Saturday, 2 October 2010

English Channel - approx. 40 miles SSE of Start Point

Not really Devon but close. Good numbers of seabirds out in mid-channel.
Chumming from a fishing boat produced: Leach's Petrel (passing and not attracted to the chum), 40+ Storm Petrels, 6 Sabine's Gulls ( all ads), 2 Little Gulls (ad & juv), 30+ Great Skuas, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 2 Balearic Shearwaters.
Photos from left to right, top to bottom: 4 adult Sabine's with Storm Petrels; adult Sabine's; feeding Great Skuas and gulls; Great Skua; Balearic Shearwater; Sooty Sheawater; adult and juv Little Gull. More photos here


Buff Breasted Sandpiper in the large muddy field behind the duck pond this afternoon, associating with a Golden Plover, also gets into the adjacent muddy field, can be viewed from the public footpath running along the east side. Looks settled.

Also Merlin, 20+ Blackcap, 30+ Chiff-Chaff, Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Wheatear, Green Sandpiper

Slapton Ley

Great White Egret over the Higher Ley heading south this morning about 8:30

Viz migration this morning:

Siskin 100, Skylark 30, Yellowhammer 2, Meadow pipit 40, Swallow 100

[from Nik Ward]

Rivers Otter & Exe 2/10

At the mouth of the Otter this morning were 1 Knot, 5 Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Yellow Wagtails. As with everyone else (it seems), plenty of alba wagtails passing through.

The three Glossy Ibis were well upriver from the White Bridge, in field just south of the point where the footpath splits - sorry, no map to hand.

2 Spotted Redshank at Bowling Green Marsh, and the Spotted Sandpiper at Turf on the way back.

Thurlestone Bay

Thurlestone Marsh- 1 Grey Plover- flew off east at 08.40, 4 Black T. Godwit,2 Dunlin, 60+ Teal, 5 Wigeon, Blackcap , Goldcrest (first for some months )

Thurlestone Bay - 1 Whitethroat, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Wheayear, 3 Siskin over,1 Sanderling, 8 Ringed Plover, 7 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone, 2 Grey Wagtail flew north

Axe Estuary

The Osprey is still present, seen fishing on the Estuary several times this afternoon.

Also 1 Curlew Sandpiper (Black Hole Marsh), 1 Little Stint, 1 Knot, 14 Black-tailed Godwit and 7 Bar-tailed Godwit.

11 Siskin flew south over Black Hole Marsh mid morning along with good numbers of Skylarks - hopefully a sign of things to come....

Budleigh Salterton

High tide today.....
In fields above cricket pitch;
3+ yellow wagtail
30+ alba wagtail
50+ meadow pipits

[from Lyndon Savage]

Hopes Nose

07.30- 09.45
Just over two hours of seawatching and not a single skua or shearwater!
However an adult Sabines Gull saved the morning though views were poor.
What happened to the weather?????

Berry Head - Saturday 2nd October 2010

0715 - 0915, noticeable movement of alba wagtail this morning 53, Grey Wagtail 3, Swallow 5, Goldfinch 97, Bullfinch 2, Blackcap 15, Long-Tailed Tit 17, Coal Tit 2, Goldcrest 3, Chiffchaff 30, Wheater 1, Stonechat 3, Meadow Pipit 200+ and 2 Harbour Porpoise.

Dawlish Warren - Friday 1/10

High tide at the warren on Friday produced
1 Merlin
1 Common tern
1 Knot
3 Grey plover
1000+ oystercatchers

[from Lyndon Savage]

Wembury 2/10

1S/2W Glaucous Gull flew west over Wembury Point at 7.45 AM and carried on west towards Rame.

10 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, 25 Skylark

Friday, 1 October 2010

Thurlestone Bay -Specsavers Post!

)8.00-12.00 Sea Watch- plenty of breaking waves not many birds- 2 Common Tern, 5 Dunlin,2 Grey Plover, juv Hobby.1 2cy Med Gull.

