Places visited

Warren Wonder

A Saturday afternoon on Dawlish Warren.
In just a few hours we were entertained and engrossed by:

Red Darter and Emperor Dragonflies.
Hundreds of Oystercatchers.
Six Barnacle Geese * (on the golf course obstructing play)
Two Little Egrets frisking about together.
A Kestrel hovering.
A flock of Linnets rapid flyover.
A Robin singing any other bird off.
A dainty stepping Mediterranean Gull *.
A Cormorant hanging its wings out to dry.
A Grey Heron preening, prancing, flapping, and flying.

* Barnacle Geese and Mediterranean Gull are new additions to Birder Brown & Birder Nisbets Twitcher Tick List (only another 198 birds/ticks to go)

A veritable bird bonanza is Dawlish Warren.

(Bad) (Mad) Bird watchers: Hazel Brown & Ian Nisbet

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Goodbye Little Swallows

I’ve filmed these swallows from the first day they were born, all of 18 days ago.

But now its about time they left.
They’ve been getting the hurry up call from mom and dad the last few days.

And today they were flitting in and out of the nest, having a little fly onto the nearby rafters.
Won’t be long now.

Update: I walked up early this morning.
They’d all fled, gone.
Goodbye you barely-old-enough-to-be-in-this-world little pluckers.
Hope you make it to Africa.

Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Swallow Chicks about to fledge

The swallow chicks up at the ruined church are at least 2 weeks old now.

Two chicks had already made it out of the nest and were sat on to the ajoining rafters.
The other 3 chicks were all fluffed up and good to go.

And maybe they would have gone but for the sound of blaring bagpipes bunging up their earoles.
They were shrinking back into the nest wondering what the hell was going on.
Poor fings.

Anyway, all 5 chicks (where’s No 6?) may well have flown their nests tomorrow.
I might nip up early morning to see if they’ve gone.

Filming,Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Swallow chicks with wings

The swallow chicks up at the ruined church are now about 10 days old.

Still with those white yappery zipped mushes.
But with wings becoming more visible, prominent.
They’re distinctly more swallow-like than muppet-like now.

By the end of this week they may well have fledged the nest. Hopefully the 3 you see in this vid, and the 3 in the other nest, will have made it up into air where they truly belong.

Filming & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Swallow chicks in the ruined church

Up at the entrance to the ruined church on the hill last Sunday I found a pair of swallows nests.
I’ve been up several times since to see the (7) chicks first week of life.

I’ve mostly watched the nest nearest the front porch that was most visible and filmable. On my last visit one chick had fallen out of this nest (or was knocked out) and lay splat on the flagstones underneath.

The 2 sets of parents were swallow-diving in just about every minute with insects caught on the wing.

First time I’ve ever filmed swallows. First time I’ve ever filmed chicks of any bird in a nest being fed. Enthralling.

Words & Vid: Ian Nisbet

Skylark Inspiration

Skylark May 2018 edit

As we left the beach on Dawlish Warren, walked up onto the Bight, the incessant trilling and fluting song of the skylarks filled the air around us.

Dropping down into a small open hollow, we lay ourselves down on the mossy scrubland and gazed up into the bluest of skies, where we soon saw and heard skylarks on the wing, high above our heads.

We watched them fall out of the sky, dropping down, still singing, wings flapping as they dived … then seeming to stop in mid air, hovering for several seconds, the song louder now, they gently glided to the ground.

One’s and two’s perched on dead stalks and twiggy shrubs to give a magnificent performance of full song.

This exhibition of sky diving accompanied by their amazing songs continued for another two hours! A great day out!

Illustration & Text: Hazel Brown