Saturday, 15 October 2011

E Soar

2 Short Eared Owl Mid Soar Fm 10:30.  Also Redpoll.  Up to 24 R Ouzel in the area and the YB Warbler still present?  per comm. plus other contributions I'm sure  


At Devil's Point, Plymouth 18:00 - 19:00
9 mediteranean gulls (5 adult, 2 1st winter, 1 2nd winter)
50 little egrets in to roost on Drake Island between 18:07 and 18:43 (This is only one less than site record in 2009 as far as I am aware)

[Tom Forster]


I have a friend on Lundy this week, so should be getting daily updates. And the way things are going on the east coast it could turn out to be a pretty good week!!!

Anyway, today; Yellow-browed Warbler (trapped and ringed), 4 Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl, Osprey and a prob tristis Chiff.

[Luke Phillips]

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Some disturbance again due to microlights but 5 wheatears still present and 18 golden plover flew into the cow field and were immediately loss to view in the long grass. Currently ignoring the barley field where I could see them! No thrushes present despite plenty of fieldfares and redwings close by just over the border in Somerset.


A bit of movement this morning: 400+ Mipit, 100+ Skylark, 100+ alba Wag, 3 Wheatear, 2 Reed Bunting, 50+ Siskin, 2 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush. However, it seems that we are incapable of looking up at the right time for SEOs!

bowling green marsh

On the walk down to the hide  it was nice to see 2 goldcrests in with a group of long tailed tits working there way along the hedgerow and as i approached the hide the juv Spoonbill flew in from the direction of goatwalk.

I watched from the hide  from 07:40 till 11:15 another busy high tide with numbers building steadily with 61 Avocet made a welcome sight as they dropped into the marsh, 3 Spotted redshank, 30+ Bar tailed godwits, 4 Golden plover were eventually picked out from the masses of Black tailed godwits at least 650+ , 320+ Teal, 7 Shoveler , 14 wigeon, 19+ Greenshank, 70+ Dunlin, 1 juv male Ruff, 2 Greensandpiper, 1 whimbrel,
1 Kingfisher, 1 Male Sparrowhawk settled for a short time on the far side on the wooden fence sticking out  of the reeds and the Cettis warbler was calling on and off most of the morning.

Severall groups of meadow pipits and skylarks passed over with some meadow pipits dropping into the marsh. Took a walk down to the viewing platform but nothing new except for one of the avocets which is ringed looked like white over orange/red on right leg on left leg looked like a metal ring with a C or O on but was not clear.  On walk around to goatwalk had a small group of 5 redpoll fly over heading east.

East Soar - Friday

Computer problems last night - In addition to the Yelloe-browed Warbler also had 4 Mistle Thrush, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Merlin, 105 + Swallow, 3 Cirl Bunting.

Late afternnon- Thurlestone marsh3 Wheatear, 400+ Swallow roost , 1400+ Starling roost.

At S M Ley Bob B had 10 House martin, 5 Reed Bunting ( ct & ringed )

Saturday am - Bolberry Down - Soar Mill Cove valley , 225 Skylark, 6 Swallow, 5 Cirl Bunting, 15 Siskin, 2 Ring Ouzel, Dave Scott ct & ringed a m Ring Ouzel also 5 Chiffchaff , 3 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler.

Thurlestone Marsh- 55 Wigeon, 43 Teal , 3 Snipe, 2 Lapwing.

Bob B had a Woodlark over his car park this morning


Orcombe Point - 0710 - 0900 - light passage of the usual species with 5+ redpoll, 1 yellowhammer, 7 song thrush, 4 goldcrest, 1 coal tit and 3 chiffchaff the best bits.

Mudbank - 0910 - 0930 - 11 great crested grebe, 2 gadwall, 4 teal and 1 female-type scaup amongst the usual stuff.

Woodbury Common/Blackhill Quarry was the best place this morning with 13+ goldcrest, 2+ firecrest, 1 wheatear, 1 whinchat, c50+ lesser redpoll in birches beneath fort, 8+ reed bunting, 5 golden plover and at least 67+ crossbill in flocks of 33, 7, 16 and 11. Also fw mediterranean gull, 4 teal, 2 tufted duck and several meadow pipits, skylark, chaffinch and siskin.


