Month: February 2018

Cranky Crow of White Wing

A quick try out and test this morning of Hazes newly arrived Lumix TZ35 camera.

Lets try zooming right up into this crow caw cawing in the silver birch.

And who should it be? None other than the Crow of White Wing.

A somewhat Cranky Crow of White Wing.

Possibly in need of a bit of crow-love. Of the uncranky variety.

(The TZ35 Lumix passed its test with a big thumbs up)

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

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Saturday Snaps of Institute beach

Here is that grey heron from Institute beach.

A rather tall chap (if indeed it is a chap)

Grey Heron on Institute beach Feb 17th 2018

An elegant dapper Mister (or Missus)

Here is Haze having conversations with inanimate objects again.

Institute beach 3 Feb 17th 2018

I think she’s saying to the bag: “Where have you hidden those scrummdiddlyumptious hazelnut biscuits eh?”

The new 2nd hand binoculars were tested out.

Institute beach 5 Feb 17th 2018

They got the thumbs up. Spotting estuary birds on Dawlish Warren will be the next test.

A final picture of Institute beach just as the tide was on the turn and coming in.

Institute beach 8 Feb 17th 2018

Our theory is that a bathing pool was walled off here (by Livermead Hotel) – as evidenced by that neatly constructed row of rocks. Which would explain the lagoon-like effect at low tide.

Institute beach has become our No 1 Go-To place this winter.

A Stalking and Stabbing Grey Heron

Going to Institute beach is best around low tide.

Best to see something going on.

The grey heron was there again on Saturday. And the little egret (unusually subdued)

The heron was in active stalking mode. Stabbing decisively at the water to fish up various rockpool delicacies.

Although there was nothing at all delicate about the herons table manners; everything gobbled down its long throat appeared to be wiggling and struggling, still alive.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Kingfisher flashes by

Twice we’ve seen a kingfisher flashing around Institute beach.

Aren’t they only meant to be found around rivers? Apparently not. They’ll come to the coast and feed around shallow waters.

We watched a Winterwatch that featured kingfishers dipping and diving, fishing and fighting, in Ramsgate harbour.

The kingfisher we saw could have been a male, there to claim and protect the little lagoon of Insititute beach as his homebase.

He (or she) was too fast to get into our cameras.

Kingfisher 3 edit
But he flew tantalisingly near to the wall where we were watching.

An old Christian (man) came up to tell us he’d seen the kingfisher perched on the railings barely 10 feet away from where we stood. About half an hour ago. While we were out on the rocks on the other side of the beach. Boo, Bum, and Buggeration!

Kingfisher 2 edit

That would have been the Gold Medal Moment.

And the Triple Gold Medal Moment is the kingfisher plunging into the sea and coming up clean with a fish in its mouth. With our cameras locked on, zoomed in, filming it all.

Oh well. There’s always a next time. And a one day.

Birds make you mad. With excitement. With delight.

Illlustrations: Hazel Brown; Words: Ian Nisbet

Long Tailed Tits

Long Tailed Tits.

Three times this winter the garden has been blessed with a fleeting visitation from these fairytale tweeties.

Here is a pic of Long Tailed Tit (enough to warm the sugar in every great grannies teacup)

Long Tailed Tit Feb 2018

Say “Long Tailed Tits”. And then listen to your heart go “Awwwwww”.

Easy winner of the Cutest Birds in The World Award.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet