Places visited

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

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Mini Mushroom Marvels

I walked up to the cliffs this sunny Saturday afternoon looking for birds

And instead found mini mushrooms

Mushrooms 3 Oct 2018

They looked harmless enough (to pick and eat)

Mushrooms 6 Oct 2018

But of course when you don’t know its best not to take the risk

Mushrooms 4 Oct 2018

They were sprouted around the woody bracken in hidden clusters

Mushrooms 5 Oct 2018

Around the bread and cheese trees I could hear (but not see) what sounded suspiciously like goldfinches

Mushrooms 7 Oct 2018

Picking off the haws and berries.

None of these mini mushroom marvels looked like they were going to be eaten by bird or beast (or me)

Seemingly tasked to be stood there as pointy hatted pixie dwellings. Faerie shelters in case of rain.

Mushrooms 8 Oct 2018

Decoy Ducks et al

Decoy Park: home this early Friday evening to Coots, Moorhens, Tufted Ducks, a (juvenile) Greylag Goose.
Also swans, (not on vid) black headed gulls (partially on vid), mallards (only vaguely on vid)
Plus shrieking gulls and screeching girls (thankfully both gulls and girls edited out of vid)

I was hoping to see the Great Crested Grebe apparently seen here a few days ago. But no luck.
All that shrieking and screeching made it scarper. Go fly off for a bit of peace and quiet somewhere else.

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

In Pursuit of a Funny Gull

Med Gull Sept 15th 2018

This is the Mediterranean Gull we were seeing on Institute beach last Saturday afternoon.
Making funny, as in odd, squawks…. like a wind-up bird with a squeaky beak….

How interesting we thought ….. why’s it crying? …. it seems distressed…. – look! …. its disappearing over there by the rocks …… following its mother….

Haze was soon in hot pursuit….. took 2 steps up onto the rocks…..

…….and the rest is history……..

Don’t think we’ll be having too many positive associations with Mediterranean Gulls for a while….

And if this one should ever reappear……I’ll…..I’ll…… shake….. it…… by…..  its……

Words & Pic: Ian Nisbet

Afterword: That might be us done as far as Institute Beach is concerned…. a place of fond …. and not so fond memories……