at Boat Lane.

Not looking his best. Heavy moult and a wind up the jacksie never did anyone any favours.

PS. The hides are appearing like mushrooms, one and a half down/up, one to go.