For what it's worth, I agree with Gavin. other Redpoll species get here somehow so presumably fly over somewhere.....

Re. Redpolls

For what it's worth, this is my take: I always write 'Redpoll' in my notebook. I'm sure they are all Lessers, but I cannot clinch them in flight, so use Redpoll as a catch-all. Some might say: "Dont be so pedantic - of course they're all Lessers!" and write 'Lesser Redpoll' in their book. Naturally, I know that my way is best, but one has to make allowances for all sorts I suppose...

Getting consistency out of a bunch of birders is way too much to ask! ;o)

Staddon Heights

A modest movement from about 0830 to 0950: Skylark 34; Yellowhammer 4; Reed Bunting 1; Meadow Pipit 10; Siskin 13; Chaffinch 38; Jackdaw 47; Swallow 6; Goldfinch 4; Greenfinch 5; Short-eared Owl 1 - high West at 0925.

Another Short-eared Owl lingering later on and also - Goldcrest 3; Great Spotted Woodpecker 1; Jay 1.

Isley Marsh area and Foreshore.

07:30 - 09:45

Jetty Roost.
Grey Heron 6; Little Egret 3; Bar-tailed Godwit 18; Wigeon 15; Lapwing 21; Redshank 36;
Teal 12; Curlew 11; Dunlin 1; Turnstone 12; Grey Plover 2; Rock Pipit 2 and Oystercatcher c300.

Overflow Pond.
Just 1 Wigeon; 2 Little Grebe and 4 Moorhen. From the disturbance on the pond surface, there are some really big fish in the pond.

Isley Marsh and Foreshore.
Dunlin 2; Grey Plover 1; Little Egret 14; Greenshank 12; Spotted Redshank 1. Also more Wigeon, Redshank and Curlew.

09:05 10 Spoonbill on the Gaia Trust side of Isley. Too far away to see if any wearing rings.
According to some of the regular dog-walkers, their numbers have been building this past week.

Tarka Trail back to car park:- Bullfinch 5; Kestrel 1; Buzzard 1 and 1 Chiff-Chaff

Soar, Fri 14/10/11

A great day with plenty of movement from dawn (some lasting into the afternoon so numbers likely to be an under-estimate). What a difference a SE wind makes!

Mainly going East, 0700-1030: Linnet 575; Meadow Pipit 465; Alba Wagtail 60; Swallow 130; Siskin 140; Chaffinch 160; Goldfinch 80; Skylark 345; Reed Bunting 2; Starling 10; Redpoll 8; Yellowhammer 6; House Martin 4.

Also: Ring Ouzel 9 (6 Bolt Head / Stare Hole & 3 West Soar / Soar Mill); Dartford Warbler 1 (Bolt Head); Yellow-browed Warbler 1 (East Soar Willows); Goldcrest 7; Bullfinch 3; Chiffchaff 8 (including one abientinus type); Firecrest 1 (West Soar).

I notice different people are posting "Redpoll" or "Lesser Redpoll" for fly overs. Is anyone specifically identifying the latter (which undoubtedly most if not are are)? Any thoughts on consistency in the way these are reported?

Berry Head

A Lot more birds on the move this morning many Songthrush and even a group of 8 Ravens moved N, noteable birds: Overhead, 235+ Redwing, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Yellowhammer, 36 Skylark, 11 Siskin, 5 Lesser Redpoll, 13 Bulfinch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker around headland and woods; 1 Treecreeper, 1 Firecrest, 1 Ring Ouzel, 4 Wheatear 6 Chiffchaff, 13 Goldcrests, 1 Blackcap.                                    AboveLeft: Treecreeper Above right:  Berry Head at dawn

Newton Abbot

First redwing over our house just now ...

Also, from late afternoon yesterday, whimbrel calling in flight over the Turf and seven sandwich terns on and around one of the boats by Starcross station.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Prawle this week

Today; Seawatch 07.30 - 10.00; 100 Gannets, single Manx and Balearic Shearwaters, 19 Common Scoters, 1 Great, 2 Arctic Skuas, 6 Common Gulls and 110 Kittiwakes. Elsewhere, Merlin, Golden Plover (heard only), Turtle Dove, 150 Swallows, 9 House Martins, 2 Ring Ouzels, Wheatear, 13 Siskin over, 3 Blackcap, 9 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrest.