On Thurlestone Marsh -60 Teal 2 9 Wigeon,2 Black T Godwit ,Water Rail

At least it was dry under the cafe canopy

Mike Passman

Skern Northam Burrows etc

skern northam burrows 1 oct 2010.
5 brent geese,2 med gulls ad,sw.2 sandwich terns. .peregrine . .at sandymere pool 2 little stint.

30/9/2010 at home marsh farm yelland 3 grey partridge, 1 whinchat.

[from Malcolm Shakespeare]

Axe Estuary

On the River Axe today two Knot, six Bar-tailed Godwit and a second-winter Med Gull (the first for weeks and weeks!).

At Black Hole Marsh over high tide (late morning) there were singles of Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint with ten Dunlin and five Ringed Plover, also two Green Sandpiper.

A brief sea watch from Seaton Hole during a gap in showers mid afternoon produced just four Brent Geese west. Otherwise very quiet.

Start Point

Strong south-southwest wind ( touching gale force in night ?), decreasing slowly during morning. Almost constant rain, frequently heavy.

Seawatch 08:00-13:00, all south.
Diver sp ( prob Black-throated ), Balearic Shearwater, Grey Plover, Sandwich Tern, 5 Great Skua, 4 Arctic Skua. A flock of 6 small waders passing looked like Purple Sandpipers, indeed a Purple Sandpiper took pity on me and kept me company on the rocks for half an hour.
Wheatear and 2 Chiffchaffs on the way down to the light.
After reading what was at Berry Head, if Prawle has also had shedloads of Skuas today i'm off to Specsavers !

Berry Head seawatch

137 Arctic Skuas, 59 Great Skuas, 4 Pomarine Skua, 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 17 Balearic Shearwaters, Manx Shearwater, Storm Petrel, 4 Arctic Terns, 14 Common Terns, 7 Sandwich Terns, 2 Little Gulls, 31 Common Scoter, 1w Med Gull also past 379 Gannets and 650 Kittiwakes (incl.67 juvs). 3 Harbour Porpoises

[updated 18:00 MD]

Berry Head

Part of an Arctic Skua flock!

Seawatch from 0700hrs -1300hrs:

The forecast was great but the rain didn't stop despite that it was almost standing room only!

4 Sooty Shearwater, 15 Balearic Shearwaters, 2 Little Gulls, 115 Arctic Skuas, 45 Great Skuas, 2 Pomarine Skua, 5 Common Tern, 2 Arctic Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 10 Common Scoter, 23 Auks and 9 Fulmar.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Exmouth & Otter Estuary

EXMOUTH - Mudbank to Imperial Recreation Ground - 1030 on Thursday 30th Sept

SCAUP - adult female; was diving and bringing up mussels; was separate from the rafts of Wigeon (1000+) but close to Brent Geese, and whilst watched moved gently around the Duck Pond area, probably 200m off shore. (First time I've seen a Scaup here)

OTTER ESTUARY - scrapes north of cricket field - 1500 on Thursday 30th Sept

7 Yellow Wagtail feeding in mixed flock of Pied Wagtails and Meadow Pipits; mobile and moved between two scrapes. Three good adults seen, others probable juveniles.

[from Rupert Ormerod & Dick Andrews]

Clennon Valley

The site has turned into a veritable Slimbridge with three exceptional ducks for Torbay: Ruddy Duck a juv (I believe a new bird for Torbay), Pintail male in eclipse (presumed returning bird from last winter) and a male Gadwall, also a Shoveler which are regular on the ponds.

Exmouth this afternoon

Orcombe Point - skylark c30+, linnet c200+, snipe, osprey (flew across Dawlish Bay very low and followed coast south at 430pm) also 3 eider offshore.

Mudbank Lane - juvenile curlew sandpiper, 116 brent goose, 2 great crested grebe and a presumed teal x wigeon hybrid that has been present with the wigeon flock for a while.

Thurlestone, Soar etc.

Thursday 30/9 (08.30) - Thurleston Marsh

1 jv Ring Ouzel - in bushes feeding at back of my garden. Also 1 Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap. 2 Black T Godwit still on the Marsh.

Bolberry to Soar Mill valley (09.15 - 13.00)

Big influx of Blackcap at least 40, 1 jv Barred Warbler moving with them. Good views twice,spent most of the time deep in the Brambles & hawtorn . also 25+ Chiffchsffs, 1 Spotted Fly,4 Wheatear, 5 Cirl Bunt. 1 Merlin

[from Mike Passman]

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Juv Marsh Harrier - moving North slowly and hunting early evening - Avon Dam area, also 4 Goosander, 1 Cormorant & 2 Wheatear .
(Pete Reay)
A seawatch from Beer this morning, 08:45 to 10:15, produced 1 Brent Goose, 98 Common Scoter , a Kittiwake and 2 Great Skua.

While there was a Little Stint and 2 Curlew Sandpipers on Black Hole Marsh this evening with the Barn Owl again giving stunning views.

Exe Estuary

The Spotted sandpiper was still at Turf at low tide this afternoon. A second winter Med Gull flew over and 1 wheatear on the sea wall.

Fremington Pill

16:30 Still one Ruff in the small low tide stream about half way up the pill. Two Bar-tailed Godwit in the mudflats off the Quay.

Berry Hd Seawatch

07:00-13:30hrs: Just Mike and Mark present for what was a surprisingly good morning!

Long-tailed Skua 1 intermediate juv 0730hrs (also another almost cert just too far out to confirm id), Roseate Tern juv and adult (Mark nearly spilt his coffee over these two!), Bonxie 69, Arctic Skua 55, Pom Skuas 4, Common Tern 9, Sandwich Tern 10, Balearic Shearwater 3, Sooty Shearwater 1, Common Scoter 170, Kittiwake 645 (including 23 juvs), Gannet 255, Fulmar 5, Auks 32 (nearly all Razorbills) Brent Goose 1.

4 Harbour Porpoise also off the headland.

Tuesday 28th September, Lundy

A day-trip on the island for work produced:

A Great Spotted Woodpecker in Millcombe Valley and a single Wheatear seen on the island. Small parties of Swallows heading south throughout the day. Single Great Skuas and small pods of Common Dolphins seen from the Oldenburg on each crossing, with a young Arctic Tern on the outward leg.

Jeremy Barker

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Thurlestone Bay etc

Thurlestone Marsh - 130+ Teal-something spooked them ,counted in flight, up to then only 60 in the open. also 3 Dunlin ,2 Black T Godwit.
Waders on the beach at high tide 13 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plover, also 2 Wheatear.
Aveton Gifford (tidal rd ) 14.30 - 4 Bar T Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper

[from Mike Passman]

Monday, 27 September 2010

Lyme Bay -~12nm SE Berry Head

From a fishing boat. Large feeding frenzy approx. 12 nm SE of Berry Head, with c50 Common Dolphins pushing up a fish shoal, with c70 feeding Gannets and a Sooty Shearwater. Also seen 18 Great Skuas and a Balearic Shearwater.

Fremington Pill

10:00 - 11:00 on a receding tide
One Ruff feeding on the mudflats with around 130 Redshank.


Axe Estuary

Wryneck still at Seaton Marshes this morning, viewed from the hide.

Black Hole Marsh was rather quiet with just 14 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Lapwing.

House Martins have been streaming west over this morning, up until 10am they were passing at a rate of about 30/minute. Far fewer Swallows in comparison and next to nothing else!

Beer Head

There was a Ring Ouzel at Beer Head this morning. It flew along the gorse hedge and dropped into the Under Hooken.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Axe Osprey

Double helpings! (photographed c.11:00)

Also, the Barn Owl was still hunting at 09:30

[from Ian Seward]

Wembury 26/9

400+ Meadow Pipit (mostly W), 50+ alba wagtail, 20 Blackcap, 20+ Chiffchaff, 7 Siskin, 2 Goldcrest, Whimbrel, 5 Song Thrush.

