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

9 May 2014

FIRST FLEDGLING


I can't believe this is the first fledgling I've seen; I've heard them shrieking in the trees, but seen none until this little sparrow today:








There have been a lot of wide open beaks today.






 






The Woodpecker is getting more brave about coming close to the window.


Even daring to turn his back on me:



The sun came out this evening. Everything looks better in the sun.



Earlier today I went looking for Orchids in the marsh AGAIN. Still no Orchids but ponies instead. Will:



Frisky colts:




And a new half sibling for foal number 3 (above right). What a little sweetie. Won't be easy to identify but, given that number three is STILL never far from his mum, this one might be the same. It is very, very tiny:



I noticed these red marks on a wall ladder, which set alarm bells ringing. A near neighbour said they had heard the organisers of the Ten Tors Challenge (see: http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/ten_tors.htm for info) were considering using Kestor as a checkpoint. It has never been used before and the news was greeted with alarm from the few residents close by, us included. 


As I approached the rocks, my fears were realised; there was an army tent pitched and, nearing home, military helicopters were in evidence and support vehicles appearing. The lane which leads to our tiny hamlet is very narrow and is not designed to carry the kind of traffic that will inevitably appear over the next two days as adoring parents realise their offspring will be checking in at a rare point with vehicular access of any kind. We don't have the parking here and the moor will be damaged by cars parking where they shouldn't. I don't want to pour cold water on what is a fantastic event but it seems to be a victim of its own success, with more and more teams participating every year. Helicopters have continued to fly over this afternoon and M tells me there is now what looks like a full field kitchen and medical centre parked on the main path up the hill. A lovely friend is driving me to Totnes tomorrow so I'll be out of the way, but will try and get some photos of the event when I get home or on Sunday. 


So, until next time, have a great weekend and think of those teams of teenagers trudging over Dartmoor.....rain is forecast! Here are my two lovely boys, who won;t be getting their usual walks as we will be living in Piccadilly Circus for the next two days. 



49 comments:

  1. Lovely shots of all the birds Em. How brave is your GSW?! Ours is off at the merest hint of a human inside the house :-)

    I know what you mean about quiet areas getting an influx of people. I would feel grumpy too. x

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    1. Funnily enough it's the TA members who are annoying us blocking the road and not even acknowledging our existence. M had to wait for five minutes in the road while two of them had a conversation. Grrrr.

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  2. I feel pretty much the same when the tourists arrive in the summer.
    The bird restaurant was busy today!
    Jane x

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    1. I'm not absolutely sure where you are - I know it looks beautiful, but I didn't realise you were inundated with visitors. I would LOVE to visit Canada.

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    2. We are in Ontario,an area called Kawartha Lakes...boating/camping/and visiting 'the cottage' are summer activities. In the winter,skiing, skating,snowshoeing and tubing are popular.
      Jane x
      PS I wouldn't moan if you visited,though!

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  3. loving Woolly Snippet :-D

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    1. It's only a few weeks since I clipped him and you'd never know!

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  4. I am sorry to hear about the event about to invade your moor. Have your local officials objected?
    My tiny township has so many events come through and we are close to helpless to regulate them. The trustees have been successful at banning some and making others clean up after themselves. But our residents land and 600 residents are swarmed and helpless against most. I wish you the best.

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    1. It was all done so quickly and the decision must have been made very last minute, so no one has had a chance to object. The Ten Tors event has kind of untouchable status so I think objecting beforehand would go down badly! There are only five full time households affected by this, so I don't think our concerns would have been listened to anyway. We'll see how much litter they leave and complain then!

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  5. I hope that you don't get too invaded and that there are no problems with the event. Great to see all of your bird photos, the little fledgling is a brave and cute little fellow! Hope that your weekend is OK - well, I hope that it is good, but with all that will be going on I hope that it is at least OK! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy.....fingers are crossed here.

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  6. Oh, good luck with the Ten Tors. The weather forecast for tomorrow is appalling.
    And those birds really do need to learn table manners!

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    1. It's pretty horrible! It's the wind that's so awful; the leaves are flying off the beech trees that have them!

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  7. I love, love, love the horse photos!

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    1. It's so great to see their wild antics.

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    2. And welcome by the way! Sorry!

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  8. I love the little mouths open. So very sweet.
    The foals are so darling, inquisitive but not far from mum.
    And speaking of Mum's ...
    Happy Mothers Day from America.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. How interesting....ours is back in March. Our Fathers' day is in June....I wonder when yours is?