Yesterday (13/9); Brent Goose (east), Sand Martin (in addition to the hirundines already listed by Rob Macklin), Whinchat, 23 Stonechat, 15 Siskin, Redpoll, 21 Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaff, 8 Goldcrest. (Also Clouded Yellow and Hummingbird Hawkmoth).

12/10; Seawatch (with John Lambert), 240 Gannets, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 9 Common Scoters, 4 Great and 1 Arctic Skua. Vis Mig watch (2.5 hours), 105 Swallows, 50 Skylarks, 275 Meadow Pipits, 43 Alba Wagtails, 22 Chaffinches, 10 Greenfinches, 67 Siskins, 850 Linnets, 335 Goldfinches. Elsewhere, Merlin, Med Gull, 2 Wheatears, 15 Blackcaps, 8 Chiffchaffs, 3 Goldcrests and Firecrest.

11/10; Seawatch; 116 Gannets, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, Common Scoter, Arctic Skua; Vis Mig watch (3 hours, all west), 480 Swallows, 2 Sand Martins, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, 80 Meadow Pipits, 47 Alba Wagtails, 105 Skylarks, 5 Crossbills, 80 Siskins, 34 Chaffinches, 360 Linnets, 375 Goldfinches, Reed Bunting. Elsewhere, Merlin, 3 Wheatears, Garden Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs and 4 Goldcrests.

Start Point - late shift

Late afternoon, quick seawatch: 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Bonxies, reasonable number of passing Kittiwakes (incl. one flock of 25) and five Common Gulls and some Gannets feeding in the race over 2+ Harbour Porpoises. Also Merlin and Sparrowhawk passed by.

Casp on the Axe

A stunning 1st-winter (very nearly, anyway!) Caspian Gull on the river just downstream of the Tower Hide this evening from around 17:30 for 15 minutes or so. Earlier in the afternoon, Bearded Tits (more than one) heard only, probably going over.


Whilst watching the Great White Egrets this morning, a flock of Fieldfares and Redwings (20/40) flew over high west - nice to see and hear again!

Even nicer, was a ring-tail (I think ad. female) Hen Harrier over Colyford Marsh and the Estuary for five or so minutes from 13:40. An over-due patch tick! :-)

North Coast

A Red Kite over Tesco's Ilfracombe at noon yesterday.

Snow Bunting, Black Redstart and 8 Redwing at Trentishoe, Nr Combe Martin this morning.

(Margaret Phillips)

Start Point

07.45 to 12.00. Thin mist from dawn soon cleared to very good visibility. Fresh SE wind. Seawatch from 08.45 to 10.00 as I was surprised to see plenty of Kittiwakes and Gannets moving SW:

Pomarine Skua 3 juv.s and 1 light ad. (with spoons) SW, Arctic Skua 1 dark SW, Great Skua 1 SW, (all approached then passed a small trawler off the point), Kittiwake 50-60 SW, Gannet 50+ SW, Razorbill 50+ SW, Guillemot 4+ SW, Common Scoter 1 drake swimming off point.

Multiple flocks of 10-15 Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Goldfinches moving S. out to sea plus 5 Skylarks, 3 Lesser Redpolls and 1-2 Siskins, 1 Cirl Bunting started then turned back, 4 Crossbills S. over Start Farm at c.11.00 and 1 Short-eared Owl moving S. from the farm towards the light at c.11.20. Nothing on the ground with just 1 Chiffchaff in lighthouse tamarisks.


Thrush movement this morning with 2 Ring Ouzel, 150 Redwing, 25 Song Thrush, 10 Blackbird, 1 FieldFare plus 30 Meadow pipit, 5 Lesser redpoll, 15 Goldcrest, 3 Siskin and a Stonechat.

[Nik Ward]

Berry Head

Fairly strong ESE winds but at last some movement - notable birds amongst the hundreds of commoner finches and Meadow Pipits 07.30-09.30am: 3 Redwing (first of the autumn for me), 3 Reed Buntings, 42 Skylark, 8 Siskin, 1 Lesser Redpoll. Around the headland 5 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap, 10 Goldcrest and just 2 Chiffchaff. 1 Bonxie flew in close to the quarry while I was checking out the bushes.

Right: Wheatear
Below: Its not just MD that can get close to skuas! Bonxie.

RSPB Bowling Green Marsh

Excellent hour's birding at BGM at high tide this morning, the highlight of which was a glossy ibis that dropped in at just gone 9am, then flew off east at 9:30am.  The bird was colour ringed, poss JM10 according to one of the birders in the hide, but couldn't make it out myself.

Also, spoonbill (imm) and curlew sandpiper, plus by my counting, 39 avocet , 2 spotted redshank, 19 greenshank, 2 green sandpiper, 2 golden plover, numerous black and bar tailed godwit, curlew, redshank, lapwing and dunlin. One of the latter was still quite well marked on the belly.

Axe Estuary

2 Great White Egrets on the saltmarsh opposite the Tower Hide this morning, were flushed by a canoe around 09:30 and flew N, but stayed in the valley, tucking themselves away somewhere out of view S of the A3052.


A few ticking Song Thrushes in the low cloud last night gave a bit of hope of some Thrush movement. This morning a group of 6 Song Thrush came out of the trees in my garden followed by a group of 8 Redwing over (3 days later than last year). In the centre of Plymouth, a group of 20 House Martin was high over the centre when I arrived at work

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lundy news

News from Lundy from Tim Jones and Tim Davis.

Single common rosefinch, rose-coloured starling and greater spotted woodpecker all still present today. Also: one snow bunting & two hen harrier.


Orcombe Point - 4 golden plover, 1 redpoll, 12 skylark and short-eared owl high east at 1707.

Mudbank - yesterday female-type scaup still.

SEO causing a slight headache as only viewed from below. First thought was SEO but photo seems to show lack of black primary tips, more suggestive of LEO. Hand however appears narrow and quite pointed and pale-looking primary tips could just be an artefact of the light?? Would happily be proved wrong though and would welcome any comments.

Edit - many thanks to Mike for using some software to confirm a lack of streaking on the belly - just a SEO!

English Channel - 20nm S of Start Point

A good day out on a fishing boat yesterday (12/10/11). A large amount of Bonxies moving through the channel, we had upto 40 around the boat at anyone time, so I probably saw 60+. One bird carried an orange ring (on left leg) and a logger and would be a bird breeding on either Foula or Hoy being monitored by the University of Glasgow.

Other birds included this very interestingly plumaged Pomarine Skua. A very dark bird, with paler barred belly. Probably 4th cal-year as underwing almost as adult except for a hint of barring on axillaries, or perhaps advanced 3rd cal-year.

And also around the boat two Sooty Shearwater but only 3 European Storm-petrels

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

7 wheatear and 2 stonechats this evening. Around 200 skylarks and 80 linnet still but no golden plover on the field which wasn't surprising as 2 cocker spaniels were allowed to run free across the whole field flushing every single bird. However 7 GP's did fly over, heading south.


0955 - 1520 hrs.

Good numbers of several species highlighted by 900 swallows, 700 riding the front of a large rain shower over Higher Prawle ( just one house martin ).

Also: Stock Dove 23; Skylark 72; Meadow Pipit 140; Robin 43; Stonechat 10: Wheatear 1; Blackcap 1; Chiffchaff 2; Goldfinch 60; Linnet 60; Cirl Bunting 68.

22 red admirals on ivy flowers plus thousands of bees.
Bloody Cranesbill in flower on the cliffs.

Cracking day!

Powderham & Exminster Marshes

The impressive flock of green finches is still on Powderham Marshes. I estimated about 200 birds that included a few goldfinches (c6), linnets (c10) and 6 reed buntings. I heard a green sandpiper but could not see it. A flock of 12 blackbirds and 2 song thrushes was close to the Swan's Nest. Two stonechats were being chased by two male reed buntings.

On Exminster marshes there was another much smaller flock of green finches, about 30, feeding on hawthorn berries alongside the railway. I heard Cettis calling from two locations. A flock of c80 linnets was on the dried up pool near to the car park but they were attracting the attention of two sparrowhawks. It was low tide at Turf and so few waders. On the lagoon I counted well over 300 wigeon and about 150 coot. The water level is dropping as the water is used to wet up the surrounding fields leaving a nice muddy rim to the water. Might be interesting at high tide.

I failed to hear or see any chiffchaffs throughout the walk. I echo Mike's comments - where have they gone? I did see several tit flocks with goldcrests but no warblers.

Berry Head

Result! Lapland Bunting grounded on the headland this morning in thick mist before flying North and not relocated. Also 2 Reed Bunting and 7 Wheatear around the point. Other grounded migrants included 4 Blackcap and 9 Goldcrest, overhead 9 alba Wagtail, 2 Skylarks, 2 Siskin and just 4 Goldfinch. Mid morning Chris Smallbones had a Short-eared Owl in off the sea mobbed by crows last seen dropping into the quarry. (Pictured Lapland Bunting & Reed Bunting)

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Berry Head

A Short-eared Owl this afternoon on a boulder near the foot of the quarry, flew off across coastal scrub towards the Berry Head Hotel.

[Tim Clyburn]

Axe Estuary

Juv Little Stint briefly on the river. Also 2 Ruff and 2 Green Sandpipers on the marshes.

Harford Moor, South Dartmoor

2 wheatear on Hangershell Rock- late stragglers.

Plus: 2 kestrels; male sparrowhawk.

Clennon Valley


Stoat (combination of 3 photos photoshopped!)

Where have all the Chiffchaffs gone? A stroll around Clennon this lunch time found just 1 Chiffchaff normally double figures this time of year on every visit, 3 Goldcrests, 2 Water Rail, 5 Gadwall (good count for time of year), 3 Little Grebes and a Treecreeper. The highlight was a Stoat feeding by the top pond darting from one side of the path to the other.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Bowling Green Marsh

Highlights on this evenings high tide were Arctic Tern adult on river, Spotted Redshank (2), Little Stint Adult, Ruff (1), Knot (1), Avocet (4), Bar-tailed Godwit (35), Dunlin (90) on marsh.

Exe Estuary

Cycled back along the Exe from Exeter to Starcross after work. Spoonbill feeding on east bank of river adjacent the Goatwalk. Although seen distantly from the Exeter Canal towpath, in flight I was sure I could make out black wing tips so this I assumed was the immature bird. Between Turf and Powderham church also watched a single wheatear flitting to and fro by the EA bank-side works.

Acorns - don't know if its just me, but seem to be more than usual littering the paths at the moment which makes me wonder if its a "mast" year? Which will no doubt please the jays ... on which subject ... listened to a jay at Decoy Park this morning doing a passable impression of a buzzard. I know they are mimics, but it always surprises me that such a raucous bird can do this.


Mudbank - 0730 - female-type scaup, 7 or 8 pale-bellied brent goose, 5 great crested grebe, 1 greenshank, 1 ad mediterranean gull, 67 pintail (inc white/leucistic one), 10+ teal as well as good numbers of wigeon and dark-bellied brents.

Orcombe Point - birdless late pm apart from 5 or 6 long-tailed tits.

Woodbury Common - Sunday 9/10 - dartford warbler still and big flock of c200+ goldfinch.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

59 golden plover this evening with a single wheatear, 80+ linnets and, conservatively, 200+ skylarks.

Spoonbill bowling green marsh

Have had info back about the adult spoonbill seen on bowling green marsh over last few days it is the same bird as Maurice in Barnstaple suspected and has recently been in Suffolk and Dorset after summer in holland. This bird obviously likes Devon wonder if it stay here for the winter or head of to north Devon.

Soussons Down, Dartmoor

PM visit: 32 crossbill.

Also: 40 goldfinch; 7 lesser redpoll.

Berry Head

Cloudy conditions with light rain and winds promised much at dawn but very disappointing, grounded migrants were scarce, 5 Wheatear & 4 Goldcrest. Overhead 13 alba Wagtail, 32 Chaffinch, 30 + Goldfinch, 34 Linnet, 5 Siskin, 5 Bullfinch, 50 + Meadow Pipits, 9 Swallow and a single Skylark (No sign of the House Sparrow flock around the headland).

