Saturday, 3 September 2011

Soar-Soar Mill

Wryneck: 11:00 below Soar Mill Cove Hotel on path, later seen above beach - same poss 2 birds? AL. One fence above beach 14:00 AFD
when you could see: 16 Whitethroat, Pied Fly, 2 Spot Fly, 11 Blackcap, Robins and Bullfinches

Black Hole Marsh Curlew Sandpiper

[from Alick Simmons]

Start Point - the late shift!

Seawatch 10:45-19:00 surprisingly good for the SeaWatchSW target species, especially late pm, heading SW were : 101 Balearic Shearwaters (strongest passage 14:00-19:00 when 90 past, also one very pale bird on underside with white into undertail coverts, although Balearic on structure), 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 large shearwater (most likely great), 1192 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Bonxie, 1 Arctic Skua, 12 Whimbrel, Common Scoter, 2 Puffins, 2 Sandwich Terns, 6 Common Terns, juv/1w Yellow-legged Gull.

River Plym

The juvenile Spotted Sandpiper still mid evening with a Common Sandpiper at the north end of the River Plym, viewable from the grassy bank at the northern end of Blaxton Meadow, moving up and down a 100 yard stretch of the main river before the last bend and at times showing very well. It would have presumably also been viewable distantly from the layby from the embankment road.

Otterton Ledge/Otter estuary

A walk along the cliff tops this morning found 2 whinchats frequenting a weedy margin to the fields, arctic skua and 2 manx sheawaters going west, 2 juv yellow legged gulls on the estuary and 3 wigeon over. The very high tide had flushed any waders off.

Yesterday at Upottery airfield, Smeatharpe, the wheatear passage continued with 21 birds present along with 2 whitethroat, a single juv yellow wag and a white wag.


One hour seawatch from 17:30 produced 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Kittiwake and a steady trickle of Gannets.


Seawatch from 7am (with Frank Skampton) till 8am ; then on my own till Frank returned at 9.45 and on till 10.30am in SW wind 3-4 ; mist coming and going :

2 x Poms ; 8 x Arctic Skuas and 1 x Bonxie; 5 x Balearic Sh with 178 Manxies going west.

At 9.20am Black Tern close west; 104 Kittiwakes west; and 3 x common scoter west; c.100 Gannets both east and west.
On land 1 x wheatear; blackcap fem ,1 x spotted fly and sev phlloscs plus smattering of hirundines.
At Stallions bite,Pig's nose, saw my first treecreeper for c 15 years ! Plus spotted fly, whitethroat, 2 x blackcaps, 4 x (yellowy) willows and 3 x chiffs.But no wryneck ! 
[from Tony Marchese]

South Milton Ley

As promised photos of the juvenile Aquatic Warbler caught and ringed this morning by the ringing team at South Milton.

A day around the exe

A good days birding around the exe today covering bowling green marsh, powderham, and dawlish warren

Bowling green marsh 07:45 till 11:30

The star bird of the morning was the arrival of a CATTLE EGRET  at 10:40 in with the little egrets totals for the morning were 5 green sandpipers, 1 Juv Curlew sandpiper, 50+ knot, 3 bar tailed godwits, 1 snipe, 1 juv ruff , 150+ black tailed godwits , 5+ greenshank, 28+ little egrets, 3 wigeon, 7+ shoveler at least 175+ teal , 1 juv peregrine, buzzard, 30+ dunlin nice to see the avocets numbers up to 12. Also 1 black swan on the marsh early on.

Having had a call from mark about 3 OSPREYS  at powderham at 10:00 this morning i rang him back with news of the cattle egret and soon he was back having a look. We decided to go and have a look at the Ospreys but when we got there about 12:00 we could only hear one calling so headed of to dawlish warren  looking for the wryneck which had been seen there for the last 2 days.

Dawlish Warren 12:30 till 15:20

15+ common tern mostly juv and 20+ sandwich tern 3 bar tailed godwits, plenty of ringed plover and dunlin from the hide and 40+ juv sanderling on the beach  but no sign of the wryneck

Powderham 15:40 till 16:05
A quick look in on way home was rewarded with an adult OSPREY flying in and landing on top of the dead tree  a cracking bird to end the day with.

