23 January 2012

Random larid beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night // Of cloudless climes and starry skies; // And all that’s best of dark and bright // Meet in her aspect and her eyes...

Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, later George Gordon Noel) there, with a poem inspired by his love of all things larid.

22 January 2012

Ooh! Tea and biscuits

This morning, both Glossy Ibis were again in the field at the top end of Boat Lane before flying further out onto the grasslands. They are observable from either Boat Lane or Goldcliff Road. Whichever vantage point you try, don't park at the top end of Boat Lane, it is not appreciated by the local resident(s) and rubs the Countryside and Rights of Way Act up the wrong way too,... or something along those lines,... so don't do it.

Between Boat Lane, Saltmarsh/Farmfield lanes and Llanwern we also had 80+ Greylag Goose, 2 Greylag x Canada Goose hybrids, 4 Stonechat (bit thin on the ground at the mo) and a Chiffchaff.

[NB. I'm giving up on titles, you will now get whatever enters my mind just before I press 'publish post'.]

21 January 2012

Íslendingasögur *or* Up at Buggerall

Það dreymdi mig, að eg þóttist ríða fram hjá Pont-y-pŵl. Þar þóttist eg sjá Íslendisvanr mjög marga og sóttu þeir allir að mér en eg sneri undan fram að Llandegfeddhaf. Þá þótti mér þeir sækja að öllum megin en eg varðist. Eg skaut alla þá er fremstir voru þar til er þeir gengu svo að mér að eg mátti eigi boganum við koma. Tók eg þá sverðið og vó eg með annarri hendi en lagði með atgeirinum annarri hendi. Hlífði eg mér þá ekki og þóttist eg þá eigi vita hvað mér hlífði. Drap eg þá marga svanr og með mér Senoj en Naheem þótti mér þeir hafa undir og slíta á honum brjóstið og hafði einn hjartað í munni sér. En eg þóttist verða svo reiður að eg hjó svanr í sundur fyrir aftan bóguna og eftir það þóttu mér stökkva svanr.

Harrowing huh?! And you know what, this afternoon, it all came true,... honest.

[NB. Obviously, names have been changed to protect the innocent; oh, and I couldn't decide which title to go with,... take your pick.]

20 January 2012

Oooh, shiny shiny

Took a while but, eventually, had good views of the two Glossy Ibis this afternoon. At turns they pottered about in the glorious sunshine, a shimmering vision of burnished copper and verdigris; or, wading under overcast skies, taking on the look of a pair of grumpy, overweight, oil-stained Curlew.

Earlier, whilst wandering in search of the ibis, had the Greenland White-front with Canadas just west of the sea-wall end of Boat Lane; and had a first-winter female Merlin towards the sea-wall end of Saltmarsh Lane, she came up off the deck but proceeded to sit in the top of a hedge preening,... all very nice and prolonged viewy.

15 January 2012

Goosander survey take 3

Despite the lowered water level on the top basin, Ynys-y-fro is really going out of its way to remain shite this winter. One Gadwall, three Shoveler and ten Teal were the best of the wildfowl during this afternoon's Goosander survey; a single Chiffchaff was the only other mentionable. I even counted a flyover flock of Jackdaw,... not good,... not good.

14 January 2012

Technology exceeding humanity

Spent most of the day trying to fix my Coolpix, the internal clock appears to have reset itself to 1843. Bloody nuisance.

Bleeding 'pencil of nature', Calotype schmalotype is what I say.

Of course, the silver lining is that, were I to nip to Iceland and point it at Eldey, I might yet get a photo of a Great Auk.

13 January 2012

Hampshire, Hampshire, Hampshire

Hampshire, Hampshire, Hampshire,
There's an old saying in Hampshire,
"Hampshire is top banana,... yeeeah."
But why is it so great?
Well I'll tell you why it,
It's because of the birds that live in Hampshire,
And it is these birds that I'll be telling you about in this award breaking blog post.

Went to Hampshire today, saw Spanish Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco and some other birds and ponies,... but them are not birds. The end.

Unfortunately, the above sign proved too much for the Meehan,... he never returned, as far as I know he fashioned a bed out of Dorset Apple Cake and stayed the night.

12 January 2012

I went outside

Despite suffering from the arse end of proper manflu, I have actually been in the field this week. Not an awful lot to show for it, but I have bumped into Woodcock and Black Redstart.

A real rarity, a field of stubble and, whaddaya know, this was the only place I saw Skylark and Reed Bunting today. The conservation of farmland birds,... it ain't rocket surgery is it.