Exminster Marshes

At 10.00 a quick count of waterfowl on the lagoon revealed 217 wigeon, 30+ shoveller, 35+ teal (more were hidden in the shore-line vegetation) and 142 coot. Another 50 or so wigeon flew in from the estuary at about 11.00. An immature spoonbill was roosting on the lagoon throughout the visit rarely showing its head. Legs black with no rings or flags.

Out on the estuary a comic tern was flying up and down just south of the Goat Walk. A large group of waders were feeding tight to the reed-beds and impossible to view. Once when they flew up I saw c300 black-tailed godwits, 2 avocets and 2 golden plovers. On the canal bank a few chiffchaffs called from the bushes and 7 skylarks flew over.

Monday, 10 October 2011


Thanks Maurice for the information the spoonbill at bowling green marsh over the weekend could well be the one you describe I did not see it today just the juv.

Bowling green marsh

After work headed over to bowling green marsh started at the viewing platform 15:30 till 16:45
1 arctic tern seen flying up river before flying round towards the goatwalk it did reapear briefly sat on a rock in middle of the estuary other birds were 4 grey plover, 2 spotted redshank and a juv ruff in with the redshank.

Then upto the hide for 17:00. The adult little stint was still showing well the juv curlew sandpiper was more elusive but eventualy showed. The juv ruff flew in and 4 spotted redshank included 2 adults in winter plumage and 2 juv. Then the juv SPOONBILL flew in followed by 4 avocet. Other birds included 100+ Dunlin 30+ bar tailed , 1 green sandpiper,1 sparrowhawk, 1 wigeon and good numbers of black tailed godwit and curlew.


Seawatching from 7.30 - 11.30. Single Great Northern and Red-throated Divers, 252 Gannets, singles of Fulmar and Manx Shearwater, 9 Balearic Shearwaters, 5 Common Scoters, 16 Great, 2 Pom and 25 Arctic Skuas, singles of Common and Med Gull (2nd winter), 109 Kittiwakes and 110 Auks, mostly Razorbills. Nearly all the Skuas passed between 8.45 and 9.45 during a spell of drizzle. Elsewhere, just a Merlin, 3 Swallows, 5 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs and 2 Goldcrests.

Yesterday (9/10); Seawatch; 7.30 - 11.00 (with JL and FS), and 13.30 - 16.30; one each of Great Northern, Black-throated and Red-throated Diver, (first 2 still in full breeding plumage), 203 Gannets, Fulmar, Sooty Shearwater, 7 Balearic Shearwaters, 9 Common Scoters, 6 Great and 12 Arctic Skuas, Common Gull, 4 Med Gulls (all adults), 159 Kittiwakes and 245 Auks, (most Razorbills). A Merlin came in off the sea during the afternoon watch. Otherwise, just 4 Wheatears.


07;00-17:00. Cloudy, occ. light drizzle. Fresh west-southwest wind.

Major case of flogging a dead horse today. Tried various places between Southdown Farm and Overbecks. Only saw 18 Swallows, Blackcap, 11 Chiffchaffs and 11 Goldcrest. Siskins refused to dissapear, 2 flocks totalling 60 birds. If i'd been birding on an Icelandic headland it would have been a half decent day.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

After a weekend of car rallying on the airfield, it was good to see 42 Golden Plover settled on the ploughed field this evening. Still plenty of skylarks, linnet and mipits but the strong winds made it impossible to count.

R.Taw off Pottington Ind Est and Bradiford Reserve

Unconfirmed sighting of a Short-eared Owl, seen by two fishermen at 14:15 off Bradiford Reserve; flying from area between the reserve and Ashford sewage works across the Taw towards Hollowcombe (Penhill Marsh). I must have missed it by a few minutes. The fishermen seemed sure of their identification.

Start Point

Seawatch 08:20-13:30, surprisingly good given WSW-W wind, helped by drizzle restricting visability (<10km). Passing SW were: juv Long-tailed Skua (nicely accompanied by a juv Arctic for comparison), Pomarine Skua (ad), 26 Arctic Skuas, 29 Bonxies, Sooty Shearwater, 8 Balearic Shearwaters, Manx Shearwater, 252 Gannets, 129 Kittiwakes (incl. 15 juvs), 96 Razorbills, 6 Guillemots, 45 auk sp. and sat on the sea a Wigeon.

