Thursday, 8 September 2011

Take the long road and walk it....

In contrast to the story of my blog post called Cut Off from last week I have enjoyed the Patch and it's wildlife in company over the last few days. Friday last saw Johnny Ball and I hunting Darters and on Monday I was out and about with my dad.

We headed south, to Inner Marsh. It was OK, but the hide was very busy (Spotted Crake had dropped in) and we grew tired of the trip report one-upmanship that passed for banter between the Twitchers. Like a poker game where Red-flanked Bluetails were seen, and raised by an Olive-backed Pipit. A pager pips. Mega rarity in Cornwall. So what? There is plenty in front of us deserving of our attention, and besides, you'd need a helicopter to get there in time.

Not for us all that rushing around so we amble down to the lane that leads to Burton Point and take the long road to the sheep dip looking for our own birds, we aren't enslaved by the pager...
The field that runs along the long sheep poop scattered road can be good for Wheatear and the fence that marks it's edge provides good perches. We wander slowly along looking at fence posts until....
We find one and get a few shots. Not too many, and a little distant as it is scared off by a combination of loose sheep scurrying along the lane and a hi-vis jacketed cyclist whizzing by.

It reappears further down but further away, on a post at the back of the field. I go for a picture wher the bird isn't the main thing in the frame. I like these kind of shots but I know they aren't everyones cup of tea. Photography can be a very personal thing. This image may just work for me, but that's cool.
I hear a soft short call overhead that I recognise as a Yellow Wagtail. A quick scan around and I locate a stunning and cunning male. He is still smart in bright yellow plumage even after a stressful breeding season. He's also smart enough to hide behind a fence post spoiling the picture I had framed in my head....
He is here with the rest of his family who are a little more obliging. The female is bolder than her partner, happy to perch out in the open, but not so tame as to allow a close approach.
There are 2 juveniles with them. They look very scruffy, but they are just getting their adult feathers. Feathers that will propel them to Africa for the winter. A journey that will start pretty soon. The young are confident, or perhaps unaware that humans should be treated with caution. As we walk along the road we go right past them and they remain unmoved. Sat on the fence looking all around without a care in the world....

When not posing on fences they are feeding in the field. Fuel is required for the long journey south. We watch them drop off the fence and over to the grazing sheep where they mooch about in and around the grass munchers. Perhaps they are disturbing insect prey for them, maybe they feel more secure with the sheep there. I don't know. We watch and record.

Pagers and odd Pipits in far flung places can wait. The Patch has more than enough action for us.

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