Month: May 2018

Heart Urchin

We picked this up on Dawlish Warren sands.

Heart Urchin 2 May 2018

No idea what it was. Small, fragile, delicate. Intriguing.

Turns out its a ‘Heart Urchin’. Or to give it its more prosaic name ‘sea potato’.

Here’s an heart urchin still alive.

Heart Urchin

And looking kind of ‘urchin-like’ in that picture.

The paper-thin casing (we found) is what remains of the heart urchin in its ‘test’ form.

There were dozens of them on the beach. Casualities of the storms that blew across the Bay back in March possibly.

We collected 3, but 2 didn’t survive the vagaries of my trouser pocket and were crushed into fine particles.

This one, fortunately still in tact, sits on the windowsill in Haze’s kitchen.

Heart Urchin 3 May 2018

(PS: The stitch-like threading vaguely reminds me of the American softballs my mom used to sow together back in the 70’s)

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Skylarking on Dawlish Warren

Laid out flat on our backs on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the middle of the Bight on Dawlish Warren, watching and filming skylarks.

This one obligingly stood on a stalk

Skylark 4 May 2018

And from about 50 feet away, let us film him singing

Skylark 2 May 2018

We pointed cameras up at the skylarks as they sang high above us, vainly attempting to follow them as they fell out the sky; but couldn’t get clear film of the exhiliration we were seeing.

We stuck at it all sunny afternoon long. Stayed still, stayed patient, as one after another of these skylarking skylarkers came flying and falling onto the scrubby buddleia bushes around where we lay.

Enthralling. Utterly delightful.

Skylarking: Hazel Brown & Ian Nisbet

Dawlish Ducks & Geese

Wot a lot of ducks Dawlish got.

They got white Call Ducks

Call Ducks May 6th 2018

They got little white Crested Ducks

Crested Duck May 6th 2018

(alternative daft names for this duck are required)

They got a little White Faced Whistling Duck

Seen here checking his nadgers.

Whistling Duck May 6th 2018

No he wasn’t. He was having a little think.

And here he is jumping for JOY!

Whistling Duck 2 May 6th 2018

Well it was the sort of sunny spring afternoon to be joyful about.

Here is an outrageously attired Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck May 6th 2018

Trying to have a bit of a Sunday afternoon snooze

And here is The Great Crusted Tuft

Great Crusted Tuft May 6th 2018

Sneakily looking at the Chinese Geese from under that rather swish hat.

And that was happily that. Out of the two dozen or so types of water fowl waddling around Dawlish, 11 were captured by our cameras. And stuck in this film below.

Ducksch and Geesch are fluffy schweeties so they are.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Reed Warbler on Slapton Ley

There the warbler was, on his reed, chattering away.

I could only hear him. Luckily, Haze could also see him; she zoomed right in with camera.
The little chap gave us 2 minutes of its reedy warbling.

Haze says: ‘I want the film to be posted ‘as is’ onto the blog’.

So here it is. As is.
A precious reed warbler.
As was.

Rapt Attention: Hazel Brown
Rapturous Singing: Mr Reed Warbler
Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Clacking The Cloaca

Clacking the Cloaca. Or possibly Cocoaing the Choccy.

Its what them naughty dunnocks have been doing rather a lot of the last couple of weeks.
Mrs D rumps up her bottie. Mr D pecks at, or out,  her choccy cocoa. Making sure he’s extracted any other Mr D’s errant seed.

He dances about behind her doing his Choccy Cha Cha.
Then – bump! – he clacks her cloaca.

Takes a fraction of a second to do the deed.

To make sure she’s got his choccy he has to chase the wench around and clack her again. And again. And again.

Sex mad these durty dunnocks.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet