Birds Urban

Grey Wagtails on the Mardle

The little river Mardle. The babbling brook that runs through Buckfastleigh.

I’ve seen Goosanders, Mandarin Ducks, Muscovy Ducks, floating upstream into it from the river Dart.

And in the last couple of weeks, Grey Wagtails; wibbling and waggling around.

I love how these wagtails suddenly shoot up above the water, twisting and turning in mid-air like tail-spinning acrobats.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet


Mistle Thrushes Worming

Flying down from the tall beeches to worm-whisper the grass. And then flying back into the beeches with a beakful of chopped worm. Were these Mistles Thrushes.

Mistle thrushes are bigger, with greyer silver feathers than Song Thrushes.

Expert wormers they are when compared to the fruitless (or wormless) efforts of the clumsy magpies nearby.

Just stop and think about this for a minute: in the car crazy centre of Torquay near Upton Park, amidst the noisy din of the exhaust-fumed traffic, are these Mistle Thrushes. Going about their beautiful business.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

A pair of great tits ‘teachering’

A walk down the river Lemon yesterday to see, and hear, 2 great tits in rapid fire rivalry with one another. Lots of agitated wing flashing and persistent calling back and forth going on.

You hear great tits just about everywhere you go, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen them close up doing their ‘teacher teacher teachering’.

After 2 weeks of total inertia (following major eye surgery) it was good to be back doing a spot of ‘birding’again.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

A Tall Turkey Twizzler

A walk into the back end of Ela Woods got me onto pasture dotted in grazing sheep and honking geese.
Following the geese up the rutted path lead me to a farmyard choka with chickens, ducks – and tall turkeys.

One tall turkey twizzler decided to come down to the gate to see what I’d got to offer.
Er, I got nothing for you, Mr Wattle.
Go and stuff yourself somewhere else – you greedy gobbler!
(Don’t think this turkey is going to be ticked off our birder twitchlist)

Walk, Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet