Saturday, 16 July 2011

Seaton Area

Wood Sandpiper on Black Hole Marsh this afternoon. Divided between the estuary and marshes were at least 14 Common Sandpipers, 2 Dunlin and 8 Black-tailed Godwits.

I assume everyone who might be interested knows this already, but in the ditch on the right hand side of the track leading to the BHM Tower Hide you are virtually guaranteed to see one or more of these...

Water Vole, courtesy the recent releases in the Axe Valley - so, vaguely plasticky at the moment, but much cuter than a wing-tagged Great Bustard!

Down at the Tesco building site was a nice gathering of gulls, viewable from behind the 'Riverside Workshops'. Included among their number were these:

 A smart juv Yellow-legged Gull

I'm 90% certain this is also a Yellow-legged Gull, probably a 2nd-summer moulting into 3rd-winter, but I wouldn't stake my considerable fortune on it.

The White One (at the back) - now sporting a somewhat more mature-looking bill

Velator reserve

I was delighted to confirm what I had suspected for some time - that Little Grebes have bred in the reserve this year! One chick (so far) being fed this morning.


Seafront - mid pm - 10+ med gull (can you spot 8 birds in bottom photo?), 2 common gull, 4+ common tern, roseate tern, great crested grebe and juv yellow-legged gull (yesterday's bird).

Thurlestone Bay

Late update for Fri -09.30-12.45 2 Balearic S'water (east at 09.40) 38 Manx S'water 15 Common Scoter, 3 Sandwich Tern, 85 Gannet, 4 Razorbill.

Nothing in the Bay this am , in the field behind the cafe were 6 L BB Gull, 1jv Yellow L Gull

Start Point

Seawatch 07:00-12:00.
1 Sooty Shearwater (probably lingering out to sea around large trawler, as seen at 07:13 heading SW and presumed same heading N at 10:46), 8 Balearic Shearwaters, juv Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Puffins, Common Tern, 201 Manx Shearwaters, Arctic Skua (dark phase at 07:46), Great Skua, 159 Gannets and 54 Common Scoter.
Non-birds: Ocean Sunfish drifting SW, Harbour Porpoise.

Berry Head 15/07/11

Yesterday 15/07/11 Seawatch 15:00-17:00
Up to five juv Yellow-legged Gulls (2 following trawler and 3 flying past -photo), 2 Balearic Shearwaters (1 following trawler), 92 Manx, Common Tern and 12 Common Scoter.

Berry Hd

Seawatch 0530-0830hrs:
Yellow Legged Gull 3 all juvs, Med Gull 1 juv, Arctic Skua 1 (dark adult at 0610), Bonxie 1, Balearic Shearwater 4, Manx Shearwater 42, Gannet 74, Kittiwake 15 Common Scoter 36 (including one group of 25 S at 0730). one harbour porpoise off headland at 0700.

Bowling Green Marsh - yesterday 15/7

The 3 bearded tits appeared at Bowling Green Marsh this afternoon, as well as a little ringed plover and green sandpiper.

[from Steven Henry]

Friday, 15 July 2011


Broadsands from 8:15-8:25pm was a single juv yellow-legged gull (a first for me) with about 45+ herring gulls(14 juv) on the sea.


A minimum of 15 mediterranean gulls around Exmouth this morning included 7 juvs together early morning on the beach and 5 adults this afternoon off Mudbank. Also - seafront - 4 common sandpiper, arctic skua, 13+ common scoter, 4+ common tern and a really smart 'new' juv yellow-legged gull which spent a long time trying to land on buoy 7 (apologies for yet another awful photo). I was hoping it would come closer but it never did.

Return to Hartland

We spent a long night at Hartland point last night and overnight trapped, ringed and released 13 Storm Petrels. Late evening and early morning ringing near the caravan also produced: a few Whitethroats and Blackcaps, a couple of Chiffchaffs, 4 Linnets, 3 Stonechats, 2 Swallows, 2 Grey Wagtails, 3 Yellowhammers and a Dipper (a juv) along with a few common species. Overall a worthwhile return to a former ringing site.

A good passage of Manx Shearwaters heading north this morning.

There was a Wood Sandpiper on Black Hole Marsh this morning.

Clennon Valley

Thursday Evening

A juv Yellow-legged Gull was bathing with Herring Gulls on the lower pond late evening, my first for the site. I went back 15 mins later with the camera but it had moved on.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Prawle yesterday (13/7)

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in Horseley Cove, later flying off west. Also Adult and juv Med Gull, single Dunlin and Common Sandpiper, and warblers on the move included single juveniles of Reed, Sedge and Willow.

Colyford Common

Four Little Ringed Plovers (1 ad, 3 juvs) on Colyford Scrape this morning for second day, also 15 Dunlin and Green Sand. Yesterday 3 adult Med Gulls on the Estuary.

Thurlestone Bay

In the bay this am - 2 Dunlin ( first since 1/6 ) 25 Manx S'water , 1 jv Med Gull.

At South Milton Ley the warblers are starting to pass thru, a nice jv Groppa ( with pale yellow wash on the throat ) caught & ringed by Bob B, also jv Willow & 2 jv Reed. Hobby over and a Nuthatch calling nearby ( a rare species here )

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Thurlestone Marsh

Steady movement of Hirundines throught the day- missed the roost last night , totals so far - 220 Sand martin, 330 Swallow, 30 + Swift.

This am a Green Sandpiper flew over at 9.00am

Only other bird of note was an ad Y L Gull on the rocks at high tide

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

07:25 - 09:00

4 Med Gulls this morning. 2 adults; 1 1st summer; 1 2nd summer.


Exmouth Beach - 0600 - a nice classic juv yellow-legged gull on the beach near the lifeboat station this morning.

Mudbank (am) - 3+ med gull, 1+ common gull, 2+ whimbrel, 1 bar-tailed godwit and 7 sand martin through.

Orcombe Point - late pm - an early yellow wagtail purposefully east over the 'dung' field at 1940 - particularly pleasing because I failed to get a single spring bird this year!

Mudbank - (pm) - 126+ sandwich tern, 6 common tern, 2 redshank, 3 common gull, 7 med gull.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Thurlestone Bay

Fairly quiet today- this am - 3 Common Sandpiper on the rocks, 1 Curlew over & 4 Common Scoter east.

Build up Hirrundines this afternoon could produce a good roost count later


Three or four juvenile Med Gulls on the beach about a mile east of Axmouth, c. midday, amongst a flock of about 20 Black-headed (only 2 juv B-h G though).
Budleigh Salterton

The 2nd Summer Glaucous Gull still present this morning on the west side of beach by small fishing boats. Whimbrel and 2 Common Sandpiper on the Otter Estuary.

Plymouth - yesterday 10/7

Millbay, Plymouth; 5 Mediterranean gulls (all adults)

[from Tom Forster]

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

07:25 - 09:00.

2 Mediterranean Gulls (1 adult & 1 2nd summer).
3 Black-tailed Godwits.
1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
2 Whimbrel.

Slapton Ley

10th July

Sailing on the Dart from Stoke Gabriel to Noss mariner saw 2 ad summer med gulls.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Otter Estuary and Budleigh Seafront

Highlights this morning were 2 Mediterannean Gulls (1 ad summer and a 1st summer) off the seafront along with 5 Great-crested Grebes heading west and a very distant skua, probably Arctic Skua.

This evening, the 2nd Summer Glaucous Gull re-appeared on the west side of Budleigh Beach by the hauled out fishing boats feeding on scraps from the local fisherman. Present from around 7pm until 8pm at least.
Interesting to see how this bird's plumage has changed since it first appeared in April.

English Channel 20nm SSE of Start Point

Out on a fishing boat today, less birds than I hoped and no big shearwaters despite the blow over the last few days. Heading out, a trickle of Manx were following the coast. When fishing, attracted to the boat: 3 Great Skuas, 3 European Storm-petrels, 2 Common Terns, numerous Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Fulmars. The highlight a rather pristine Balearic Shearwater (most are in moult at present) feeding on discards - they are meant to be foraging closer inshore than this!


Just 3 of today's 28 Common Sandpipers!

Seawatch; 05.15 - 08.15; 164 Gannets, 353 Manx Shearwaters, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 23 Common Scoters, juv Med Gull, 32 Guillemots, 6 Razorbills.

Elsewhere, wader passage took off with a bang - the single Redshank and Dunlin being swamped by the 28 Common Sandpipers - smashing the previous site record of 19.

Other birds today included Hobby, Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Warbler.

Axe Estuary and Black Hole Marsh

11 Common Sandpipers on the river; 6 Black-tailed Godwits and a Little Ringed Plover on BHM. One unfulfilled desire to find a juv Yellow-legged Gull...

Ropey shot of the distant and heat-hazy LRP

Later on this adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the Tescos building site though...

[edited extra by S Waite]

Bowling Green Marsh

The following at BGM this morning [from Simon Bates]:

1st Summer Bonaparte's Gull
8+ Greenshank
6+ Whimbrel
1 Green Sandpiper
80+ Black Tailed Godwit
3  Little Grebe
2 summer Dunlin

Toll Road - Toll House to White House. Braunton Marshes.

07:15 - 09:30

A slow bike ride along the road produced:-

Swift 15; Sedge Warbler 17; Reed Warbler 6; Common Whitethroat 13; Greenshank 6 on Horsey;
Redshank 1; Kingfisher family group of 5 on Horsey; Cetti`s Warbler 1 and 1 Buzzard.


Mudbank - 0930 - 8 crossbill south and minutes later more calling but birds not seen so perhaps a further flock or the same birds changing orientation. Also pale-bellied brent goose still, 1 siskin and 1 grey wagtail east, 3 whimbrel and ad mediterranean gull.
Seafront - 1 dark arctic skua (2 birds present off Orcombe the past few days), 5 common tern and just one mediterranean gull (2s).

Blackhill Quarry - ad yellow-legged gull (photo), 2 common sandpiper, 7+ tufted duck and 5+ little grebe.