Wednesday, 28 January 2015

I bring you Cirl Buntings

Amid the chaos of life right now, I crept out of the house early on Saturday morning all wrapped up  to catch these lovely little birds on camera.

I bring you the Cirl Buntings at Broadsands 

A large flock now gather (over 30) and this is I'm sure down to the efforts of Mike Langman who visits regularly to feed them. Mike worked for the RSPB for years, is a bird illustrator, and runs regular courses on photography and bird watching here in Devon.

They are sparrow sized, only found in South Devon and can be seen all year in several spots around the coast here.

They are on the RSPB's red list which means the highest priority for conservation. Open this link to see the RSPBs brilliant information sheet on the Cirl Bunting.

Hey...what are you doing in here?, two....

...and then there were three!

Their rapid decline was due to changes in farming and in 1989 there were only 118 pairs left in the UK.

I follow the West Cornwall Ringing Group Blog as they do some great investigative work with gulls. 

Their 'catching antics' were part of a BBC programme on the 25th Jan (which I missed) called Natures Boldest Thieves which you can pick up on iPlayer here

Really worth a watch, including film of badgers, foxes and squirrels looking for and finding food in urban areas.

Until next time, wishing you all well

Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Sunday spent birding at Broadsands

Broadsands in the early morning sunshine before the terrible weather due over the next few days.

Here is a little look at what the environment is like here. Very pretty at the bottom of the hill, on the way to the beach with mature trees, old houses and a Robin to sing me along.

Views across the fields as I walk.

Down at the car park, a look at the stream, reed beds and wonderful bird habitat.

Black headed Gulls enjoying the fresh water puddles and light breeze available

The Cirl Buntings at Broadsands

This is where I discovered I have become so used to the bridge camera that I can't use the dslr anymore. Lots of fuzzy shots and out of annoying. Still it's a new (second hand) Nikon body upgrade and I haven't had time to read about it or check the settings.

I can't remember what the other bird in this photo is but I'm sure many of you will know!

There were over 30 of these lovely little birds about this morning.

Hookhills Viaduct by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It's the only way in and out by car and having to pass under this every time is just lovely.

Can't resist a sea shot with this orange painted ship shining brightly in the sun. It's been in the bay for the last few days.

The beach huts and Black headed Gulls enjoying the morning sunshine.

I'm really running out of time at the moment. Not helped by a very ill cat and lots of vet trips. It's not looking good for him right now. On Saturday I had to repair the laptop, after a moment of fear that it was completely broken, it took a couple of hours, but was only a minor problem really. We still have lots of things to organise and arrange and the electrician starts next Monday.

 After writing this at the weekend I had every intention of getting the post out, but our cat became very ill and needed my attention.

Sadly our lovely black cat Chilli was put to sleep today (Thursday) after discovering a fast growing cancer in his intestines. This is a picture of him sitting in the sunshine looking very contented just a few months ago. I'm so glad I took it then.

It's a sad SeagullSuzie house today, but we have known for a few days it was coming and the vet was wonderful with us and Chilli.

Until next time

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Settled In Broadsands At Last

Greetings from Broadsands and Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for following my blog and sharing the ups and downs of life in 2014 for the SeagullSuzie family.

Out in the bay, plenty to watch from Broadsands Beach. I don't think I'll be changing the blog name now, even though we are no longer living in Brixham...something to think about perhaps.

Part of the remaining reed bed alongside Broadsands car park. This was originally a huge area of wetlands and of great importance to bird habitat. Sadly in the 1960's the reed beds were destroyed for a car park and only a small amount remains today. However Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust are working on a wetlands restoration project here at Broadsands, which will be exciting to follow.

I am looking forward to a lot more birding living here. I take the binoculars out on our daily walks and one of the nicest birds to watch is the Gannet. With their striking shape and movement, they fold their wings at high speeds and plunge into the sea with a splash.

What's coming around the bend?

We are much closer to the picturesque steam trains of the Paignton to Kingswear Line from the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company. You can read about the locomotives they use here. It's a real treat for us as we can see them from the living room window and hear their wonderful sounds too.

For 2015 we are looking forward to giving a Springer a new home and completing work on the house

Broadsands Beach in the sunshine over Christmas where we enjoyed plenty of walks. As a lot of you know moving house is an exhausting time. We were very lucky to get in just before the holiday period. We worked non-stop to empty boxes and make space just to move around in.

On Christmas morning whilst hubby had a little lie in, I moved more things about so that we could get to the dining table and eat our Christmas meal properly...I even found some candles for the centrepiece.

Busy working over Christmas, a trawler alone in the bay.

Here are the four cats, finding a quiet place to rest together..which is quite in numbers in their new and unfamiliar home.

I have genuinely missed your posts and following what's been happening with you all in the run up to Christmas. We have a busy month ahead with more work on the house booked in...the worst kind electrics and plumbing (noisy, messy and disruptive) but it'll be worth it in the end.

Hello and welcome to new followers and thanks to all of you for being patient whilst I've been occupied with house moving and not posting or following your lovely blogs.

Until next time