My very non-serious, nonsensical, non-pc and only occasionally heartfelt, rantings and ramblings about the stuff I see around God's own county. If you found this blog hoping to discover a strange animal roaming around the Sussex countryside, well done, you found me.
Drove through Balcombe on Sunday having forgotten that it's become a centre of media attention due to fracking taking place there, and so, naturally Rent-A-Tramp have moved in to 'protest' at something or other and take a shit on the verges. Once past the large number of Police officers who are forced to be present, when they'd probably much rather be anywhere else, there would appear to be the usual selection of hippy/hobo blokes who all look the bloody same...unwashed dreadlocks and dirty clothes, possibly called Moonbase Alpha, Swamp Pig, Tunnel Twat etc, along with several heavily tattooed women called Derek, who decided to become lesbians when they realised they were too effing ugly to ever get a boyfriend. At least that's how it appeared to me, as I drove past quite quickly with the windows wound up. Its a shame for local people anywhere, that any realistic chance of having a protest listened to is pretty much ruined by the protestors themselves. Same thing wherever these workshy gits turn up, with their apparent aversion to soap, shoes made out of driftwood and birch bark underpants....
Found the most beautiful pair of walking stick handles...but unfortunately they were still alive and ran off.
And when you do get lucky, it's a flippin' doe...Doh!
Though even if it was a buck, Fallow antlers make ridiculous walking sticks,
but are brilliant as ornate coat hooks. I think it's why god invented them.
Deer that is, not walking sticks. It's pretty much common knowledge that wooden coat hooks and walking sticks were invented by Jesus as part of his carpentry apprenticeship.
Currently a huge invasion of rare Crossbills into Western Europe and a decent influx arriving up and down the east coast of Britain. Surely one of the most important and significant things for a Records Commitees to consider when assessing submissions. Depending on where you live of course....!
On the road bright and early this morning to go and conduct another vigil in a Sussex field trying to find out what the hell the Honey Buzzards are playing at this year. In a spot where we've regularly had at least five, and possibly seven summering birds for the last few years, this year is looking rubbish. There would appear to be just one pair this year, and I personally have yet to see the male, although Andrew and Ian saw him two weeks ago. We had a nice close view of the female for about five minutes, last Saturday, and that was it...not much to show for six hours of looking, but that is quite often the norm. This morning I again had the female for about a minute at 08.55 and that was it. So still no real idea of what's going on.
A flock of twenty or so Wood Pigeons bursting out of a wood drew my attention and I watched a juv female Goshawk powering through them, but not making any attempt to grab one. I watched a young male do the same thing last week. It climbed to a great height and then stooped, just like a Peregrine, straight through a group of four or five Pigeons, again without making a grab for any of them. It looked as if they were practising or even playing. Whereas this is a lovely idea, I guess the truth is slightly more sobering, in that as they've probably not developed their ambushing skills to any great extent, they are hungry and getting desperate to kill. Starvation is always a very real risk to young raptors, and probably accounts for a lot of the mortality rate in their first year.
All in all not a bad morning watching, but the best was a female Purple Emperor flying round, investigating a big Sallow behind me between 11.00 and 11.30. The first I 've seen here.
1 Honey Buzzard fem.
1 Goshawk juv. fem.
4 Common Buzzard
2 Red Kite
6 Crossbills being away from my local patch, they coulda been Common, coulda been Parrot, who the f**k knows?
1 Purple Emperor fem.
This is the first list I've done on a blog, should I write 'ex.' after each one?
Does anyone know what 'ex' bloody means?
75% of the Long-winged Maggot Muncher watch group last Saturday.
Six hours, 30 degree heat, no shade, one five minute view.
You can see from Ian's face that the excitement was all too much!
A peculiar and disappointing year this this year. It started well with displaying over the nestwood in March. Actually had five in the air together one morning, the three intruders being seen off very quickly by the resident pair. I couldn't find a new nest this year, and it looked like the nest from 2011 was going to be used. It had been added to in size and there were a few feathers around the top...both good signs.
During an early season visit both birds were flying around the wood and calling to one another, which again was a positive sign. Slightly disturbing was the discovery in some trees near the nest, of the most bizarre thing I've ever found. It was like something out of the Blair Witch Project. Someone had cut turfs and made a bed, with a pine bower over the top, and laid out the bones of a deer into the vague shape of a human skeleton... very weird to say the least!
Possibly some twatty forester's idea of a joke, or part of a satanic ritual. I'm not really bothered which, but why next to my nest? Of all the places weirdos can do stuff, they always do it near where I want to be. I found a Nightjar day roost on Ashdown a few years ago. I took a couple of pics and returned the next day to take more. When I got there I found a massive fat girl tossing off an old man, right where the bloody Nightjar had been. Anyway........long story short. a subsequent visit to the Gos nest later on in the season to count the chicks, was fruitless. They'd not used the nest. Whether they were disturbed by nearby tree felling or by Satanists, I don't know. It's not all doom and gloom though, as a week or so ago I had an evening walk and heard one juvenile calling, though I couldn't see it. So they nested somewhere thereabouts and raised at least one youngster, making at least thirteen fledged in the last five years. A second pair a couple of miles or so away have also fledged at least two youngsters, a male and a female. Looking good for next year so far.
Hmm...where to start, how to start?
The world and his brother seem to be doing this , so I thought I'd do one too. Just gotta find something to post about now. I don't want to do what a lot of folk are doing, namely listing every single thing they see, every time they leave the house. Endless lists of Whitethroats, Buzzards, semi-tame bloody Grey Partridges etc etc...Jeez! Nor do I want to post 50 pictures of the same common bird without any explanation as to why. So what am I going to post? No real ideas yet to be honest. Some Goshawk stuff now and again I suppose, coz that's what I do for a few weeks of the year, rares and scarcities of any flora and fauna, some pictures of mates and other local birding characters I bump into, and stuff that interests me, and hopefully others too. Postings are likely to be sporadic as I don't do anything that exciting very often, but let's give it a go.