Blog

Saturday 24th December 2011

Posted on December 24, 2011 at 1:05 PM

The last two weeks have certainly been rather wet, wild and windy - nearly every time I have looked out to sea off the West coast recently I have seen Kittiwakes. But when the weather is bad at this time of the year it does restrict my birding to brief car-based scans of beaches and bays. Birds have just started to arrive in the bays - rather late compared to recent years, probably due to the lack of cold weather. Three Great Crested Grebes were in Grandes Havres last Sunday.

.

.

A stormy morning at Grandes Rocques/Cobo

.

.

One of my greatest simple pleasures is driving to work at high tide - especially when it is stormy. Driving the coast road at Cobo (above) with the waves crashing over the whole car is rather fun.

.

But, we broke up for the Christmas holidays on Tuesday so there is a bit more opportunity to get out in the field. On Thursday I went into Town to get the final few presents and I drove back along the coast. Off Bordeaux car park there were three Red-breasted Mergansers feeding in the shallows just off the beach. I tried to get close to them for photos, but with very little cover, they soon swam off. 

.

.

female Red-breasted Merganser, Bordeaux, 22 Dec 11, with Herm in the background.

.

.

.

The water trickling down the beach at Bordeaux was making these very intricate patterns. The one above reminded me of Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical sketches - perhaps an arm or something. (click HERE to see a few more on Flickr)

.

Just past Bordeaux, there was a pair of Kestrels showing down to just a few metres along one of the lanes. I struggled to get in a good position though from the driver's seat but managed a few shots. After a few minutes I realised that there was a small line of cars behind me waiting to stop blocking the whole road - people are so polite on Guernsey, no honks or anything.

.

.

Kestrel, Bordeaux, 22 Dec 11

.

.

Other excitements this week have been my goal recorded in the island's historical sporting records (the local paper) . . .

.

.

. . .and that I have got a new toy to play with. I have got used to drawing on the computer screen using my mouse - it comes out OK but is very unsatisfactory. So I decided to fork out for a drawing tablet - sort of an early Christmas present.

.

.

It makes the computer drawing process so much quicker, and I am hoping that, once I have become very practised with it, to be able to draw and "paint" proper bird pictures with it. It has meant that I have been able to rattle off one of my "Just a Bird" cartoons really quickly. (click pic below)

.

.

So Merry Christmas to all that read this, and have a preposterous New Year!

Categories: 2011-2012 Winter