Soar, South Milton and Plym

In thick mist located one Spotted Flycatcher, 12+ Blackcaps and 15 Whitethroats.

South Milton sands
One juv Curlew Sandpiper, 2+ Dunlin and a Sanderling (beach)

Plym Estuary
A juvenile Spotted Sandpiper found by Russ Enyon - frequenting the narrow stretch of river at the top of the estuary (access from Sainsburys). Also 3 Common Sandpipers, 3 Teal and Kingfisher.

South Milton Ley

Bob B has just phoned thru the ringing team report from this am- 13 Reed, 7 Sedge, 5 Willow, 3 Chiffchaff, 9 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat,

From his car park Bob also had 1 jv Med Gull , 1 sandwich Tern.

Ringing team will now be just Bob B as Roger & Helen are off for a months ringing in Portugal and then a month at a station in South West France- With The Aquatic this am what a way to sign off !


Osprey over complete with fish. Small numbers of wheatear on sea wall, likewise ringed plover on seaward side.

Start Point

07.00 - 12.30. Wind light-fresh WSW with variable fog:
modest seabird passage W. out of Start Bay: Manx Shearwater (90+), Balearic Shearwater (2 whose appearance coinciding with the arrival of Mark Darlaston at 10.30 was clearly just that, a coincidence. There had been none with the 58 Manx I had seen earlier - honest), Gannet (100+ most W.), Common Scoter (1 drake W. close in shore), Arctic Skua (1 ad. light phase), Great Skua (3), Kittiwake (50+ most W.), Arctic Tern (2 ad.), Guillemot (2), Puffin (2 distant again ID'd by MD),
Small fall around lighthouse: Tree Pipit (1), Northern Wheatear (3),Reed Warbler (1), Whitethroat (4), Blackcap (2), Chiffchaff (2), Willow Warbler (10-15 juv.s),Spotted Flycatcher (1ad. 1 juv.)


Orcombe Point - 0635 - 0850 - 20 knot, 1 turnstone, 1+ ringed plover 17+ yellow wagtail, 2 grey wagtail, 4 wheatear, 1 whitethroat, 2 chiffchaff, 1 grey heron, 4 little egret, 3 sparrowhawk, 3+ arctic skua, 2 great skua (west), 4 common scoter, 4 manx shearwater, fw/juv yellow-legged gull.
Mudbank - 3 pintail, 85+ wigeon, 2 shoveler, peregrine, 2 mediterranean gull, kingfisher.
Yesterday - Orcombe Point - 9+ chiffchaff, 10+ knot, 38+ yellow wagtail, 1 grasshopper warbler (dung field), 2+ grey wagtail, 4+ tree pipit, 6+ meadow pipit (first proper movement this autumn), 4 whitethroat, 1 ringed plover, 5 little egret, 3 blackcap, 4 wheatear, 2 sedge warbler, 1+ skylark, 2 great spotted woodpecker, 4 arctic skua (lingering), 1 manx shearwater.
Mudbank - 8 great crested grebe, 12 wigeon, osprey (juv north @ 1200).
Littleham - c20+ yellow wagtail.

Thurlestone Bay

Late news for Friday- Waders on the Beaches -12 Dunlion, 25 Sanderling, 24 ringed Plover, 3 jv Turnstone, 1jv Curlew Sandpiper.
On Thurlestone marsh - 4 Black T Godwit, 2 Snipe, 2 Whimbrel (over ), 7 Yellow wagtail.
Sat - late am 2 Curlew with a Bar T Godwit flew east , azlso 3 Yellow Wagtail & 2 Wheatear.
Message from Arthur Livett 1 possibly 2 Wryneck at the bottom of Soar Mill Valley this am

Black Hole Marsh

A visit mid morning produced; 4 Wigeon, 15 Teal, 7 Ringed Plover, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 15 Dunlin, 2 Knot, 3 Ruff, 7 Greenshank, 9 Black-tailed and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits.

No sign of the Wryneck at Rousdon late morning today (Dave Helliar).

Torbay yesterday

Belated news, I'm afraid (phone battery died). I finally succumbed and made my first visit to Preston Down. It took me 24 years to finally see an adult Brown Hairstreak in Devon ... and like buses, three came within half an hour!

Decided to have a look at the sea off Berry Head, though it was rather murky at sea. While I was there, from 15:00-16:50, there were Manx Shearwaters feeding offshore - something I don't recall ever seeing off the Devon coast. The best scan count was 112, but some seemed to be moving through. Up to six Balearics were with them most of the time, plus 7 Arctic Skuas. Also briefly a juv skua flying and behaving like a Long-tailed, feeding with some distant shearwaters, but I lost it in the murk.

Turf, early AM

At least 11 curlew sandpiper, 10 avocet and 94 knot amongst waders on rising tide off Turf prior to 0800.

Instow btwn Cricket Ground and fuel jetty

07:30 - 09:05

What started as a brilliant morning soon deteriorated as the dogs and owners arrived.

43 Pied Wagtail on the cricket ground.

Beach between the cricket ground and fuel jetty.
The beach was alive with waders picking through the seaweed etc at the top of the beach.

137 Sanderling; 113 Turnstone; c150 Dunlin ; 97 Ringed Plover; 1 Redshank; 4 Little Egret;
2 Little Stint; 3 Curlew Sandpiper and 1 Knot.
There were so many waders running about like clockwork oranges, it was hard to count them.

17 Mediterranean Gull including Belgian ringed bird 33L9. This bird was ringed on 26/05/2005. Also 2 other ringed birds, 1 believed French and 1 Polish but unable to read rings due to constant disturbance by dogs and owners. One owner actively encouraged his dog to chase the birds. He soon felt the edge of my tongue.

09:05 16 dogs and only 10 humans. Surely the Govt ought to reconsider the Dog Licence at £100/animal. We`d soon have the Debt under control with 30million+ dogs in the country!

Bowling green marsh

Cattle egret far side left hand end from hide 10:40 in with little egrets

South Milton Ley

Another success for the ringing team -at 07.45 ajv Aquatic Warbler caught & ringed - a superb bird. Phots will be posted later. The boird was released in the middle of the reed bed at 08.30

Friday, 2 September 2011

p.m Today

a single group of 18 Greenshank in Sth Pool Cr.
8 Yellow Wag, 10 N Wheatear, 4 Spot Fly the best of a N Hallsands.
Slapton late afternoon C.400 Kittewake on the sea, 4 Arctic Skua ( 1 p/ph) 2 Common Tern (1 taken by peregrine)
Ringing team: Wryneck caught/ringed - release near Obs.Bridge, no sign? NW
Otter Estuary

A Spotted Redshank on the high tide this morning was exciting news for the Otter today! Other birds were 7 Wigeon, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay, 18:00-20:00, high tide.
330+ Canada Goose, 3 Egyptian Goose, whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper, 6 Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher.

Black Hole Marsh

This evening - 3 Ruff, 5 Greenshanks, 13 Dunlin, 1 juv Little Stint, 3 Ringed Plover, plus singles of Green and Common Sandpiper. On the river were a Knot, a Bar-tailed Godwit and a juv/1st winter Yellow-legged Gull. Handful of Black-tailed Godwits scattered around. Good numbers of hirundines, including several Sand Martins.

 Yellow-legged Gull - quite a few 1st-winter feathers coming through on upper scapulars

Bar-tailed Godwit

Sharkham Point

Managed to get out relatively early today for a change. Nothing amazing but quite a few sylvia warblers feeding on the elderberries.
35+ Blackcap with 16 in 1 bush, 20+ Whitethroat, and at least 3 Garden Warbler.
lots of Chiffchaffs and 11 Willow Warbler. Good numbers of Gold and Greenfinches also with 9 Bullfinch.

Bowling green marsh

A misty morning on the marsh as I arrived at 07:35 a quick look from the hide found 4 green sandpipers but the rest of the marsh was hidden so took a walk upto the viewing platform on way found 5 blackcaps, 15+ chiffchaffs, 4 willow warblers and a great spotted woodpecker. On the path upto the viewing platform my attention was drawn to a group of blue tits great tits and warblers in the brambles and bushes and was delighted to find a lesser whitethroat.

From hide 08:30 till 12:00

Another good morning with 4 juv curlew sandpipers, 1 juv little stint, 1 avocet, 1 juv ruff, 300+ black tailed godwit, 45+ knot, 3 wigeon, 7+ shoveler, 150+ teal, 2 snipe, 5+ greenshank, 30+ Dunlin,30+ lapwing, reed bunting 5+ reed warbler, 4 sedge warbler, 3 bar tailed godwits including 1 in summer plumage still, and a sparrowhawk.

During the morning the juv peregrine attempted 3 attacks but was not successful

From the viewing platform 12:10 till 15:00
1 spotted redshank and 1 juv/1st winter & 1 adult Mediterranean gulls


An early morning stroll around Mansands saw the usual Mallards, Moorhens and afew Teal and loads of Swallows and Martins over the marsh. Also 4 Whitethroats and 2 Sedge Warblers and this Gropper sunning itself on this bush below the hide. Later saw an osprey on the dead tree at Powderham.

Stall Moor & Upper Erme Valley, near Cornwood

A female sparrowhawk flushed and chased a dunlin out on the moor only for a peregrine to appear from nowhere to snatch the prey. Amazing sight!

Also: 9 grey wagtails, 9 wheatear, 1 whitethroat, 8 chiffchaff, 2 Spotted fly & 170 linnet.

Common hawker & golden-ringed dragonflies on wing.

Powderham Corner, Exe Estuary

One of the highest tides of the year so no waders. At least 5 wheatears on the sea-wall. A couple of sandwich terns over the estuary and at 9.44 an osprey caught a fish in mid channel looking towards Lympstone. It took 3 attempts to get airborne and then flew west to the north of Powderham Park.
Whilst watching the osprey disappear a small falcon flew into view chasing swallows. It was hardly larger than its intended prey and had all the flight features of a merlin. However the brief glimpse I had showed a grey unmarked body! It flew very fast and flew towards Powderham Marshes.
Shortly after a peregrine (female) and buzzard flew south along the shore line.
Yesterday evening at least 10 yellow wagtails on Exminster Marshes in the field NE of the railway bridge.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


After a good morning at bowling green marsh I went onto exmouth for a couple of hours between 12:00 and 14:00

Started by looking across to dawlish warren and there was plenty of waders on warren point including 100+ ringed plover 25+ knot 20 sanderling and plenty of Dunlin. There was lots of disturbance due to people walking around the point so decided to do a quick sea watch, 35+ Manx shearwater, plenty of sandwich tern and a few 'commic' terns

On way back to the station stopped of at the recreation ground and had 45+ sandwich tern, 2 common tern and 1 arctic tern

Not a bad days birding

Received news of an osprey and black tern from the viewing platform at bowling green marsh this evening 19:00 (thanks to Gary)

Double Locks Wetland, Exeter

Single garganey on the southernmost pool at 8AM, with teal and single shoveler. Five green sandpipers there on Tuesday.

Thurlestone Bay

Start of Autumn- good total of birds on the patch today at 74 species - main records were :-

On the beaches this am - 7 Wheatear, 30+ Sanderling, 10 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone 1 jv Curlew sandpiper, 1 Curlew ( over ) 3 Yellow Wagtail (over )

07.30 Thurlestone Marsh- 2 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Grey Wagtail, 4 Black T Godwit.
Sea watch at Warren Pt for 1 hour - 10 Manx S'water, 1 Balearic S'water., 1 Sooty S'water ( latter 2 flew east at 10.10 )Noticable steady movement west of G B B Gulls - 55 logged in 1 hour .

13.45 Mallards Lane ( T'stone ) 1jv Pied Flycatcher ( patch tick for me ) , 1 Spotted Fly, 1 Garden Wbler, 10 Willow & 6 Chiffchaff , 1 m Blackcap.

16.00 Upton X ( nr South Milton ) 1 jv Marsh harrier flying over the stubble fields ( same bird as reported twice in Aug. A m Siskin flying over (only 2nd record this year)

Sherpa Marsh

Went down again this afternoon, and saw several very mobile Yellow Wagtails - I estimated a dozen, but it could have been more!, 4 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Snipe, 2 Little Egrets, and 2 large groups of small waders which flew south very fast through the marsh towards the estuary, I guess they were Dunlin, although a lone calling wader was a Ringed Plover.

I also bumped into a local man (non-birder) who described a bird he had seen on Tuesday, it seemed to me to be a very good description of a Bittern! Needless to say I didn't see it!

Did see a Tawny Owl being mobbed by a couple of Chaffinches in the reserve.

Berry Head

Seawatch 13:00-16:00, wind east force 5. Strong passage in the first hour, so I wish I had arrived earlier! Most birds typically heading south: 11Balearics, 434 Manx, 6 Arctic Skuas, 1 Pomarine Skua, 3 Bonxies, 6 Sandwich Terns, 50 Common Terns, 145 Kittiwakes (24 juvs), 268 Gannets, Whimbrel, Razorbill and Guillemot. Thousands of gulls were heading NE, many coming from inland.

Wryneck Rousdon

An elusive Wryneck seen at 12:35 this afternoon in the grounds of Allhallows School, Rousdon. There is a bridle path running east-west through the estate, the bird was just south of here and west of the chapel. Please note though, the estate is private and I advise not to stray off the bridle path.

Also this morning a Sanderling and six Ringed Plover on Seaton Beach at 10am.


Orcombe Point - 0900-1200 - 1 prob reed warbler, 2+ yellow wagtail, 1 grey wagtail, 2 tree pipit, 10+ wheatear, 2 whitethroat, 1+ ringed plover. Seawatching good between 1045 and 1145 with, 2 ad pomarine skua, 1 arctic skua and 1 great skua east, c100+ manx shearwater, 4+ balearic shearwater plus several s'water sp (manx or balearic) out of Dawlish Bay south and then seemingly also heading east. Only the gannets seemed to be going west this morning!

Mudbank - 110+ grt b-b gull, 22 wigeon, pintail, 8 ringed plover, 3 dunlin and 3 great crested grebe.

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 07:35 till 10:00

A bright morning made viewing difficult but was rewarded with 2 little stints an adult & juv then 3 juv curlew sandpipers flew in with a group of Dunlin as the black tailed godwits, redshanks began to come in they were all put up by the railway workers by the bridge. The curlew sandpipers didn't come back in but the little stints did. The juv peregrine dived into the waders twice and the kingfisher showed well on top of the depth marker. There was 4+ yellow wagtails and 1 sandwich tern and a brief spotted redshank.

Sherpa Marsh, Velator, Braunton.

08:05 - 09:15

I do prefer the old name "Sharper Marsh."

On arrival at 08:05, there were 17 Yellow Wagtails under the feet of the cattle up by the corner barn. By the time I`d walked around the marsh (09:15) there were only 6 or 7 remaining.

2 Grey Wagtails; 2 Pied Wagtails; c70 Mallard; 6 Little Grebe; 2 Little Egret; 13 Mute Swan;
1 Common Sandpiper and 4 Teal. Uncounted Coot and Moorhen.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Just received a report of a Wryneck feeding on ants nests in a garden at Kenton last Monday, 29th Aug.

Thurlestone Bay

Ringing team came down late Tues- 42 Ringed Plover ( ct 4 ) 6 Dunlin (ct2 ) also ct &ringed 9 Yellow Wags & 2 Reed Wblr.

Wed am- Tstone marsh - 4 Black T Godwit, 1 Snipe, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, 2 Willow Wblr , 1 Chiffchaff.

On the beaches - 28 Sanderling, 2 Dunlin 6 Ringed Plover, 3jv Turnstone, 1 jv Curlew Sandpiper.

South H Marsh 12 Yellow Wags, 3 Wheatear

Beer Head

Around 70 Yellow Wagtails first thing, but precious few other migrants - just 2 Wheatears and a handful of Chiffs, Willows, Blackcaps and a couple of Whitethroats.

