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

30 January 2015

FROSTY STARLINGS, SOME OTHER BIRDS AND A LYNX


I rarely remember to take my camera into town but on a particularly frosty morning, I did. We haven't had Starlings up on our bit of the moor at all this year, so I was delighted to see this tiny murmuration up on the frosty TV aerial of a 1980's house. 




Their markings remind me a tiny bit of those on the Golden Plovers who, incidentally, appeared again on Wednesday after an absence of at least a month:





After many years, I have a tame Robin, who will get within six inches of me. No feeding from the hand yet but it follows me around, especially when I'm preparing Trigger's food. I took this during the RSPB Garden Bird Survey last weekend:


Some of the Chaffinches are getting pretty close at feeding time too. They're SO hungry at this time of year I suppose. 


Just before Christmas, we went to visit M's dad in Paignton and got some fish and chips in Brixham. We were inundated with greedy Turnstones rather than Gulls and I took this on my phone. I'm terrible about downloading pictures from it and have meant to put this in for ages. Not great quality I'm afraid but better than the Goshawk I took last week which was unpublishable! 


This is a very beautiful thing flying. You might not agree but I absolutely love them and we are blessed with a variety of different ones thundering over....often on a Tuesday I find. This Lynx was weaving all over the place. Look at the heat haze on it....gorgeous. 



Trigger went down to see his ladies this week before the snow started and I managed to get a good sequence of him going into a roll:








We haven't had as many glorious sunrises and, of course, it's getting light earlier and earlier. By next week I may be too late at 7.30am. This was a good frosty one though; same day as the Starlings:





I've had two commissions to do since I last posted. One of Poppy for CT at http://countrysidetales.blogspot.co.uk/ and one, which I started today, of Thelma's dog Moss ( http://northstoke.blogspot.co.uk/ ), which has a cautionary tale attached to it. I drew Moss before Christmas and decided to leave sending it for safety's sake until the festive post frenzy was over. I gave it to M to post in the new year, but forgot to ask him to get proof of postage. I also forgot to scan it so couldn't even send Thelma a print when, after a couple of weeks, we decided it was lost. Over four hours work down the drain. CT's has gone recorded delivery! Moss will be done but it's very strange doing him again. 

Right, time for other stuff. The January bits and pieces post is going to be a big one so I'd better start editing now. So until next time, here's Snippet at Dawn. Have a lovely weekend everyone. It's supposed to start snowing heavily here at 3.00am. Hoorah!


47 comments:

  1. What stunning photos as always. I absolutely love your dog in the sunrise.

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    1. It;s a bit fuzzy but I think it looks a bit like a painting.

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  2. I didn't know ponies could do that!

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    1. It's the only way they can scratch their back I suppose. He does it all the time and there are patches in both fields where he, or they, have worn a bowl shape and exposed exfoliating rocks!

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  3. Fantastic photos, Em! I was loving the various bird shots (oh how I miss Robins!) but the shots of rolling Trigger brought a big smile to my face. A lovely way to start the morning! Thank you :)

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    1. I love the way his eyes are closed in bliss!

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  4. I wish you were a little closer. I have a job for you.

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  5. Just a chock-a-block post. At first glance I thought the starlings were standing on some sort of old laundry apparatus, where the arms swing out from the wall. How weird of me.
    Are the choppers looking for signs of that bright green crop that is so visible from the sky? Or, do you have a military base nearby?
    Good job with Mr. Robin Redbreast. I swear our chickadees would jump into my hand for seed, they are that inquisitive and cheeky.

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    1. Not weird at all; I know exactly what you mean. I think the choppers are just on training flights or, in the case of the big chinooks, dropping poor squaddies out on the moor for exercises. There has been some very colourful language used by soldiers to describe their Dartmoor experience! We do have a training base nearby at Okehampton but the helicopters aren't there. They're always Naval ones and I'm not sure which base they come from.

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  6. Fabulous shots,as ever..it's always a treat to visit!
    I do have fond spot for jellychoppers..they are such graceful things.
    Jane x

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    1. Glad I'm not alone. The only time I've been in one was when I broke my neck and back and had to be helicoptered out to Exeter, but I was prostrate in a neck brace and couldn't see a thing. By the time we arrived I was out cold with the morphine....what a waste! x

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    2. Love the robin and the chaffinch. What great photos. Love the rolling horse sequence too.

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  7. Great log! Love the Golden Plovers. Never seen them. Trigger having a good time love to see that. And the Sunrise is so beautyful. Lovely colours. Good you saw some starlings. These birds are having a hard time. To bad you had to do the painting again. Maby it will turn up after all.

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    1. You're right about the Starlings and there were only about six in this little group. About five years ago, we had thousands of them roosting in the shelter belt here. Birders used to come up and stand by their 4x4's trying to count them! Not seen them like that since then though which is very sad.

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  8. What a shame about your lost package. I am so sorry to hear that. Great sightings on the birds and the flying machine. Beautiful ones of Trigger. The sunrises are gorgeous and that last one of Snippet is special. Wonder what he is staring at :)

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  9. Lovely sequence of photographs - especially of that horse rolling. Sorry about the snow coming again - ours has almost gone although there is a fierce North wind blowing. February tomorrow though - so i hope for better things.

