Saturday, 9 October 2010

Wembury Beach 9/10

AM - 5 Grey Plover, 4 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 1 Wheatear, Grey Seal, 88 Oystercatcher, 2 Swallow

PM - 18 Dunlin, 5 Goldcrest, 1 Chiffchaff, 40 alba wag, 6 Bottle-nosed Dolphin

Prawle area

Seawatch, 07.30 - 13.00; 2 Balearic Shearwaters, Great Skua, 24 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers, 5 Wigeon, 2 Pochard, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 3 Common Gulls.

also; 30+ House Martins, 2 Swallows, 2 Wheatears, 8 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, Firecrest.

Northam Burrows

12:00 - 13:30 Cracking views of 5 Snow buntings at Sandymere.

Berry Hd

Balearic Shearwaters 5 above and one pretending to be a Sooty below.. also two 1st w Med Gulls

Went to Berry Hd to look for passerines and ended up seawatching:
12.40 - 1.40pm; 26 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Arctic Skuas, 2 Bonxies, 3 Med Gulls.
Around headland; 1 Treecreeper, 5 Chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Blackcap.

Newton Abbot

Report from Pete Stevens of 5 White Storks drifting W over Newton Abbot this morning heading toward Ipplepen.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Northam Burrows

Two Snow Buntings showing well at Northam Burrows this morning, but the other two not located. At the "usual" place at the end of Sandymere beside the pebbles.

Beesands Ley

High number of Coot ( 163 ). Also 40 Gadwall ( not a high number for here ) and 5 Shoveler. 8 Tufted Duck were the only diving ducks seen. Beesands may see more Coot etc this winter because of apparent ( and presumably temporary ) poor condition of Slapton Ley ( re food availability for wildfowl ).

Start Point

Clear night, almost 100% cloud cover at dawn. Moderate southeast wind ( lighter than forecast ).

06:45-14:00, ( Light/ Mattiscombe Valley/ Farm/ Down Valley )
Negligable overhead movement first thing. Just a single Chiffchaff at the light.
Great Spotted Woodpecker, 24 Swallow, 15 House Martin, 150 Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, 40 Pied Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Whinchat, 25 Robin ( first influx of autumn ), 3 Wheatear, 4 Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff, 11 Goldcrest ( first double figure count since autumn 2008 ), 2 Firecrest, 16 Starling ( first flock of autumn ), 6 Siskin.

Berry Head

Seawatch: 07:30-12:30
Ad Pomarine Skua, Black-throated Diver, 7 Balearic Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, 17 Arctic Skua, 4 Great Skua, juv Common Tern, 3 Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Gull, 466 Kittiwake (good passage incl. 63 juvs but sadly no Sabs!), 14 Common Scoter, 3 Harbour Porpoise.

Of interest this diver was initialy noted as GND, as a quick fly-by, by all present. Luckily I snapped this picture! Concensus of opinion now is imm BTD, as lacking GND's collar, has more pointed wings, highish white flank. But pretty sublte!

Clennon Valley

Brief walk turned into a frustrating long walk when a skulking Acro warbler was found in sallows near YMCA!!

Reed Warbler 1 - eventually gave some very good views, Gadwall 1 male - back again, Water Rail 3, Chiffchaff 11, Goldcrest 3, Kingfisher 1.

Northam Burrows

9:30 - 11:00
 Lots of Skylark, Meadow Pipit and Wheatear around on the Burrows this morning.
Meadow Pipit


Berry Hd - Passerines

Search of the top of the headland today produced:

Firecrest 1, Goldcrest 8, Chiffchaff 11, Stonechat 1, - not much overhead but, Alba Wagtails 21, Grey Wagtail 1, Meadow Pipits 83, Skylark 6, Siskin 2 + a few other common finches.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Snow Bunting Dartmoor

A Snow Bunting at Top Tor, near Widecombe (Dartmoor) today.

[from Ann Willcocks]

Exmouth late afternoon

Exmouth seafront 1645-1830

juvenile sabines gull south @1745 with small group of kittiwakes (mostly juvs). Also 3+ arctic skua lingering, 1+balearic shearwater, 4+ gannet, c40+kittiwake, fw mediterranean gull, auk sp, and 44+common scoter.

Mudbank Lane

adult red-breasted goose with 150+ dark-bellied brent geese on incoming tide this afternoon.

