Saturday, 10 September 2011

Black Hole Marsh

This morning...

3+ Ruff, 35+ Dunlin, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, a Kestrel (male) and finally a Swift that was harrasing a Herring Gull [from Tim Stripp]

And some totals this afternoon...

6 Ruff, 53 Dunlin, 38 Ringed Plover [from Phil Abbott]

Start Point

07.15 - 11.00 Strong SW, moderate to good visibility. Distinctly quiet compared with the movements further north east:
5 Storm Petrels, 4 Balearic Shearwaters, 10+ Manx Shearwaters, 1 Great Skua, 1 light ad. and 1 dark ad. Arctic Skua, 8 Razorbill as well as plenty of Gannets all SW. 2 Turnstone and 2 Wheatear on rocks. Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warbler in lighthouse tamarisks, 1 Yellow Wagtail over. Not a single Kittiwake.

Budleigh Seafront

Three sessions, two this morning 08.00 - 08.45 and 10.00 - 11.00 and one this evening 17.30 - 19.15hrs

This morning the visibility was not so great but there were still at least 10+ Balearic Shearwaters visible moving W, up to 5 Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua and a prob Pom Skua. Also a continual stream of 20+ Commic Tern and 20+ Sandwich Tern with the odd Arctic Tern. A juv Long-tailed Skua was seen between my two morning visits by Doug C and Ray H.

However, as per Matt's post, the movement this evening was pretty intense with at least 70+ Balearic Shearwater, less Manx Shearwaters, though shearwaters were visible very distantly out to the S&W (presumably Matt's Manx mentioned below). Also a very large movement of Kittiwake again heading W with large groups sat on the sea . There were at least 300+ birds sitting on the water last thing this evening, but alas no Sabine's Gull. Also 1 Arctic Skua, and a brief Grey Phalarope heading W.


Orcombe Point - 1700 - 1900 - c1500/2000+ manx shearwater, c100+ balearic shearwater, 1 grey phalarope, c100+ 'commic' tern, 1 great skua, c5+ arctic skua, 1 ad pomarine skua, 1+ sooty shearwater, 1 sabine's gull, 2 fulmar and c150+ kittiwake.
By far the best I've seen it off Orcombe Point and to be honest I was a bit overwhelmed by the large numbers of birds in front of me. My estimates of both manx and balearic shearwater are very rough and if anything quite conservative. Counting was very difficult as hundreds of birds were rafting quite close in, between Orcombe point and Sandy Bay and birds were also continually moving west. For example between 1735 and 1900 53+ balearics went west. Tern estimates are also rough. The phalarope took its time going through at 1735, frequently sitting for short periods on the water, and the sabs (presumed first summer) joined a small kittiwake flock off Sandy Bay at about 1810, and was still present at 1845 at least.

Exmouth - mid channel

0800 this morning on receeding tide, there were 7 Pale-bellied Brents resting and preening on the large mid-channel sandbank off Imperial Ground Exmouth. Heavy swell out to sea but superb Gannet display off Pole Sands, diving for sand eels, inc many first year birds

Berry Hd

Seawatching 0630-1830:
6 Pomarine Skua, 20 Arctic Skua, 1-2 Skua sp (probably Long-tailed), 13 Bonxie, 7 Sooty Shearwater, 304 Manx shearwater, 35 Balearic Shearwater, 81 Common Scoter, 7 Arctic Tern, 22 Common Tern, 20 'Commic' Tern, 1 Puffin, 8 Guillemot 5 Razorbill, 10 Dunlin, 200+ Kittiwake & 519 Gannets.
Mark Darlaston, + many others!

Yelland Roost and Isley Marshes

2 Whimbrel amongst 300+ Oystercatchers at Yelland roost @1600
1 Spoonbill amongst 10 Little Egrets at Isley Marshes. Peregrine twice sending up 100+ curlews on marshes

Plymouth area

Wembury Bay

Two adult Arctic Terns, 2 Sandwich Terns, a Whimbrel and a Peregine.

Plym Estuary

The juv Spotted Sandpiper showing well on the (very) high tide in the channel on Blaxton Meadow, beside the estuary wall. Also Kingfisher, 36 Curlews, 14 Little Egrets and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Seaton - afternoon update

Seawatch this morning until 08:20 produced 1 Sooty Shearwater, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Manxies, 1 Arctic Skua and 42 Common Scoters - all W. A Great Crested Grebe headed E. Terns lingering/passing through included at least 1 Arctic Tern and c20 Sandwich.

