Saturday, 23 April 2011

Colyford Marsh

This adult Purple Heron spent about 40 minutes out in the middle of Colyford Marsh, in full view, until heading off high to the south just after 19:20.

The Exminster Great White

It would appear that the colour-ringed Great White Egret currently on Exminster Marshes is the ringed bird that has been seen on the Somerset Levels since last summer; it was ringed as a nestling in May 2009 at Besne, Loire Atlantique, France.

It was seen in Lancashire during the last three months of 2009, before relocating to Cardiff in January 2010. It was then photographed in Gloucestershire in March 2010 before moving down to the Levels where it remained until last month.

Thanks Mark for posting the colour ring combination.

Prawle area - yesterday 22/4

A nice photo of a male Cirl Bunting - taken in the Prawle area yesterday by Frank Prowse.

Roadford Reservoir - yesterday 22/4

2 male and 1 female Garganey.
Near inlet seen from Viaduct, 17.00 hrs onward. Also singing Grasshopper Warbler & 1 Wigeon.

[from Brian Craven]

Exminster Marsh

A colour-ringed, adult summer plumaged Great White Egret (found by MW, first seen flying south over marsh) this afternoon in ditches south of the lagoon best viewed from the track south from RSPB car park. The ring combinations appeared to be right leg - orange ring over a metal silver ring. Left leg- orange ring over a green ring. A second bird was also reported earlier. Also present 2 Hobby over the lagoon, the Pink-Footed Goose with Canada Geese south of the middle car park, 3 Little Egrets and several Sedge and Reed Warblers.

 Photo by Martin Wolinski [added by GH]

East Soar & South Huish

Soar: 1 Turtle Dove, 3 Sedge Warblers, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 43 Whitethroat and a Hare.

South Huish: 12+ Sedge Warblers and 1 Whimbrel.


Red Kite being hassled by gulls, low over Seaton Hospital, around 10:35

Kingsbridge Estuary

West Charleton Marsh / Bay (06:00-07:00 )
Couple of female Teal and an injured male Shoveler on the marsh. 5 Whimbrel in the bay.

Exminster Marshes

Odd combination of single Eygptian and pink-footed geese early morning.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Otter Estuary and Budleigh Seafront

The 1st winter Bonaparte's Gull spent the evening on the Otter from at least 7pm - 8.10pm before it flew out to sea heading west (presumably back to Dawlish?) Also today, 3 Common Scoter on the sea, 15+ Manx Shearwaters (most west), 27 Shelduck on the Otter and the drake Gadwall still.


A male Red-footed Falcon drifted slowly N over Wagg's Plot at 10:45.

Later (in the same area) at least 2 Hobby insect catching for an hour (12-1) plus a Peregrine, 2 Kestrel, single count of 11 buzzard & a Sparrowhawk.

[from James McCarthy]


A couple of photos from Simon Thurgood today...

 Wood Warbler

Pearl-bordered Fritillary (I assume!)

Prawle seawatch

Seawatch from 06.00 - 13.00 (with Tony Marchese); After a slow start, things picked up nicely during the morning to eventually give quite a varied list of species. Everything east unless stated: 203 Gannets (67 west), 312 Manx Shearwaters (45 west), 2 Velvet Scoters, 20 Common Scoters (1 west), 65 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Black-tailed Godwits, 13 Arctic Skuas, Great Skua, 4 Common Gulls, 64 Kittiwakes, 11 Sandwich Terns, 2 Common Terns, 67 Razorbill/Guillemot (50 west), and 3 Puffins (2 west).

Thurlestone Bay.

Another good morning - all the activity took place between 07.30-10.30 although the Bay watched until 12.00 then left Bob B & Martin daw to contiue, viz only reasonable due to sea haze

89 Whimbrel, 2 Bar T Godwit,300+ Manx S'water ( largest flock 100 birds ) 13 Kittiwake, 55 gannet,2 Razorbill, 9 Razormot, 3 Common Scoter. -all fying east

10 Sandwich Tern in the Bay, 1 Diver sp (east).

at 10.30 aSwift flew over the carpark .

AJL had on South Huish marsh 2 Gargeney, 1 f gadwall, 1m Whinchat


A (common) Swift flew past my house just now. Will look at all Swifts carefully!

Beer Head

A Hobby W over Beer Head early this morning, but (apart from a single Whitethroat) otherwise very quiet.


Report recieved yesterday. 19/04/2011 Red Kite heading Low NW over Livermead at approximately 1300hrs being mobbed by 2 GBB gulls

(Sam Cooke-Thomas)

Berry Head

Lesser Whitethroat singing in thicket opposite the fort cafe this morning. Also 20+ Common Whitethroat around the headland.

Interesting Catch!

Completely exhausted this Willow Warbler was photographed on Sunday 17th April, 30 miles due South of Salcombe. The bird was visibly panting and despite the frenzied chaos it created on board, it perched on this 'branch' for at least two minutes before continuing it's journey.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Seaton again...

Three Swifts have just flown ENE over my house. Sadly they all had forked tails, and not a white rump between them. Very nice to see, all the same!

grasshopper warblers galore.

as many as 8 grasshopper warblers around my village this morning including sedge,willow,chiff-chaff,yesterday two year old red kite flying towards bude.


Headland Warren - 2 male Whinchat, 2 Cuckoo, 6+ Wheatear. Birch Tor- 1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling and showing very well. Challacombe Farm- 1 male Redstart, 3 + Redpoll including 1 male. Yarner Wood- 1 Wood Warbler singing and showing very well low down over the path, 3+ male Redstart, Pied Flys. Trendlebere- 1+ Garden Warbler singing and showing well, 2 + Tree Pipit and a pair of Stonechat. Bovey Tracey- 4 + House Martins opposite the fire station. Most unusual sight of the morning was a Curlew on the grass verge just north of Haytor Rock.


Red Kite over NW around 10:45

Sherpa/Sharper Marsh, Braunton.

06:55 - 09:30
Just out of interest the marsh was originally called "Sharper Marsh."

The mail Garganey was on the pond from 1st sighting at 07:20 until 09:10.
1 1/2hrs spent sat on the pillbox roof produced 1 Little Ringed Plover in the drainage ditch that runs btwn the marsh and Chivenor perimeter fence plus several Sedge warblers, Common Whitethroats and Linnets in the overgrown area just inside the fence. The LRP flew out of sight further up the ditch and in the 22Sqdn direction.
On the saltmarsh flats just below the toll house was a Yellow-legged Gull feeding with a single Herring Gull. It was easy to see the difference between them, especially the yellow legs.

Black Hole Marsh

No sign of the drake Garganey this morning, but a Grasshopper Warbler reeling (and showed well for a change!) along the main track, also two each of Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwit on the marsh.

Beer Head was very quiet first thing.

Exminster marshes

Early morning 2 little ringed plovers close to the bend in the track. Soon joined by 9 ringed plovers (useful comparisons) and then by 12 dunlin. Elsewhere at the high tide roost 66 curlews and 14 black-tailed godwits and 6 whimbrel were the first to arrive. A single avocet flew around , over the roost and lagoon, calling. Shelduck numbers lower than yesterday when 87 were roosting. Still 3 gadwall, 12+ teal and 5 wigeon. A noticeable increase in singing reed and sedge warblers - and lots of territorial disputes.

Berry Head - evening Wednesday 20 April

A 20 min scan of the sea produced: 1 Pale phase Arctic Skua > into Torbay, 8 Gannets and 42 Manx Shearwaters.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Red Kite flew N around 16:30, plus several House Martins collecting mud for nests on the river Otter there.

[from Pete Adey]

Black Hole Marsh

A drake Garganey at BHM this evening.

Thurlestone Bay.

Days report - observers Bob Burridge Paul Bolden & me

3 Arctic Skua , 100 Manx S'water, 95 Whimbrel, 26 Sandwich Tern 8 Eider( 17.00 ) 1 1st s Med Gull, 1 Whinchat, 1 Purple sandpiper

Little Ringed Plover still on South Huish marsh.

A Wood Warbler singing at South Milton Ley.

Thurlestone Marsh this eve- 20 sand martin, 30 Teal, 1m Tufted Duck.

Bob B also had a Red Kite over Kingsbridge at lunchtime

Witheridge Moor

The highlights of a visit this afternoon in glorious sunshine included the first TREE PIPIT of the year, a WHEATEAR, 2 male REDPOLL, and the first PIED FLYCATCHER (a male) since 2006. Also seen were 20+ Orange Tips and 100+ Green-veined Whites.

Clennon Valley

female Merlin low over > NE, during lunch in the garden!

Sardinian Warbler - Exmouth

field notes with colour added

Orcombe Point - singing male sardinian warbler in clifftop scrub 200 yards east of the geo needle. View from coastal path. Found shortly after 6am this morning in a ditch about 900 yds east of the geo needle. Please park sensibly in the Foxholes estate or Gore Lane (limited parking). Alternatively park along the seafront near the lifeboat station and walk up on to the point (approx 1km)

Sherpa Marsh

An early morning walk around the marsh this morning proved worthwhile, as the drake Garganey is still present. Lots of singing Reed and Sedge Warblers. Also at least 25 Shelduck.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Seaton area

Seawatch first thing: 1 Brent, 4 Sandwich Terns, 9 Eider, and not a lot else.

Another photo of the Seaton Marshes Great White Egret, which headed off S at 18:30 or thereabouts.

Thurlestone Bay.

A lot less wind today but still some interesting birds.

14 Turnstone ( highest this year ) at high tide roost this morning also 1 Purple Sandpiper ( AJL )

11 Manx S'water east also 3 R T Diver ( at 9.05 ) 23 Whimbrel, 5 Sandwich Tern.

A Little Gull this am ( AJL ) The 2cy Iceland Gull flew thru at 10.25

On South Huish Marsh - 1 L R Plover ( flew off at 18.00 ) a Green Sandpiper & 1m 1f Yellow wagtail

Bowling Green Marsh

Further to Colin's post, the Black Tern showing incredibly well from the hide and still present early afternoon at least (though it did fly off towards the Exe from 1.15-1.40 before returning). The drake Garganey favouring the left hand side of pool and constantly on view and a Hobby was feeding on insects over the marsh from 1.20-1.30 at least and showing well.

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh

Highlight of the day a single Black Tern, also a pair of Gadwall and a single male Garganey. A Hobby showed well for five minutes in front of the hide.

Chelston, Torquay

Good numbers of large red damselfies have emerged from our pond over the last three days and the first 2 broad bodied chasers today.

Great White Egret - Axe Estuary

This stunning breeding plumaged Great White Egret has been present on the Lagoon at Seaton Marshes (best viewed from the hide) since 15:30 today...

Docton Mill

Had a call from Malcolm Shakespeare with news of a brief flyover BEE-EATER near Docton
Mill middle of the day.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Exmouth seafront

A dark-phase Arctic Skua was chasing terns off Maer Rocks this evening. Also small groups of Manx Shearwaters present off shore.

Saunton Golf Course

Hoped to hear Grasshopper Warblers reeling around the course today as they did last year but no joy yet.
Willow warblers and Whitethroats abound!

Exminster marshes

A visit at high water to view the roost was well rewarded. Curlew, bar-tailed godwits, black-tailed godwits (c60), whimbrel (4+), knot (1 or 2), ruff (1), dunlin (11) and 4 redshank. A large peregrine swooped once over and headed towards Topsham. Interestingly there were 15 wigeon and 2 gadwall with the usual teal. Just after 8.00 pm a great white egret flew south over us (James Diamond and I). It continued south towards Exmouth possibly gaining height until out of sight. The little ringed plover was near the track.

Sherpa Marsh

Drake Garganey still present this evening along with a drake Gadwall. Lots (hundreds) of Sand Martins but zero Swallows still. Report on Birdguides of a Hoopoe at Mullacott Cross.

Thurlestone Bay.

Evening update- these are addn'l to my earlier post,. 6 Wheatear, 4 Dunlin, 42 House Martin, 60 Sand Martin , 540 Swallow, 8 Common Tern , 6 Sandwich Tern , 40 Whimbrel ( gives a days total of 88 ) .Watching finished at 17.45

Torquay - Brixham ferry 2.15 pm

A choppy crossing rewarded with good views of 2 gannets, 3 manx shearwaters and a storm petrel !

Yarner Wood

Pied Flycatchers all around the woods nest building. Great-spotted Woodpecker on dead tree up behind wardens building. Wood Warblers noisy and showing well.

Exminster Marsh

The bright and very confiding Little Ringed Plover still late afternoon at Exminster Marsh on the pool opposite the middle car park viewed from the bend in the road. Nearby, a Red-Legged Partridge just off the Exminster-Kenton Road near Hill Farm, feeding in the road.

Prawle yesterday (17/4)

Very little happening yesterday. Short seawatch early morning threw up nothing out of the ordinary; 268 Gannets, 10 Fulmars, 36 Manx Shearwaters, 4 Shelduck, 2 Common Scoter, 19 Kittiwakes and 64 Auks. 3 Eider east in the evening though, were the first of the year. Elsewhere, 3 Whimbrel, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Common Gulls (all immatures), 5 House Martins, Sand Martin, (still low numbers of Swallows), 9 Wheatears, Sedge Warbler, 17 Blackcaps, 25 Whitethroats, 13 Willow Warblers and 41 Chiffchaffs.

Only a mother could love one of these!

Thurlestone Bay.

Lunchtime update. -A f4 + ese wind clear blue sky seawatching produced the results -09.30-13.00 Beacon Pt seat AJL, Bob B & me 11 Manx S'water-east, 40 + Gannet. 3 Shelduck, 48 Whimbrel, 1 Kittiwake , 2m Garganey, 7 m Common Scoter, , 2 Arctic Tern, 13 Sandwich Tern, 11 Common Tern, a dp Arctic Skua (attacking terns very close inshore) A G N Diver on sea (still wp ), A 2s Iceland Gull seen at 9.50 returned at 12.00 and sat on the rocks 50 yds off ( different bird to that seen earlier in the month.) 1 f Yellow wagtail,20 +Swallow, 7 Sand Martin , 15 House Martin. 14 Black H Gull flew thru & up the valley. 2 Wheatear on the beach. Will post later if passage contiues

Around the county

A couple of recent Devon photos from Nigel Bastin...

Little Egret with nesting material

Pregnant Sand Lizard


1 x Stonechat, 2 x Wheatear, 12+ Swallows (passing through) 1000+ Guillemot(as counted by warden) , Kittiwake, 10(minimum) Whitethroat, 1 x Grasshopper Warbler(in quarry).

Exminster marshes

A beautiful morning, warm and still. The wader roost in the centre of the marshes looked interesting but just out of range for my binoculars. I managed c50 curlew, a few bar-tailed and black-tailed godwits, two oystercatchers and c20 "dunlin sized" birds. However much closer was a little ringed plover. A noticeable increase in reed and sedge warblers singing. Two wheatears (both well marked females) and a few swallows completed the tally of migrants.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Otter Estuary / Budleigh
The Bonaparte's Gull re-appeared briefly this evening between 18.05 and 18.10 before flying high west over Budleigh Salterton (probably just missed out on adding it to the garden list!) Also this evening 3 Teal and 1 Gadwall around the estuary, 14 Whimbrel east and 35+ pale-bellied Brent Geese west.

Thurlestone Bay.

A fantastic day -for weather- A few interesting things this am - 27 Whimbrel 4 Turnstone, 18 manx S'water, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Whitethroat. A report of a Cuckoo calling in South Milton at 07.30 A Common Sandpiper on the marsh at 18.30 plus a very interesting L B B Gull.& 32 Teal

Cornborough Cliffs, Westward Ho!

08:50 - 11:00

A very pleasant stroll along the old railway track this morning produced:-
1 female Kestrel; 2 male and 1 female Stonechat; 3 male and 2 female Yellowhammer; 3 male Common Whitethroat and 1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling on Kipling Tors.

A visit to Rosemoor in the afternoon produced a male Pied Flycatcher along the lower woodland walk.

Just some of the activity at Exminster Marshes today

Staddon Heights

There are two pairs of Cirl Buntings here this year (first for some good years). Also Lesser Whitethroat singing this morning.

Pete Aley

Sherpa Marsh

Drake Garganey again late this morning.

Dawlish Warren

150 + pale bellied brent geese still on Exe Estuary at 08.30. Also fly over tree pipt and redpoll, plus sedge warbler, 3 wheatear, 4 whimbrel.