Berry Head

Seawatch 14:30-18:00 (Mark D and Dave Smallshire)
23 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Manx Shearwaters, Great Skua, Pomarine Skua, 2 Skua sp., 3 Arctic Skuas, juv Arctic Tern, juv Common Tern, 2 'commic' Terns, 9 Common Scoter, Harbour Porpoise
(Earlier 16 shearwater sp. had been seen, most likely Balearics, so that could be around 39 this afternoon!).

Fremington Pill

10:00am  -   1 Ruff and 1 Greenshank feeding alongside the Redshank flock (approx 120).

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Clennon Valley Ponds

Immature Ruddy duck showing well on the lower pond between 14.00 and 14.40. Also 3 dabchicks.

Kingsbridge Estuary - West side

Merlin, ad Mediterranean Gull, 2 juv Common Terns fishing out in the channel. A Peregrine caught a wader over the estuary and was chased and robbed of the kill by a Raven!


Yellow-browed Warbler just below farm in line of willows.
Soar quite productive despite windy conditions:

Highlights: Yellow-browed Warbler and Wryneck.
Over-head: Skylark 135, Meadow Pipit 131, Linnet 67, Chaffinch 46, Siskin 23, Golden Plover 1, Alba Wagtails 13.
Around area: Wheatear 7, Chiffchaff 4, Goldcrest 2, Blackcap 1, Stonechat 7.

Pictures below Wryneck in field just south of the ponds at the top of Starehole Valley on short grassy slope - it was in the same place when I came back up the valley 1/2hr later.

Sharkham Point

A quick 15 minute walk out from the house this morning, a Sedge Warbler was located in scrub at the rear of St Marys Bay in the exact spot that the Gropper was seen 2 days ago.

Axe Estuary

Two Little Stints on Black Hole Marsh this morning with 6 Ringos and 3 Dunlin, also Barn Owl as usual!

On the Estuary 7 Barwits, 11 Blackwits and a Knot.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Axe Estuary

Osprey still present on the Axe Estuary today, along with two Grey Plover, one Knot and five Barwits.

A Black Tern was watched over the Axe from Seaton Marshes Hide on Sunday, and yesterday the Wryneck was still present (also seen from the hide). The Black Hole Marsh Barn Owl continues to show during daylight hours...

Exe Estuary

An adult Goshawk flew over Exminster Marshes at 08.50 mobbed by a cloud of corvids and disturbed all ducks and waders on the estuary. Also overhead 1 redpoll, 1 Yellow wagtail and on the ground 1 Wheatear and c30 Meadow Pipits.

A little later in the morning a Black-necked Grebe off Starcross with the Slavonian Grebe. Osprey overhead and caught fish near old wreck.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Dawlish Warren hide, 1.30-4.30pm

Nothing scarce but very close views of common wader sps - good for photography. A part leucistic oystercatcher present in a flock of several hundred, also 2 wheatear and an immature common lizard behind the hide.

Soar Saturday 2nd Oct

Best birds were Grasshopper Warbler and Turtle Dove; also 50 Alba Wagtails, one Yellow Wagatail and a Treecreeper plus a smattering of commoner migrants. Nice weather!

Isley Marsh

Not a lot around this morning but three Spoonbills were showing well in the low tide ponds in the estuary about 100 yards out from the shore.

Teign Est this evening

Yellow Wagtail at Passage House this evening with 270+ alba wagtails, Kingfisher and Water Rail

Long overdue patch and Newton tick :-)

Start Point

Light northwest wind, beautiful warm and sunny autumn day.

07:00-15:00.( Car Park/Farm/Mattiscombe Valley/Light/Down Valley).
Tried a bit of vis mig first thing from the car park but hard to get a handle on it. Plenty of stuff flying around but in all directions so not counted due to risk of duplication.

2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 430+ Swallow, 280+ House Martin, c400 Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, 8 Wheatear, 9 Blackcap, 38 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, Brambling, 17 Siskin, Lapland Bunting ( south over car park at 07:40 ).

Called into Prawle on the way home and saw the Buff-breasted Sandpiper in its favoured spot - what a cracking bird.

Clennon Valley

Ruddy Duck still present also:

Pintail 1, Water Rail 2, Chiffchaff 7, Goldcrest 1, Blackcap 6.