Another seawatch this afternoon (14:20-17:20) added another 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Balearic, 18 Manx, 1 Bonxie, 5 Sandwich Terns, 1 Arctic Tern, 5 Commic Terns, 1 Guillemot, 6 auk sp, 2 Kittiwakes, 4 Fulmars and 113 Gannets.

Exmouth - mid channel & Mudbank

0800 on receeding tide this morning, 7 pale-bellied Brent Geese were on the mid stream large sandbank off Exmouth Imperial Ground, resting and preening.
40+Wigeon, 250+ Mallard and 10 Mute Swans now feeding on the eel grass beds of the Exmouth LNR - autumn's here!

Hopes Nose

A Wryneck late morning/early afternoon at Hopes Nose above the top end of the quarry, seen several times but elusive in the strong wind and last seen in the thick cover to the right of the narrow path above the quarry. Also 1 Wheatear on the point. A late morning seawatch- 1 Bonxie, 3 Balearic's, 5 Manxies, 11 Common Scoter and a good passage of Kittiwakes and Gannets.

Friday, 9 September 2011

bradiford reserve

Called in briefly at lunchtime and saw 2 Whinchats and 3 Wheatears.

Seaton Area

A quick tour this evening...

4 Arctic Terns and a Common Tern feeding in the bay (all adults)

Black Hole Marsh + Colyford Common
c60 Dunlin, c30 Ringed Plovers, 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4+ Ruff, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, c10 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Green Sandpiper, handful of Yellow Wagtails, plus 9 Sandwich Terns amongst the Black-headed Gulls on BHM

[with thanks to Phil Abbot for some of those totals]

A day around the exe

Exmouth 10:00 till 11:30

By life boat station on the rocks and on the seaweed 5 mediterranean gulls ( 3 adults, 1 2nd winter and  a juv/1st winter) plus 50+ knot

Dawlish warren 12:50 till 13:40

Thanks to Doug for the lift from exmouth it was much appreciated  we both had fantastic views of the BUFF BREASTED SANDPIPER showing well in the bight near the hide along with 3 wheatear and plenty of ringed plover and dunlin 

sorry not a great photo taken with iphone through scope

Bowling green marsh 14:30 till 17:15

The juv Osprey still showing well on the 'derrick' enjoying a fish it caught earlier the high tide roost was a lot busier today with 480+ curlew, 2+ bar tailed godwit, 4 whimbrel, 2 green sandpiper, 1 common sandpiper, 1  juv ringed plover, 6+ dunlin, 4+ greenshank, 1 sparrowhak, 18+ little egrets, 4+ wigeon, 25+ lapwing , 30+ redshank,125+ black tailed godwit

Another good days birding around the exe and a new devon tick with the Buff-breasted sandpiper

Dawlish Warren

The Buff-Breasted Sandpiper found this morning, still present this evening at high tide commuting between the edge of the bight and the golf course. Luckily it was a lowish high tide and the poor weather meaning no disturbance, meant most of the waders remained in the bight just before the hide, on the edge of the saltmarsh. It is loosely associating with Ringed Plover, and went across to the golf course several times where it showed very well. Also 5 Curlew Sand present.

Thurlestone Bay

Poor viz & a lot of drizzle most of the day - highlights were -

Waders on the beach - 32 Ringed Plover, 2 Sanderling , 1 Redshank ( over ). 1 Guillemot on the sea .

T Marsh - 4 Black T Godwit , 3 Yellow Wagtail.

Best bird of the day a juv f Merlin - first found on the Golf Course later v g views in the field behind the cafe

North of Ashburton

Just for interest, a Wryneck flushed from the ground into cover at a private site with no general access just north of Ashburton this afternoon.

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est.

15:00 - 16:00

63 Bar-tailed Godwit; 3 Black-tailed Godwit; 5 Knot; 1 Curlew Sandpiper ( well marked juvenile);
19 Dunlin;
8 Ringed Plover; 5 Mediterranean Gulls; 7 Little Egret and 1 Peregrine.

Upper Tamar Lake

A visit to Upper Tamar Lake late morning/early afternoon was pleasantly enlivened by two Black Terns - 1 ad; 1 juv also 40+ Swallows, 1 Kingfisher, a singing Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcaps and 2 Ravens over.   Then a quite violent thunderstorm persuaded me that it was time to return home!

[from Harvey Kendall]

Berry Head

Seawatch 0700-1600 in company with MD. Masses of Shearwaters moving out first thing but due to clear conditions most were too distant to count effectively or identify. The promised weather eventually moved in which moved birds closer. Between 1430-1600 mist reduced vis which negated any birds being seen. Totals for the day as follows: Manx Shearwater 1031+, Balearic Shearwater 48 (positively ID ), Arctic Tern 10, Common Tern 79, Arctic Skua 3, pale phase Pomarine Skua (with spoons) 1, Great Skua 2, Gannet 555, Kittiwake 568 (in 2hrs), Razorbill 12, Common Scoter 21. And a suntan.

Pottington, Taw Estuary

At midday Malcolm had

1 Spotted Redshank
45 Bar-Tailed Godwit
1 Black-Tailed Godwit

Berry Head

Short walk around the headland after the school run - 2 Wheater, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail, several small mobile flocks inc 19 Linnet, 3 Chaffinch, 3 House Sparrow, 12 Meadow Pipit. 1 Cirl Bunting and a large mixed flock of 60 + House Martin & Swallows, also Hummingbird Hawk Moth and Sea Watchers Mark & Josh sunbathing in clear conditions!

Around the cattle meadow 2 Willow Warbler, 12 Chiffchaff, 1 Whitethroat & a Treecreeper.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

08:00 - 09:00

c120 Dunlin; 29 Bar-tailed Godwit; 1 Black-tailed Godwit; 1 Wheatear and 2 Little Egret. Just 1 Redshank.

Off Ashford Sewage Works:-
8 Little Egret and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Turf, Exe Estuary

4 of the 9 curlew sandpipers and 6 dunlin reported earlier

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

An impressive 12 Whinchat tonight along with 20 Wheatears.

Powderham to Turf, Exe Estuary

A warm afternoon and at high tide 6 wheatears, c30 pied/white wagtails and 1 whinchat on the sea-wall. 2 ospreys ; one sat on the gantry in the Clyst another over Turf at 16.30. The wader roost within a few meters of the cycle path included 34 ringed plovers, 31 dunlin, 9 curlew sandpipers, 1 redshank and 1 common sandpiper.

Isley Marsh

Malcolm popped up to Isley this afternoon about 15:30 and saw 1 Spoonbill and an Osprey passing through

Bowling Green Marsh

Not a lot on the main marsh in the morning due to an early high tide and also because the R.S.P.B. were doing maintenance by cutting back and making bombfires but watching from the viewing platform afforded good views of an Osprey both on the gantry and on the small post in the river.Also seen were numerous redshank,2 greenshank and a common sandpiper.Also seen viewing onto the reserve was a great-spotted woodpecker and several willow warblers.
[from Ken Flaxman]

Loch Garten Osprey visits Plymouth

Here's something of interest. Copy of email, courtest Kev Rylands...

From: Whitehead, Tony
Sent: Thu 08/09/2011 10:31 AM
To: _South West RO; _South West Reserves
Subject: Garten osprey in the region

One of the Loch Garten ospreys seems to like Plymouth.  And why not - its a fine city

Follow this link

Click on the bird named Tore (mustard yellow box just above the map on the left) then zoom in to Plymouth.

Barnstaple - yesterday 7/9

Yesterday (07 Sep) on river Taw at Barnstaple, around the new bridge, saw 9 bar-tailed godwits, 1 black-tailed godwit, 18 oystercatchers and 5 curlew.  All around 1600 in pretty foul and windy conditions.
[from Tony Brooking]

Bowling green marsh

15:30 2 osprey flying around over the marsh 1 juv and 1 adult

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Seaton Area

A quick look round early this evening suggested not much had changed. The only exception being 7 Bar-tailed Godwits on the estuary - quite unusual here.

Still 1 Little Stint and 1 Curlew Sandpiper on Black Hole Marsh, along with at least 1 Ruff, 3 Ringed Plovers, 4+ Greenshank and a few Dunlin. Also here were 6+ Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail.

