Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Monday 22nd December 2008

Touring Round Exmouth

A strange day for the time of year - very mild, dry and windless! I paid swift visits to Mudbank Lane, then the Shelly Beach area of Exmouth late morning. The lone Greenshank was still present at the former site, amongst the hordes of waterfowl and waders, and the female Black Redstart was still around the dinghies on Shelly Beach, behind the sailing club main building. This time the redstart was perched on the mast of one of the boats and I approached her to within 5 metres - if only I could take photographs! Regrettably this is something that 1) I cannot afford and 2) suffer awfully from camera shake. This latter problem always means that another member of my family has to take the holiday snaps, as all mine turn out blurred! My children are probably the best photographers in my family. Still, with the advent of digital cameras, I have managed a couple of passable shots, so there's hope for the old chap yet!
This afternoon, I did a walk from my house to cover the 'top end' of town. Just 300 metres from my house I quickly found a cracking calling Nuthatch and a little later some Long-tailed Tits and a Treecreeper, all at Knappe Cross. I crossed the busy Dinan Way and crept slowly up Gorse Lane. Here I was fortunate enough to find a male Blackcap in the same stretch of hedgerow that I normally find one or two in winter. I carried on up and quickly had a look around Bystock Wood. An uncanny lack of birds here though. Strange, because normally there are more Nuthatches and Treecreepers, woodpeckers and on the rare occasion, a Firecrest! I quickly retraced my steps and was pleased to see a Green Woodpecker flying across the fields at the top end of Marley Road. I got home as the light started to fade early due to it being an unbelievably dull afternoon and being the shortest day of the year!

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