Exe and Haldon - Ospreys

After watching an adult Osprey eating a fish in Powderham park, watched Haldon for a couple of hours and picked up two more high up driftiing west. Easterly and high pressure good raptor migration conditions!

Sherpa Marsh

Had a walk around the marsh this morning, sort of first of the autumn (when was summer?) and turned up 4 Black-tailed Godwit, 120+ Canada Geese, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Snipe, and 16+ Yellow Wagtails, don't often see them here in late summer/autumn.
In the Velator reserve a Wigeon on the pond. Peregrine half-heartedly chasing Woodpigeons over the marsh area. 2 Sparrowhawks and 4 Buzzards.

Bowling green marsh

From the hide 07:35 till 10:30

The adult little stint again showed well this morning and 2 bearded tits showed low down in the reeds on far right. A juv spotted redshank and a juv ruff were again present and 3 avocet flew in. 300+ black tailed godwit, 3 bar tailed godwit, 30+ knot, 30+ Dunlin,3 whimbrel, 2 ringed plover, 3 green sandpiper, 20+ little egret, 150+ teal, 4 shoveler, 5+ yellow wagtails.

From goat walk 10:45 till 12:30

20+ sandwich tern flew down river towards dawlish warren, 1 common sandpiper, 20+ ringed plover

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Prawle Area

The bottom of Pig's Nose Valley full of warblers early morning, elsewhere fairly quiet.
Totals for area : Willow Warbler 60+, Chiff-Chaff 70+, Blackcap 40+, Whitethroat 50+, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Garden Warbler 2, Redstart 1, Yellow Wagtail 40+, Wheatear 5

Thurlestone Bay

Less people on the beach= more waders .On the beaches this am- 23 sanderling, 2 Dunlin, 3 Turnstone (all jv ), 1 Ringed Plover, 1 jv Curlew Sandpiper., also 3 Yellow Wag & 4 Wheatear.

On Thurlestone Marsh - Wood Sandpiper, 4 Black T Godwit, 1 Water rail, 2 Yellow Wag, 1 Dunlin

Ringing Team- 12 Chiffchaff, 7 Willow, 6 Blackcap, 2 Sedge, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Groppa, 62 Swallow, 1 Sand Martin

Velator reserve

Ringing this morning was a bit slow, but mostly migrants ringed:
5 Swallows, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Sedge Warblers and 2 Reed Warblers. Also ringed the 8th, 9th and 10th Kingfisher so far this year, and new to the reserve, a Tree Pipit.

A couple of days ago, I came home from the village (Braunton) and saw female Sparrowhawk perched on my terrace. On seeing me it flew (nearly into the lounge window!) then a short circuit of the terrace (missing my wife who was outside reading!) and on up above the woods above the village, where it was sort of attacked by a juvenile Peregrine which made several half-hearted stoops at it, which it easily avoided. It then disappeared and the Peregrine circled up and away. Just wondered if it was originally perched hiding from the greater menace above?

Bowling green marsh

From the hide this morning 08:00 till 11:00

The adult little stint showed well with 50+ knot 250+ black tailed godwit, 1 bar tailed godwit 1 adult winter Mediterranean gull, brief views of 2 bearded tits in the reeds far right from hide, peregrine and 2 green sandpiper.

From goat walk 11:15 till 11:45

3+ sandwich tern, common sandpiper, 2 sparrowhawk

Prawle - yesterday 29/8

Melodious Warbler just northwest of coastguard lookout, above the beach where the stream runs down.
It bathed in the stream with a cirl bunting(!) before moving to the cover and harassing the buntings aggressively.

[from Gus Robin]

Bowling Green Marsh

0600 - 0830 - small crake sp (presumed spotted) at 0635 - flew from far right hand corner into right hand reedbed and no further sign until 0830 at least. Also 50+ knot, 8 shoveler, 150+ teal, 7 yellow wagtail, 1 green sandpiper, 1 ruff, ad little stint, 2 bearded tit, 6 lapwing, juv spotted redshank, 1 little grebe and the barnacle goose.

