Saturday, 18 September 2010

Skern Update

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper showed distantly on the Skern this morning.

Returning at the early evening high tide at 5:30pm saw the Sandpiper still present and still distant but enjoyable all the same.

Also during the evening high tide were the confiding Grey Phalarope, the Lapland Bunting and quite a few Wheatears.
Aveton Gifford; the Glossy Ibis still showing well this morning. Also here were two Common Sands, five Ringed Plover and a Greenshank.
Over at West Charelton Marsh the Red backed Shrike continues to show for all-comers but the only other bird of note was a fly over Yellow Wagtail.

Northam Burrows

An excellant afternoon today- the Buff Breasted Sandpiper flew back onto the saltmarsh from the north at 2.40pm after it had been missing for over 2 hours, viewed from about 150 yards from the end of the road, opposite the old tip. The Grey Phalarope still feeding on the mud at close range near the 2nd speed ramp beyond the wooden hut and a Lapland Bunting showing very well on the nearside of the saltmarsh, about 200 yards from the far end of the road. Also 12-15 Wheatears and a White Wagtail present.

Exminster Marshes 18 September

Single garganey still on main lagoon. Also: 1 green sandpiper, 2 whinchat, 1 wheatear

Bolberry to Soar Mill Cove (Yesterday 17th Sept)

1 Merlin, 30+ Chiffs, 12 Blackcaps, 3 Whitethroats, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Wheatears, 70 Meadow Pipits flying W in small groups, 30+ Goldfinches.

No sign of the Rose-coloured Starling in the evening [at Thurlestone??]

[from Mike Passman]

Orcombe Point this morning

(06:45 - 09:25)

Lapland Bunting SW at 07:30; also 12+ alba Wagtails, 3 Yellow Wags, 105+ Meadow Pipits, 4 Grey Wags, 7+ Goldfinch, 19+ Swallow, 1 Sand martin, 6+ Chaffinch, 7 Skylarks, 1 Hobby, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Chiffs, 2 Blackcaps, and a Tree Pipit. Most of that lot heading SW.

[from Matt Knott]

Skern, Northam Burrows

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper still present this morning.

[from Andrew Cunningham]

Friday, 17 September 2010

Skern 17 Sept

A second first winter Grey Phalarope found today. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper still present and also a Lapland Bunting.

Blackhole marsh

2 Barn owls at Blackhole marsh tonight also 24 Dunlin, 4 Ringed plover,3 Greensands,Common sand and 5 Lapwing.

Charleton Marsh

The Red-backed Shrike still showing well to at least 19:15 this evening around its favoured area on the barbed wire fence and nearby bushes near the seat about a quarter of the way down the marsh. Out on the estuary 2 Med Gulls ( first winter and second winter ) and 2 Yellow Wagtails came in late on.
A quick look at Devils Point, Plymouth this evening turned up three adult Med Gulls.
Re. the Corn Bunting; is there any chance of seeing it from outside of the private land?
Driving along the tidal road at Aveton Gifford today and noted the Glossy Ibis still present, also 3 Common Sandpipers and a Greenshank.
Noticeable westerly movement of Meadow Pipits ( and one Tree Pipit ) casually observed from the high ground behind Bigbury-on-sea mid morning.

Osprey - Axe Estuary

A juvenile Osprey has been present on the Axe all day, fishing on the Estuary now and then...

On Beer Head this morning, nothing better than 2 Redstarts, 7 Yellow Wags, 3 Wheatear, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 Whitethroat and 14 Chiffchaffs.

The 2 Glossy Ibis showed well this morning just a few yards from the cricket pitch, and a juvenile Little Stint did one better, just 5-10 yards from the path near the shingle ridge. Also a couple of Wheatear there.

Otter estuary and fields

Otter Estuary 17/9

At least one Glossy Ibis still present early afternoon, 3 fields north of White Bridge, west of the river. Also the juvenile Little Stint still present near the Otter mouth, on north side of the shingle ridge. Black-tailed Godwit on pools just north of the cricket pitch.

