Monday, 13 January 2014

Dashing in and out of the rain

Yesterday, I went to Exeter, as my good lady needed to get some things from the shops. By the time we got home, lo and behold, it was absolutely chucking it down. Now, after having to get very wet moving the family's cars around so the first one up tomorrow could get out (we have 4 cars in our household!), I decided that I had better try and get my Year tick for the day. Luckily I only have to walk 200 yards from my house and I can connect with Nuthatch! So after 15 minutes in the pouring rain I hear one calling and then get a glimpse of it as it moves from one tree to another. Clever bird really - it clings to the trunk of the tree the other side from the lashing rain! Clever sod me - I go out and get absolutely bleddy soaked! Bird-brained or what? A bonus in the awful weather was a good view of a Treecreeper, my second one this year. This bird seemed oblivious of the heavy rain and continued working its way up the wet side of the trunk! Today it was a case of popping out lunchtime and trying for something different. I zipped round to Topsham Rec (OK, so officially it's called Topsham Recreation Ground, but that's far too much of a mouthful) hoping to connect with a Water Pipit that's been knocking about recently. I looked into the distance and realised it was going to absolutely piss down with rain in about 5 minutes time, so I quickly almost jogged around the perimeter of the grass alongside the River Exe. No sign of the pipit, but just before it did the usual thing and lashed it down I saw two Reed Buntings, another new bird for 2014. After a hasty look at my second Grey Wagtail of the year, I galloped back to the car, just as the rain became very intense. It seems like it's one dryish day followed by 4 or 5 wet ones now, so I quickly motored round to the excellent Bowling Green Marsh, and shut myself in the hide! The overwintering Long-tailed Duck was showing very closely in front of the hide (well, when it was not actually under water) and there seemed to be a large number of Shoveler present, especially for this site, and a nice array of very common species attended the feeders outside the hide. After it was time to get back to work, guess what - the bleddy sun came out - AARRGGHH!

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