Saturday, 2 July 2011

Otter Estuary

A brief look at the estuary on the evening high tide produced my best count of Common Sandpiper with a total of 13 birds.

Broadsands & Clennon Valley

6 Med Gulls: 1juv, 2 first sum, 1 second sum and 2 ad sum with about 60 Black-headed Gulls including my first juv B-hG of the year.

Huge flight of ants this afternoon in Clennon Valley area attracting mostly Herring Gulls but lots of Swifts too.

Ringed Herring Gull, R.Taw off Bradiford Reserve.

For info of N.Devon birders.

The ringed 1st year Herring Gull carrying a blue ring with white letters "M+K" on right leg and metal ring on left with i/d GR19070 is one of Peter Rock`s projects. Peter lives in Winterbourne, Bristol and the bird( a female) was ringed by him on 06/07/2010 at Hinkley Point.
I saw the bird again yesterday(01/07/2011) and the day before.

JULY 1 2011

Osprey 15:00 also adS Med Gull

Friday, 1 July 2011

Thurlestone Marsh

Surprise this am was a Lapwing which was still around at 13.00 ( my first July patch Record.)

A Spotted Fly was at South Milton Ley.

Roosts over the Marsh have started to build up this week - last night at 21.30 500+ Swallow & 150+ Starling

Exminster Marshes

The marshes look very dry with only one or two pools holding water. The water storage lagoon is almost empty but has sufficient water to attract about 20 coots, 2 little grebes and a pair of wigeon. On the fields I saw 1 lapwing, 1 curlew and 1 oystercatcher. A single adult common tern flew up and down the canal. Plenty of young birds including reed buntings, sedge warblers and blue tits in the canal side vegetation.

Thursday, 30 June 2011


6 meds on the beach. Won't post any more med photos now but they are smart birds.

Bowling Green Marsh

The 3 juvenile Bearded Tits still at Bowling Green Marsh feeding on the ground on the far right hand side- Also 1 Green Sand in the same corner.

Seaton Area

An early returning Redstart rather bizarrely feeding amongst Pied Wagtails in the NW corner of Black Hole Marsh this morning, also a Common Sandpiper. On the Estuary a juv Med Gull and in nearby woodland a flock of 18 Crossbill

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve


1 adult Mediterranean Gull with B.H.Gulls just off Bradiford Reserve and a Peregrine that put everything up.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Pale Things

The post about the leucistic juv Wheatear on Dartmoor a few days back propmpted this from Roger Smaldon:

'Very interested to see the picture of the bird on Haytor, as what looks to have been the same individual that was in a family group and still being fed by parents on Harford Moor SX 644605 on 19th and 21st June'

Also a photo of that bird, taken by Ann Willcocks:

Meanwhile - on Lundy - Grant Sherman videoed a very unusual Puffin this morning. The YouTube link was sent by Nicola Saunders. I would like to have embedded the video in this post but it is 'unlisted' on YouTube, so there is no html code to cut and paste. However, the link is included below, so just click on it to view.

River Dart

A evening Kayak with Bill Macdonald from Kingswear along the Dart threw up an adult Mediterranean Gull which flew close by twice as we enjoyed a cheeky mid kayak pint. £10.40 for 2 pints and 1 portion of chips confirming to us that we were definetly in Dartmouth!

Bowling Green Marsh

A good late afternoon session on B G Marsh produced 3 Juv Bearded Tit , i think may be a reserve 1st,also 2 adult and 2 2nd summer Med Gulls, 25 plus Sandwich Terns 3 Common Terns, the 1st Summer Bonapartes Gull then came in, also 3 Male tufted duck first ones for a little while,1 knot,also plenty of Reed Warbers about and a couple of Spotted Flycatchers.


Tuesday, 28 June 2011


Exmouth beach - late pm - 4 med (fs, 2 2s + ad) and 2 juv black-headed gulls. Great opportunities for photos at the moment with loads of beached seaweed attracting the gulls.

Thurlestone Marsh

Most of the activity took place between 12.00- 14.00, first big movement of Hirrudines & Swift all going north - 100+ Swallow. 20+ House Martin , 4 Sand Martin , 40 Swift. Best action was a Hobby catching dragonflies.

In the bay afirst summer Med Gull


A walk along the coast path from to have a look at the work done by National Trust at Mansands Ley/marsh. A photo included for those interested of the 3 pools dug out by NT and what remains of the ley. Lots of birds around the marsh including at least one juvenile Reed Warbler being fed by its parents. Does anyone know whats happened to the log book?


The Pale-bellied Brent Goose showing again this afternoon, on the estuary, just off Mudbank Lane. Also, 5 Common Tern feeding along the channels a little further out.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Bowling Green Marsh/R. Clyst estuary

This evening at the above location:
Green Sandpiper - my first returning 'autumn' individual on the scrape between the railway arch and the main pool.
Greenshank - two on R. Clyst around the viewing platform were in breeding plumage.
40+ Redshank.
6 Sandwich Terns on mud below Riversmeet.


Met up with Jake Wood at Broadsands to look for Med Gulls (a new bird for Jake) despite there being no Black-headed Gulls on the beach we found our first juv Med Gull of the summer on the beach and on the sea, followed up by two fly over birds an ad Summer and 2nd Summer - a single Black-headed gull flew in as we were leaving!
6 Common Scoter also way out in Torbay, and a fly over Whimbrel.


Mudbank - 1800 - my first juv mediterranean gull this evening although I may have had it two or three nights ago. Also pale-bellied brent goose still plus dark-bellied brent, 17+ sandwich tern, 1 great crested grebe and 4 greylag geese. Two 'commic' tern earlier today from the house plus 2 med gull.

Seafront - 2 med gull - 2s and fs (see photo)

... and more from the weekend - Prawle of course!

Friday, 25th, flushed a Quail from beside the coastpath at Gammon Head, (or rather my dog did).

Saturday 26th, seawatching at either end of the day resulted in 502 Gannets, 74 Fulmars, 921 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Common Scoters, 3 Curlews, single Great and Arctic Skuas, 19 Kittiwakes, adult summer Med Gull, 2 Common Terns and 41 Razorbill/Guillemots. In between times, spent the time trying to locate active Swift nests. This is a very embarrassing past-time - have you ever tried to look innocent while staring up at people's houses with binoculars for hours on end? Anyway, there seem to be a similar number to last year, which is good news, as is the fact that House Martin numbers are slightly up. In what seems to have been a very good breeding season, highlights include the second recorded breeding of Great Spotted Woodpecker, and 2 pairs of Wheatears for the first time, while on the down side, the Herring Gulls at the Point have again been totally wiped out, and there are no Meadow Pipits for the first time in 30 years.

From the Weekend...

A couple of items from this weekend:

A pale phase Arctic Skua hassling a Black-headed Gull off Budleigh Salterton around 2 pm on Saturday 25/6 [from Mike Jeffrey]

And this leucistic young Wheatear photographed at Haytor Quarry yesterday 26/6 [from Joe Martin]

Thurlestone Bay

Before the rain at 9.40am a flock of 40+ Common Scoter flew east - this is the largest flock of the year .

On Thurlestone Marsh 3 Sand Martin at 07.30 with a further 12 through at 14.00. First return passage birds