The sea was pretty lifeless, though perhaps 15 minutes didn't really give it time to excel!

Wembury Point

Curlew Sandpiper this evening. Also 2 Sanderling, 1 Ringed Plover, 17 Turnstone, 19 Curlew.

[from Andy Trout]

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Despite the strong winds (or maybe because of them) the strong passage of Wheatears through the Blackdowns continues.
18 present tonight along with 7 Whinchat.
Also 2 ravens, kestrel and a hare.

Kingsbridge Estuary

3 adult Med Gulls off Embankment Road, Kingsbridge this evening.

Budleigh Seafront / Otter Estuary

Still remnants of yesterday's seabird excitement early this morning.
A watch from 07.15 - 08.30 produced 9 Balearic Shearwaters, including 4 birds feeding just off-shore by Otter Head with 60+ Gannet for the entire duration. Then a superb adult Pom Skua came in very close to investigate the feeding activity. Also 2 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern, 1 Arctic Tern and a 1st w Med. Gull.
On the estuary there were 5 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.

A brief look on the sea this evening produced 2 more Balearic Shearwaters and 2 Common Tern heading W.

Exminster Marshes

Away from the coast and therefore not so exciting. Mid afternoon and few warblers apart from c8 chiffchaffs and a probable whitethroat hiding in the under-growth. In the fields next to the Turf about 400 starlings and at least one yellow wagtail.
At Turf on the high tide 19 dunlin, 23 ringed plovers and one curlew sandpiper. One comic tern far out in the estuary - difficult to see in the drizzle.
Also distant an osprey near the Clyst. On the canal 1 kingfisher and 1 little egret.

Off Teignmouth

8.30am I Osprey flew across the Bay towards Hopes Nose

Hartland point

Malcolm went to Harland point between 07.20 and o9.30 and saw

173 Manx Shearwaters
2 Ballearic Shearwaters
1 Sooty Shearwater
100+ Gannet (inc lots of juv)
5 juv Great Skua
1 Arctic Skua (pale phase)
5 Kittiwakes
6 Commic Tern

Upper Tamar Lake at 12.30

2 Black Terns (feeding amongst 100`s hirundines)

Lower Tamar Lake

several pairs of Great Crested Grebes feeding young

Bowling green marsh

Osprey from viewing platform 13:55 perched on small post in mud on far bank good views

Froward Point

Seawatch yesterday, 06/09/11. 6.30am - 5.00pm; SW gale 8 veering westerly mid-afternoon and moderating.

428+ Manx, 117 Balearic (most in the last couple of hours), 3 Sooties, 1 large shearwater at 3.07pm, 1 Bonxie, 3 Arctics (1 ad. l.p., 2 juv. intermed.), 9 Stormies, 54 Fulmar, 2 Common Scoter, 1 Common Tern. Also good passage of LBbGull, far more than the 79 (52 Ads.) I actually wrote down.


Orcombe Point - 0630 - 0705 - strong balearic shearwater passage continues early this morning with 30 west in 35 mins + 15 arctic skua, c50+ kittiwake, 2 manx shearwater and c100+ gannet. Also ad mediterranean gull and 3 common scoter.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Balearic record counts

Congratulations to the Berry Head boys for sticking it out and smashing (more than doubling) the previous Devon Balearic passage record, which was 145 on 2 Sept 2009. Your 304 is the highest Devon count to date followed by those made at Start Pt (238)and Prawle Pt (160) all today. Interesting how the counts decrease away from core Lyme Bay. However, the highest in the UK was from Portland Bill with 450 on 05/08/1978 and 618 on 09/08/1978. Some way to go then chaps!!

Colyford Common - Little Gull

A couple of shots of today's bird from Bob Longhorn...


The last hour at Berry Head (17:30-18:30) produced 13 Balearics (including 2 groups of four), 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Storm Petrels and 8 Manxies. The Balearic tally thereby breaking 300 with satisfying weight - a fitting end to a superb day. The totals in Bill's post below have been amended accordingly.

