Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Penduline Tits...and about time too!

The weather yesterday was foul. It was blowing gale force winds, overcast and at time raining quite heavily. So I was surprised (and somewhat annoyed) to see that the three roving Penduline tits had turned up yet again at Darts Farm near Exeter and to top it all, they were showing well and stayed for more than their usual 20 minutes...in fact they stayed for about an hour-and-a-half! I made the decision there and then that I would give them one more shot, my fifth attempt no less.

Today the weather was much better but would they finally give themselves up? Dave, Andy and myself set off at a rather relaxed 8am departure (as they rarely show much before 11am) and arrived at a much sunnier Darts Farm than on my previous trips of late. Things were already looking up. Shortly after we arrived Dave picked up the Black Brant with several hundred Brents out on the fields and then just after nine someone located the Pendulines in the bulrushes by the fishing pond - they were quite early today. A dash from the hide and everyone had great views as the three birds did what they do best, pull seeds from the heads of the bulrushes. They gradually made their way around in front of the hide and again showed fantastically well. It was so satisfying to finally connect with these charismatic little birds in such great conditions. Got some decent video but photos were more difficult as the Bridge camera tended to hunt for focus. Thankfully Dave and Andy got some decent photos today:

Don't forget - if viewing the video in YouTube you can click on the settings option below the video and select 1080p to see it in its original HD quality. Warning! this doesn't necessarily mean it'll be any better!

Penduline Tits, Darts Farm, Devon: R. Harris

Penduline Tit, Darts Farm, Devon: D. Helliar
Penduline Tit, Darts Farm, Devon: A. Grinter
Penduline Tit, Darts Farm, Devon: D. Helliar
Penduline Tits, Darts Farm, Devon: D. Helliar
Penduline Tit, Darts Farm: R. Harris
Penduline Tit, Darts Farm: R. Harris
Penduline Tit, Darts Farm: R. Harris
After leaving Darts Farm we made a visit to Bowling Green Marsh and managed distant views of the Spotted Redshank along with stunningly close views of some of the more regular species that we all take for granted.

Black-tailed Godwit: Andy Grinter
Wigeon, male: Andy Grinter
Snipe: Andy Grinter
Common Snipe, adult: R. Harris

Redshank and Black-tailed Godwits

Needless to say we were all very happy and satisfied birders today.

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