Month: June 2017

Magpie Malarkey

Magpies are daily visitors to the bird table in the back garden.

Antagonistic birds.
Annoying birds.
Aggravating birds.
Malarking about birds.
‘Badboy’ birds.

Birds wiv attitude.
Birds who don’t take no for an answer.

Magpies and jackdaws don’t get on.
(if the vid below is anything to go by)

Actually, magpies don’t seem to get on with anybody.

Except themselves.

Vid: Ian Nisbet; Filming: Hazel Brown

To The Hackney Marshes

Out for an amble in Newton Abbot this Saturday afternoon.

Setting off from the Passage House Inn in a westerly direction.
The river Teign has narrowed into various tiny tributaries and small streams.

And here we’ve come, quite unexpectedly, upon The Hackney Marshes.
Sounds like something out of a Victorian crime novel.

Lots of tall reed and murky marsh to find soggy life (or death) in.

Further on is thick hedgerow teeming with bird.

We walk along the back end of the racecourse towards Newton Abbot Quay.
Incredibly, I’ve only just recently found out that Newton Abbot has a quay.
It’s not much of a quay admittedly. But you could possibly sail a small boat up from the sea on an incoming tide.

We’ve gobbled our banana cheesecake next to the long overhang bridge.
Just a few yards away these rabbits are gobbling away too.

Rabbits on Teign Estuary

A slow saunter back with our nosey noticing eyes switched full on.
A white bottomed bee has fallen onto the path exhausted. So we help him onto the grass verge out of harms way.
This comma butterfly was having an afternoon nap too.

Comma June 24th 2017

We’ve daydreamed our way on. Here’s the Hackney Marshes again.
But we’ve gone a bit lost.
Never mind. All adds to the intrigue.

If you want to feel like a dubious character (preferably in a Victorian crime novel), get yourself lost in the Hackney Marshes for a bit.
Wear a top hat. Adorn a cape.
Mutter indecipherable conundrums to yourself.

Carry a shotgun.

From Tidpiddlies to Froglets

Once they were tadpoles – now they are frogs.

Out of about 50 tidpiddlies added to garden pond in late April around 2 dozen have turned into froglets.

Took them about 7 weeks to transform.

!Update!: The froglets have disappeared from the pond.

Did last weeks heatwave do for them?
Have they all been gobbled up by predatory birds?
Or have they cleverly dispersed to find food elsewhere?

Wherever they’ve gone, lets hope one comes back.

As a fully frogged frog.

To gobble up slugs.

Vid: Ian Nisbet; Filming: Hazel Brown

Strange Sightings No 1

Elberry Cove June 2017

What is this strange lady up to?
Where on earth is she?

Has she been deposited onto a load of gravelly shingle in error?
Has she become totally inert by choice or as a result of peculiar circumstance?

Is she prone to lapses in cognitive functioning?
Will she be able to ever get up and walk again?

Is she auditioning for a lie-down part in a Samuel Beckett play?

Has she fallen to earth from the Planet Blog?
Is she still breathing?

Is she, er, enjoying herself?

Answers on a postcard to:
The Strange Sightings Project,
Elberry Cove,
Avoiding the Jetski’s
Near to the Mermaids

Message in a Bottle: Take 2

This Message in a Bottle is a little late in being sent (it was good to go on New Years day)

But given the dark months we’ve been living through this year the good will sentiments contained within seem evermore relevant.

We ended up throwing it – or Haze was throwing it

Haze chucking in June 2017

– in where we’d thrown our first M in a B: Shoalstone beach.

Last years bottle floated 200+ miles all the way up the English Channel to Hastings in Sussex.

Where will this one end up?

Will it be found, picked up, replied to?

Will there be another Max (from Berlin) wanting and willing to receive it?

Could good fortune possibly strike twice?!

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Mr Blackbirds Slugfeast

Mr Blackbird has been tucking into worms and slugs (Spanish Superslug Monsters) this week.

Got hungry chicks to feed so any grubby grub will do.

He has to stab the slugs a few hundred times first. Then give them a good wiping, to clean all their slimy slime off.

Then he picks them to pieces to make them palatable.

He easily dispensed, dispatched, and destroyed, most of the sluglys available.

Slug elimination courtesy of Mr Blackbird Pest Control.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Torbay Airshow Flies Again

A rerun – or refly – of Torbay Airshow.

Like last year we watched up on Preston Hill.

Like last year The Typhoon was back to heartstop the afternoon off.

And like last year those Red Arrows were streaking their red and white smoky stripes back and forth across the bay.

The heavy rolls of clouds threatening rain gradually got split open by the sun.

There was also ‘Catalina’, an eazi-ozi lumbering Great White Bird of a seaplane, flying slow enough to be filmed
(my newly bought Lumix camera couldn’t keep up with all the faster planes and eventually gave up the ghost).

A pleasant eazi-ozi kind of afternoon.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet