Saturday, 9 April 2011


Osprey eating fish on exposed mussel bed off Mudbank 710pm'ish before slowly circling upriver. Also fs mediterranean gull +3 dark-bellied brent goose.

Thurlestone Bay.

A good f5 easterly with moderate viz offshore.- This am in 4 hrs - 30 Sand Martin 6 Swallow & 3 House Martin flew North. A Hobby flew in off sea at 10.45 .A pr of Shoveler with a m Gadwall flew into the Bay , 4 Teal -east. 32 Sandwich tern & 2 Common Tern flew thru single Dunlin & Whimbrel over. South Milton Ley ringers - 3 Sedge Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 6 Chiffchaff& 1 Willow Wblr

Stover Country Park

Defending territory is exhausting


Red Kite below Hingston Rock at 10:45 this morning.

[George Wilkinson]

Friday, 8 April 2011

Thurlestone Bay.

The easterly breeze and good viz did not produce the number of birds we expected, however still a reasonable day Thurlestone marsh - 1 Green Sandpiper ( first of the year ), 31 Teal, 2 Sedge Wblr, 2 Willow wblr, 1 Reed Wblr. In the Bay - 2 Purple Sandpiper, 6 Turnstone ( Arthur Livett ). 1 G C Grebe, 4 Sandwich Tern, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Whimbrel, 1 White wagtail, 2 Common Scoter,

Dawlish Warren - yesterday 7/4

A couple of record shots of the American Wigeon, taken yesterday at Dawlish Warren by Charlie Fleming.

Halsdon Nature Reserve

Captured my first Pied Flycatcher shot of the year today.

RSPB Labrador Bay

Cirl Buntings showing well again today. This one has a Ladybird friend !!
Skylarks soaring and singing in the morning sun.
Thanks Adam for the directions. First time I've been to Labrador Bay area.

Sharkham Point

First time out for a week. Not out first thing but a few birds still around, approx 25+ Chiffchaff, 4 Wheatear, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Willow Warbler, 9 Swallow plus all the regulars including some Yellowhammer

Exminster marshes

Ring-tail hen harrier flew west towards Halden Hill from near Topsham Lock at 08.45. Several reed warblers and sedge warblers singing. c20 redshank flew in to join the curlew at the roost. One orange tip and 2 peacock butterflies on the wing before 09.00.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Dawlish Warren

The drake American Wigeon found late afternoon, still present till 8pm at least on sea with 3 Wigeon, fairly close inshore between far end of Warren Point and adjacent to path to Bight, and last seen swimming strongly back towards mouth of estuary.

Cirl buntings at Labrador Bay,RSPB

6+males and 4+ females showing well in flowering blackthorn west of car park


Update from Vic & Silvia Tucker - Soar am 1m Redstart , 3 Whitethroat. 15.00 T Bay 1 Whimbrel on the rocks

Thurlestone Bay.

Another glorious day - poor viz offshore. Warren Pt this morning 2 Turnstone, 3 Purple Sandpiper. A Little Ringede plover flew over at 10,30 4 sandwich Tern in the bay. Thurlestone Marsh had a singing Reed Warbler first thing


Helmeted Guineafowl - Bystock - one of at least 13 present that sometimes get out and about!

Orcombe Point - 2 whitethroat back in today, 3 wheatear, 6+chiffchaff, 8+willow warbler, 2 blackcap mid-late pm.

Drake american wigeon with 3 wigeon off Warren Point viewable from Exmouth Docks before flying west further along the Warren and into strong sunlight. Still viewable distantly from Exmouth seafront. Many thanks for call Steve.

Exeter Canal

Exeter Canal A walk along the canal from Countess Wear to Turf Locks produced a profusion of singing / calling Warblers including :- 17 Chiffchaff, 9 Blackcap, 6 Cetti's, 2 Reed Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler and a first Whitethroat. Also seen were 51 different butterflies of 4 species including 35 Peacock seen mostly from the Topsham Ferry Crossing to Turf.

Exminster marshes

At high water (08.30) an impressive flock of 320 curlew were roosting on the marshes with 12 black-tailed godwits. The distance was too far to check for the ruff that was present yesterday. A reed warbler sang briefly in Cork's drove and the summer plumaged water pipit was in the fields north of the bend in the lane (its usual site). Still plenty of teal (30+) and over 50 shelducks, 3 pintail and 12 shoveller.

Velator reserve

Ringing today produced 4 Goldfinches, 4 Greenfinches, 10 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 7 Blackcaps, a Sand Martin (plenty around) and 2 Redstarts - male and female, new for the reserve. Also half a rat! - the Tawny Owl escaped...


It looks like dragonflies are emerging with this warm, sunny spell: a Large Red Damselfly took its maiden flight from my garden pond around midday. This my earliest adult dragonfly record for the garden - by about two weeks!

Beer Head

Beer Head was quite good this morning with a scattering of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. There were five Redstarts, four males and a female, and two Siskin flew west.

Yarner Wood, 6th April

Brief and late news: a singing Redstart and two bursts of song from a Wood Warbler outside the reserve office in mid-afternoon.


A good walk this morning curtailed prematurely by the need to go to work: 40 Willow Warbler, 20 Chiffchaff, 4 Swallow, Slav Grebe, 5 Sandwich Tern and the first Whitethroat of the year. It looked like birds were dropping in briefly an moving on quickly on the ground probably due to the bank of fog offshore and the NW breeze. Strangely no Wheatear?

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Instow to Yelland Jetty and return via Tarka Trail

07:00 - 09:00
High tide 07:27 at Yelland.

No Gulls at all off Instow Cricket Ground? Just 1 Shelduck flying by.
12 Swallows and c40 Sand Martins over Instow Barton Marsh and a pair of Buzzards pairing up.
2 Whimbrel on the foreshore with c150 Oystercatcher, 3 Grey Plover and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits on the jetty roost. Just 2 more Shelduck and a couple of Moorhen on the Overflow pond.
Reed Bunting, Blackcaps, Greenfinch, Long-tailed Tits, Chiff Chaffs and Willow Warblers in the bushes alongside the path back to the Tarka Trail.
2 Little Owls in the wooden lean-to shed by the chalets.

Thurlestone Bay.

A fantastic spring day- Bob Burridge found 2 new year ticks - 2 Sedge Warbler at S >MIlton LEY & a Reed Warbler on Thurlestone marsh . 3 Cettis & 6 Willow Warbler at S M Ley. "2 Common Scoter flew north, 7 Sandwich Tern in the bay with 2 Teal.

Dawlish Warren

A few of the bird species at Dawlish Warren in the sunshine

Witheridge Moor

A visit this afternoon in beautiful weather resulted in the following :- 9 (nine) Willow Warblers announcing their arrival, only a single pair of Meadow Pipit, only 1 Skylark, but still NO Stonechat. Also seen were 3 Raven, a female Sparrowhawk, a pair of Kestrel and 4 species of butterfly including 4 Orange Tips

Yarner Wood

6+ singing Pied Flycatchers today, also two Lesser Spotted Woodpecker calling in different locations but not visible.

Northam Burrows

After a blank day on the Burrows yesterday, a good fall of wagtails this morning. 12 White wagtails, a similar number of Pied, but best of all a Blue-headed Wagtail. All were feeding in the area between Greylake Pool and the Skern saltings.

Apart from two each of Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler the main warbler passage is still a few days away.

On the home front a Swallow has roosted in my garage for the last two nights.


Ah the rewards of a morning spent in the garden! A Song Thrush belting out it's song for about an hour, plus the odd Chiffchaff, Wren and Chaffinch adding to the general spring warmth in the air. Then at midday all the Gulls started shouting at something, and I rushed for the binoculars to watch an Osprey circling above the house and moving off north. That's two weeks earlier than the one I saw over the house two years ago.

Berry Hd

Tree Pipit and large pale rumped but buffy brown Redpoll in the end had to go with Lesser

Light passage today: Chiffchaff 11, Willow Warbler 16, Blackcap 3, Tree Pipit 2, Wheatear 2, Lesser (?) Redpoll 1, Siskin 1, House Sparrow 2 on point, Swallow 14, Sand Martin 1, House Martin 3, Stonechat 1.

At sea (brief look only): Gannet 18, Bonxie 1, Manx Shearwater 2.

Cirl Bunting Female and Willow Warbler one of several today

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Red Kite over Kingsteignton this morning about 10.00am heading towards Newton Abbot racecourse.
(Jon Avon)

Start Point

Seawatch 08:00-14:00: pretty wet and windy, but not a huge amount passing given the conditions. Heading SW were 113 Manx Shearwaters, Puffin, 2 Red-throated Divers (heading N), 32 Razorbills, 19 Guillemots, 21 Fulmars, 42 Kittiwakes and 114 Gannets. At least 17 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks, then heading N and a light passage of 100+ hirundines coming in off the sea (mostly Swallows and Sand Martins with a few House Martins). Of note, a few days previously one of the angling boat skippers reported 6 Little Gulls (3 in breeding plumage ) around the boat 20+ mile off Start.

Powderham marsh

From the viewing platform this afternoon, drake Garganey again present, over the far right side of the pools by the reeds.

Thurlestone Bay.

South Huish Marsh at 16.00 produced a male Blue Headed wagtail & a f Yellow Wagtail, Grey Plover still on the marsh. 11 Sandwich Tern in the Bay. Swallow & Sand Martins over Thurlestone marsh c30 in total

Exminster marshes

Mid afternoon is probably not the best time to hear bird song but today there was plenty including a sedge warbler (on canal bank), Cettis (1), bullfinch (1), willow warbler (6+), chiffchaff (8+) and a blackcap. Difficult to estimate the number of sand martins but guess at 200 accompanied by 3 swallows and 2 more over the canal. A water pipit was on wet flashes near the railway. There were at least 6 buzzards soaring very high in a tight group.

Monday, 4 April 2011


This Wryneck was in a private garden in a Mary Tavy for half an hour yesterday afternoon, but there's been no further sign of it since.

Thurlestone Bay.

Good vis, f5 sw wind and almost no birds . Arthur Livett spent 2 hrs looking for the Bittern and was rewarded with 2 sightings, no one else seems to have been successful. A Grey Plover was on South H. Marsh late am & still there at 6pm. In the Bay 8 sandwich Tern. 8 Razorbill, 3 Guillemot , 3 Fulmar. Thurlestone marsh - 2 Shelduck, 5 Little Egret.., 20 Teal, 15 Swallow & 10 sand Martin

Stover Country Park

Grebes still not dancing. Plenty of nest building and the male chasing away a young male !!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Axe estuary

This 1st winter Iceland gull was on the estuary this afternoon and then on Seaton marshes.

Thurlestone Bay.

Acouple of interesting records this morning - at 11.30 Graham daw found a Bittern On the small pool by the White House at South Huish Marsh , i managed to pick it up at 12.00 became elusive thereafter. Bob Burridge had a m Yellow wagtail fly over his carpark at 13.00. More Swallows & Sand Martin around with up to 7 Sandwich Tern in the Bay

Exminster Marshes

Good passage of Swallows through early morning (100+) with 50+ Sand Martins plus Sedge Warbler, Water Pipit and a few Willow Warblers


The new NT pools have now grown to 3 , at the top end of the marsh. Not a lot of birds in evidence this am but pair of Gadwall present, one teal, and singing Willow Warbler.