Lunching in the Teign

Teignmouth harbour on a summer afternoon in June (the first)

A Greater Black Backed Gull is crunching on crab.
A Starling is furtling frantically under the seaweed.
(Sparrows are busybodying in)

A crow jumps in to finish off the Gulls crab leftover.

Lunching in the Teign. Easy pickings and peckings.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

A Magpie Misalliance

Out near train station today to give new Lumix camera a tryout.

Magpies are on the lookout for anything that wiggles, wriggles, and worms.
At least 3 or 4 pairs in close proximity to one another.

Don’t know what the collective noun for a group of Magpies is.
A Misalliance of Magpies perhaps?

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

The Little Lifes of Sparrows

Haven’t made a film of the sparrows in the back garden this year. I suppose because they’re so ever-present they’ve become everyday normal and ordinary.

There’s a good dozen or more (and probably another dozen more to be added once the latest brood are born, bred, and fed)

The life of a back garden sparrow consists of:
Chewing up the buds on the wisteria and fruit trees.
Ripping up the grass and pecking in the plant pots for nesting material.
Flicking about the pond, swimming in the bird bath.
Squabbling and shouting at one another.
Chatting and chirping with one another.
Fighting and mating with one another.
Ocassionally getting pounced on by sparrowhawks and being made dinner of (2 so far)
Bouncing between wisteria, willow and ivy (where they sleep and have their nests) in nonstop fizzy whizzes.
Possessively guarding the feeders from other small birds.
Being pests.
Being comical.
Being delightful.

The back garden wouldn’t be the same without its sunny funny family of little sparrows.

Filming: Hazel Brown; Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Blackbird sings all day

This blackbird is singing all day and every day. For about the last 2 weeks.
A nonstop blackbirdy burble of flutey notes.
Right outside my bedroom window.

I presume he’s telling rival males to keep out.
But he could also be calling (desperately) for a female to come in.

He’s a raggedy looking chap. Looks a bit worn out to me. A bit stressed. But sounds like he intends to carry on singing till his day is done (or his wings drop off)

A singing blackbird, it seems, knows no rest.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

PS: Zoomed into this blackbird with new Lumix FZ72 camera; for the last 2 weeks I’d only been able to hear him.

Grey Wagtails on the Mardle

The little river Mardle. The babbling brook that runs through Buckfastleigh.

I’ve seen Goosanders, Mandarin Ducks, Muscovy Ducks, floating upstream into it from the river Dart.

And in the last couple of weeks, Grey Wagtails; wibbling and waggling around.

I love how these wagtails suddenly shoot up above the water, twisting and turning in mid-air like tail-spinning acrobats.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

A Mandarin Mardle Marvel

Mandarin ducks seem to have taken to Buckfastleigh.
This pair were slowly floating up the river Mardle into the town centre.

I’m seeing these wonderfully exotic ducks a mere minute away from where I live (next to the very ‘unexotic’ Co op)
The light lit the pair of them up lovely.
He hopped on her back for a quickie.
Then they continued floating around the dipply dapply shallow stream.

A sunny Spring morning and 2 marvelous madarin ducks.
A little ‘Spot of Time’. To feel content and at peace in. Sublime.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Sparrowhawk No 2

Yet another sparrowhawk got itself booked into the back garden cafe with a table reservation for one this lunchtime.

Sparrowhawk male 4 30 April 2019

A small male but just as voracious as the bigger female who’d visited last December.

Sparrowhawk male 3 30 April 2019

It stood right next to the small kitchen window ontop of the air-raid shelter.

No time to waste or lose. It was at it with rapid efficiency.

Plucking, splitting, stripping, and guzzling down its din dins.

Sparrowhawk male 2 30 April 2019

It heard voices from the neighbouring garden so took off.

Clutching the carcass in its clawsome talons.

Sparrowhawk male 5 30 April 2019

Providing itself with the ultimate in ‘Takeaway Fast Food’.

There’s more than enough din dins (juicy fat sparrows) to keep this pair of sparrowhawks fed for many more months to come.

Thrilled filming & commentary: Hazel Brown; Words: Ian Nisbet