Month: December 2018

A Zillion & One Robins

Robins have been just about anywhere and everywhere I’ve walked this Xmas.

The warm mild winter seems to have got them rockin their robin songs out with an extra oomph of gusto.

The little robin is a very gusto-ey kind of bird.
An unstoppable ball of breast-red fire.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Roisterous Rooks

There’s always been plenty of jackdaws jack acking about town.
But where were the rooks.
Time to go have a look.

And here was one, almost immediately.
Sat on a TV aerial at the back end of town.

Rook 2 Dec 2018

He was doing a kind of roiking gurgitation of his gullet (which you can hear on the vid below)

As soon as I got out to the top fields above town, there the rooks were, drilling those long horny beaks into the grass, stabbing up worms.

There’s probably a roost up there somewhere they all congregate in (will have to check it out in the new year)

When I got back home this was happening in the silver birch outside the kitchen window. I ran for the camera.

Rook 3 Dec 2018

Rawking and roistering off it was, in a bit of a flap about something.

Rook 4 Dec 2018

First time I’ve ever seen a rook coming into the centre of town.
Maybe it had come looking for me.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Lambs giving me an earful

Whenever I look at sheep I see something daft going on.

Big eared lambs Dec 2018

With this lot (of long lambs) – its the ears.

Big eared lambs 3 Dec 2018

Sticky up and overly enlarged ears, looking purposely megaphonic.

Wide awake ears, immediately too alert to the merest disturbance, the slightest danger.

Big eared lambs 2 Dec 2018

And yet there is no danger. Just me quietly, unobtrusively, watching them.

Don’t worry you daft apeths – I won’t shoot you with my camera!.

Pics & Words: Ian Nisbet

A couple of Chaffinches

For the last 3 or 4 years a chaffinch, every early summer, has been singing away outside my bedroom window. Day after day, from first thing in the morning through to last thing at night, the chaffinch sings chaffinchly on and on and on.

But he’s too hidden away for me to see (or film)

This vid shows 2 separate instances of chaffinches being spotted.
Once, very visibly, at a friends feeders on Dartmoor: a distinctively coloured adult male.
The second, is of a female filmed up at Tessier Gardens from nearly 2 years ago. Less brightly coloured than the male, and creeping half hidden along the edge of the grass, but no less delightfully (or excitedly) seen.

Filming: Haze Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

Sparras chewin the fat

Sparrows doing what sparrows do.
Squabbling, spit spatting, chirping their chatty heads off.
And chewin the fat (balls)

This is now a few days on from last weeks Major Incident: The Sparrowhawk Visitation.

We’re pretty sure it slaughtered a sparrow. And given how many sparrows are still bouncing about on the feeders, its fairly likely this Sparrowhawk will visit (and kill) again.

But these sparrows don’t appear to have been spooked.
They seemingly don’t mind.
They apparently don’t care.
They’ve probably completely forgotten the murderous devastation that happened to one of their brethren last week.
They bithely blether on. Mindless little pluckers.

Filming: Haze Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

Oystercatcher rootling round the rocks

A Saturday afternoon of squally rain at Babbacombe beach.
But the piddly-pee rain didn’t stop rock pipits pipiting about.
Or oystercatchers rootling the rocks with their preposterous red beaks.

After an hour the rain stopped.
Within 10 minutes the beach was contaminated with dogs and their dogwalkers.
Cue immediate disappearance of rock pipits and oystercatchers.

This vid shows how one little oystercatcher goes about doing his work.

Film & Words: Ian Nisbet

A Sparrowhawk Comes To Feed

Look at what is sitting in the willow as calm and cool as you like

Sparrowhawk 5 Dec 2018

A Sparrowhawk. Yes, I’ll just say that again in capital letters with an excited flurry of exclaimation marks – a SPARROWHAWK!!!!!

Sparrowhawk 6 Dec 2018

A sparrowhawk with a rather full belly.
Because its just hooked, plucked, ripped, and gobbled down a sparrow.

And now its looking over here – straight at you

Sparrowhawk 7 Dec 2018

Directing its fierce piercing gaze towards the back door

Sparrowhawk 8 Dec 2018

What big eyes she’s got this Mississ Sparrowhawk

And now she’s wondering

Sparrowhawk 1 Dec 2018

Who is looking at her. And whats that thing they’re pointing at her.

It was Haze who was pointing the thing (camera).
Filming what this sparrowhawk has been getting up (or getting down) to for the last 20 minutes.

Here is the edited video (with Haze’s commentary) of this extraordinary visitor to her back garden.

Film & Commentary: Haze Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

Footnote (clawed): As there are a glut of sparrows coming into the feeders lately, this sparrowhawk will probably be returning soon for more Xmas dinners.

All you little birdies had better be – Beware!