Monday, 29 August 2011

BGM and Otter Estuary

Bowling Green Marsh
2 Ruff NBR
Spotted Redshank NBR
Greenshank 5-6 NBR
Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper
3 Hirondines
Yellow Wag Tail
Bar and Black Tailed Godwit
2 Raven

Otter Estuary
Med Gull - Adult Winter
Little Stint Juv
3 Herring Gulls
7 Little Egret

[from Stephen John Turner]

Wembury this weekend

Sat: 6 Ringed Plover, 3 Tree Pipit, 20 Blackcap
Sun: 1 Yellow Wag, 2 Crossbill over my garden
Mon: 1 Yellow Wag, 1 Tree Pipit and a large grey Willow Warbler

Also on Sunday, the caterpillar below which I assume must be Convolvulous Hawk Moth. [Edit: I have been told that it is an Elephant Hawk Moth Caterpillar]

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide from 17:30 till 19:30

1 juv ruff, 1 spotted redshank, 50+ knot, 13 ringed plover, 60+ Dunlin,
125+ black tailed godwit, 2 bar tailed godwit, 4 whimbrel
45+ teal, 3 shoveler, 2 green sandpiper, 4 yellow wagtails, 300+ curlew


Routine stuff today, but some decent counts; Singles of Ringed Plover and Sanderling remain, and the first Teal of the autumn showed up. 25+ Sand Martins passed through during the day, while passerine migrant totals were; 58 Wheatear, Whinchat, Redstart, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 40+ Yellow Wagtails, minimum 5 White Wagtails, Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Sedge Warblers, 30 Blackcaps, 45 Whitethroats, Garden Warbler, 15 Willow Warblers and 40 Chiffchaffs.

Kingsbridge Estuary

Charleton Marsh / Bay ( 15:30-18:00, high tide.)

Very Quiet, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, 12 Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Med Gull and Tree Pipit.

Thurlestone Marsh

Quiet day today - too many visitors for any waders. Marsh & garden still good-

Late Sun eve. a Green Sandpiper flew in . This am - Wood Sandpiper ( for 6th day), 3 Black T Godwit, 1 Dunlin, 6 Little Egrets (flew off 7am ). Warblers moving thru up to 9am - 6 Blackcap, 4 Whitethroat, 1 Lesser W'throat, 1 Garden Wblr, 1 Sedge, 1 Chiffchaff. 1 Tree Pipit over,. 15 L B B Gulls this afternoon spent an hour on the pool.

South Huish Marsh - only 2 Yellow Wags & 1 Wheatear


A scattering of migrants - 29+ Yellow Wagtails, 1 Tree Pipit, c10 Sand Martins, 1 Sedge Warbler, c10 Willow Warblers. Also a Peregrine and 3 Cirl Buntings.

stoke Gabriel, Millpond

Osprey on the Millpond, seen once flying over woods at 3:45, then seen again at 4:00 attempting to catch fish for about 10 minutes before finally catching a fish and flying off again.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A sprinkling of wheatears still going through with 4 yesterday and 3 today. Up to 10 stock doves around and a few chiffchaffs moving through. Common blues sunning themselves on a sheltered east facing bank.

Exminster Marshes

Lots of blackcaps and chiffchaffs alongside the railway line. At Turf 29 ringed plovers, 9 dunlin and 1 turnstone roosting on the seawall. 4 yellow wagtails with 6+ pied wagtails in the fields south of the Turf. 6 little egrets roosting in the trees.
Osprey over the river at 10.35 opposite Topsham and a single kingfisher on the canal. 2 wheatears near the lagoon.


Belle Vue Rd - 0945 - whilst watching the river from the garden 2 cirl bunting flew in from the south and landed in bushes surrounding Warren View football pitch - a very welcome and unexpected addition to the house list! Also at least 3 blackcap and a chiffchaff there this morning.
Mudbank Lane - 1000 - juv osprey fishing the channel off starcross and 2 juv black tern with a sizeable but distant tern flock that included c40+ sandwich tern and c30/40+ 'commic' tern. I think there were several arctics present but can't be certain of numbers. Also the pintail still.
Orcombe Point yesterday - 0700 - c20+ yellow wagtail, 1+ willow warbler, 1+ ringed plover, 1+ grey wagtail, 4+ whitethroat, 1+ tree pipit, 2+ blackcap, 1 swift, 1 stonechat, 1 great skua west and 1 arctic skua lingering.

