Jackdaws settling for bed

Jackdaws are back. Been back a few weeks now.
At least 200. Maybe 300.

Around 40 sit in the silver birch, getting themselves settled for bed.
Not wanting to go to bed too soon.
Waiting. Preening. Sitting and waiting. Cleaning. Chattering.

I was waiting too. For them all to take off, in a big flyover flock off around the town.

But that didn’t happen tonight.
They peeled off the birch in ones and twos.
To rocket into their roost.
The car park behind us is where they sleep.
All 200/300 of them.
Barely a stones throw from my bedroom window.

Not that I would throw a stone at them of course.
(when they wake me up at the crack of dawn)

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Anstey’s Cove

Only 10 mins down the road by car.
Deckchairs and sunloungers for hire overlook the cosy cove.
A cafe being busy.

We’ve clambered down to Redgate beach.
Paddle boarders are slow brushing the sea flat.
And here come kayakers twintubbing in tandem.
Jarring jet skis are, thankfully, ripping the seas skin off far enough away.

The tide gently waves its way towards our laps.
A chance to dip in some toesies.
The water is warm, clear, and calm.
We can inch further in up to our ankles, our knees, the tops of our legs.
Might sit down in this nice sea and splash about with arms next time.

Got to go clamber climb those jagged rocks again.
Haze has quick scarpered up to the top.
(Like one of them Blonde Babbacombian Mountain Goats)

There’s cones of cool ice cream waiting for us in that cafe.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet

Magpie Malarkey

Magpies are daily visitors to the bird table in the back garden.

Antagonistic birds.
Annoying birds.
Aggravating birds.
Malarking about birds.
‘Badboy’ birds.

Birds wiv attitude.
Birds who don’t take no for an answer.

Magpies and jackdaws don’t get on.
(if the vid below is anything to go by)

Actually, magpies don’t seem to get on with anybody.

Except themselves.

Vid: Ian Nisbet; Filming: Hazel Brown

To The Hackney Marshes

Out for an amble in Newton Abbot this Saturday afternoon.

Setting off from the Passage House Inn in a westerly direction.
The river Teign has narrowed into various tiny tributaries and small streams.

And here we’ve come, quite unexpectedly, upon The Hackney Marshes.
Sounds like something out of a Victorian crime novel.

Lots of tall reed and murky marsh to find soggy life (or death) in.

Further on is thick hedgerow teeming with bird.

We walk along the back end of the racecourse towards Newton Abbot Quay.
Incredibly, I’ve only just recently found out that Newton Abbot has a quay.
It’s not much of a quay admittedly. But you could possibly sail a small boat up from the sea on an incoming tide.

We’ve gobbled our banana cheesecake next to the long overhang bridge.
Just a few yards away these rabbits are gobbling away too.

Rabbits on Teign Estuary

A slow saunter back with our nosey noticing eyes switched full on.
A white bottomed bee has fallen onto the path exhausted. So we help him onto the grass verge out of harms way.
This comma butterfly was having an afternoon nap too.

Comma June 24th 2017

We’ve daydreamed our way on. Here’s the Hackney Marshes again.
But we’ve gone a bit lost.
Never mind. All adds to the intrigue.

If you want to feel like a dubious character (preferably in a Victorian crime novel), get yourself lost in the Hackney Marshes for a bit.
Wear a top hat. Adorn a cape.
Mutter indecipherable conundrums to yourself.

Carry a shotgun.

From Tidpiddlies to Froglets

Once they were tadpoles – now they are frogs.

Out of about 50 tidpiddlies added to garden pond in late April around 2 dozen have turned into froglets.

Took them about 7 weeks to transform.

!Update!: The froglets have disappeared from the pond.

Did last weeks heatwave do for them?
Have they all been gobbled up by predatory birds?
Or have they cleverly dispersed to find food elsewhere?

Wherever they’ve gone, lets hope one comes back.

As a fully frogged frog.

To gobble up slugs.

Vid: Ian Nisbet; Filming: Hazel Brown

Strange Sightings No 1

Elberry Cove June 2017

What is this strange lady up to?
Where on earth is she?

Has she been deposited onto a load of gravelly shingle in error?
Has she become totally inert by choice or as a result of peculiar circumstance?

Is she prone to lapses in cognitive functioning?
Will she be able to ever get up and walk again?

Is she auditioning for a lie-down part in a Samuel Beckett play?

Has she fallen to earth from the Planet Blog?
Is she still breathing?

Is she, er, enjoying herself?

Answers on a postcard to:
The Strange Sightings Project,
Elberry Cove,
Avoiding the Jetski’s
Near to the Mermaids