Thursday, 26 January 2017

Gannets and Dolphins Short Videos

With no time to myself at the moment (major project to finish for work) I've been unable to get out with the camera or find any time to write a post.

The easterly winds have made the sea choppy, this brings birds in that would normally be further out to sea.

This morning during my dog walk, I met Mike Langman who was bird watching across the bay from Broadsands Green. 

I commented on the number of Gannets diving this morning and Mike advised that he had seen hundreds diving of Sharkham Point yesterday, had taken a short video and posted it on YouTube. 
Gannets Feeding Frenzy and you might also like this video of Common Dolphins passing by.

Northern Gannet fact: when diving they hit the water at speeds of up to 60mph

It was quite exciting receiving our beach hut renewal notice in the post this week. They'll soon be back on site.

Until next time
Take care all and Happy Big Garden Bird Watch for this weekend

Friday, 13 January 2017

Buzzards and Crows

A buzzard landed on the roof of my neighbours house a few days ago. It was very cold outside so I didn't go out to capture these images as I knew the camera would take time to adjust. These images were taken with the Panasonic Lumix from my front living room.

It wanted a rest, and at the time I didn't know why, but the crows just wouldn't leave it alone. I heard a lot of noise and got up from my office to see what was causing it.

So here it is catching forty winks

But those naughty crows were having none of it

They were even brave enough to pull its tail feathers

It moved about a bit, ruffled its feathers and probably had enough

It was quite funny to watch as it only had to make the smallest move and the crows jumped away

In the end it flew off for some peace, probably into the woods near by. What I learnt later on that day was that my neighbour several doors away had seen this buzzard plucking and eating a crow at the end of her garden.

It's no wonder they were upset!

This is a photograph, taken in my old garden in North Yorkshire, of a wonderful shrub called Stachyurus Praecox. I mention this as it's not easy to find in garden centres and so may be overlooked. It is a wonderful plant for early bees and these little bell shaped flowers are covered in bees on warm winter and early spring days. So long as you have neutral or slightly acid soil, it'll be fine and it's lovely to look at too. It survived my cold and windy garden with almost no looking after.

With cold weather here in Devon I've been topping up the bird feeders with extra treats, peanut cake feeder, mealworms and sunflower hearts. The Woodpigeons are almost resident in the garden and look plump and healthy, but still no real success attracting a larger variety of birds.

The thick, mature hedge in the back garden provides a wonderful shelter for Blackbirds, Robins, Dunnocks and Wrens, I place quite a lot of food under it, so that they are protected from the gulls whilst feeding. The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is only two weeks away, and I must say they have a great website page dedicated to it. Have you requested your pack for 2017?

Hope you're all safe in these winter storms
Until next time

Friday, 6 January 2017

Cockington Fayre

Over the holidays we went to Cockington Christmas Fayre managing to get out on a fairly decent morning.

The grounds are lovely with some spectacular trees. A visit in the Autumn is recommended to see the beautiful colours.

There were lots of stalls and I love this vintage van

You can watch them making chocolate...delicious!

Fun turkey hat on a brass band member

Pizza van oven-must be hot in there

The blacksmith workshop is always interesting, although he's having a rest, the gloves are down

Inside the house has been arranged beautifully to sell items by local artists

We visit Cockington Country Park fairly regularly. In the wet winters it gets very muddy and the dog gets filthy, so we tend to stay away after heavy rainfall and stick to the beach. Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust are doing some great restoration work to the lakes and you can read more about that here.

I have lots keeping me very busy at the moment, so blogging is suffering, but I'm sure things will sort themselves out soon.
Wishing you all well for 2017