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  9. Glad you're off for the day... Yep my little garden's full of fledglings too... 2 robin, 3 blackbird, 2 blue tit and I've no idea how many sparrows... Have a great trip Em... wet and windy here... Cx

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    1. It was a lovely break and I even found some bargains in the charity shops!

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  10. Its great to see the fledglings starting to arrive - your GSW's are much braver than ours!!!! Enjoy your trip and I hope the event doesn't cause any problems.

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    1. We have two pairs of GSW's and one of the males is significantly bigger than the other. It's the bigger one who is the braver of the two. The females are obviously VERY busy as I haven't seen them for weeks!

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  11. Great bird photos although I must admit I love the Woodpeckers!

    Love the foals. Surprised #3 was chestnut with no white.

    Hopefully the Moor and you will survive the invasion. Poor Snippet and Jack not being able to have their run on the Moor.

    Happy Mother's day from across the pond!

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    1. You too Gail. AS I said to Parsnip, we have ours in March!

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  12. looks to be so many happy birds... their eating to their content. love the foal pics in this and the post below. i especially enjoyed the busy tail of the foal in the post below. he was a cutie... have a great day~

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  13. Hi, Em, thanks for sharing these photos, I love the birds and the ponies are so adorable!! I haven't seen this year baby sparrows yet, but I've seen a baby blackibird with daddy looking for dinner in the grass ;)
    By the way, I've added the followers button to my blog, as you suggested, so now it's possible to follow me :)

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  14. I love your GSW photos. Ours is gone in a flash if we try to photograph him/her through the window.

    Sorry for the intrusion you are having from the Ten Tors ( and also sorry for the youngsters sleeping out under canvas in this weather!). In the New Forest we have huge invasions of road cyclists some weekends. The place turns into a cycle race track and heaven help the locals or the NF ponies out in the lanes......

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    1. I bet you do! Actually, it turned out to be fine. The main tracks are ruined but they'll recover eventually.

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  15. "Wilderness" is only wilderness, when it isn't invaded by huge numbers of people in areas not designed to take them . . . Poor sods camping out in this weather (it's colder here today than it was in March) and we've had a LOT of rain these past few days, so if you have too, it will be very wet underfoot.

    Great bird photos and the colts "playing" together. Enjoy Totnes.

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    1. It's been awful for them - hot in the sun then tipping down with freezing rain and high winds. Coat on.....coat off......coat on....

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  16. Fantastic images of all you garden birds, I love seeing them as I have hardly any that I can capture. Although I'm not comparing the wilderness and beauty of Dartmoor with Berry Head, I can understand how you feel. We are lucky enough to have it to ourselves most of the year but high summer sees almost too many people, children and dogs trampling over the delicate areas, dropping litter and letting their dogs run amock near the Soay sheep.

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    1. It's so infuriating and a difficult balance between accessibility, which I'm all for, and being trashed!

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  17. Hi Em....
    Great shots of the birds...
    Tell me...what is it that they are eating?
    A homemade concoction?
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. It's oats with a bit of sunflower oil with boiling water.....left for a few hours and serve cold!

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    2. Very interesting.....they certainly seem to love it!

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  18. Great to see the baby wild ones ~ ponies and birds !
    I always enjoy plump little fledgling stage.

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  19. Lovely to see your first fledging. My son took part in Ten Tors years ago. I hadn't thought of the damage caused on the moor with the check points before, especially as it is not very often when there is a Ten Tors without rain! Sarah x

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  20. It is wonderful seeing the first fledglings in the garden - I love the little Sparrow. I love to see all the foals, too.
    I'd like to hunt out some more orchids this year; I haven't managed to see any so far.

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    1. Lots of Early Purples around but it's the spotted Marsh ones I'm after....

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  21. Brilliant photos Em, I always enjoy them from the first to the last.

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  22. Em I have neglected my blog! Could be down to the fact I lost or should I say - misplaced my camera! Watch this space!

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    1. I couldn't survive without my camera now!

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  23. It's exciting this time of the year, the young appearing everywhere, been filming our baby starlings, as they bathe in leaves and chase their mothers. Lovely photos as always, foals are gorgeous.

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    1. I hope you'll be posting those Starling films Thelma.

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It's great to read them and I will always try to reply.