Berry Hd

Following a call from Mark Darlaston at Start Pt I dashed off to Berry Hd, seawatch 10.20-11.50:

2 Pomarine, 10 Great, 13 Arctic and 1 Arc/l-t Skuas, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 14 Razorbills, 27 Kittiwakes, small gatherings of Gannet considering the visability 20+ miles and a brisk off-shore wind it was very good also 4 Porpoise and a Hornet buzzing around at the seawatch point! 

Bowling Green Marsh

Spoonbill Imm, along with Curlew Sanpiper juv, Little Stint adult, Spotted Redshank (2), Avocet (4), Knot (1) along with Black-tailed Godwit (500+), Dunlin (82), Greenshank (30) being best bits on this mornings high tide.

River Exe, Starcross

My first sighting of the season; not the greatest of shots in poor light

Spoonbill at BGM

Is it possible that the ringed bird at BGM may be Life History 7, Devon Birds Vol 62 No.2 August 2009?
Ring details:- Left leg: dark green ring over yellow flag over dark green ring.
Right leg: dark blue ring over metal i/d ring over lime-green ring.

Ringed at Oosterkwelder, Netherlands on 10 June 2007.

Spends a lot of it`s winter time on Taw Estuary.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Bowling green marsh

Another good afternoon at bowling green marsh watched from the hide from 15:00 till 18:30. There were  2 SPOONBILL from the hide the same adult bird from yesterday having looked at the rings on the right leg i am not sure on the two bottom rings so will try and get better look tomorrow if it still around this bird flew onto the clyst but was replaced by  a juv which has no rings and spent most of its time a sleep.

There was lots of disturbance due to a sparrowhawk but still some good birds around with an adult little stint and a juv curlew sandpiper still showing well. 2 Golden plover, 3 Avocet, 3 Spotted redshank, 100+ Dunlin, 3 Green sandpiper, 40+ Bar tailed godwits, 1 juv Ruff, 16+ Greenshank, 1whimbrel, 1 Knot , 1 Wigeon , 2 Little grebes, only 30+ curlew ? and also black tailed godwits only 300+  several groups flew over but did not come into the marsh wonder where they roosted ?.

Wembury Bay

A quick look this afternoon. Five Mediterranean Gulls (4 adults and a 1st-winter) amongst a good gathering of commoner gulls; 15 Turnstones and a Peregrine.

Berry Head

Brisk NW wind - not great for any movement at Berry Head but more noteable birds included:

Left: Male Yellowhammer  and Right: part of flock of 33 House Sparrows on headland this morning

4+ Yellowhammer, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 19 Siskin, an incredible flock of 33 House Sparrows on end of headland, 1 Wheatear, 4 Stonechat (no sign of the Dartford Warbler today), 6 Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap. 280+ Guillemots back on cliffs and a single Clouded Yellow Butterfly. This afternoon a trawler came in from Lyme Bay trailing 1,000+ Gulls + Gannets amongst them were 6 Bonxies and 2 Arctic Skuas. 3 Harbour Porpoises off the Headland at about 2.30pm.

Lundy 1-8 October

Brief summary of a very good week with Tom Bedford, Richard Campey, Tim Davis & Tim Jones.

Scarce migrants were: 2 (possibly 3) rose-coloured starling; single ortolan bunting; single common rosefinch; 3 yellow-browed warbler; and 2-3 wryneck.

Maximum day counts of some commoner migrants were: 5 Lapland bunting; 20 snow bunting (exceptional influx); 400 wheatear (large fall- confirmed by ringing to be Greenland birds); and a large fall of warblers including 300 blackcap and 300 chiffchaff.

Lundy rarities included: upto 7 Balearic shearwater and 1-2 great-spotted woodpecker.

Start Point

A quick walk around the headland produced about 60+ swallows, 3 house martins, wheatear, 7 meadow pipits, 9 stonechats, kestrel, female merlin, sparrow hawk and a single short eared owl that burst out of the bracken and flew west.