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    1. Snow is coming again in the night Pat and I think it might settle this time. I go stir crazy after a couple of days!

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  10. I love your pics of the four plovers, the sweet robin and beautiful chaffinch - all different from what are gracing my garden today. Since dawn I've seen, blue jay, cardinal, sparrow, chickadee, red-bellied woodpecker, Carolina wren, titmouse and towhee - and I know you don't get most of those on Dartmoor! The pony pics are awesome, as are the sunrise.

    I've flown twice in a chopper (although I vowed I never would!), in and out of a safari camp in Botswana when the airstrip was underwater in the Okavango Delta! Had no choice, there was no road, plane dropped us at another strip and told us to wait for the chopper,saying "it will be arriving in 20 mins." And it did! The pilot was a fabulous woman who had we four gals in our seats in no time, whisked us away over the delta for a flight to remember. Loved it, couldn't wait for the return trip 3 days later - the water was even higher then, the views magnificent!

    Hope the snow is gentle Em - look forward to seeing the moorland dressed in white!
    Stay snug - Mary

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    1. What an amazing sounding trip Mary. You make me feel very under-travelled. M won't fly, so any chance of long distance travel is scuppered. I did most of my travelling as a child when a rich great uncle paid for me to go to the States and Bermuda when I was 9 and 11 respectively...on my own! He and my mum didn't get on. I wish I could go to those places now. Particularly Bermuda. have a lovely Sunday.

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  11. Well if you want to keep that snow to yourself up there that's fine by me! No starlings here either, like the sparrows they seem to avoid us. Fabulous sunrise shots.

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    1. It's snowing again now (8.00pm), or it might be sleet. It's 'wintery' as they seem to be calling anything colder than rain these days.

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  12. Those Golden Plovers really are beautiful close up aren't they? SO pleased with Pop's portrait- I've put it up on my blog. Well done you : o) xxx

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    1. That was quick! I'll go and have a look now......xx

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  13. I am eating lunch (early) so I am checking out your post.
    I love the Starlings, what beautiful birds and I adore the light dots on dark.
    I understand the with the mail. Terrible news.

    Thank you for the lovely comment.
    cheers, parsnip

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  14. Wait...what? A lynx? You had me confused there for a minute :). Great shots as usual x

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  15. Wow Em I love your golden plover pictures. What a treat to get a photo opportunity like you had. Best wishes - Mark!

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    1. I see them so often Mark, but rarely get close enough for a decent picture. Hope you're surviving the Canadian winter!

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  16. Em - your photographs are really really good. You really should place them with a picture library. FLPA? Nature Picture Library? And I love your new Poppy portrait. I need to get to grips with Emma's dog - that is not forgotten, she just seems incapable of taking a decent picture but he never seems to stay still so it is probably quite hard too... xxx

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    1. I'm not sure they're good enough quality for publication though. I guess I could ask them to have a look. I know what you mean about people being incapable of taking a good picture....no one I've dealt with obviously! People show you pics on their mobile and I wonder how they manage to do such a bad job! xx

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  17. So annoying about the drawing going missing, and very sad too. I love the picture that you did of Poppy, I think it captured her personality very well! The pictures of Trigger having fun are great aren't they, he looks very happy rolling around like that!! xx

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    1. I'm about to start some more of Moss....x

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  18. Thank you for doing Moss again, it was such bad luck that it got lost in the post office system. We have a whole flock of starlings here, they eat everything in sight, and chatter and whistle and warble outside the window every day. Of course they are similar to golden plovers in their co-ordinated flight patterns...

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    1. How true Thelma. I don't know enough to know if they're cousins of some sort! I just love those triangles in their feathers. I suppose I should try drawing one one day.

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  19. Lovely photos as always. I went looking for Golden Plovers recently at a local site where they are regularly been seen but had no luck :( Love the Lynx pics.

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    1. Glad you like the Lynx ones. A few helicopter fans are coming out of the woodwork!

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  20. Amazing pictures as always I love the way you managed to capture Trigger in a roll and the pictures of the sunrise took my breath away. Sarah x

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    1. I saw the sunrise this morning and I think I've got a week or so more before they go! xx

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  21. Hi

    I am visiting you for the first time today via Bridgett at Malbridge House Blog. Your photo's are stunning and I will be returning again. Thank you for sharing such wonderful pics.

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  22. Finally think I am going to live after a 2 week bout with bronchitis! Now to catch up on my blogging-
    Starlings we have plenty of! Fortunately they don't visit our yard (might be due to the hawk) but they are in droves everywhere else. So glad Trigger is still visiting the girls. Love the last photo! It's gorgeous.

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    1. 2 weeks! That's awful Gail. So pleased you're feeling better but take care. x

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  23. Lovely birds the Golden Plover Em.
    Beautiful sunrise images.

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    1. Aren't they gorgeous. Those triangular markings are stunning.

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