Soussons Plantation, Dartmoor

Sunday 28th August

Sighting of male Harrier over clearfell area in centre of plantation - observer unable to see enough to decide whether Hen or Montagu's

(Jack Aldous)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bowling green marsh

A much quieter days birding around the marsh today a brief visit to the hide this morning only produced 2 juv ruff, 1 green sandpiper, 6 ringed plover a juv yellow wagtail and a juv peregrine. So decided to watch from the viewing platfom nice to see the kingfisher flying and didn't take long to find the spotted redshank, 1 common sandpiper, 10+ knot and a juv turnstone and a juv sparrowhawk flew over head.

This afternoon back at the hide the 2 juv ruff were still showing well and still 1 juv yellow wagtail. The juv sparrowhawk put in a couple of appearances then from 17:00 2 juv Curlew sandpipers, 1 spotted redshank, 28+ knot, 65+ Dunlin, 16+ ringed plover, 4 whimbrel, 2 bar tailed godwits, 35+ teal and 1 wheatear but considering the high tide very few redshank and black tailed godwits came in to the marsh. Still a nice days birding

I did receive a report of the 3 juv bearded tits they were showing well around 7:00 this morning good to hear they still around.

Exminster Marshes

12 yellow wag in fields nr turf with stock. Whimbril on river.

Exminster Marshes

At 5.00 pm 1 yellow wagtail , at the end of Milbury Lane, c250 black-tailed godwits flew south past Topsham and the swallows are still feeding young in the nest under the bridge over the canal at Topsham Lock.
Yesterday on Belstone Common (Dartmoor) a pair of wheatears were also still feeding young in a nest or very close to it. Also there 1 hobby and about 6 more wheatears.

Preston Down, Paignton

One of four brown hairstreaks seen today, two of them egg laying females.

Blackhole Marsh-Late news Friday 26th August

As they don't seem to have been reported since and for the record, the 3 Wood Sandpipers were still on Blackhole Marsh at 4.30pm on Friday, with 2 of them calling loudly, perhaps signalling their impending departure?

Teign Estuary Osprey - yesterday 27/8

After witnessing all the gulls  on the Teign estuary take to the air calling loudly, I scanned the skies and was rewarded with an adult Osprey, which then flew from the estuary, over the seafront and drifted off in the direction of Dawlish.

11:00 Saturday morning.

[from Simon Bates]

Black Hole Marsh - yesterday 27/8

A couple of photos from a morning visit to Blackhole marsh -8 dunlin,2knot,1little stint 2ruff and 1 greenshank all showing well around the island hide.

[from Simon Thurgood]

 Little Stint


Prawle yesterday (27/8)

Seawatch, (John Lambert, Tony Marchese, Frank Scampton) turned up a Great Skua and 2 Balearic Shearwaters.

Star bird was a Red Kite that flew north at 10.15. Waders today included 3 Black-tailed Godwits flying east, 2 Whimbrel, Curlew, 5 Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin and Common Sandpiper.

Totals of other migrants included 18 Wheatear, Whinchat, 2 Grey Wagtails (west), 35 yellow Wagtails, Tree Pipit, 18 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, 6 Sedge Warblers, 15 Blackcaps, 75 Whitethroats, 5 Willow Warblers and 24 Chiffchaffs.

Start Point

Car Park / Farm / Light, 07:30-10:00

Whimbrel, 3 Tree Pipit, 30 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Wheatear, 6 Whitethroat, 6 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Spotted Flycatcher.

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

07:05 - 10:00

Still no sign of any Bittern on Bradiford Reserve.

23 Bar-tailed Godwit and 2 Knot on foreshore.

2 Green Sandpiper in ditch between reserve and sewage wrks. Birds kept flying to/from the ditch, to the low lying area btwn ditch and the barns.

A further 22 Knot btwn sewage wrks and Ashford Strand.

Flock of c50 Sanderling on sandbar in middle of the Taw.