1 Clouded Yellow, 6 Red Admiral and 2 colonies of Ivy Mining Bee. 3 Western Conifer Seed Bug over the last 3 weeks.

Devil's Point, Plymouth

A look late Sunday afternoon produced at least eight Med Gulls (7 adults and one 1st winter), also two Sandwich Terns.

(Roy McCarthy)

Prawle area

Hobby, 200+ Swallows, 75+ House Martins, 3 Sand Martins, 25+ Skylark, 2 Grey Wagtails, 75+ 'Alba' Wagtails, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 250+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Tree Pipit, 7 Wheatear, 40+ Chaffinch, 100+ Linnet, 50+ Goldfinch, 4 Siskin, 8 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Sedge Warbler, 40 Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 64 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest.

Prawle area 25/9/10

4 Ringed Plovers, 2 Sandwich Tern, c2000 Swallows, 100+ House Martins, 3 Sand Martins, 47 Wheatear, Whinchat, c120 'alba' Wagtails, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 400+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 2 Sedge Warblers, 36 Blackcap, 6 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, 62 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest.

Kingsbridge Estuary

From Embankment Road Pumping Station, 17:15-17:45, rising tide.

8 Ringed Plover, 29 Redshank, 12 Greenshank, 19 Dunlin, Curlew Sandpiper, Med Gull.

Orcombe Point to Sandy Bay - September 26th

Two turtle doves just east of Sandy Bay caravan site today. One an obvious juvenile and the other I think is an advanced first winter?? Also a merlin chasing passerines over the top fields at first light and a steady passage of meadow pipits and finches though no counts were made.

An osprey again viewable from Mudbank Lane mid-morning and a high tide roost of 50 little egrets in poplars at Lower Halsdon Farm.

Bellever, Dartmoor.

Plenty of Crossbills calling this afternoon around the parking area nearest to Bellever itself.

Sunday 26th at Dawlish Warren

Hi all, due to lack of updates on the Warren website, will use this to keep people upto date on all warren issues.

2 Little Stints & 1 Curlew Sandpiper over morning high tide. Plus finally caught up on day 4 with the Wryneck.
Otherwise a slow day.

Slapton Ley 26th Sept 2010

No sign of the Great Reed Warbler at Slapton today; female Marsh Harrier and a Bittern seen instead. A light overhead passage of Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Siskin between about 7 a.m. and noon. Several Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters still knocking around.

Jeremy Barker

R. Taw 26th September

Yelland 0840.
Redshank 25, Dunlin 15, Turnstone 12, Whimbrel 1, Bar-tailed Godwit 13, Oystercatcher 589, Grey Plover 6, Knot 3, Curlew 91, Rock Pipit 1

Instow 0915.
Little Stint 1, Dunlin 14,, Ringed Plover 26, Turnstone 7, Oystercatcher 256, Med. Gull 6.

Isley Marsh 1005
Spoonbill 3, Curlew 188

Fremington Pill 1100.
Ruff 1, Redshank 153


Graham Coules saw and photographed this falcon at Wembury on 20th Sep ' this bird was Buzzard sized and swooped along the clifface until it landed on the stockfence'.

Looks like another Gyr hybrid - a fly over in the winter would get any birders heart racing and is a good reason for local and National records committees requiring descriptions and photos of 'rare' birds!

Berry Hd 26 Sept

0700hrs- 0900hrs

Overhead 1 Tree Pipit, 3 Crossbill, 2 Siskin, 65 Meadow Pipits, 76 Goldfinch, 6 Chaffinch, 35 Linnet, 60 Swallows, 1 Grt Spt Woodpecker, 4 Alba Wagtails, 3 Greenfinch & 2 Bullfinch.

Around headland; 1 Spt Flycatcher, 31 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 11 Blackcap, 5 Wheatear and 7 Stonechat.