Friday, 14 November 2014

Showers in the South Hams

Guess who's had a good few days? Me that's who.

Below - one of at least two firecrests at Slapton Ley today (one seen - kinda)


On Tuesday I was out at Prawle looking at beach communities. It was rainy!

The beach was a gently sloping rocky shore, and - since I had forgotten to bring my bins - I got to grips with some serious invert I.D.

The warmer site, low wave impact and location beside the channel resulted in a really diverse community. Highlights for me included the gorgeous little by-the-wind-sailors (below) which had washed up along the strandline, and a pool full of invasive snakelocks anemone.

Cthalamus montaguii

Obelia genticulata, a hydrozoan colony

Snakelocks anemone, Anemonia viridis, and Cladophora rupestris

Amazingly coloured periwinkles, Littorina

By-the-wind-sailor, Vellela vellela
This week I have been doing the starling counts for Dennis; a local birder who is now sunning himself in the USA. So on Wednesday and Thursday I was up at 6:30 to get down to the reserve. Early mornings at Slapton are amazing, and this week I have been rewarded with two firecrests, 3 peregrines, a super late swallow, a bittern and over 45000 starlings.

TBH, I've been cheating with the firecrests, after Nick told me that there'd been an individual heard, I stuck on the tape and lured them to the camera; but I couldn't get a clear shot even then.

More importantly, I've managed to hit all my target species for the 3 weeks, and I still have a week in hand - time to get in some south coast seawatching!

Wooo! Firecrest!

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