Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Tuesday 16th December 2008

Couldn't resist it.

I do love to watch Black Redstarts! They are always perky in their movements and I love seeing those orange tail-feathers when they dart out to take a fly or other hapless insect. Therefore I was down in the Exmouth marina (docks) area again early this afternoon to check that the overwintering birds were still there. My luck was in. Firstly I found the first-winter female again by the Exe sailing club. She drew attention to herself by doing just what I described above. Yes, she flicked up to snap up a fly from the ground amongst the dinghies on the edge of Shelly Beach and behind the club main building, showing those gorgeous orange tail-feathers! I watched her as she took cover under a dinghy, resting on the axle of the trailer supporting the craft. This bird chose to remain mainly hidden underneath the multitude of boats on the beach.
The second bird was also still present, a male in winter plumage. This time, after diligent searching I found him on the roofs of some flats bordering Victoria Road adjacent to the marina basin. This one sat up on the ridgetiles as bold as brass. The only time this one moved was when a gormless Herring Gull chose to sit on that particular rooftop. Excellent news then, both birds are still present and are highly likely to remain until the new year, providing yours truly with another good yeartick!
Supporting birds today were the usual Dark-bellied Brent Geese in droves, some very obliging Red-breasted Merganser, a couple of Little Egrets and Grey Herons, and Oystercatchers, Curlew and Common Redshank. Regrettably the tide was right out and many dogwalkers were parading their pooches all over the sand/mudbanks so that they could poop everywhere, scaring off most of the birdlife. I sometimes wonder why most of these birds return to winter on the Exe estuary. They are always getting flushed off the minute the tide starts to drop.

No comments: