Saturday, 23 July 2011

Thurlestone Bay

Waders in the bay this am - 5 Sanderling, 1 Common sandpiper, 1 Ringed Plover ,1 Turnstone ( both the latter first returning birds)

A jv Little Gull flew over Bob in his car park, 5 Green Sandpiper & a Dunlin on South Huish Marsh

The ringing team at South Milton Ley had abusy morning - birds ringed- 6 Groppa ( site day record ) 32 Willow, 21 Sedge ,16 Reed, 19 Chiifs, 5 Blackcap, 2 Whitethroat . Also on the beach 2 Rock Pipit

Otter estuary

This Rose-coloured Starling stayed just long enough for this very poor record shot this morning. It was found about 0630 on the edge of the Lime Kiln car-park amongst the House Sparrows that gather in the saltmarsh bushes. When I arrived at 0715 it had flown off but fortunately re-appeared for a while before we lost it . Hopefully it will set up a routine. Also present was the Cattle Egret and nearby the Glaucous Gull, so quite a purple patch for Budleigh! Nice one Clive !

Taw Bridge, Barnstaple.

5 adult Med Gulls together on sanbdbar at rear of rugby club and 8 Black-tailed Godwits just off Bradiford Reserve.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Kingsbridge Estuary

fem Marsh Harrier 14:00, juv. Y-L Gull 18:30

Thurlestone Bay

waders to the fore today

This am- 7 Sanderling & 3 Dunlin on yarmer beach. On South Huish Marsh a record 10 Green Sandpiper & 2 Dunlin . In the Bay 6 Sandwich Tern ( 2 juv) 1 Common Sandpiper

On Thurlestone marsh another Green Sandpiper, 1 Teal, 3 Whitethroat , 3 Blackcap, 1 Willow Wblr


A juv Yellow-legged Gull was roosting with others on the beach this morning and two Common Sandpipers feeding on main marsh. A Sedge Warbler and lots of Whitethroats going through, also afew Swifts, House and Sand Martins and loads of Swallows going through and over the marsh.

Bideford Bay

A single Arctic Skua flew south through Bideford and Barnstaple Bay this morning - viewed from Downend.

[Rob Jutsum]

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Ringed Sanderling

Maurice - Many thanks for your info- have sent the details to the site you gave , will post any results received in due course . Cheers Mike


Evening roost, numbers of gulls still low: 80+ Herring Gulls (many juvs), 3 juv Yellow legged Gulls, about 30 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Dunlin & 1 Sanderling.

Above: 3 Y-l Gulls above left. Herring Gull and Y-l Gull right

Below: left, Y-l gull 1&2 one stocky bird the other slim. Right Y-l Gull 3.

Ringed sanderlings

Details of ringed Sanderlings and sightings can be reported on:-

and information re projects obtained from the website:-

They are usually quick to respond.

Otter Estuary

This evening, finally caught up with yesterday's Cattle Egret. Found yesterday, but only seen very briefly by the initial finders. A bright bird visible from the hide on the west side of the main track north from the Lime Kiln Car Park. Frequenting the estuary banks opposite the hide and associating with the Little Egrets.
Also present this evening 1 adult Med. Gull, 1 Whimbrel and the Glaucous Gull on the beach.

Devon Run Around

Doug S & I spent the day dipping - couldn't find the Bearded Tits, Roseate Tern or the Bonaparte's Gull . Did finally at 16.30 catch up with the superb Glaucous Gull at Budleigh S 'ton

Meanwhile back on the patch A. Livett han 9 Sanderling & 4 Dunlin on Yarmer Beach - one of the S'lingwas colour flagged- left leg- 2 Yellow plastic rings, right leg- flags- Blue/ Red / Yellow , the Blue had a tag. first record of a flagged S'ling.

The South Milton ringing team had a busy morning - 14 Willow, 20 Chiffchaff, 5 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, Sedge, 25 Reed Warblers - looks as though return passage has just warmed up

Dawlish Warren

An adult Roseate Tern flew in front of the hide at 10.25am but landed at the back of the main island out of sight. However after about twenty minutes it flew up and landed on one of the wooden posts and was still there when I left at 11.50am. Also there were three Knot.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Seafront - 0615 - 2 arctic skua, 2 turnstone, 4 med gull and 4+ common tern.
Mudbank - 2000 - 24 mallard, 3 great crested grebe, 2 med gull, 5 dunlin, peregrine, 5+ common gull, 6 barwit, 3+ common tern, c100+ sandwich tern and fem goosander.

Dawlish Warren

Two nice adult Roseate Terns with pink breast flush , on posts in front of the hide again this morning, flew off 1100 but one reappeared for a short time 40 mins later .Also adult and 3 juv Mediterranean Gulls flew in from Exmouth direction. Group of 7 Common Sandpiper on the beach.