Grand Western Canal

A chilly WeBS count on the canal from Halberton to Tiverton after a clear night was not too exciting but produced a few nice birds including 6 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 3 Kingfishers, a few hirundines but the best were two Wheatears. The other WeBS counter, Ray Jones, had a super Green Sandpiper nearer to Sampford Peverell.

Beer Head this morning

The Corn Bunting still present on private land. Also a good bit of movement in the light NW and sunshine:

1000 Meadow Pipits, 7 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Grey Wags, 23 Skylarks, 15 Chiffs, 6 Wheatears, 6 alba Wagtails, 4 Chaffinches, 3 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Ringed Plover, 3 Whitethroats, and a Redstart.

Lots of hirundines on the move too, but not counted.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Skern Grey Phalarope

Photographed today by Roger Treeby:

Otter Est

The two Glossy Ibis still just North of White Bridge this afternoon, and downstream an adult winter Med. Gull, a juv. Little Stint, two Greenshank , a Blackwit, and a few Ringed Plovers, Dunlins and Yellow Wagtails.

Aveton Gifford

The very photogenic juv Glossy Ibis still present by the tidal road near the 'blue house'

Little Stint / R. Caen, Braunton

This little fellow with a flock of 69 Dunlin & 3 Curlew Sandpipers.

Skern early afternoon

Grey Phalarope wandering around on the mud and in small puddles on the seaward side a few metres over the wall about 300m beyond the entrance hut. Also on the Skern 1 Little tern and 1 Arctic Tern.

Bird of Prey persecution

Interesting to note Devon & Cornwall are high up in the latest statistics. See

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Aveton Gifford:
Mike 'purple Patch' Passman to thank for the rather nice 1W Grey Phalarope this evening showing well with Osprey and Glossy Ibis. no news this evening as yet, on the RC Starling Thurlestone?

Aveton Gifford - Glossy Ibis & Grey Phalarope

Aveton Gifford tidal rd at 16:00 - Glossy Ibis still present, also Grey Phalarope on bank and river, opposite the car park c.300yds after the Glossy Ibis - still present at 18:00, plus 2 Dunlin, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, and 1 Greenshank.

[from Mike Passman]

Berry Head 15 Sep

A few migrants around, the highlight being 1 Firecrest, also 2 Coal tits (at the end of the Hd), 12 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcaps, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 7 Wheatears, 1 Whitethroat. Small numbers of Meadow Pipits and 'Alba' Wagtails flying over.

Beer Head

The Corn Bunting was again on Beer Head this morning.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Prawle Point & Thurlestone Marsh

Prawle Point:
11 Balearic, 7 Manx, Arctic Skua, 2 Bonxie, 2 Sandwich Tern, 3 Comm Scoter, 1W med Gull. best of..
Thurlestone Marsh:
RC Starling Juv. on wires for a min. 18:30hrs before roost. present for 2nd day. record shot attached

Glossy Ibis

The Glossy Ibis still this evening at Aveton Gifford to the right of the tidal road, in the creek before the blue house and feeding quite happily at close range.

Black Hole Marsh & Axe Estuary

Present this evening:

3 Greenshanks, 3 Green Sands, 3 Common Sands, 11 Dunlin, 2 Little Stints, 1 Curlew Sand, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Water Rail and 1 Barn Owl.

So, little change...

Glossy Ibis, Aveton Gifford

Still present, same place today.

Powderham, Exe Estuary

A good selection of waders on Powderham Sands this morning, including 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 100 Black-tailed Godwits and 16 Bar-tailed Godwits.

[from John Waldon]

Slapton Ley - Sat 11th Sept

A Black Tern over the lower ley, and a female Marsh Harrier over the higher ley - pm.

[from Jeremy Barker]

Waggs Plot Wryneck

Still present at midday on the verge and gardens near the block of garages

Spotted Redshank / Sharpa Marshes, Braunton (9th Sept)

Searching for food in fresh water scrape for a couple of days. Note length of fine bill & red at base of lower mandible only. Photo taken 9 September.

Curlew Sandpiper / R. Caen, Braunton (3rd Sept)

On 3 September 8 Curlew Sandpipers feeding with a flock of 150 small waders consisting mainly of Dunlin and some Ringed Plover 0n R. Caen at low tide.

Mon 13th Sept - Challacombe, Dartmoor

Two Swifts feeding with Swallows and drifting south mid-day.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Charleton Marsh 9 September 2010

While inspecting the state of the scrapes with the farmer/owner of the land we came across a female Red-backed Shrike near the bottom scrape. 2 Egyptian Goose flew in. By the hedge on the western side 2 Grey Partridge were disturbed and flew over the hedge into the field beyond.

Thurlestone/Sth Huish area

At 18.20 tonight 1 jv Rose Coloured Starling amongst a flock of 200 roosting in Tstn Marsh. Spent 3 mins on the wires opposite the Golf Course next to the pumping station.

94 Teal on South Huish Marsh at 17.00, with at least 20 on Tstn Marsh.

Waders on the beach at 10.45:
11 Ringed Plover, 19 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 1 jv Curlew Sand. 2 Turnstone, plus 3 Black T Godwit on RTstn Marsh

5 Wheatear around the Bay

[from Mike Passman]
Aveton Gifford 13-9
Juv. Glossy Ib
is still giving ZOO views along the tidal road by the 'Blue' House 1300hrs +.
Also an excellent show by a Imm O
sprey on how to get wet and catch bugger all.
Juv. RC Starling reported going to roost at
Thurlestone Marsh tonight

Prawle area 12/9/10

House Finch showing well by the community hall late afternoon.

Also; 3 Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, Swift, 5000+ Hirundines (50:50 Swallows and House Martins), 15+ Sand Martins, 3 Grey Wagtail, 10+ White Wagtail, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 25+ Meadow Pipits, 3 Tree Pipits, 56 Wheatear, Redstart, 17 Spotted Flycatchers, Sedge Warbler, 13 Whitethroat, 44 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warblers, 70 Chiffchaff

Start Point (at sea from boat)

2 Black Terns, 2 Arctic Skuas, c20 Common Terns, c15 Sandwich Terns, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Manx Shearwater, 10+ Common Scoter

While on the Manx theme. I took this interesting shot of a Manx Shearwater. Notice the brownish cast and protruding feet! May have been called something else on a seawatch! But clearly a Manx, as showing distinct white thigh notch and ear covert.

Black Terns

2 Black Terns on the River Exe this evening between Mudbank Lane, Exmouth and Starcross, and viewed distantly from the car park at the north end of Starcross.

Axe Estuary

The 18 Glossy Ibis that flew north east at c07:25 were next seen at Dungeness, Kent at 3pm (per Birdguides). That's an incredible journey! And similar to what the six did last year (although they stopped off at a couple of places en-route).

This cream-crowned Marsh Harrier spent half an hour over Axe and Colyford Marshes this morning before being chased off north by Crows.

At Black Hole Marsh at 08:30: 6 Dunlin, 3 Snipe, 2 Little Stint, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Knot and 1 Greenshank with a Barn Owl showing until 08:40.

Also a Hobby over Lower Bruckland Ponds.

No sign of Corn Bunting today at Beer Head.

Also, from Dave Helliar: Wryneck still present Waggs Plot at 15:30.
Otter Estuary
Following Gavin's news below, it seems as if the majority of Glossy Ibis have headed East, but we still have 2 birds (unringed) feeding in fields N of White Bridge.

Axe Valley - Glossy Ibis

18 Glossy Ibis flew E towards the Axe valley, as viewed from Beer Head at 07:22, but appear not to have come down. Where they went next will probably become clear later today?

EDIT - Dungeness, apparently! Reported circling over the RSPB reserve at 15:00.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Lapland Bunting High Land of Orcombe

The Lapland Bunting (or another) was back in the field adjacent to Gore Lane at High Land of Orcombe at 1435hrs this afternoon. It was loosely associating with Linnets, but was flushed by a Sparrowhawk, when it flew off towards Maer Vale. Also in the field, 6 Wheatears and 7 flyover Ravens.

Wryneck again reported from Mudbank Lane, Exmouth.
Otter Estuary Area
The 20 Glossy Ibis still continued to entertain this morning and at least 16 roosted tonight in trees west of White Bridge. I am awaiting full ringing details on the 6 ring numbers, but they appear to be birds ringed in the Coto Donana, Southern Spain. Other birds around the estuary and adjacent fields included:

2 Whinchat
5 Wheatear
1 Spotted Flycatcher
1 Grey Wagtail - over

2 Greenshank
1 Common Sandpiper
4 Wigeon

Wryneck at Waggs Plot, Axminster.

Still present at 18.45 by the garages.

Beer Head Corn Bunting

One with flock of around 15 Yellowhammers, in non-public area, from 18:10 until late, but elusive.

Quite a biggie in Devon!

Thurlestone & Aveton Gifford

Thurlestone Marsh (8- 10 .30) 3 Blk T Godwit, 2 Wigeon , 1 jv Whincat, 1 Sedge Wblr, 2 Blackcap ,1 Willow Wbler, 4 Chiffchaff.

Thurlestone Bay (11 am) Osprey flew thru headed east. 14 Wheatear.

Aveton Gifford ( tidal rd at 15.30) 1 jv Glossy Ibis - viewed down to 30 feet .2 Greenshank ,1 Green Sand. 3 Common Sand.

[from Mike Passman]

Glossy Ibis, Aveton Gifford

One very approachable bird near the blue house on the tidal road. Spoke to a local birder, Rod Bone, who said he first saw it last Monday.

Exminster Marshes 12 September

Marsh Harrier (juv) roosting on ground 'till 0740 when headed off north and 2 garganey on lagoon (upto five recently). Also: 4 whinchat, 3 wheatear, 2 tree pipit, light meadow pipit passage north

Skern - Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Single Buff-breasted Sandpiper present at 16.30  in the flood pond just before the old dump at Skern this afternoon.

Beesands Ley

First winter Osprey watched for 15 mins this afternoon. Eventually caught a fish and flew off.
Charleton Marsh
Further to Perry's post: Red Backed Shrike Imm/1stW, 5 Whinchat,
Tree Pipit, Hobby, Peregrine, Osprey, 3 Spot Fly, Pie Fly.

Northam Burrows 12 Sept

Buff-breasted Sandpiper late afternoon around pools to the left of the parking area at the end of Skern road.

Orcombe Point this morning

Lapland Bunting from 06:45 - 06:55, before flying off inland.
Also 5+ Tree Pipits, 3+ Grey Wagtails, Firecrest, 4+ Wheatears, Yellow Wagtail and 1+ Spotted Flycatcher.
First significant passage of Meadow Pipits this morning, with several birds over and a few lingering.

[from Matt Knott]

R.Taw, Isley Marsh to Yelland fuel jetty.

Sunday 12/09/2010 07:30 - 09:30

Little Egret 10
Knot c30-40
Wigeon 5
Great Crested Grebe 1
Peregrine 1
Bar-tailed Godwit 10
Black Tern 1 over Yelland Power Stn generator pond.
Whimbrel 1
Common Tern 1
Teal 2
Dunlin 10
Turnstone 1
Common Sandpiper 1
Sandwich Tern 1
Wheatear 1
Red-throated Diver 1 adult winter, mid river between jetty roost and Horsey.

Waggs plot

Wryneck Outside No 6 Waggsplot 1 mile north of Axminster on the Grass verge at 10.45 am Showing well.

(From James Mcarthy)

Beer head

At Beer head this morning 7.30-10 9 Wheatears 2 Spotflys,3 flyover Yellow wags and 2 Tree pipits also 2 whitethroat and a Reed warbler

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 08:00-10:30, High tide.

Beautiful day, very quiet walk down to the hide with nothing on the estuary save one Great Crested Grebe. Walking back things livened up at the top end of the marsh with the Red-backed Shrike present last Thursday morning reappearing . Watching this when 4 Whinchats turned up. Also saw Kingfisher, Whitethroat and a fly over Tree Pipit. Hopefully someone will get a better photo than mine .