Thursday, 11 July 2013

Soay Sheep, Seagulls and other things

You may remember I posted about one of the sheep being stranded last month after a dog chase? Well it seems as though someone caught the whole chase on film. A kayaker took this video and alerted the Berry Head Rangers.
 See this youtube video it's amazing either one of them didn't fall off the edge off the cliff.

Here are the sheep coming up for their extra feed as one of the rangers shakes the bag and calls them over. They are a little suspicious of me as I'm looking over the wall. However if you keep quiet and still, they carry on as normal after a few minutes. You can see the paths they have worn along their route. 

Here's one of the fairly new information boards along the South West Coastal Path. Although you probably can't see it too well in this image, the map below of Brixhams aspect is a little clearer.

My house is sort of under the y in my! To give you an idea of how close we are to the sea and the coastal path.

The walk to Sharkham Point is lovely and we usually do this on a Sunday morning in the summer with the dog when he is banned from the beaches. I'll be taking you on this walk with me soon.

Sarah from Down by the Sea asked what the seed head was in a previous blog. Well I know now that it's called Goatsbeard and I managed to get a couple of shots just as the flower was about to open.

After me saying I'd not seen a lace wing, here is one in my wild grass area. I hope you can see it. Which just proves there's a need for this kind of area in gardens

Here is the Douglas chick No 3, still growing strong, however it was attacked again today, we think by an outsider, rather than the parents. It was then fed a lovely fish lunch by one of the parents. Poor little many times more?

This is one of the Hoppy Family chicks sheltering in the shade of the chimney. Both chicks are still doing well. The parents are very feisty and they don't take any messing about in their territory. I've seen them fly straight off the rooftop and chase any intruders away by nipping at their tails mid-air!

Here's a before and after photo for you. The Magnolia Family chicks a couple of weeks ago.

....and here they are today, looking rather grand and adult, except they still act like little chicks, whistling at the parents and sliding about the roof slates at feeding time.

My nerves are bad enough now that we've got to this stage but any time now they will be taking their first flight...and that's just as nerve wracking to's not so much the taking off but the landing!
And just to prove it, here's a little one trying out his wings (one of the Hoppy Family chicks)

Having a stretch

I believe I can fly

Back down safe
 I fear more chick rescues are ahead of us, however once they can fly, you can put them back near enough to the parents (whilst getting dived at by the parents and the chick squawking like crazy) and they manage to encourage the chick back to them.

Me and hubby have two weeks off work starting next week. We are really hoping the weather stays good as we have a few boat trips planned. I hope you all have a good weekend in lovely sunshine.


  1. Love the photos - I live at the start of the coastal path.
    Julie xxxxx

    1. Thanks Julie. Would you ever plan to walk the whole of the path? I have friends who are good walkers and they've done quite a few. I would love to some day.

  2. Lovely map, you are fortunate being so close to that wonderful stretch of coast.
    Loved all the pics, but especially the chicks, particularly the one trying out his wings!

    1. Thanks CT. I know, the chicks are just so funny when they start wing stretching and jumping about. I'm sure in the film Jurassic Park they used some recordings of seagull chicks as dinosaurs. They make a very prehistoric sound at the same time as flapping their wings! Only thing about where we live are the very strong winds, as we are at the top flat bit of Brixham and the wind blows straight across.

  3. Thank you for answering my question about the seed. That's a wonderful image of the lace wing. It's dreadful how much staff time was taken to rescue the goat, 82 hours!
    It must be wonderful to have those 2 great walks on your doorstep. Hope you have a good break from work.
    Sarah x

    1. Hi Sarah, people only have to keep their dog on a lead for a very short part of their walk. I guess they are just not used to dealing with this kind of animal about and dont even think their dog will chase anything...still no excuse. The walks and Berry Head are the reasons we bought a house over this side of town.

    2. Any dog that is found chasing sheep or goats needs to be destroyed and their owners given a short prison sentence of two months.
      Am sure dog owners would soon start to behave responsibly.

    3. I think the nice poster saying 'please keep your dog on a lead in this area' is just not strong enough. The video should be used as a warning and the owner prosecuted and made to pay for the costs of recovery.

  4. Amazing video re: sheep and dog. What a shame one of the ewes died as a result of dog problems. Do hope people keep dogs on leads in future.

    Do hope your gull chicks fledge successfully. So enjoy reading your blog - what a wonderful part of the country you live in :)

    Have a great holiday fortnight :)

    1. Thanks. Really looking forward to a couple of weeks off together. We've got lots on our to do list too (nice things not domestic things)! It is really lovely here, we like how friendly it is, you always meet people you know. I met the ranger again yesterday when she was feeding the sheep their supplement. She says they are doing well and lots of people keep an eye on them-so that's nice to know.

  5. I had trouble posting a comment, so this is attempt number two!... You do live in a beautiful location, I know I would do lots of walks along the coast, too. Lovely photos, especially of the Seagulls, although some of those Seagull chicks do seem to have a tough start to life.

  6. Thanks Wendy. Yes the chicks are a full time occupation at the moment. I saved one from the road yesterday as a car was coming towards it (sadly having just left the rooftops if they land on the road they have no idea about the dangers and dont fly off like other birds-sadly many are killed on the roads by people expecting them to get out of the way). I got it into a garden where mum got it back in the air again, only for it to land on a flat roof owned by the Black Backed Gulls so it was attacked twice by them. Mum put up a huge fight (was totally outsized) but won. Eventually she got the chick away. Then another having landed on the pavement was being stalked by a cat (I know the distress call) so left my dinner and got it just in time. My other neighbour who loves seagulls put it up onto his garage roof where mum and dad were able to encourage it back. I told you my nerves would be in tatters!


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