Saturday, 21 May 2011


1 fs Med gull at recreational playing fields late afternoon.

Berry Head - Tues 17th May

Nice photo of a Turtle Dove taken at Berry Head on 17/5 by Len Ingram, whilst holidaying in the county.


Mudbank Lane - early am - fs bonaparte's gull still, fs mediterranean gull, brent goose, 2 great crested grebe, 3+ sandwich tern, c40+ dunlin and an unidentified 'tringa' type wader downriver at 0745. Slavonian grebe was again present late yesterday evening.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Black Hole Marsh

This adult White-fronted Goose was a bit of a surprise in front of the 'island hide' this morning. At 10:30 it went for a fly around and appeared to land on/near Seaton Marshes...

Thursday, 19 May 2011


The Swans on Wrafton Pond have hatched 8 cygnets, this follows 7 last year, so good production.


A female Marsh Harrier over the West Hill area this evening flew towards Staddon/Jennycliff. The first bird worth reporting from Wembury for nearly a month!

Thurlestone Bay

Waders in the Bay this morning - 4 Whimbrel, 6 Turnstone , 4 Sanderling, 1 Purple sandpiper.

South Milton Ley- Garden warbler singing, a Sedge Warbler retrapped- originally a french ringed bird ( details still awaited from Paris ) but had also been retrapped here in May 2010

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Thurlestone Bay

Waders in the Bay at 17.00-18.30- 12 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 1 Turnstone, 3 Whimbrel

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A Misty Twitch

Couldn't resist posting this photo! Today's Trumpeter Finch twitch on Lunday - photo by Shaun Barnes, and emailed by Nicola Saunders, the Lundy warden.

If only all twitches were so sparsely attended...


Pressure off ! The male TRUMPETER FINCH still on Lundy today but only after a terrific struggle. Got to Lundy and was greeted by a blanket of mist and drizzle giving only a 30-40 yards visibility. After 15 birders searched high and low there was no sign and despite being seen upto 10am, we were all convinced it had moved off before the mist descended, but at 2.10 a couple picked the bird up sat in the wall to the right of the gate on the Halfway Wall. After a few brief flight views, the trail went cold again but then miracously, the same couple who were walking back to the village relocated the bird half way back along the track to the Quater Wall. The lady very kindly came all the way back to tell us and amazingly the bird was still present when we all arrived. The bird then gave itself up and showed for the next 40 minutes on the main track at 20 yards range, occasionally flying up and down the track calling when disturbed by non birders. Also on the island today, several Spotted Flycatchers, Turtle Dove, Whimbrel and Sedge Warbler. Many thanks to Shaun Barnes who played the perfect 'host' today and for keeping tabs on it for the last few days.


Took the trip to Lundy today. 180 or so on board but not many birders. Shaun Barnes sent me a text just as we were boarding to say the Trumpeter Finch was still present. By the time we arrived, the cloud had blown in and by the time we all trooped up to half-way wall, it had gone to ground and wasn't refound (very briefly) until 2p.m. Fortunately it was then found nearer to quarter wall than it had been seen previously, and showed well sometimes down to 3 yards!
A couple of Spotted Flycatchers seen on the island and a fast flying Turtle Dove seen from the Oldenburg disappearing into the mist towards Wales about half way back!


seafront - 0600 - 2 great northern diver, 1+ mediterranean gull, c150+ black-headed gull, 10 great crested grebe, 2+ sandwich tern, 1 roseate tern, 2 sanderling.
mudbank - 0645 - fw/s bonaparte's gull, 1 brent goose, 6 great crested grebe, 3 sandwich tern.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Thurlestone Bay

The female Marsh Harrier showed well at 07.15 & 11.00

16.00 Warren Pt rocks - high tides this week so decided to spend some time on the point to see what waders come to roost- 5 Turnstone ( looking superb in sp )1 Whimbrel, 1 Dunlin & 1 Purple Sandpiper ( my first May record ). 4 Common Scoter flew west

Lundy Trumpeter - yesterday 15/5

A smart photo of the Lundy Trumpeter Finch in song yesterday, from Shaun Barnes

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Thurlestone Marsh

Nice set of sightings Pat- not up to your levels but a very quiet day brightened up this evening with an adult female Marsh Harrier quartering the reeds- no tail feathers missing so a different bird to the Slapton one seen recently

Prawle - ancient history!

I posted a blog last wednesday that was one of those deleted. The gist of it was several days spent at Prawle, with pretty good results. Below is a brief roundup.

7/5; Seawatching produced 4 Black-throated Divers, 557 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 19 Whimbrel, Great Skua, Arctic Skua and 2 Puffins. A single Turtle Dove was the only other noteworthy bird.

8/5; Just single Great and Arctic Skuas of note on the sea.

9/5; Yet more seawatching, turning up Great Northern Diver and 2 Balearic Shearwaters. Big surprise today was the reappearance of the Woodchat Shrike. Last seen on 2/5, it was looked for in between times, but had either gone off somewhere else, or had been hiding really well! Equally nice was a Quail flushed from the coastpath near Langerstone Point.

10/5; Best day of the week. First up was a female Serin, feeding beside the road. I was advised not to publicise this bird, with the possibility of breeding, but as it has not been seen since, it's safe to assume it was a migrant. Later, a female Montagu's Harrier flew north over the airfields. This bird carried a wing-tag, so hopefully details of it's origins will be discovered in due course. Completing the line-up of decent birds was a female-type Golden Oriole, this one unfortunately being on private land. A 1st winter Med Gull and Spotted Flycatcher made up the numbers for today.

11/5; Seawatching once more, with 7 Great Northern Divers flying west the highlight. Also of note, a flock of 11 Ringed Plovers flew through, and the Med Gull was still off the Point. Single Spotted Flycatcher and a couple of Willow Warblers were the only migrants of note.

13/5; 2 Sanderlings and a lingering Purple Sandpiper were the highlights of a brief evening visit.

West Teignmouth

2pm Hobby hunting hirundines

Lundy yesterday, Prawle today

For those thinking 'you can't tick that - it's dead' - don't worry, it came alive again!

As Roy says, unbelievable lack of birders making the trip. Great day, great bird, and well done to all those involved in the finding and identification. Also on the island, up to 15 Spotted Flycatchers.

Back to Prawle this morning, and was greeted by the beautiful sounds of a singing Golden Oriole in the bottom of the reserve. Managed 2 views of it, (confirming it to be a 1st year bird), one in flight as it flew to the top end of the reserve, and one later in the Ash trees back at the bottom end. Went quiet at 8.15, but was heard again around mid-day. Only other birds of note were 3 Spotted Flycatchers.


Made the trip across to Lundy yesterday. Unbelievably only eight other birders on board and only five from Devon!
Excellent views of the Trumpeter Finch on the ground and on the wall. With less than a dozen peolpe watching (plus a steady trickle of intersted walkers) there was none of the jostling and shoving I was expecting.
The big question of the day was "Where is everybody"???

Kingsbridge Estuary

Very quiet around Charleton Marsh and Bay this afternoon on the high tide. Surprised to see a pair of Great Crested Grebes in the bay displaying ( including the weed dance ).

Beesands Ley

Wildfowl present this morning included 11 Tufted Duck and 4 Pochard. A pair of Gadwall had at least 4 young with them. Also a pair of Great Crested Grebes and, unusual here this time of year, a Little Grebe. Out in Start Bay on a fairly calm sea a pair of Shelduck with 9 very young ducklings swimming north about 500 metres offshore - thankfully unnoticed by the local gulls.


Orcombe Point - 0535 - 3 great northern diver north and apparently inland including these two birds together.

Mudbank - fw/s bonaparte's gull upriver at 0730, 1 brent goose still and 4 great crested grebe. Also 1 siskin south and1 red kite high north upriver at 0920 viewed from house.