Berry Hd

Fairly quiet morning but some overhead migration:

Crossbill 4, Siskin 40, Chaffinch 35, Goldfinch 73, Linnet 36, Greenfinch 4, Alba Wagtails 13, Grey Wagtail 1, Meadow Pipit 26, Grt Spt Woodpecker 2, Mistle Thrush 4.

Around Headland:
Chiffchaff 25, Goldcrest 8, Treecreeper 1, Blackcap6, Stonechat2, Wheatear 1, Coal Tit 1 (britannicus on headland)

Sharkham Point

0915hrs - 1115hrs
Grasshopper Warbler in scrub behind St Marys Bay showing well down to 6 ft at times. Also large number of Blackcap, 42. 37 Chiffcaff and a steady movement of Meadow pipit overhead with a few Skylark over also.

Exe Estuary, Turf

Juv Spotted Sandpiper still present but feeding in the river.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

BB Sand still Airfield mid a.m.

Kingsbridge Est.
7 Med gull, 6 BarWit, 2 Comm Tern, 1 Arctic Tern,

Hope's Nose and Corvo

Hope's Nose looked promising today but failed to deliver. 25 Bonxies , 16 Arctic Skuas and 4 Balearic Shearwaters was the best on offer.

On a brighter note, congratulations to Phil Abbott, after seeing the Northern Parula on Corvo, Azores , he then found his very own Yellow Warbler today. Well done mate !!!

Prawle area

Record shot of Dave's Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Seawatch; 0730 - 13.30;
1025 Gannet, Sooty Shearwater, 20 Balearic Shearwaters, Manx Shearwater, 6 Great Skuas, 5 Arctic Skuas, 4 Mediterranean Gulls, 68 Kittiwakes.

In addition to the Airfield waders; Merlin, Raptor sp. south out to sea, either Hobby or Merlin, 2 Wheatear.

Prawle area, 2/10.

3 Common Scoter, Teal, 2 Curlew, Whimbrel, Golden Plover, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, 70+ Swallow, 5 House Martin, Sand Martin, 250+ Meadow Pipits, 100+ Pied Wagtails, Yellow Wagtail, Siskin, 32 Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, 32 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest.

Axe Estuary

There's been a Grey Phalarope on Black Hole Marsh this afternoon/evening. Also Curlew Sandpiper, two Barn Owl and Osprey still.

East Prawle 03/10

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper was still showing well late afternoon today in the ploughed field behind the duckpond at East Prawle. Single Golden Plover also present.

No sign of the House Finch in a brief search behind Piglet Stores, but I've no doubt it's still there.

News from Lundy

Yellow-browed Warbler, Common Rosefinch, 8 Lapland Bunting & 5 Balearic Shearwater today

(from Tim Jones, Tim Davis, Richard Campey & Tom Bedford)

Devils Point, Plymouth

A juvenille Common Tern here this morning doggedly pursued by a Peregrine. The tern showing incredible agility, both birds trying to gain a height advantage over the other until they were lost to view. The Peregrine later returned empty handed so I assume the tern managed to shake it off.

Moving on to the Plym a Dipper showed well behind Plympton sewage works.
Not much on the estuary; just four Greenshank, two Common Sands, a Black tailed Godwit and a Kingfisher.
Of local interest a count of one hundred and fifty one Mallards were my highest here.

Budleigh Salterton - Grey Phalarope

In the fields behind the cricket pitch. Photo by Martin Wolinski.

[from Martin Wolinski]

Beer Seawatch

A seawatch from the shelter at Beer, 07:45 to 10:25, produced 100+ Gannet, 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Razorbill, 9 Common Scoter, 3 Fulmar, 5 Arctic Skua, 6 Great Skua, a juvenile Long Tailed Skua and a frustratingly brief view of a Petrel sp.

Start Point

Overnight rain easing after daybreak, strong southerly wind decreasing and backing to southwest by midday with accompanying brighter weather.

07:15-13:45, seawatch from Point 07:30-10:15, Start Farm/Down Valley/Mattiscombe Valley.

4 Balearic Shearwater (south), 4 Turnstone (s), 2 Great Skua (s), 110 Swallow, 3 House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Wheatear, 22 Blackcap, 18 Chiffchaff, Firecrest ( Farm ), 2 Goldcrest.
First small number of obvious migrant Blackbirds and Robins, c10 Red Admirals.