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Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Worlds rarest Jackdaw and other birding delights during a wet Woolacombe holiday!

My Spring holiday in Woolacombe this year started uniquely with a drive over Exmoor highlighted by a heavy snowstorm! Not the kind of weather we were expecting!
As it was, Woolacombe was snow-free when we arrived to sign -in, but it was cold, wet and windy, and unfortunately it stayed that way for the whole week!
  Still, we all made the most of our holiday, and I managed a few shots of the local birds around our 'Waney Edge' chalet, part of the Woolacombe Sands Holiday Park that we always stay in, set away from the main camp in a wooded valley. Just perfect for the nature lover in me, though not so popular with my daughters as there is no WiFi or phione signal!

One thing very unusual that I did manage to photograph was a Jackdaw with a sub-lingual oral fistula! According to Dr Jim Reynolds of Birmingham University, who studies this phenomenon, this is the first record of it in a Corvid! (Crow species)
A sub-lingual oral fistula is where the skin & muscle of the lower mandible is missing causing the tongue to protrude through the opening & often outside the mouth cavity permanently!

Learn more about the condition and Dr Jims fascinating research here = Oral Fistulas

Below are all photos I managed during the holiday, including Pheasants outside our chalet, Great Black Backed Gulls at Ilfracombe, Chiffchaffs in the Spring buds and lots more, not to mention the Jackdaw with a big tongue problem!

^Above^ - The Jackdaw with the sub-lingual oral fistula, and a mate!

^Above^ - More Jackdaws, at Woolacombe and Ilfracombe.

^Above^ - Jay feeding a mate at Woolacombe Sands.

^Above^ - Male and female Pheasants outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Chiffchaffs in the buds outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Singing Chaffinch at Woolacombe Sands.

^Above^ - Raven mobbing a Buzzard above our chalet.

^Above^ - Blackcap outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Male Blackbird outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Blue Tits outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Buzzards above our chalet,

^Above^ - Wren outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Willow Warbler outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Song Thrush outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Great Tits outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Goldfinches outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Robins outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Raven above our chalet.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon at Woolacombe Sands.

^Above^ - Stock Doves outside our chalet (Taken by my better half Nicola!)

^Above^ - Carrion Crow at Woolacombe Sands.

^Above^ - Dandelions outside our chalet.

^Above^ - Great Black Backed Gulls at Ilfracombe.

^Above^ - Rock Pipits at Ilfracombe.

^Above^ - Oystercatchers at Woolacombe.

^Above^ - Herring Gulls at Woolacombe.

^Above^ - Linnet at Woolacombe.

^Above^ - Shadows outside our chalet (A rare sunny moment!)

^Above^ - A dramatic sunset view of Lundy Island from outside our chalet!

^Above^ - Driving through a snowstorm on Exmoor on the way to Woolacombe!!