Saturday, 16 October 2010

Isley Marsh and Instow

9:00 - 11:00 5 Spoonbill showing well in the estuary. 6 Bar-tailed Godwit on the shore near Instow jetty together with a few Teal, Wigeon and a dozen Turnstone. Distant views of a young Winchat in the field adjacent to the short-cut footpath and lots of Meadow Pipits around.


A little bit of "vis mig" over the Warren early on - c60 Chaffinches and 15+ Siskins plus a single Fieldfare.

Elsewhere, 11+ Golden Plover, 7 Lapwings, a Firecrest (Stare Hole), 40+ House Martins, 4 Redwings, a Merlin, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 10+ Ring Ouzels (mainly in Stare Hole).

Mystic Meg eat your heart out!

Wembury 16/10/10

2 Wigeon, 100+ Skylark, 2 Swallow, 1 Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff and 7 Bottlenose Dolphin this AM.

Berry Hd - St Mary's Bay

Above Female Redstart, Left Firecrest

Around the headland this afternoon:
1 Redstart, 3 Firecrest, 10 Goldcrest, 13 Chiffchaff, 5 Blackcap, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Great Spt Woodpecker, 3 Redwing.

Froward Point

07.30 - 13.00. Cloud 0/8. Light northerly first thing, strengthening to moderate.

Unsurprisingly no sign of any Ring Ouzels this morning under clear skys, and far fewer Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests around of late but a 'flock' of 4 Firecrests together in Sycamores towards Froward Cove late morning. Some light but constant hirundine passage east plus definite easterly movement of Red Admiral.

Sharkham Point area

Yellow-Browed Warbler. Located in in Sycamore/scrub to the rear of St Marys Bay at 1400hrs. After a walk back from a birdless headland I heard a call only ever heard before on my Ipod. A bit of phishing and the bird came right out in front of me. Last seen 1420hrs with Chiffchaffs.

Dawlish Warren - AGP negative news

Despite extensive searching, no sign of yesterday's American Golden Plover at Dawlish Warren either side of high tide today. Interesting 'vis mig' and other bird news at later.

Saturday 16th October - Berry Head, Brixham

07.30 to 10.00 in a fresh Northerly with clear skies.
Three Ring Ouzel on the South facing scrub below the cafe, and a late female Redstart in the Southern Fort. Also Skylark 18, Siskin 11, Goldfinch 20, Chaffinch 9, Alba Wagtail 7,Song Thrush 6, Goldcrest 6, Meadow Pipit 40+, Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Solitary Sandpiper

E Soar:
2 Short Eared Owl in the rough ground just Sth of the Car Park late afternoon.
Also earlier today 30 Golden Plover and 5+ Ring Ouzel. EW et al. Things can only get better Perry.


Tuesday 12th Black Redstart below Black Tor, nr Princetown (Anna Easton)

Today at least six, possibly one or two more Ring Ouzel in Rowan Trees at Shallowford. Also small flock of Mistle Thrushes nearby.

Exe Estuary

The Black-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe were together at high water off Starcross. Also there was a party of 14 Greenshanks feeding together - a nice sight. Elswhere on the west side of the Exe 2 Swallows at Powderham and a report of a Red-breasted Goose on Exminster marshes (not confirmed). Almost 30% of the Brent Geese counted were juvs - suggesting best breeding success for years.

Start Point

100% cloud cover, moderate north wind easing after midday.

07:15-15:00, ( Car Park / Light / Mattiscombe Valley / Farm / Down Valley ).

Small northerly movement usual species early on, not counted. Very quiet.
3 Sparrowhawk, Merlin, 6 Golden Plover, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 105 Swallow, 55 Skylark, 6 Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 7 Goldcrest, 40 Starling, 2 Brambling, 38 Siskin and a Reed Bunting.
When a great big hairy mongrel dog attacks you and its attractive female owner apologises and says its because you look like the dog, things can only get better !!

Froward Point

07.35 - 13.05. Cloud 7/8. Light northerly.

Very little movement this morning. Short-eared Owl at roost in a hedge at the point from 07.50 until at least 12.15 when I started back. Also still 2 Ring Ouzel, 1 Firecrest and 1 Woodlark over.

R. Taw 15th October

Fremington Pill 1035.
2 Ruff ( m & f), 3 Greenshank

Isley Marsh 1130.
14 Greenshank with 20 present when I went past again at 1400.
2 Sparrowhawk including a pale creamy-white individual.

Yelland 1210.
9 Bar-tailed Godwit, 4 Knot, 2 Sandwich Tern.

Instow 1240.
60 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 98 Dunlin.


Berry Hd

08.30 -09.30

Brambling 1, Siskin 23, Chaffinch 24, Bullfinch 4, Reed Bunting 2, Yellowhammer 1, Redwing 5, Song Thrush 6, Swallow 20, Ring Ouzel 1, Goldcrest 4, Blackcap 3, Stonechat 3 and Chiffchaff 12.

Black Hole Marsh

The Solitary Sandpiper was still showing well this morning, also a Curlew Sandpiper, two Little Stints, Ruff and three Green Sandpipers. No sign of this Pec though... or of anyone who has seen it!?!

Beer Head much quieter this morning, with very little passing over head.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Exmouth late pm

Orcombe Point - 1540-1650
Yellow-browed warbler 1 (in 'dung field' hedge at the top of Gore Lane), chiffchaff 2+ mistle thrush 3, grey wagtail 1, song thrush 1+, swallow 6+, house martin 1, skylark c20+
Elsewhere female scaup and 8 great crested grebe off Mudbank Lane late afternoon with at least one pale-bellied brent with several hundred dark-bellied. 50+ swallow feeding over the Maer this evening.

Start Point

Clear spells in night, 100% cloud cover by dawn. Moderate-fresh northeast decreasing slightly after midday.

07:00-15:15. ( Car Park / Light / Mattiscombe Valley / Farm / Down Valley ).
Some overhead stuff early morning but random directions, no counts.
Sparrowhawk, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 120 Swallow, 160 House Martin, Grey Wagtail, Black Redstart, 20 Robin, 2 Wheatear, 40+ Song Thrush, 4 Redwing, 20+ Blackbird, Ring Ouzel, 12 Blackcap, 26 Chiffchaff, 11 Goldcrest, 4 Firecrest, Coal Tit, 40 Siskin.

Froward Point

07.30-13.55. Cloud 8/8. Northerly veering north-easterly 3-4 (gusting 5). Cold.

c. 20 Chiffchaff, 10-15 Goldcrest, 1 Firecrest, 5 Wheatear and 3 Stonechat at or around Froward plus 3 Ring Ouzel together still. 10+ Song Thrush, 2 Redwing, 6 Siskin, 17 Swallow and a handful of Meadow Pipit east/northeast.

Also 1 Short-eared Owl flushed from a crop field beside the track just before the last gate to the point at 08.00, flew to a nearby hedge, watched until 08.30. Light was poor (as is my digiscoping!)

Berry Head

Above Short-eared Owl over the head. Left hovering Firecrest.

I don't know where the no wind was Steve - it was blowing a force 4-5 at Berry Hd and cold too!
Around the Hd:
Firecrest 2, Goldcrest 19, Chiffchaff 22, Blackcap8, Stonechat 3, Treecreeper 1.

Some overhead stuff but struggling in the wind:
Siskin 82, Brambling 1, Goldfinch 115, Alba Wagtails 5, Meadow Pipit 34, Swallows 48, Song Thrush 7, Little Egret 1.

A further visit this afternoon produced 2 Short-eared Owls both heading S.
isley marsh today from mss

8spoonbill,12 greenshank,1 spotted redshank,1 cetti s warbler,1 redwing,

fremington pill

1 ruff.

Beer Head

Typical - this morning I had a lot more time - but it was almost instantly obvious that there was less on the move today. And the lack of wind meant over head passage was going in all directions!

Highlights over head included my first Golden Plover of the autumn, two Reed Buntings and a Grey Wagtail. Again Goldfinches, Siskins and hirundines made up the bulk of what passage there was.

Grounded birds included 500 House Martins, 200 Swallows, 85 Pied Wags, 60 Mipits, 10 Chiffs, 6 Goldcrest, 2 Wheatears and a Redwing. I was surprised to see the Corn Bunting still present - its 32nd day with us!

A little later, Beer Quarry produced at least one Ring Ouzel with good numbers of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Froward Point

07.30 - 14.40. Light north-easterly.

10+ Goldcrest, 5 Chiffchaff, 6 Blackcap, 5 Wheatear and 2 Stonechat at or on the way to Froward. Light passage of the usual suspects plus 1 Reed Bunting over. 3 Ring Ouzel together in Old Mill Bay favouring the Blackthorn/Honeysuckle, with a few more Blackbird and Song Thrush around than recently.

Beer Head and Miscellaneous

Lots of movement at and over Beer Head this morning - I didn't do any counting though as I could only stay an hour.

The most numerous species going over were Goldfinches, Siskins and hirundines, with fewer Linnets, Chaffinches, Mipits, Skylarks, Pied Wags and a late Tree Pipit. Amongst the many grounded Robins and Song Thrushes were two Redwings, two Lesser Redpolls plus a few Chiffs and Goldcrests. I can give it much longer tomorrow morning - hopefully a Lap will come my way!

A little while later, a Black Redstart at Colyford WTW was the first of the autumn for the patch.

Yesterday there was a Firecrest besides Axmouth Harbour and a Water Pipit on flood opposite Axmouth FC.

Mudbank Lane, Exmouth

The Red-breasted Goose of unknown origin (presumed escape) was on the far mudbank early afternoon. Also present was a Pale-bellied Brent Goose. A site count of 133 Common Teal was good. There were also 10 Red-breasted Mergansers together on the estuary nearby.

Earlier I had a Tawny Owl sat on a house roof, calling, at Foxholes Hill, Orcombe Point at 0700hrs.


Yellow-browed Warbler - not as obliging as the last weeks - the Pallas's was impossible!

Pallas's Warbler just W of E soar Farm in long wooded hedgerow - a very vocal bird watched for 10-15mins also Yellow-browed Warbler in same spot. I found perhaps the same Y-b Warbler earlier in a line of willows going NW along a hedge from the large mixed copse well up Starehole Valley toward the converted barn - probably about 300m (across open fields) to other spot.

Also around area:
Lapland Bunting still in ploughed field just NE of East Soar carpark, with nearly 100 Skylarks many Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and Linnets, 6 Wheatear and Merlin.
4 Blackcap, 9 Goldcrests, 11 Chiffchaff, 6 Redwing, 8 Song Thrush, 1 Reed Bunting, 24 Siskin, 8 Stonechat, 4 Swallows, 16 Chaffinches, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.

in Starehole Valley 6 Ring Ouzels, 1 Mistle Thrush, 6 Bullfinch, 23 Robins.

Turf, Exe Estuary

4 Fieldfares and at least 13 Swallows were an unlikely combination as they flew over the canal at Turf. No sign of the Spotted Sandpiper.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Solitary Sandpiper

The Solitary Sandpiper was still present on Black Hole Marsh this morning but proved tricky for photographs with the sun coming towards us and the bird close in to the high shield banks. Still good to see it after fretting in Cornwall for a couple of days!

Also a Little Stint, a Green Sand and two Ringed Plovers.

A few Dartford Warblers easily seen in flight at Aylesbeare Common on the way home late afternoon.

Black Redstart

Working, not birding but saw a Black Redstart today at Higher Soar Farm nr Soar Mill Cove.

R. Taw 12th October

Isley Marsh 0850.
8 Spoonbill including FJ9 and left leg - dark green above yellow flag above dark green; right leg - dark blue above metal ring above lime green (see Devon Birds Vol 62 No.2 Aug 2009 pages 29/30). 8 Greenshank, 1 Reed Bunting.

Yelland 0935.
1 Common Tern, 1 Little Stint, 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Knot, 10 Med. Gull including colour-ringed adult, right leg metal ring below tibia, left leg light-green ring with white lettering (quite distant and unfortunately I was unable to read it in the bright sunlight), two Rock Pipits.

Fremington Pill 1200.
Now two Ruff present, 1 Greenshank and 147 Redshank.


Isley Marsh


7 Spoonbill this morning including "FJ9" and Dutch flagged "Dark green over yellow over dark Green."

Monday, 11 October 2010

Honey Buzzard Budleigh

A single Honey Buzzard flew south over the car park at Budleigh Salterton this afternoon. Also one Glossy Ibis still.

[from Kevin Bainbridge]

Yellow-browed Warbler Beer Head

Am quite gripped by this...

Yellow-browed Warbler Beer Head this afternoon about halfway between the car park and Beer Head at SY228883. The bird was with Chiffchaffs on cliff side past first chalky headland looking back towards Beer.

[from Chris Gladman]

What a bird, more to the point-what a reserve! thanks Steve and Thanks E Devon Council and Assoc. I can safely predict a return visit soon! (far better pic's out there than mine i'm sure)
E Soar imm/f Merlin, 5- (wotton count method) Ring Ouzel. late afternoon

Prawle and beyond

Echoing Perry's day, started at Prawle then went long-distance (for me!). Cracking bird Steve - please can I be recorder for a couple of days to see if it works for me? Looking forward to the winds easing off - Prawle is very hard work at the moment!

Prawle area today; Merlin, 60+ Swallow, 6 House Martins, 4 Wheatears, 3 Ring Ouzels, Redwing, 6 Siskin, Blackcap, 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldcrest, Firecrest. (also a lot of overhead movement, mainly Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Pied Wagtails, with a few Chaffinch's thrown in).

Prawle area 10/10.

Seawatch; 07.30-10.30; 250 Gannets, Balearic Shearwater, Great Skua, 6 Common Scoter, Teal, Lapwing, Snipe, (these last 2 about 1 mile out, not too far apart), Ringed Plover, 4 Common Gull, 4 Med Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns.

Also; (in addition to Jeremy Barkers birds), Redstart, 5 Song Thrushes, 11 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrest, Firecrest.

Solitary Sand etc

Played it cool and went to Start Point first light, 5 Wheatears around the car park and some vocal Song Thrushes suggested birds were around but it was basically all blown out. Got itchy feet and went to Black Hole Marsh for the Solitary Sandpiper and had great views - thanks Steve. Also 3 Ruff, Little Stint, couple Knot etc. Went back to Start in the afternoon, Firecrest by the farm entrance but everything else keeping low.
Looking ahead, seen the weather forecast and though i'm no Mystic Meg surely Thursday / Friday through the weekend has the potential to bring loads of great birds our way with cloudier skies and rain arriving from the east-northeast hopefully with a big chunk of what birds are occuring on the east coast presently.

Isley Marsh

15:30 Three Spoonbill showing well in the low tide shallows ( including our old friend FJ9).

Solitary Sandpiper

The Solitary Sandpiper still showing from just after first light this morning c7.10am in the far south west corner of Blackhole Marsh. Also a Green Sandpiper in the same area.

Berry Head

Alot of overhead migration despite the windy conditions:
Lapland Bunting 1 (went through low over meadow with Alba Wagtails), Skylark 162, Goldfinch 220, Linnet 66, Chaffinch 12, Greenfinch 32, Redwing 9, Mistle Thrush 1, House Sparrows 2, Siskin 17, Swallow 4, Alba Wagtails 42, Meadow Pipits 134.

Around headland difficult to find sheltered areas:
Firecrest 1, Goldcrest 3, Chiffchaff 7, Blackcap 3, Stonechat 1.

Wembury 10/10/10

A quick seawatch yesterday afternoon (almost no sheltered spots on the land so almost no passerines to be seen) - 15 Dark-bellied Brent (E), 3 Common Scoter (E), 1W Med Gull (E). Everything flying into the wind? The Brents were my 100th species for Wembury Beach!

Also, what I can only assume was a Kestrel picked up several light years out in the haze. I watched it for about 10 minutes as it struggled in from the south west and eventually made it to Stoke Point. Couldn't get anything on it for a positive ID but it gave a general Kestrel impression - may be worth keeping your eyes open if you are down that way.

11/10/10 Redwing Wembury village

Start Point

Wryneck at Start Point yesterday, in the lowest tamarisk bushes below the light. Also a probable Yellow-browed Warbler.

[from Tim Clyburn]

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Directions For Solitary Sandpiper

The bird is on Black Hole Marsh, Seaton.

Enter Colyford Common from Colyford Road at SY249922. Walk down track then through gate on to marsh. Follow white topped posts south, over bridge, past the Stafford Marsh pools, and on to Black Hole Marsh. The bird was in the south west corner of the marsh at SY249916 and was present til dark. Best viewed from main track.

Parking is dodgy, but East Devon Council will get something sorted tomorrow if the bird is still present. Also four Green Sandpipers, three Little Stints and Curlew Sandpiper present.

Here's a VERY poor quality video clip, best if you turn the sound right down...

Solitary Sandpiper - Black Hole Marsh

Found at 18:15 tonight, light was always getting worse so no decent photos. Attached are best efforts. Directions to follow


Unsurprisingly everything was concentrated in the few spots which were sheltered from the strong easterly winds.

13+ Ring Ouzels in Stare Hole, 2 Firecrests in the wood, a Whichat, 2 Golden Plover, and a Hobby over West Soar; plus less than double figures of Wheater and Goldcrest .

(Ring Ouzel photo from same spot 26th Sept 10)

Exe Est - Powderham corner

juv Osprey fishing the channel (unsuccessfully while we there!)

Pig's Nose Valley/Prawle

A grand total of 8 Ring Ouzel (2 in Pig's Nose Valley, 3 at the end of the valley and 3 in Maceley Cove), and a Garden Warbler in Pig's Nose Valley. 15 Golden Plover on the airfield and a Merlin over East Prawle village. Still the odd Small Copper and Small Tortoiseshell amongst the Red Admirals, Peacocks & Large Whites.

Two firecrests Berry Hd
Walk around woods and top from 1pm-3pm produced:
4 Firecrests - 3 near radar one by cottages nr Hotel, 6 Goldcrests, 11 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1 Treecreeper, 3 Coal tits, 1 Stonechat
Brief look at sea produced:
1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 1st w Med Gull.

Northam Burrows and Skern


5 Snow Buntings still at Sandymere Pond, in the north corner next to the pebble ridge.
They were very confiding and allowed you to approach to within 20yrds.
31 Dark-bellied Brent, 2 Pintail, 22 Wigeon and 3 Gadwall on the Skern.

Fremington Pill 10th October 10.45

Ruff still present on the Pill during this morning's WeBS count.

Nigel Cottle

Orcombe Point pre-breakfast

720-855am - golden plover 1+, snipe 1, redwing 32+, hirundine sp 25+ (house martin and swallow), wheatear 1+, ring ouzel (1 E at 727am - see photo), song thrush 2, mistle thrush 1, starling 7, siskin 2+, stonechat 3, chiffchaff 2, great spooted woodpecker 1 and grey wagtail 1+. There was a steady passage eastwards of finches, meadow pipits and skylarks which I didn't really get the chance to count. Apologies for the quality of the photograph but this is only my fourth on Orcombe Point and I was glad to get any shot at all!

Duck and geese numbers off Mudbank Lane appear to have increased this morning and the first six returning red-breasted mergansers were present along with two gadwall.

Clennon Valley

Firecrest 1, Goldcrest 2, Chiffchaff 9, Wigeon 3 (First I've seen on ponds), Gadwall 1, Shoveler 1, Teal 4 (new in), Little Egret 1, Water Rail 2. Little Grebe 3.