Sunday, November 02, 2008


Friday 31st October 08

Clobbered I was... ooh yes, by hailstones the size of gobstoppers. Gobstoppers, I say! Ow ow ow owwwwww!!!! And all I was trying to do was enjoy as pleasant seawatch and pick up on some of this diver/phalarope/fly-by Pallas's Warbler action that became a feature of the past couple of days.

I came home from work early... headed out. Chilly, but a flock of 15 Long-tailed Tits, less than annual here, working their way up through the back gardens in St. Michael's Road spoke of migrant promise. Goldcrests were everywhere - at least 9 in Mill Garden alone, and constant peeping - kept the old Pallas's radar online, but without success. I was pishing away at the bushes down the track to the beach and a Great-spotted Woodpecker (just about annual here) popped his head out.

16 Ruddy Turnstones on the beach, then out for a seawatch and I set up my scope to see the hailstorm from hell (a cold icy hell, I guess) approaching fast and hard from the north, and I heard the hailstones pinging off my tripod and off me, and they got bigger and bigger until I hid under my coat and waited for it to ease. When it did, I looked out and my feet were encased in a drift of slushy ice. Out to sea it was a bit crap - a few Northern Gannets bravely ploughing through, and a cowardly Red-throated Diver going south.

After a bit of that, I set off home. Back in St Michael's Road, I heard a familiar call and, looking up, a Bohemian Waxwing was flying over. First of the year, and when I got home and checked BirdGuides it turns out they were pouring in that afternoon. Also when I got home I looked like I'd been playing dodgeball with air pistol pellets.

Sunday 2nd November 08.

Nice day, zero chance of hail. 'Very good' chance of Pallas's but although there were still a few Goldcrests and Coal Tits around, there seemed to be a lot less than a couple of days ago, and it seems as though many birds have scarpered. Mildly amusing things included a Common Reed Bunting in the Knotweed by the burn, and a (the same?) male Common Blackcap inthe elder bushes at Mill Garden. The sea was once again empty, apart from a few gulls messing about. Two Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew up from the Community Park towards Enchanted Garden, and later another one in St.Michael's Road. Pretty swish. As I was walking along the coastal fields (5 Eurasian Skylarks, 2 Meadow Pipits) a female Common Stonechat that popped out unexpectedly onto the wire fence was stubbornly hibernicus rather than maurus, and she smugly introduced me to her mate - a rather saturated hibernicus adult male. No stringy Siberians for me today.


Blyth Birder said...

I got clobbered too on Friday and at the point when I furthest from any cover.

Why does that always happen?

Do the hailstones know?

Martin said...

Even the weather hates me.