Saturday, 18 June 2011


An hour of seawatching this afternoon produced 50+ Manxies, 100+ Gannet and an Ad and 2S Med Gull.


Took a call from Malcolm Shakespeare this morning which had me heading for the tiny hamlet of Kingsheanton just west of Barnstaple, where a lovely lady let me into her house to see the adult male Rose-coloured Starling feeding with lots of other birds just outside her conservatory. I've seen lots of juveniles, but this was the first adult I've seen, so very pleased indeed.

A word of warning: It's a tiny hamlet with virtually no parking!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Exeter's Urban Peregrines - Request for Information

Appeal to DBWPS Members for information
I have been studying the diet and prey selection of the Peregrine falcons at St. Michael’s Church in Exeter, since they first bred in 1997 together with Ed Drewitt who identifies the prey species from feathers, collected by me on a weekly basis throughout the year, and from the annual gutter clearances.  We have had articles published in the DBR 2001 (Prey selection by Urban Peregrine Falcons in 2001) and British Birds, Feb 2008, volume 101 (Diet and Prey Selection of Urban –Dwelling Peregrine Falcons in Southwest England).
We are currently working on a paper for submission to Devon Birds in 2012, which will include all prey items recorded over the last 14 years, and document productivity and the site history. We would be pleased to hear from anyone who also has a specific interest in this site and may have recorded any observations over this period that may add to this paper, and especially any information regarding behaviour, hunting and interaction with other species, both during their tenure and in the early years of site occupation prior to 1997.
Please contact Nick Dixon (via email subject line: N Dixon)
 or call 01647 281681 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            01647 281681      end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

Bowling Green Marsh

A fine adult Roseate Tern came in with a flock of 9 Sandwich Terns this evening. As seems the norm nowadays, it had a metal ring on each leg.

Thurlestone Bay

Further visit 17.00-18.30 -what a difference almost a flat sea & little wind viz good 100% cloud.

Flocks of Manx S'water passing east total 325 (largest flock -40 ) also 3 Balearic S'water ( 17.30, 17.40 18.20). 54 Gannet & a flock of 12 Black H Gull

Berry Head

Seawatch 05:45-16:30, heading south were: 11 Sooty Shearwaters (some of these birds very close in), 56 Balearic Shearwaters, 2884 Manx Shearwaters, European Storm-petrel, 8 Arctic Skuas (all adults), 5 Bonxies, 26 Puffins, 472 Gannets, 35 Common Scoter, Sandwich Tern and Shelduck. Also Harbour Porpoise.

Quite exceptional Sooty and Balearic passage for June! Most passed between 12:00-14:00.

Thurlestone Bay

having just spent 10 mins wring a post afailure occurred when I pressed the publish post spot, sorry if we end up with 2 postings.

The expected storms & driving rain didn't arrive , SEwind F5/6, viz quite good -Stoke Pt (even Rame Head at times ).

Bay watched from 08.20-12.40 from the relative shelter of the toilet block at South Huish Marsh.

196 Gannet, 1 Balearic S'water (09.20) 17 Manx S'water, 1 Kittiwake, 2 Black H Gull, 10 Common Scoter all east. 3 Sanderling & a Curlew flew through. 21 Swift flew south in 3 groups (quite high ) 3 Sandwich Tern were joined by a Common Tern (11.15), best sighting of the watch at 11.30 an adult Arctic Tern flew into the Bay then over me at aheight of 35 feet and flew up the valley.

Finally a Guillemot on the sea

Sharkham Point

Hour long seawatch 0910-1010hrs produced 103 Manx Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwater and 3 Great Skua all south in clearing conditions.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Castle Drogo

A gentle walk Thursday morning along the top paths from Castle Drogo towards Fingle Bridge was quiet but produced a family party of Garden Warblers in bracken with the two adults collecting bugs etc from the bracken and feeding the juveniles. One of the adults came onto bracken within 10 metres in very clear view. There was another Garden Warbler singing at a different location.

Also Tree Pipit along Hunters Walk.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Sea Watch - Berry Head

Wednesday evening:

A warm dry sea watch, bit of a contrast to Sunday!

1800 to 1930 hrs in clearing conditions with a moderate to light SW wind.

207 Manx Shearwater, 3 Balearic, single Bonxie & Arctic Skuas, 5 Sandwich Tern and a Curlew.

Pod of 8 or 9 Bottle-nosed Doplin (1830) close in shore heading North across the bay towards Meadfoot beach. One Harbour Porpoise and my first Marbled White of the summer.

Thurlestone Marsh

2 Black Tailed Godwit present all day. The Mute Swans now have 6 cygnets .

This evening on the beach still 1 sp Sanderling also 1 first summer Med Gull

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Exminster Marshes

Belated posting from 12 June. The first-year Bonaparte's gull at high tide with black-headed gulls (the first sighting on this side of the Estuary, I think) and four fledged lapwing, the first of the year.

Thurlestone Bay

Late afternoon cloud cover & a flat sea produced the first evening feeding parties of Manx S'water with 45. 3 Razorbill & an adult Med Gull.
On the beach a sp Sanderling.

On Thurlstone Marsh yeserday 2m 1 f Shoveler, the Mute Swans are now proud parents of 5 cygnets., also off Warren Pt rocks a nice sp Turnstone

Monday, 13 June 2011

Bowling Green Marsh - 11th June

1 Bonaparte's Gull and 3 Med Gull on pm high tide

[from Brian Croad]

Sunday, 12 June 2011

SLAPTON 12-06-2011

from the memorial Car Park 09:20-11:20 all South
Manx Shearwater 243+, Storm Petrel 8, Gannet 54+, Kittewake 37+, Fulmar 25+, Razorbill 2, Arctic Skua 1 ad p/ph, Bonxie 1, Curlew 1
2 Egyptian Geese Bowcombe Cr Kingsbridge,
3 Sandwich Tern, 7 Sanderling, Ringed Plover, 9 LBB Gull and Green Sand Sth Huish/Thurlestone.


Seawatching from home overlooking Dawlish Bay on/off 09:00 - 18:30 produced (all south):
1 Balearic, 231 Manx, 48 Fulmar, 212 Gannet, 2 Shelduck, 6 C Scoter (20+ on sea), 1 L Egret (north), 2 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 6 Arctic Skua, 7 Bonxie, 116 Kittiwake, 2 B-h Gull, 45 S Tern, 24 C Tern, 2 A Tern, 1 Little Tern, 1 Guillemot, 1 Razorbill.

Thurlestone Bay

Bay watched again from 13.15 - 16.00 viz gradually got worse although the wind became southerly and dropped to a 5 by 16.00.

No sign of any Storm Petrel -but still worthwhile-

325 Gannet , 8 Fulmar, 4 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Scoter, 1 Great Skua (13.45 ) 1 light phase Arctic Skua (15.30 ) 5 Kittiwake, 1 Manx S'water. 4 L B B Gull, 1 Blk H Gull- all east

On the beach at high tide 8 Sanderling


Seawatching for an hour thus afternoon was slightly less soul destroying than normal at Wembury! That said, 6 Sandwich Tern and a Bonxie were the best birds but it at least looked promising....

Hope's Nose 0700-1100

A cracking light phase Pomarine Skua close inshore at 0835, complete with spoons, was bird of the day. Also 4 Arctic Skuas, a Bonxie, 2 Storm Petrels, a dozen Common Terns and about 600 Manx Shearwaters, nicely rounded off with 2 Puffins sitting on the sea. But a decided lack of Balearics here! Would have given it longer but rather wet...
Budleigh Salterton Beach

A walk along the beach in the evening produced a surprise in the re-appearance of the now 2nd Summer Glaucous Gull. The most notable difference in plumage appears to be the new median coverts. It was feeding on the beach until 7pm at least.

Hopes Nose

Seawatching 11.30-13.00- 2 Storm Petrels south close inshore 12.20-12.30, a 2nd summer Med Gull off the rocks, 200+ Manx Shearwaters and 1 Sandwich Tern

Berry Hd

05.30hrs-11.00hrs: 1394 Manx Shearwaters, 371 Gannets, 127 Kittiwakes, 9 Balearic Shearwaters, 12 Storm Petrels, 11 Puffin, 6 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua (ad pale), 22 Common Scoter.

At one point just before I left I found a group of birds sat on the sea, in the same field of view in the Telescope where: 1 Bonxie, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Puffin, about 15 Manxies and a fly-by Storm Petrel! Perhaps I should have stayed longer.....

Return trip as weather front cleared and rain stopped: 17.45-1915hrs: 126 Manx Shearwaters, 80+ Gannets, 51 Kittiwake, Balearic (one of each colour phase!), 1 Storm Petrel, 1 Pomarine Skua (pale phase), 1 Arctic Skua (ad Pale), 3 Puffin, 4 Common Scoter.

Thurlestone Bay

07.30- 10.00., heavy rain -poor viz f6/7 se wind 110 Gannet , 7 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 6 Fulmar, 15 Manx S'water, 2 Balearic S'water, 1 L B B Gull. all going east

Will go back when I have dried out, hopefully some Stormies will be on view


Seafront - 0750 - 0930 - black tern and dark phase arctic skua both lingering. Also several manx shearwater, gannet and kittwake, c20+ sandwich tern, 3 commic tern plus 2 aythya duck sp (prob tufties) south. I was pretty sure I'd get stormies this morning but they were probably all out in the murk!
Late evening update - at least 4 great skua inc 3 together and 1+ dp arctic skua.