Saturday, 30 July 2011


I spent around four hours sat on a trailer in the middle of a field today searching for the Black Kite; all to no avail. However at least seventy Ravens here are surely noteworthy. The farmer here reckons he's had four hundred to roost in recent years.
Apart from the Ravens, just three or four Stock Doves, ten Buzzards and a couple of Chiffchaffs.


Broadsands 8:00-9:00
Quite a lot around, 3 juv Med gull's and 2 juv Yellow legged gull's with about 60+ herring gulls(40 juvenile).
Also a single sanderling on the shore and a male sparrowhawk flew past and landed in a tree.

South Milton Ley

A full ringing team this am - over 100 birds , the best were ;-

24 Reed W, 8 Sedge W, 28 Willow W, 12 Chiffchaff, 10 Blackcap, 1 Garden W ,1 Grey Wagtail, a new daily site record of 15 Whitethroat.

They also had 2 Tree Pipit & 3 Yellow wags over.

Thurlestone marsh this eve 2 Green sandpiper.

The Swallow roost on 28/7 built up to 5000+ , tonight about 100

2 Water RAIL & 3 jv Reed Bunt. 4 Willow W ,3 Whitethroat, 1 Reed W on the marsh am

Southern Hawker

Its not a bird, but I could not resist putting this flight shot of one over our pond today.

Taw/Torridge Est.

06:30 - 08:00

27 Mediterranean Gulls of various ages on the Black Ground just off Instow Cricket ground.

2 of these were ringed and identifiable.

Also 45 Dunlin; 4 Whimbrel; 1 Sandwich Tern; 7 Common Gull; 2 Turnstone; 14 Ringed Plover; 1 Rock Pipit and 1 Wheatear.

Large flocks of Swallows were on the grass of the cricket ground?

Fremington Pill 08:15

83 Redshank.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Prawle 28/7

A little bit more 'yesterday' news. A few migrants included the first Green Sandpiper and Turnstone of the autumn, the first Garden Warbler of the year (!), a Grasshopper Warbler, still good numbers of Willow Warblers and Whitethroats, with 30 + of the latter in the scrub along the coastpath, and 3 Wheatears.

Thurlestone Bay

9 Common Scoter -east, 11 Sanderling ,1 Dunlin - on the beach. 1jv Wheatear.

On Thurlestone marsh - 4 Green sandpiper, 1f Teal, 1 Greenshank ( first of the uyear )

Kennerleigh Black Kite

The kite was present yesterday (ie. 28/7 - GH) @3.00-3.30pm 1/4mile north of Kennerleigh. Coming down from north take left turn on top of hill just short of Kennerleigh and park in lane and view south. Had some cracking views, bird eventually went down on a field over by the road.

[from Frank Youngman]

Exminster and Mamhead Woods - yesterday 28/7

Adult Med Gull over Exminster Marshes early pm

Mid pm – Turtle Dove in song at Mamhead Woods

[from Rob Macklin]


Yesterday evening: 2 juv Yellow-legged Gulls & the first juv Lesser Black-backed Gull of the summer (and 4 adults), 300+Herring gulls mostly juvs so its more fun picking out the oddities now!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Black Kite

Black Kite reported this morning again at Ashridge Farm about one mile south of Kennerleigh. According to the farmer it has been present for a few days. Parking is available at the farm and the farmer was most welcoming to the five Birders who were there this afternoon. It flew over some trees just after mid day and although I was there from 2pm to 6pm it did not come back. The farmer said he would put it on Bird Guides if he saw it in the morning and apparently mornings are best.

Thurlestone Bay

A quiet day - 3 Green Sandpiper on the marsh, also 1 Water rail.

Bob B had a Yellow Wagtail over South Huish marsh . Quiet ringing morn -only 5 Willow Wblr, Water Rail & 3 Grey wagtail in the sewage works

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Some notes sent yesterday by Robert Hurrell...

25/07/2011 Plymouth: The single young swift fledged from our Plymouth camera monitored site today & one adult also departed the same day. The second adult returned to roost overnight but was in the nest on its own.

26/07/2011 Plymouth: Another ant mating day today and our remaining adult swift that left early (before 6am) did not return at the end of the day. This swift site is now vacated for 2011. About 12 Swift and 10 Black-headed and Herring gulls were visible hunting for ants around at various heights over the Peverell area, with a soaring Sparrowhawk visible even higher up. Other signs of likely bird movement today included a Goldcrest and a Mistle Thrush overflying the garden about 6.30am (the first since the winter).

26/07/2011 Plymouth Sound: 2 Sandwich Tern, 10+ Swift

Beer Head & Black Hole Marsh

On Beer Head this afternoon were 3 Wheatears and a Willow Warbler. Word is, there were 3 Pied Flycatchers there yesterday morning.

I am delighted to grab this opportunity to post the first two 'Wheatear on a post' photos of the autumn...

At Black Hole Marsh a bit later were 3 Little Ringed Plovers (2 present already; another flew in around 17:45), 1 Wood Sandpiper, 5+ Common Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper and 8 Black-tailed Godwits. Also, a fly-over Hobby.

 All 3 LRPs, typically distant and over-cropped

juv Wood Sandpiper

Thurlestone Bay

After a visit to Lodmoor on Mon to see the superb Stilt Sanp. back on tjhe patch -

In the Bay - 14 Sanderling, 3 Ringed Plover.