Note for Mark Darlaston: Be the envy of your seawatching chums with one of these. Can be had in black...and a bit cheaper ;o)

With thanks to all for the enjoyable company I'll close with a couple of naff shots of our record-breakers:

Three of a group of eight

Berry head

Have done lots of seawatching but today was my first at berry head what a fantastic day 5 year ticks and the best views I have ever had of balearic shearwaters

Thanks to all the guys there today

Prawle seawatch

Seawatch from 06.30 - 19.00. (with Al Doidge and Eric Wotton). 520 Gannets, 56 Fulmar, 9 Sooty, 870 Manx and 160 Balearic Shearwaters, 258 Storm Petrels, Great Skua, 3 Arctic Skuas, 200+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 5 Kittiwakes, 4 Common Terns, 2 Arctic Terns, 11 Razorbills, 3 Guillemots, Common Scoter and Ringed Plover.

Start Point

Start Point in a SW force 8, heavy rain, its a lot harder than Berry Head (from experience). After the brolly had turned itself inside out for the 10th time and finally broke the birds started to come through..... and if it was not for Berry Head.... the 2nd highest Balearic passage!

Seawatch 07:00-19:00, wind SW8 with heavy rain, backing SSW7 before veering W7: 3 Great Shearwaters (first, v.close 09:26, 2nd distant 15:10, 3rd mid-range 15:26), 18 Sooty Shearwaters, 238 Balearic Shearwaters (most in the last 4 hours), 930 Manx Shearwaters, 105 European Storm-petrels, Puffin, 2 Guillemot, 11 Razorbills, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Arctic Skuas, 1 Bonxie, Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Tern.

Whoooops must be Start Point!!
PS This was a bit further out a few days ago.

Seawatch at Budleigh Salterton

A seawatch from 16.30 to 19.30 (joined by Doug, Ray and Stephanie for the latter part) produced;
13 Balearic shearwaters, 15 Common Scoter (12 lingering offshore), 15 Storm Petrels, 1 Arctic Skua and 1 Pomarine skua.

Berry Head cont.

Just to add to the totals. Bill you forgot Brians supressed Turnstone that went south! Cheers for an enjoyable day everyone.

Sea Watching - Berry Head, Brixham

A marathon 12 hour session was rewarded with a new site record for Balearic Shearwater with 304 seen from 0630 to 1830 hrs (previous Devon record 145).  Also a single Great Shearwater close in shore at 8am. Other totals included 744 Manx & 9 Sooty Shearwater, 29 Arctic Skua, 1 Pom, 1 Bonxie, 52 Storm Petrel, 1 Arctic Tern, 16 Common Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Scoter,  4 Skua sp, 1 Tern sp and 3 Harbour Porpoise.

Exmouth late pm

Orcombe Point - wind much more westerly this pm but c20+ kittiwake, 17 storm petrel, 17 balearic shearwater west (+ many more lingering in Dawlish Bay), 2 bonxie, 2 common scoter, 2 turnstone and a black-throated diver (possibly this morning's bird) on the sea off the lifeboat station. Also a superb first-winter yellow-legged gull by the lifeboat station (above photos). Additionally several arctic skuas lingering in the bay - impossible to know exactly how many!

Off Teignmouth

5 - 5.30pm Close in 1 lingering light phase 'spooned' Pomarine Skua. Lots of movement further out including 4 arctic skuas, 30 +manx shearwaters, a least 1 balearic, 100+ sandwich terns and large kittiwake numbers

Thurlestone Bay

Could not see past Thurlestone Rock this am- went back for 3hrs this pm , should have stayed in. - Only 1 Manx S'water, 1 jv Kittiwake, 2 Fulmar, 4 Common Tern , 8 Sandwich Tern, 68 Gannet

Waders on the beaches - 10 Ringed Plover, 4 Sanderling, 2 Turnstone, also 1 Wheatear

Berry Head

Live update from Berry Head. Blogging whilst seawatching. 275 Balearics! Close to the national record!!!

Hopes Nose

08:25 - 10:20
Just 3 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Manx Shearwater and a Black-throated Diver.

Stupid Berry Head...

Axe Estuary and Seaton Bay

Sea watching this morning was - as usual for us up here in the bowel of Lyme Bay - not as good as it should have been!

All I noted in three hours this morning and early afternoon were: 4 Balearic Shearwater, 35+ Manxies (Ian M had a Sooty too), 2 Arctic Terns and 4 'commic' Terns.

Up the valley a juv Little Gull on Colyford Scrape at 14:30 was the best. On Black Hole Marsh early afternoon there was a 'new' Curlew Sand (pic below), with singles of Little Stint and Knot, 3 Ruff, 4 Greenshank, 12 Ringed Plover and 19 Dunlin.

Berry Head

Quick post from whilst seawatching a Berry Head 170 Balearics and a close Great Shearwater the best do far Full updates to follow. It's wet!


Orcombe Point - 0635 - 0735 - 22+ arctic skua, 4+ balearic shearwater, 1 common tern, 1 black-throated diver, c100+ kittiwake and a constant stream of manxies all west. Visibility was poor with some heavy rain so I dread to think what was moving further out. Am anticipating some hefty totals from Berry head later!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Exe Ospreys

A couple of photos taken over the weekend by Martin Cox...

Sth Down Farm- Soar

Dotterel juv. still present 19:00 in harrowed field to right of farm looking to Bolberry.
(thanks go to C Miles Soar mill seeds) It's a big field but can walk around! pref. not through!
park sensible eh.....

Budleigh Seafront

A brief look at the sea this morning for an hour between around 10.15 and 11.15 showed a lot of activity south and west of Straight Point. The light was pretty awful, but as per Mark's post seemed to be a lots of feeding activity with many Gannets feeding, small groups of Kittiwakes, a continual stream of Manx Shearwaters, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 6+ Arctic Skua and 1 prob Pom Skua.

Plym Estuary

Spotted Sandpiper (juv) still present this evening on the narrow stretch of river, favouring the area between the footbridge and the round construction in the river. Also 4 Common Sandpipers and a Kingfisher.

Prawle roundup

Grasshopper Warbler - nice feet !!

Saturday 3/9; Best bird of the day was a juvenile Marsh Harrier that flew west at 19.00; Otherwise fairly quiet on the land with totals of 3 Wheatears, Whinchat, 43 Stonechats, Grey Wagtail, 4 White Wagtails, 4 Spotted Flycatchers, Garden Warbler, 28 Blackcaps, 25 Whitethroats, 44 Chiffchaffs and a Willow Warbler. Waders were restricted to 4 Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper.

Sunday 4/9; What a difference a day makes! Overnight rain dropped many common migrants in, as well as the 3 previously mentioned Wrynecks. Wheatears were the most abundant, with at least 200 in the area, including 90+ in one stubble field. The other two species to feature most prominently were Willow Wablers with c50, and Spotted Flycatcher with 18. A count of 5 Grasshopper Warblers was notable, and other warbler totals were 2 Sedge, 26 Blackcaps, 42 Whitethroats and 23 Chiffchaffs. 18 Sand Martins passed through, and other notable birds were Hobby, 2 Whinchats, 11 Yellow and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Finished the day with a little seawatch which produced a Sooty Shearwater, 5 Balearics and 19 Manx.

Southdown Farm, Malborough

Juv Dotterel at the above location, in a ploughed field by footpath to Jacob's Lane.

[from Colin Mills]

Berry Head

Seawatch 14:00-17:30. Wind WSW5-6. Quite amazing - one of the largest feeding congregations of birds I've seen off Berry hd. This included several thousand Manx Shearwaters (the tally counter bust at around 3000!, it was easily double if not triple that!) mostly feeding 2 miles+. In a sample count of c.1000 closer Manxies we counted at least 60 Balearic Shearwaters (so around 6%, so could be a lot out there - 300+!) and 4 Sooties, but likely to be more as shearwaters were out to the horizon. This number of Manx is unprecedented for this time of year. Earlier last week Portland recorded c10,000 Manx and these may well be the same birds feeding down our end of Lyme Bay. Lots of Gannets and Kitts in the frenzy with thousands of gulls, 10+Arctic Skuas and at least 1 Pom seen.

Thurlestone Bay

A good westerly F6/7 did not produce the expected movement at sea - In just under 3 hrs-

140 Gannet, 10 Manx S'water, 1 Balearic S'water., 5 Fulmar , 1 Guillemot., 1 Sandwich Tern.

Waders on the beaches were 24 Ringed Plover, 7 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin . 4 Black T Godwit still on the Marsh.

Best bird of the day seen by Bob B -a F Merlin flew over the car park at 08.30

Blackhole Marsh - Seaton

What a great site this is for getting close shots of birds. The hide is well designed and the habitat is drawing in a good variety of birds.