Berry Hd

Seawatching 0830-1030hrs:

469 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (juvs), first independent juv Herring Gulls (8) also passing headland today, 3 Arctic skuas, 1 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 17 Common Scoter, 54 Kittiwake, 50+ Gannets. Also 2 Common Dolphin 0840-0945hrs eventually >N & 2 Harbour Porpoise 0910-0915hrs >S

two Yellow-legged Gulls - a strong greater covert bar on the right hand bird cf. Broadsands last night

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Exmouth and Budleigh Beaches

The Exmouth beach area by the RNLI Lifeboat Station certainly provided some excellent photographic opportunities this morning with at least 7 Mediterranean Gulls of all ages, Sandwich Tern (adult and juvs) and the Bonaparte's Gull all showing to within 5-10 metres. Interesting to see the plumage of the BG has not vastly changed since its appearance in April, though most notable were newly moulted adult wing feathers plus a number of black tipped feathers being visible on top of the head and around the base of the bill.
At Budleigh the Glaucous Gull continues to be fairly reliable, still present on the beach this evening.


Very few Gulls at Broadsands this evening only 40+ Herring and 8 Black-headed but one juv Yellow-legged Gull often sat with a juv Herring Gull for a nice comparison....

Yellow-legged Gull on left, longer brighter legs, heavier bill, tertials thinly edged white, cleaner almost spotted on sides of chest and flanks, squarer head, the greater coverts on this bird were paler than most Y-lGs see below in flight. Inner primary 'window' nicely restricted compared to Herring gull , dark underwing coverts and clean looking rump/tail.

Also 2 Dunlin, 1 Ringed plover and a single Whimbrel.

Thurlestone Bay

Another quiet morning in the Bay-- 77 Manx S'water, 2 Bal. S'water , 1 Dunlin (in off sea ).

Blk T Godwit still on Thurlestone marsh.

Bob B ringed at S M Ley this am - 9 Sedge & 2 Reed Warbler

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

08:00 - 08:40

5 Mediterranean Gulls this morning. 3 2nd yr by Pottington sewage outfall and 2 adults with Black-heads in field roost next to Bradiford reserve.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Kingsbridge Estuary

7 Med Gull's (ad's, 2S) also Osprey Gerston Bay 17:30 looked same as last wk's bird?
6 Sandwich Tern, 2 Ringed Plover and a Hobby NW. EW reported a 3cy Y-L Gull on the R Avon at Aveton Gifford late afternoon.

Thurlestone Bay

back on the patch today after a day out with Doug Stannard to Pendeen -spent 7hrs with an eye down a scope -great continuous passage of S'waters achieved day records for me of Manx ( 40k )
Fulmar ( 800+) & Stormy P ( 30 )

Bay watched from 09.15-12.00 when viz closed in & rain!- Manx S'water all going west and well offshore -total 542.

Picked up a singl Balearic -east . 1 Bonxie,90 Gannet 7 the surprise of the day a m Tufted Duck -west (only my 2nd record over the sea )

A Whimbrel on the rocks with a Black T Godwit on the marsh at 07.30


Exmouth Beach - 1600 - fs-2w bonaparte's gull plus 10 mediterranean gull.

Glaucous Gull

The 2s Glaucous Gull was still around the boats at the west end of Budleigh Salterton beach at 9.15am this morning.
The 1s Bonaparte's Gull was roosting on the beach by the Lifeboat Station at Exmouth at 11.10am amongst the Black-headed Gulls and a single adult Mediterranean Gull.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Seaton Area

Please forgive this lengthy post - I thought this might be of interest to the millions of other Devon birders who like gulls.

The gathering of large gulls on the Tesco site didn't produce any Yellow-legged Gulls this evening, but the White One was present again. I've always thought the balance of probabilities made it a Herring Gull rather than a Lesser Black-backed Gull (despite its relatively small size) and some detective work today seems to confirm that notion. Firstly, its age. This is what it looked like in Feb 2010...

Assuming the current beast is the same bird (and it seems rather likely!) this is what it looks like now...

Note the yellow bill, and a nice blotch of red on the gonys. Also a dark sub-terminal mark on upper mandible.

According to Malling Olsen and Larsson's gull bible, red on the gonys generally appears in the spring of the 4th calendar year. If it is indeed a Herring Gull, its bill in the two photos comfortably matches that of a 2nd-winter in Feb 2010 (its 3rd calendar year) and a 3rd-summer in July 2011 (its 4th calendar year).

And there's more - an open wing photo from today...

Note the nice new primaries from P1 to P6, whilst the outer feathers (P7-10) are all still unmoulted, and worn to the shafts. Again according to Malling Olsen and Larsson, LBB Gull would not be so far advanced at this time of year (usually not completing the moult of P3-6 before late August to early September) while the above state of affairs is perfect for a sub-adult Herring Gull.

Job done - the White One is a 4CY Herring Gull. Quite probably.

Thrilling stuff. And on Black Hole Marsh were 5 Dunlin, up from 2 yesterday. Here are 4 of them...


Seafront - at least 3, probably 4 roseate tern offshore this evening. Also 9+ common tern, a couple manxies, razorbill and several sandwich tern.

Velator reserve

And today both parents feeding a juv Little Grebe.