Month: February 2019

Birdy Bliss at Bowling Green Marsh

Back again to Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham for a 2nd visit.

There are so many birds to see and hear: Little Egret, Grey Heron, Teal, Black Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Song Thrush, Wigeon, Black Headed Gull (also Greenshank and Redshank, Shoveler and Pintail Ducks – I’ll stick them in separate vids)

At the back of the Marsh was a lurking limping fox. None of the birds seemed at all bothered by it (as it wasn’t bothering them)

It was easy, on a bright beautiful Spring day like yesterday was, to feel blissed out on all these birdies.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

An Irate Little Gull

The little gull in question was a black headed gull.

He appeared to be suffering from an excess of testosterone.
Bullying and bossing every other bird that dared enter his personal space; which happened to coincide with the duck feeding area where lots of seed was being thrown.

Was he fighting for feeding rights?
Or was he was wanting to show off his fighting strength and spirit?

Or was he just feeling fed up and browned off by the current calamities of a no-deal Brexit?

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Mandarin Ducks take a bow

Three pairs of mandarin ducks were up at Stover Park yesterday.

Not as ‘wild’ as they would be seen furtively flicking around Hembury Woods next to the Dart river. Here in Stover they seemed in a semi-captive state (although they’re not obviously, because they can take off to wherever they want)

Mandarins do a lot of what looks like ceremonial head bowing. You can tell they’re a non native ‘Oriental’ bird.

The male mandarin is one of the best dressed ducks imaginable. The fine tailoring that has gone into his suit is immaculate, exquisite.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Sparrows are Us

Sparrows cheeky Feb 2019 edit

Around twenty sparrows have taken up residence in my garden. A small urban back garden.

They descend onto a young willow tree where I hang feeders filled with fatballs, which they love!

They bathe in the pond, drink from a little birdbath, whilst other members of this large family chase each other all around the garden which they share with a blackbird, a couple of dunnocks, a beautiful rusty wren and two blackcaps.

Late afternoon, when the light goes, they scoot up into the ivy-clad wall of an old barn to rest.

By morning they are back again, much refreshed and busily chattering and cheeping as loud as can be!

Words & Illustration : Hazel Brown