Friday, 9 November 2012

October 16th

Pencil of fire this morning!  Funny how with more and more practice my brain somehow shifts into gear and I can start to produce pictures very fast:  just around the campsite the images of Blackcap, Gt SPot and Sparrowhawk were just falling into place in my sketchbook.  I realise I need to study Snow Buntings again - I wasn't prepared for a brief fly-past view of one over Carn Thomas school.
The Hume's was being difficult this morning so I pressed on to Old Town Cemetery where a Red-breasted Flycatcher had been reported earlier.  However it vanished by the time I arrived there.  Instead there was an extremely showy Goldcrest sunning itself in brilliant sunshine.  My drawings below fail to do justice to such an amzing bird.  The photographers had a field day though and to churchyard was echoing to the sound of Canon shutters going off all around.  The crest eventually got more elusive so I moved on to the field north of Old Town where the Solitary Sandpiper was now present (having arrived on Lower Moors from Bryher the previous day).  Always great birds to see, I spent 2 1/2 hours studying it and doing the paint sketch below.  Later I walked up toward Watermill, and met up with Spider again, nice to see him!  He was on a twitch himself, for a Coal Tit that had just been found near Newford Duck Pond - he kindly gave me a lift up there which I really appreciated as my feet were aching with all the walking (and it's only day three!).  We saw the Coal Tit as well as a cracking Firecrest which I don't feel my sketch quite does justice too, but it was done in difficult circumstances, having to stand up the whole time so I could have my scope trained over an overgrown stone wall, onto the Hawthorn clump.  And it was on a road which like everywhere else in the UK is always busy with traffic, so I had to keep moving my tripod off the road when a vehicle came past.

When I arrived back in Hugh Town later I discovered that three Ring-necked Ducks had been seen flying in from the west, arriving ahead of a great depression coming in off the Atlantic, that is due to hit us tomorrow.

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