Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Monday, 19 January 2015

A Devon Dumpling...

I have to admit, I had reservations about going to see this one. Although very tame (as they almost invariably are) I had a feeling this bird had seen more than it's fair share of people over the last week and was hesitant about adding to the circus. With absolutely nothing else around and the prospect of continuing on to Dawlish Warren to try and find the elusive Bonaparte's gull, Dave Helliar and I decided to take a look and see how busy it was. Well, we were amazed! Considering it was a sunny, clear, beautiful winter's day there was only one other person who had been watching it when we arrived and they were just leaving? We sat on the sea wall at a distance and sure enough it started making its way towards us coming to within about 12-15 ft. Plenty close enough to get good pics and some film of it.

Snow Bunting, male: Dave Helliar
Snow Bunting, male: Dave Helliar
Snow Bunting, male: Dave Helliar
Snow Bunting, male: Dave Helliar
Snow Bunting: R. Harris

Male Snow Bunting, Powderham, Devon: R. Harris

We had it all to ourselves for 20 minutes. A few interested walkers asked what we were looking at, including a couple who were really pleased they'd stopped and asked - made their day seeing it. As they left they even asked where they should walk so as not to disturb it! Lovely people. Then came a photographer or two. Straight away one had to walk 10ft closer than the rest of us...why? And so the chase ensued. The Snow Bunting stopped feeding and hastily made its way along the wall until it was 40+ ft away and down onto the tide line. With that Dave and I departed before the red mist descended.

By the time we reached the car the road was in chaos. Closure of the main road through Powderham meant that everything had been diverted along Church Lane and it was stacked with traffic. We decided there and then to turn around and head back to Aylesbeare Common to see if we could chance upon the Great Grey Shrike which hasn't been seen for a while. No luck with that but a beautiful day for walking the common and picked up a single Siskin, at least 4 Coal Tits and a few Stonechats.

Stonechat: R. Harris

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