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

Muscovys mating on the Mardle

Down at the bottom of town a muscovy duck was roughly rogering his No 2 (mistress) His No 1 (mississ) was sat on the bank blankly watching.

Male ducks in general, and muscovys in particular, are brutally aggressive when mating.

No two ways about it, No 2 was going to have to submissively let herself be half drowned and allow this Mr Man do whatever he wanted.

And do her he did. For absolutely ages.

When it comes to rumpy pumpy it ain’t any fun being a female duck.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Mistle Thrushes Worming

Flying down from the tall beeches to worm-whisper the grass. And then flying back into the beeches with a beakful of chopped worm. Were these Mistles Thrushes.

Mistle thrushes are bigger, with greyer silver feathers than Song Thrushes.

Expert wormers they are when compared to the fruitless (or wormless) efforts of the clumsy magpies nearby.

Just stop and think about this for a minute: in the car crazy centre of Torquay near Upton Park, amidst the noisy din of the exhaust-fumed traffic, are these Mistle Thrushes. Going about their beautiful business.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Swan sits on her eggs

I’m walking through Kings Garden by Torre Abbey. A swan was sat on her eggs. What a peaceful picture. Or so you would think.

Except for the ghetto blaster dinning disco in the background.

Except for the fighting dog that rushed in at the swan. Mrs Swan reared up hissing and the hound backed off. The dirty owner of this dog, a baseball-capped junkie chav, didn’t give a monkeys. It, and its slobbery beast, slithered off and away.

Mrs Swan reasserted herself on the nest, giving her eggs inside a little tap and turn over (just to make sure they were all right)

Songbirds were brightly twittering away around the swans nest. Mrs Swan gathered a bit more twig and grass around her and her eggs. Then settled down to peacefully sleep.

Well, I hope she could peacefully sleep with all this mindless din and disturbance kicking off around her.
I despair of us human beings sometimes.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet