THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

8 April 2014

GREY WAGTAILS



Ever since we moved up here, almost six years ago, there have been a pair of Grey Wagtails who visit the stream at the bottom of the drive every year. They have eluded my camera until today and, although they are not the greatest pictures I've ever taken, I'm so excited to have captured them at last. Perhaps next time I'll do better. The male is above and below:


I think this is the female hiding amongst the Rhododendron leaves:


The Coal Tit is back for the first time this year - a great day for birds:


Somebody needs a bib:


Somebody is too scared to come to the feeder when I'm at the window:


The Nuthatches always look happier upside down:


Look who we caught in a drawer in the utility room. It had been looking for bedding and shredding cardboard in there. This drawer is the only place we've ever had a rodent problem and it had no fear of us whatsoever, calmly sitting eating Kitkat. 
 

We've had some stunning sunsets recently:



The Easter holidays are in full swing, hence a lack of regular posting. Today OB went to a friend and I was actually able to go for a good walk with the dogs. I saw my first caterpillar of the year; a Drinker Moth I think: 


The dogs were particularly mad and fighty............




A quick break from the action with a gorgeous Meadow Pippet:


Where's Snippet?


Spotted him........


 Calm for a second.........


............but not for long.


I tried the Panorama function on the camera today. Not a great format for blogging but if you click on them you might get a better version. Jack and Snippet are in both but Snip has gone a bit 'Where's Wally' on us:



I had a big blog visiting session today but it's not easy at the moment with the OB's social whirl, so apologies if I'm missing out a bit. I'm trying to fit in my mum as well - I'll talk about that another time. Chronic anxiety is crippling her at the moment and I'm at a loss as to what to do for the best. Anyway, I hope your week is going well and that you all had a great weekend. Until next time, here are those dogs looking ridiculous with their snarly teeth. 


38 comments:

  1. You are very lucky to have grey wagtails! I remember lots of them, and sometimes yellows, from our Yorkshire days. We just seem to have the pied ones here.

    Enjoy your busy Easter holidays. I hope things get easier for your Mum.

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    1. I know of only two pairs around here, both grey, and a whole flock of the pied variety who hang around outside the bakery in Chagford!

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  2. Lovely birds, your Coal Tit looks a little like our Black-capped Chickadee.

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  3. I hope your gorgeous wagtails are better behaved than the black and white ones (pied?). Twice now we've had them messing up the car. They love to look in the wing mirrors! Or maybe they are attacking the adversary they see there.. Either way they leave poo and lots of little scratches behind. It got so bad I ended up wrapping plastic bags around the mirrors.

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    1. The Pied ones are a complete pain I agree. They sometimes appear as rivals to the Magpies in Trigger's field and win every time!

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  4. A mouse eating KitKat.....oh, the irony!
    Jane x

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    1. Why are they not scared of us???? I guess we are the providers of a cosy box filled with chocolate. X

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  5. Lovely photos, as always! Jack looks like he's wearing ill-fitting dentures!!

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  6. The Grey Wagtails are amongst my favourite birds. That sulphur yellow . . . We see them regularly down by the river, and also by the farmyard as there is a stream nearby.

    Great photos of the moor - love the one where the dogs are standing looking into the distance across the dead moor grass and the stones . . .

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    1. They are so pretty aren't they? Much nicer than the yellow ones.

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  7. You're so right about Nuthatches looking happiest upside down! Love the grey wagtails, although I always wonder why they aren't called yellow. I saw one in a hedge here the other day but fudged the photo. I rather liked the panoramic shots :-) x

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    1. My theory is that the Yellow Wagtils were seen and named first and then they saw what are now the Grey ones and had to think quickly with a lack of imagination! X

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  8. Beautiful pics, and that looks like a great dog walk - love that you've captured their enjoyment and play time just perfectly.
    Hope your mum feels better soon, just take one day at a time.
    Xx

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    1. It's a slow process which seems to be getting worse before it gets better; thanks for your good wishes.

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  9. I Love greywagtails Em - it always amuses me that they are so yellow. You did well to capture them so clearly in the photograph. It always pleases me to see just how much pleasure you get from your two dogs.

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    1. Life without the dogs would be hugely less pleasurable Pat. I'm sure you understand.

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  10. it would be nice to comment if google would let me.

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  11. Now that google allows me to post a comment let me say how refreshing it is to get regular updates from Dartmoor. In London the thought of a retiring magpie is laughable, they have no shame at all. Looking forward to seeing some wagtails myself when I can get onto a river. By the way do you use a zoom lens or do you have a digital zoom?

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    1. I have a Fuji bridge camera with a 30x optical zoom. I would rather have an SLR with separate lenses but, because of the pain in my back, I'm just not able to carry anything of any weight. So pleased you enjoy visiting.

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  12. Glad that I don't anything in a drawer eating kit kat's at my house!! xx

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    1. We did mean the KitKat to be there....I realise I may not have made that clear!

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  13. A great set of images Em, especially good to see the Grey wag. Not seen any for a while now, including last year.

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    1. I think they're on the RSPB amber list aren't they Roy?

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  14. A lovely set of photos and well done on capturing the Grey Wagtails - much better that my one and only feeble attempt :)

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  15. The Coal Tit and Magpie are gorgeous as are the beautiful moor shots!

    The dogs certainly do have a grand time in the wild open spaces.

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  16. That's the closest a coal tit has come to the house....ever. Aren't they sweet?

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  17. It's lovely seeing the Grey Wagtails. I haven't seen any for ages and your first shot is a super one. I love the Coal Tit and upside-down-Nuthatch as well! The gorgeous dogs look as full of fun as ever. They do know how to get the most out of being on the moor.
    I hope things improve for your mum.

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    1. I really hope I get some better Wagtail shots at some point but it's a start.

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  18. so many beautiful images. glad you were able to get a photo of the grey wagtails. i always love it when i get a photo of something that's eluded me. enjoy your victory, :) hoping your mom's anxiety settles a bit so you can both find a certain peace. lastly, your dogs look so happy to be outside roaming around and playing. have a great day~

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    1. I got halfway through replying to you yesterday and then blogger crashed. What is going on with them? Perhaps they're picking up on my anxiety!

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  19. Those are wonderful pictures of the birds. I'm glad you have managed to capture your wag tails at long last maybe they will start to get more used to the camera. I loved those panoramic pictures! Sarah x

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    1. Thank you for bothering to make them big enough to look at, assuming you did. I thought about putting them in portrait format but turning your computer on its side probably isn't a good option!

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