Author: hazelbrowniannisbet

A Pair of Nutters

These are not Hazey Daze Cafe birds, but filmed from the feeders of friends (who live on Dartmoor)

There are a pair of great spotted woodpeckers (the male can be distinguished by a big red spot on the back of his head)

And a nuthatch doing its unmistakable upside down ‘nutty’ nutting

(blue and great tits are also flitting in and out)

Filming: Haze Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

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The Old Raven of Babbacombe Bay

This old raven was waiting for me to arrive at Babbacombe bay this afternoon.

Old Raven of Babbacombe Dec 2018

Seemingly too weary and worn out to fly.
He showed no inclination to take to the air or join all the other ravens kronking in and out of the tall clifftop trees.

Simply sat around all afternoon, tamely watching and waiting.
(although he did rob a couple of crows of a seabird they’d just killed – and proceeded to neatly rip and tear it to bits)

As it got dark the old chap hopped up into the nearest lowest branches he could find, in readiness for roosting for the night.

He will probably be there again this Sunday morning.

The old raven of Babbacombe Bay. You can’t miss him.
He’ll be sat on the seawall.
Waiting for ships (or chips) to turn up.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Rat with crow pecked eyes

I interrupted a crow pecking a rats eyes out yesterday.

Dead rat 1 Nov 2018

Still in tact. Must have been caught and killed only moments ago.

Dead rat 11 Nov 2018

I lifted it up (on the end of my brolly) and positioned it ontop of a fence post

Dead rat 5 Nov 2018

It was quite neat looking, and for a rat, surprisingly clean and tidy.

It had dapper little white front feet and bigger back feet splayed out either side like fat hands.

Dead rat 7 Nov 2018

And sharp pointy ratty teeth.

Dead rat 8 Nov 2018

Measured from the top of its snout to the tip of its extraordinary long tail it was close to 2 feet in length.

Dead rat 10 Nov 2018

A large brown rat. Some might even say huge. But not unduly alarming. Well, it was dead. I don’t suppose you’d want it scuttling towards you just jumped out of a sewage drain.

The crow would be back in a minute. To rip open the guts.

Turnstones (er, turning stones)

I was down on the beach at Corbyn Head not expecting much.

But there they were, a little gang of turnstones, doing exactly what it says on their tins: turning stones.

For such a small bird, turnstones certainly punch well above their weight (and size) They’ve been tracked migrating huge distances: more than 16,000 miles from Australia to the Arctic and back again.

And from the evidence of what I was seeing yesterday, their stone turning is almost at the level of an Olympic sport.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Canada Geese Invasion

Queens Marsh at Dartington is being (re) created into a biodiverse wetland habitat: attractive for wading birds, fish, dragonflies, bats, maybe even otters.

Unfortunately, its proving to be a bit too attractive to birds that are fast becoming something of a pest in the UK: Canada Geese.

There were 200 or more grazing the grass and pulling plants out of the ponds when I was there yesterday afternoon.

A conservation attempt in the summer to seed several reed beds failed, due to all these marauding, devouring, Canada Geese.

It looked like the Pests Geese had invaded and totally taken over the Marshes.
Whats to be done? Corralling? Culling? Sending back to Canada?

Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet