Friday, 10 October 2008

I love a good tart

As a newish birder from a northern county, the range restricted species of the south west were pretty appealing as i had none on my list pretty much. Back to the hostel...

Woke up to the smell of meaty farts as 2 men with digestive eastern promise quickly polluted the surroundings. A quick escape was called for and by 7 we were on our way to a top secret location for some Cyril Buntings. First all we heard were Chiffchaff and Siskin but gradually we saw some birds and working the ploughed field by a distant hedgerow were up to 15 Cirls. Lifer. A few were males in good plumage and they provided a bigger thrill than the Yammer lookylikey fems and juvs.

A quickstep to Exminster marshes saw the addition of Little Egret to the trip list but this wasnt why we were here. I needed Cetti's Warbler (oh the shame). All the usual spots Marcus gave failed and it was only a distant explosion as we walked the canal bank that gave a bird away. Repeated traipsing past a bush gave rubbish views of the bird after it exploded (into song!)randomly but enough to be sure of its ID - being the bird that was singing. Trying to conjure up an Osprey proved fruitless and an bar a Black-tailed Godwit Bowling Green Marsh was too.

Our last stop was at Aylesbeare Common for a Dartford Warbler or 4. We got there eventually, the god of SATNAV is rubbish, and immediately got onto the birds we wanted but the views were fleeting. After half an hour we both saw adult and juv and Marcus took some shots of a juv that showed beautifully. It was time to head back.

3 Tarts down. Many more to go. This was an incredible journey/decision/effort/experience and hopefully one to be repeated. Aside traffic issues we were done. Next stop Yorkshire.

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive