Monday, 17 August 2009

Three foot bird

On Sunday, whilst pootling around (actually cleaning, but there you go...) in the house, I was rudely brought to my senses by a series of cries of horror from the garden. On investigation, the source of the catastrophe was not, in fact, my affianced having her leg raped by the neighbour's dog, nor the discovery of a particularly large spider on her clothing; it was, in fact, a three foot Blue Tit. Lest you think that the countryside of deepest Devon is infested with giant birds, I hasten to add that it was, in fact, even more exciting - a bird with three feet... As can be seen below:

Immature Blue Tit with three legs. The inner right leg - for want of a better description - is wasted and effectively dead tissue. Doesn't seem to hamper it, though presumably it won't live all that long.

In a more traditional, yet far less exciting manner, here are some more random photos of recent sightings during work (mainly in north and west Devon these past couple of weeks):

Some species of caterpillar - yet again. Currently awaits identification, like a whole swathe of similar pictures from the summer. Perhaps I'll have more time to ID them come the winter. Or perhaps not...!


Reed Warbler. A bird of the year at Slapton

Emperor moth caterpillar. Woodbury Common. The first of these monster caterpillars that I've found, mainly for want of searching, I suppose.

Male Keeled Skimmer. Woodbury Common.
Nightjar pullus. One of a brood ringed recently near Exeter and re-found on a repeat nest record visit. Hopefully winging it's way off towards Africa now... They are absolutely corking birds!

White hart in the making. This animal was distinctly interesting. A brief sighting one day on a soggy mid-Devon moorland was exciting enough; I've never seen a wild 'white hart', even if this is only a youngster and perhaps the wrong sex! The following day I bumped into it again, almost literally, when it showed itself in the middle of a patch of mire. Some careful stalking was entirely pointless, as it's eyesight appears to be very poor, and I ws able to walk almost to touching distance before deciding enough was enough...

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