Friday, 8 July 2011

Thurlestone Bay

bay watched from 08.30-12.45- Anticipation was greater than actual . Agood f7 wsw reduced to a5 by 11.30. Viz surprisingly too good Rame Hd & Eddystone. Watched from Warren Pt. Over the morning totals were :-

515 Gannet ( still c 60% sub ad.) 92 Manx S'water all west, 2 Balearic S'water east clos in . 30 Black H GUll ( inc 2 jv's ) 3 Razorbill , 1 Puffin (east @ 11.05 ) 1 dp Arctic Skua east @10.55.

1 ad & 1 fst s Med Gull

Start Point

Seawatch: 05:40-13:00
5 Balearic Shearwaters , 1012 Manx, 3 Storm Petrels, Puffin, 3 Bonxies, 2 Whimbrel and a Harbour Porpoise. Of note a distinctive Balearic (a pale one in moult) passed Berry Head at 06:31, then took nearly 3 hours to get to Start, passing and feeding at 09:18 - they usually take around 40mins between the two watch points!
But no Cory's which was a similar story here yesterday, if only I had transport on Wednesday!



62 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls just below the Long Bridge, between Shapland & Petters and Bridge Buildings and I didn`t have enough time to sort out and count juveniles.
Also 91 Canada Geese plus 3 white Farmyard Geese off Rock Park.

Berry Hd

Seawatching 0530-0800hrs - not enough wind and rain also too much visibility!

Bonxie 2, Storm Petrel 1(possibly 2), Balearic Shearwater 1, Manx Shearwater 239, Fulmar16, Gannet 91, Med Gull 1(juv), Kittiwake 31, Common Tern 1, Commic Tern 1, Skua sp. 1, Swift 1, Grey Wagtail 1.

From 08:00-11:20 additional birds include 173 Manxies, 2 Balearics, 1 Storm Petrel, 2 Common Scoters and 1 Bonxie (PA, GMH, WMcD)

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Thurlestone Bay

What a difference a day makes - this am only 3 gannet & 2 Fulmar. Gave me time to look through the Gulls - 1 ad & 2 jv Med Gull with 20 Black H Gull.

First common sandpiper back on the Ley down by the bridge. This aft a Hobby over the village.

Winds look promising for another sea watch on Friday

Berry Hd

Wednesday evening 1840-2045hrs.

After a couple of messages telling me about masses of Cory's Shearwaters off W Cornwall I got down to Berry Hd mid evening. The weather was appalling torrential rain at times and visibility down to under 1km. As I settled down under my umbrella I picked up a few Manxies straight out and very close in, I glanced N and picked out a big shearwater with the naked eye drifting south. Even in the binoculars I could pick out its dark tipped pale bill telescope views were amazing! another two went south within 5 mins but I had to wait until the weather cleared about another hour before getting another three but always getting more and more distant.

(field sketches below -colour added immediately on return home; Balearic photo on right )

Seawatch totals:

6 Cory's Shearwaters, 127 Manx Shearwaters, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Pomarine Skuas (all together -1 sub ad with short tail spoons, two probably 3cy birds ), 1 Arctic Skua, 39 Kittiwakes, 17 Fulmar, 50+ Gannet and 2 Harbour Porpoises.

Dawlish Warren Seawatch

A wet seawatch yesterday evening from 5.00 to 8.00 p.m.
3, possibly 7 Arctic Skuas ( 3 dark phase west at 5.30, 3 dark phase back into the bay from the west at 7.15 and a single dark phase chasing Sandwich terns at 7.45).
20 Common Scoter, 11 Eider, 1 Adult Med Gull, c.50 Sandwich terns (seemed to be around 20 in the bay feeding and others moving purposely through), 2 razorbill, 2 Manx Shearwater, 5 kittiwakes, 4 Fulmar and 3 swifts battling west out over the sea.

One of the 11 Eiders

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Thurlestone Bay

Bay watched from 09.15- 13.00 & 15.25- 18.00 Wind started f5 sw & built up to gusting f8 in squalls late aft. Sat on Warren Pt ( very wet this aft )

Days totals were :-

1 Bonxie ( e @09.53) 215 gannet - approx 60% were sub adult , 36 Manx S'water (east) , 3 Balearic S'water -east. 1 Sooty S'water east @12.25. 3 Cory's S'water east (2 @16.30; 1 @17.40 ) latter only 120yds off.

a Common Gull & 6 Kittiwakes, 7 Razormott's werev the rest

Bob B had ajv Med Gull in the Bay am.

Yesterday 11 Common Scotereast at 11.50

Roost last night were 800+ Swallow & 200+ Sand martin - Lot more S Martin this year than my previous records

Broadsands and River Teign

Late news for yesterday- Broadsands - 3 juv Yellow Legged Gulls just offshore in bay sat on water and 3 juv Med Gulls on far rocks late evening.

Today - 5 + Common Sands at Passage House Inn on the falling tide

BGM Topsham

Spotted Flycatcher

Sourton Cross, Okehampton

Tom Hills reported a White Stork (seen from above as it drifted down the valley toward Tavistock) flying over his farm and heading SSW this morning at 09.15hrs. There are plenty of damp fields and Culm Grassland in the area for the bird to feed in should it so wish, so it might still be around.

(up-date the bird was also in the same area yesterday, in a field just cut for hay - Linnacombe Farm)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


2 Juvenile Yellow legged Gulls Broadsands bird 1 above and bird 2 below.

2 Juv Yellow-legged Gulls, 1 juv Herring Gull and two Juv Med Gulls on beach and on sea at N end of beach this evening.

Below left: Juv Herring gull for comparison. Right a Juv Med Gull

(Mark Bailey went down later and found 3 juv Y-l, 1 Juv Herring and 3 Juv Med Gulls!)

R.Taw, Barnstaple


Well marked juvenile Mediterranian Gull below the Taw Bridge with Black-headed Gulls and 2 Common Sandpipers on 7 Bretheren Bank opp Rock Park.


Exmouth Seafront - 0520 - great skua and 12 mediterranean gulls (no sign of yesterday's yellow-legged gulls)
Mudbank - pale-bellied brent, dark-bellied brent, 5 great crested grebe, 2 little tern and most unusually 3/400+ sand martin resting on distant mud spit! A common gull was the first I've seen in several weeks.

Monday, 4 July 2011

An Exmouth Med Gull

Photo taken by Simon Thurgood yesterday 3/7

N Devon - Saturday 2/7

2 adult Med Gulls on the foreshore between Saunton and Crow Point

[from Stewart Beer]

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

07:30 this morning, still 1 adult Mediterranean Gull with Black-headed Gulls just off the Tarka Trail at rear of RGB.


just two 2nd Summer Med Gulls this evening.

[...and yesterday evening 2 juv Med Gulls at 20:30 - from Jake Wood]

Thurlestone Marsh

Sunday Eve- Roost at 21.30 bulit up to a max this year of 850+ Swallow

Today the big movement was Sand Martin - at 12.00 100+ over S Milton Ley , another 80+ over Tstn Marsh at 13.30 with at least another 25 thru in the afternoon atotal of 205 far outnumbering Swallow

Surprise of the day was a single sp Bar T Godwit came in off the sea at 10. 30 only 30 feet above me- still came in on the same flight path as the big flocks in May. Only other bird of note were 2 Sandwich Tern which flew east

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham

I strayed across the estuary this morning and was rewarded by a few brief sightings of one or more bearded reedlings. Also one green sandpiper and a large flock of curlew, black-tailed godwits, black-headed gulls and a few whimbrel. There was one leucistic black-headed gull - its build and shape identical to a bhg, all white plumage with the faint outline of a black hood (does this suggest an adult?). The bill was fine and very orange. I failed to see its legs as it was swimming.
On the estuary 16 shelduck included some juveniles.


Exmouth Beach (nr Lifeboat Station) - 0500 - 13 mediterranean gulls (4juv, 3fs, 42s and 2ad), 1 distant diver sp (prob grt northern), 1 common tern.
Evening update - 2 juv yellow-legged gulls
- 6+ mediterranean gull (3+juv, 1fs, 12s and 1ad), whimbrel, 3 common tern, pale-bellied brent and dark-bellied brent still. 3 bar-tailed godwit (pm)
Some of the Mudbank meds could feasibly have moved over from the beach so can't be sure of the total number this morning but there are lots of birds around and it looks set to be a bumper summer for them. The first juvenile herring gulls out on the mud too.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Kingsbridge Est

Osprey - gerston Bay area, 2S Med Gull, Hobby juv and pr GC Grebe today.

Bearded Tit

One of the Bearded Tits at Bowling Green Marsh was showing yesterday at 15:35 feeding on the mud at the far right end of the far shore. Also a Green Sandpiper.

Plym Estuary 2nd July

One pristine adult summer Mediterranean Gull. Also my first Marbled Whites of the year (3) and a Hummingbird Hawk Moth.

Clennon Valley

Brood of 8 downy Tufted Ducks, the first young of the year, if they stay close to the vegetation they might survive predation from the Herring Gulls! There was no sign of the parent(s).