South Huish marsh - 2 Green Sandp,

This am Bob B on his own just had 2 nets up , still produced 20 Willow, 7 Chiff, 10 Sedge, 1 blackcap at S M Ley

Over Thurlestone marsh this eve. 2 jv Yellow L Gull, 5 Willow Wblr, 55 Swlft . Starling roost 500+ at 19.30 . Swallow roost building 800+

Beware the Shaldon bird scarer

Beware of the recorded peregrine calls being played from a roof top at the Shaldon end of the bridge over the River Teign. It had me looking skyward for a while until the poor quality and repetative nature of the calls led me to the device on a roof!

The technique doesnt appear to work either as no nearby birds were showing any sign of alarm.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Black Hole Marsh

Two Little Ringed Plovers today - photos from Simon Thurgood...

Budleigh Salterton

A late report for Monday included a 2nd summer Glaucous Gull on Budleigh Salterton Beach


Inspired by news from South Milton, I set some nets at Velator Reserve this morning, and by the end of the morning had ringed 21 birds including: 4 Reed Warblers, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a Sedge Warbler, 3 Treecreepers, a Linnet and two Tawny Owls. Both these last two species I hadn't ringed at the reserve before. I also caught one of a newly-fledged brood of Song Thrushes, presumably at least a second brood.

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

This afternoon 4 Common Sandpiper; 1 adult Mediterranean Gull; 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 adult Common Gull just off Bradiford reserve.

Passage House Yesterday

This juv Yellow-legged Gull was at Passage House yesterday evening at low tide, along with a second-summer Lesser Black-backed Gull and 3 Common Sand. No kingfishers yet...

Exe Estuary, Powderham corner

A few hours before high water there were hundreds of black-headed gulls (guess at 500) All in adult plumage apart from 2 juveniles. Also 4 adult common gulls. Waders represented by about 60 curlew, one whimbrel and c40 oystercatchers. Nine common terns fed in mid channel but then rested on the sand.

River Teign/Passage House

87 Curlew and 6 whimbrel yesterday

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Ringed Sanderlings

Following recent mention of ringed/flagged Sanderlings, on Friday 22/7 Lee Collins sent this interesting note on observations at Dawlish Warren...

Over last two summers 2009-10 have recorded 6 ringed recoveries, June 09 (Mauritania), July 2009 (Ghana), May 2010 Mauritania, June 2010 Greenland & July 2010 two (both from Iceland).
So was delighted to find two more today, have email address of Jereon from Holland a coordinator, who I'm advised is in Greenland right now & won't be able to reply to my email until late Aug.
But certainly nice to find these & get such fascinating details back, these migration is huge.
Got a few record shots today incl one with both in shot.

Weekend Round-up etc...

Been out of circulation for a few days, so here is a belated selection of bits and bobs - with many thanks to the various contributors...

Bolt Tail - Saturday 23/7
10+willow warblers & wheatear, pm [from Rob Macklin]

Dawlish Warren - Friday 22/7
One Roseate ( One ring on each leg ) with one Common on sand bank with many Sandwich Terns, at 1030 hrs, Roseate Tern flew off Seaward 1130 [from Barry Rankine]

Also a few photos:

 Cattle Egret (and Little Egret) on the Otter Estuary - Saturday 23/7 [by Pete Adey]

 Glaucous Gull on Budleigh Salterton beach - Saturday 23/7 [by Brian Palmer]

 Slavonian Grebe at Cockwood - Thurday pm 21/7 [by Terry Lakeman]

Exe Estuary & Dawlish Warren

My WeBS count section (Starcross-Dawlish Warren) held the summer plumage Slavonian Grebe, 17 Little Egrets, 3 Greylags (unusual here), 15 Whimbrel, 359 Curlew, 4 Bar-tails, 59 Redshank, 54 Sandwich Terns, 2 bp Med Gulls and a Common Gull.

At the hide, there were another 90+ Sandwich and 4 Common Terns.

On the beach, there were 42 adult Sanderlings and offshore a feeding flock of at least 290 Shags (30 out of 87 [34%] were juvs). There were also 100 Common Scoters and a breeding plumage Great Northern Diver.

At home (Chudleigh), the first Jersey Tiger was in the garden.

Prawle yesterday (23/7)

The first big movement of early autumn warblers saw c140 Willow Warblers in the area. Counts of 63 Whitethroats, 19 Blackcaps, 13 Sedge Warblers and 29 Chiffchaffs would have included local breeders as well as migrants, but the single Grasshopper Warbler was a migrant. Very little else on the move yet, with just a single Wheatear (aside from the breeding birds), 4 Sand Martins, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper recorded. (Also 1 Clouded Yellow).


The adult Cattle Egret still on the Otter Estuary early morning on the saltmarsh viewable from the lower platform and then flew to the big tree at the back of the scrape field north of the cricket pitch.

No sign of yesterdays Rose-Coloured Starling

The Glaucous Gull still by the fishing boats at the west end of the seafront.

Budleigh Salterton

Yesterday afternoon, the Glaucous Gull was still on the beach at the western end amongst the fishing boats and once showing down to five feet waiting for a fisherman's scraps.

The Cattle Egret was right in front of the hide on the west bank of the Otter Estuary.

Nothing doing at Exmouth as there were too many people on the beach. A couple of Mediterranean Gulls were seen from Mudbank Lane during low tide.