[Clockwise from top left: Ruff, Grey Heron, Knot and Greenshank - GH]

Bowling green marsh

Osprey juv to left of viewing platform 14:33 still eating fish caught earlier

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Braunton Marshes

12 Yellow Wagtails feeding below the legs of cattle grazing on Braunton Marshes this morning.
(Rob Jutsum)

Sea Watching - Berry Head, Brixham

15.45hrs to 19.45 hrs - 216 Manx Shearwater, 27 Balearic, 11 Bonxie, 3 Arctic Skua, 2 Sandwich Tern, 5 Whimbrel and 8 Wheater in and around the quarry.
Bill Macdonald, Josh Marshall & Mike Langman

Prawle Wrynecks

Just time for a quick post tonight. 3 Wrynecks in the area today. First one found late morning just east of the NT car-park along the coast path, flew to the back of the first field and posed niceley on the fence posts. Mid afternoon, 2 found in Pig's Nose Valley, one halfway between the two gates in the open valley, and one near the bottom, below the bottom gate, again briefly on the fence posts.

Otherwise, a good fall of commoner migrants, Wheatears leading the way with 200+

Full details and photos tomorrow - (off to work now!).

East Soar

Totals for Soar by lunch time. Wheatear 200+, Whinchat 2, Willow Warbler 20+, Gropper 1, Sand Martin 2, Osprey were best bits. Not all seen by me I might add.

Thurlestone Bay

Managed to get to the carpark at 16.00-17.30 5 Manx S'water, 2 Balearic S'water ,4 Sandwich Tern, . At 16.30 3 Arctic Tern flew in high from west and continued straight up the valley.

3 Wigeon on Thurlestone marsh this pm (first returning birds ).

Bob B ringed 6 Sedge this morning also saw a Whinchat and a Groppa


Just took a call from James Leonard on the island who reports that the Buff-breasted Sandpiper is still present today.

Ditsworthy Warren, Dartmoor

7 wheatears in a loose flock.

Also: 40 swallows, 81 meadow pipits; 46 carrion crows, 4 ravens.

Bowling green marsh

A quiet morning on the marsh I watched from the hide from 08:50 till 12:15

3 juv curlew sandpipers showed well in with 25+ Dunlin and 5+ ringed plover, 1 juv spotted redshank, 15+ knot, 3 avocet, 7+ shoveler, 3+ wigeon, 2 greenshank, 1 green sandpiper,2 raven, 3 whimbrel, 4 bar tailed godwit, 15+ little egrets, 20+ lapwing, 1 wheatear, 1 adult Mediterranean gull good numbers of curlew but most of the black tailed godwits at least 300+ flew straight over towards the estuary.

Start Point

07:00-13:00, Farm / Light / Mattiscombe Valley / Down Valley.
Nice fall of migrants today, bit of overnight rain must have done the trick.

Ringed Plover, 100 Swallow, 100 House Martin, 2 Sand Martin, 33 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grey Wagtail, 125 Wheatear, Reed Warbler, 10 Blackcap, 18 Whitethroat, 138 Willow Warbler, 32 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest and 21 Spotted Flycatcher
Otter Estuary and Otter Head
A fair arrival of migrants this morning, well for the Otter at least! The best of which was a nice Wryneck that was sunning itself in the early morning on top of an elderberry tree.
Other migrants included:
40+ Chiffchaff
10+ Willow Warbler
10+ Whitethroat

7+ Wheatear
3 Spotted Flycatcher
2 Reed Warbler
2 Whinchat

Also on the Otter, 2 Med Gull (ad and 1st yr), 1 barwit and 2 Common Scoter offshore.

Yesterday, the Glaucous Gull was present on the beach briefly in the evening.

Sharkham Point

Quite a few migrants located on an early morning walk around Sharkham. I'm sure they will be insignificant compared to other sites but not bad for here! 7 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 3 Pied Flycatcher, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 12 Wheatear, 21 Whitethroat, 17 Blackcap, masses of Chiffchaffs and (counted at least 40+ feeding in one area),14 Willow Warblers. Both Willows and Chiffs singing. 1 flyover GS Woodpecker with 2 Meadow Pipits. Also a probable Grasshopper Warbler that vanished before i could confirm it.