Sunday, April 27, 2008


Now there's a plan, silent but slow, get the toads to carry the car

So Friday I drive to West Yorkshire in the evening to get a floor. It's a nice floor, oak. Friends are moving, and the floor, having lived stacked up under their bed for six years, needs a new home. Anyway, got just past Pickering and a strange and ominous clunking noise starts from the rear of my car. Turned the radio up. Near Malton I was having trouble with the radio, a clunking noise was ruining my auditory enjoyment. Pulled in to lay-by, looked under car, nothing obvious falling off so continued. The floor's in our outhouse now but my brain was rather addled having listened to loud clunking noises for the best part of 4 hours.

Part of Scaling Dam's current invasion of the toads

Arty toads
Louise is ill, not very ill but ill enough so I felt going birding, on my own, without the offspring would have been on the unreasonable end of the scale (having to borrow her car as well). I managed an hour at Scaling Dam on Saturday whilst the offspring were riding horses nearby but all in all a bit unsatisfactory really. (saw six Pink-feet but of course no White-front or Bean).

Today, Louise felt a bit more perky in the afternoon so I was allowed out. Initially I was going to Scaling for just a quick look, in case a Black Tern was cavorting amongst the Lasers (boats with sails) and then on to the sea. But I got distracted. Looked at the Yorkshire end and a Whimbrel flew by, then there were 3 Common Sands and there were loads of singing Willow Warblers. To Cleveland. At the boat club end I focused the bins to look at something or other in the bushes and .... the focusing got rather stiff, until I needed a large wrench and two strong men. Bins had seized up. Infinity seemed the best option which I just about managed. This was ok in the hide but very unsatisfactory when trying to look at warblers in bushes, generally involving some cursing and walking backwards, then more cursing as I fell in a ditch. Decided I didn't want a fourth broken thing so went back to the hide and found a Black-tailed Godwit.

Usual old stuff at Scaling Dam, Sunday afternoon, lets walk our dog across the nature reserve and tread on all the Lapwing nests. Went round but bloke and dog were big (and back on public path by now), nobody else about. The coward in me walked past him not acknowledging his hearty hello - he then muttered at me weirdly (and somewhat madly, it has to be said) for being impolite. Cowardly prudence probably prevented further breakages.

Other things at Scaling Dam 2 or 3 Cuckoos, a briefly singing Sedge Warbler, a single Goldeneye, and a possible Yellow-legged Gull, that managed to vaporise, but probably just flew closer. But I did get a distant pic or two.

What do you think of the gull? Looks good to me.

Yellow-legged Gull ??? (left hand bird)

And again
It disappeared between taking this shot and looking through the scope about 2 seconds later.

If you know about Nikon's repair service, I'd be interested in info about that too - quick/slow; honour guarantee or pernickety? My experience of them to this point has always been good.

Scaling Dam is also featuring a Chrysomelid invasion at the moment

No comments: