Saturday, 22 October 2011

Dawlish Warren

Nice photo of adult Yellow-legged Gull from Simon Thurgood...

Thurlestone Bay

A F Marsh Harrier over Bobs carpark at 13.00, also 11 Swallow. 2 Wheatear at S H Marsh.

Thurlestone marsh - 1 Kingfisher, 11 wigeon . 50 Teal, 2 Water rail 1 Pintail, Cettis Warbler, Chiffchaff, 20 Siskin

Axe Estuary

Cattle Egret still present on river late afternoon, plus 4 adult Med Gulls


Starehole Bottom: 3 ring ouzel; 3 firecrest; merlin; 8 cirl bunting.

O/wise quiet.

Painted Lady on wing.

Colyford Common

A nice Jack Snipe this morning with 7+ Common Snipe, our first of the autumn. Otherwise over head passage limited to a few flocks of Skylarks and the odd Siskin and Redpoll. No sign of the White-front or Cattle Egret.

Northam Burrows CP

Sandymere 11:00 still 4 Snow Bunting although very skittish due to lots of kite surfers around.  A great sight off the headland by the 8th green was 300-400 Golden Plover circling around in the sun.


In my Barnstaple garden the other evening was this stunning looking male Sparrowhawk. Managed to grab a few shots through a DG window before it was off. Not as good as a Wryneck or Short-eared Owl but always nice to see in the garden (although the Finches and Sparrows may not agree).

Hackney Marsh

First fieldfare this morning with two overhead at Hackney Marshes. Little else of note ... water rail calling in the distance by Passage House, four lapwing, a few little egret as always and nice views of a kingfisher in the reeds by the road bridge.

Earlier this week, a nice surprise was the Newton Abbot town centre dipper singing from down on the River Lemon and clearly audile above the morning traffic noise. Seen this bird quite a few times, but never heard it sing.

Slapton Ley&Slapton Sands

From 10 am to 4 pm. Strong wind, cloudy sky.
Slapton Ley: 30 Gadwall, 15 Great Crested Grebe, over 2000 gulls (mostly GBBG on the lake amongst them 1 ad Common Gull, 5 singing Cetti's Warbler...
Slapton Sands: 3 Sandwich Tern, 2 indet. skua were chasing Kittiwakes far from the shore, 15 Kittiwake, 4 Razorbill, 1 Common Gull, 1 Weathear, 30 Gannet, 15 Shag, 5 Barn Swallow...
The human disturbance was very high on the shore so I couldn't read any ringed gulls.

Beesands Ley

Black Swan, 41 Canada Goose, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Shoveler, Wigeon, 2 Teal, 33 Gadwall, 24 Tufted Duck, Pochard, 55 Coot, Water Rail and 2 Swallows.

Start Point

07:30-08:30. Fresh to strong S-SW wind.
Light passage soon fizzled out, all moving south.
12 Swallows, 10 Meadow Pipit, 20 Alba Wagtails, 50 Linnet, 70 Goldfinch, 4 Chaffinch, 8 Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Brambling and 2 Reed Buntings.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Great Grey Shrike still present this morning along with 2 wheatears and 3 stonechats. Around 150 golden plovers in the area but not settled. Light passage of skylarks heading west.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Some Notable Garden Birds

Why do we bother going out birding!??

This Wryneck has been present in a Dawlish garden for the past two days, thanks to Graham Thomas for these images...

And this was a surprise garden tick for Peter Cummins in his Ilfracombe garden on 14th October...

Has anyone else had a Short-eared Owl IN their garden!???

Also a brief Lundy update; a 'new' Yellow-browed Warbler and a Firecrest today [Luke Phillips]

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Further to Andrew's post the Great Grey Shrike was still showing well tonight around 17.45. 54 lapwings also present and the first big flock of fieldfare with around 150.


06:30-17:00. 95%+ cloud cover at dawn. Moderate wsw wind going sw by mid morning. Sunny, bright afternoon.
Walked out to Bolt Head in the dark for the vis mig which never happened. Best were 5 Lesser Redpolls, 10 Crossbills and 2 Reed Buntings. The only common species to show well were alba wags with 129 but these may have come from a small local roost. Siskins still going strong with 77 seen during the day. Elsewhere just a Merlin, Water Rail, Golden Plover, 2 Swallows, Wheatear, 3 Ring Ouzels ( 2 bottom of Starehole Valley, 1 Soar Mill Cove ), 8 Chiffchaffs and 9 Goldcrests.
Drew a blank on Siberian Rubythroat and Scarlet Tanager.

Woodbury Common

1545 - 1745 - lapland bunting sw of grenade range. Also 40 fieldfare and small numbers of meadow pipit, redpoll, reed bunting and skylark.
The lap circled around calling and was briefly joined by 2 other bunting sp, possibly also laps but not calling.


The Great Grey Shrike showed well around the field with plastic wrapped bales at Smeatharpe Airfield. Go up the weedy runway that runs west from the central junction and view north.

Also counted 163 Golden Plover (more hidden in furrows), a Kestrel, two Wheatears, a few Skylarks and lots of Meadow Pipits. The place looks good for a rare bunting, lark or pipit soon.

Thanks Doug.

English Channel approx 20nm off Start Point

Out on a fishing boat yesterday approx 20nm SE of Start Point. Good numbers of Bonxies, with c30 around the boat. One Arctic Skua (pale phase adult), 2 Mediterranean Gulls (ads) in with numerous Kittiwakes, 2 Little Gulls (ad and 1w), 2 European Storm-petrels. Best of all a Leach's Storm-petrel passed by a distance, quite a white-rumped bird - I managed to get a couple of shots (see below, fully cropped- this bird could easily be called something else if seen briefly on a seawatch!). Photos below: Leach's, Bonxies, Arctic Skua and Med Gull.

Rillage Point to Widmouth Head (nr Ilfracombe)

Exellent visible Chaffinch migration this morning. Over 1,200 in 45 minutes from 09.00, in groups of 10 to 80, the majority flying WSW along the coast, though some flocks seemed to be arriving off the sea, perhaps having left the Welsh coast earlier this morning. Also passing over: a smattering of Siskins, Linnets, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Meadow Pipits, Starlings, and Skylarks, 8 Pied Wagtails and 2 Grey Wagtails.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

With the sad and shocking news posted by Gavin this seems almost incidental.
However, the Great Grey Shrike is still present this morning along with 3 wheatear, 2 stonechat and around 200golden plover.

Polite request to visting birders: Please do not bring cars on to the airfield. There is plenty of parking just outside  the main entrance by the sillage heaps halfway along the main road. Alternatively take the lane up past the stock car stadium for approximately half a mile and park carefully on the lane. Climb over the bank to your right to access the opposite end of the weedy runway. The bird favours the hawthorns at the back of the field with the big black hay bales although it can roam widely to past the control tower. It also occasionally moves to the rough pasture the other side of lane and can be best viewed from the bank. Please stay only on the runways and do not enter any fields.
 Thanks - Doug Stannard

Devon Peregrine Poisoned - RSPB Press Release


West Country bird of prey death toll rises

Peregrine death near Buckfastleigh brings poisoning incidents
 in Devon and Cornwall this year to eight

Devon and Cornwall Police and the RSPB are appealing for information following confirmation this week that a young peregrine falcon found dead at a quarry near Buckfastleigh had residues of both carbofuran and aldicarb. These banned pesticides are suspected to have contributed to the bird’s death.
This brings to eight the number of birds of prey killed in poisonings this year in the West Country. In March four goshawks and a buzzard were found dead to the west of Exeter and in July two peregrines were found near St Just in Cornwall.
The bird, a young female peregrine, was found by environmental consultants from URS Scott Wilson at Whitecleaves Quarry near Buckfastleigh on 21 July.   Peregrines at this site have been targeted previously, with dead birds found in 2005, 2004 and 1992. On each occasion the birds had been poisoned.
Following the discovery, Natural England‘s Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) was notified and began an investigation. The body was sent for analysis and it was confirmed last week that both had residues of the banned substances aldicarb and carbofuran. The latter was also identified in the previous cases this year.
Wildlife conservationists have mounting concern over the presence of these chemicals in the wider countryside.
Ivan Lakin, Natural England’s Wildlife Adviser in Devon said: “Peregrine falcons have suffered from illegal poisoning in Devon for 20 years – often tricked into consuming poisoned ‘live bait.’ The poison which we have seen used in many of these cases was banned more than a decade ago and it can be potentially as dangerous to the public, children and pets as it is to birds of prey. 
“We treat such incidents seriously and will continue our work with other agencies under the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme, with the main objective of stopping illegal persecution and prosecuting people responsible for these senseless crimes.”
Tony Whitehead, spokesperson for the RSPB in the South West said; “I was truly shocked to see the images of the dead bird. Peregrines at this site have a long history of persecution. In 2005 a bird was found dead on the body of a pigeon. The pigeon had its wings purposely clipped and it had been doused with poison. In 2004 a peregrine was found dead near to a pigeon spiked with the poison malathion. And in July 1992 a peregrine was found dead alongside another pigeon similarly treated with malathion.
”This has been a truly awful year for birds of prey in the West Country. Whatever the motives of the people that carry out these deliberate acts, we must not forget that they are nothing more than common criminals. They show no regard for these magnificent and much loved birds of prey and also show little regard for the safety of people and their pets walking in the countryside. This needs to be stopped.”
PC Josh Marshall, Wildlife Crime Officer in Devon said: “This strikes a chord with me as I visited the site this year and watched the birds at the site while the female was incubating.
Nationally, bird of prey persecution is continuing to be a major problem, particularly this year in the south west and in Devon. In terms of wildlife crime, we welcome the fact that bird of prey persecution has been identified as a key priority for wildlife crime enforcement. Investigations can be complex and are often initially out of the public eye until analysis results are obtained, then as in the case, we frequently appeal for anyone with information to come forward to assist with our enquiries.”
Anyone found guilty of an offence against birds of prey can be liable to a fine of up to £5000 (per offence) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or both.
If anyone has information regarding this they can call 101 quoting crime number JA/11/423.  Alternatively if members of the public wish to remain anonymous they can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The public can also contact the RSPB on 0845 466 3636. All information is handled in the strictest confidence. The RSPB is offering a reward of £1000 for information leading to a conviction.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Axe Estuary

Cattle Egret present again this evening from Tower Hide, also 6 Med Gulls (4 ads and 2 1st-winters)

Sth Huish Marsh

record of the Great Grey Shrike at Huish this evening.

many thanks to the finder

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Great Grey Shrike still present at 17.50 this evening plus 205 golden plover and a merlin.

Dawlish Warren

My first (but not the last!) birding day at Dawlish Warren on a very calm day, no wind a bit cloudy so perfect circumstances for looking around. 11 am - 4 pm
More than 2000 Oystercatcher, 80 Shag, 13 Common Scoter close to the seashore, 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Red-breasted Merganser, 8 Sanderling, min. 600 Brent Geese, 1 Canadian Geese, 20 Knot, 2 Ringed Plover, 15 Gannet, 5 Common Gull, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Cirl Bunting, 1 Rock Pipit...

Thurlestone Bay

The Great Grey Shrike was refound by Alan D & myself at 17.00 , watched until it went to roost at 18.00,.

Bob B & Vic T have confirmed this is a patch first .

Bird was showing well behind the cafe at S H Marsh.

Also Green sandpiper, Curlew & ajv Med Gull.

Alan will be posting photos later , Well done Mike Miller who found and id the Shrike this am

Slade Estate, Cornwood

5 redwings - first for this part of southern Dartmoor.

Also 18 siskin. Small influx of blackbirds.

Ruddy darter on wing.

Bolberry- Soar Mill Valley

Very fine morning , no wind .
6 Ring Ouzel (views down to 30ft )Lots of birds on the move & in feeding flocks, -1500+ Skylark, 300 Meadow pipit, 450 Linnet, 60 Goldfinch, 6 Bullfinch, 4 Brambling, 20 Siskin, 2 Redpoll, 4 Yellowhammer, 1 Reed Bunting, 9 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 2 Swallow, 1 m Merlin.

A Grt G Shrike reported on the message services at 10.10 this am , If the person who found it could contact me i would be very grateful- 01548 560076- this is the first record for many years . Not refound so far

Sharkham Point

0815hrs - 1100hrs
3 Ring Ouzel continue to show well feeding in Coombe lake valley including a nice male. Others of interest were 1 Swallow, 1 Wheatear, 4 Redwing, 2 GS Woodpecker with alot of birds moving overhead although not counted included Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Goldfinch, Redpoll and Siskin. Increased number of common birds around this morning with thrushes and bullfinches being most numerous but also quite a few Blackcaps. No Chiffs anywhere.

Seaton Area

A cracking adult Greenland White-fronted Goose was on Colyford Marsh this morning, although I couldn't see it half an hour ago. A first for the patch!

Also this morning, at 08:55 a Lapland Bunting flew low west over Axe Cliff, a Spotted Redshank was also on Colyford Marsh, and our first Cetti's Warbler of the year (the cold winter wasn't good news for them here!) was at Lower Bruckland Ponds late morning - very vocal (calling) and obviously a migrant.

No sign of the Richard's Pipit in Beer, although we didn't give it long.

Non-bird news; 10+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins off Axe Cliff.

EDIT: Just had a text from Ian Mc, the Goose is still there.

Exminster Marshes

Very brief visit this morning between 10.00 and 10.30 and only viewed from the canal bank. A flock of 23 lapwings (32 last Tuesday) seems to have established itself and a green sandpiper flew over the fields. On the canal bank I heard one chiffchaff and saw one bullfinch (imm or f). On the canal one kingfisher. It was half tide and so few waterfowl on the lagoon; only 15 wigeon, 23 shoveller, 11 teal, 3 tufted ducks and one black swan with 6 mute swans. Coot numbers were also low - 83, I guess they make their way onto the ditches after roosting on the lagoon.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Great grey shrike still present up to at least 9.00 a.m and showing well. 200+ golden plovers, 50+ lapwing, 3 stonechat, 2 wheatear, 10 stock doves and 4 ravens. A noticeable increase in blackbirds with at least 15 present but no ring ouzels amongst them. A small passage of starlings and woodpigeons overhead.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


On the estuary this evening: 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (adult and 2nd-winter), 4 Med Gulls (3 ads and 1st-winter), female Merlin flying down the valley, and a Cattle Egret, which went to roost in the big trees adjacent to Coronation Corner.

 Cattle Egret

2nd-winter YLG

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

Great grey shrike still present around 4 p.m. but elusive. Little owl showed briefly at 4.30 p.m., 230 golden plover, 1 stonechat and 1 wheatear.

Northam Burrows CP

Still three Snow Bunting's at Sandymere mid-day - very approachable but hyperactive.

Sharkham Point

A walk around from 1230hrs-1515hrs.
Good views of 2 Ring Ouzels feeding in Coombe lake valley and a Hen Harrier low over the car park on my way back was a site first for me.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A quick lunchtime visit was well rewarded with a Great Grey Shrike showing well and busy feeding - seen to catch a red admiral butterfly. The little owl also showing well, 100+ golden plover and 2000+ starlings.

Clennon Valley

Yellow-browed Warbler Clennon Valley around very top 'spring pool' (W end of three larger ponds) with a few Goldcrests. Probably present since Monday when I was sure I heard one calling several times but didn't see it. This is a fairly vocal bird I heard it from half way across the playing fields today. There were no chiffchaffs present around the ponds!

Also 3 Water Rail 3 Gadwall and a  returning moulting male Pintail.

Photos: Yellow-browed Warbler 19/10/11

Richard's Pipit - Beer

There's a Richard's Pipit in long grass fields either side of Mare Lane, Beer 10:30 - 12:00 at least. Grid Ref: SY219891. Apologies for the awful photo, but it was distant when it decided to perch up!

Also a Ring Ouzel, with ten Crossbills over.

EDIT: Just been told the Pipit is still there at 12:45.

South Farm, Otterton

Andy Swash just phoned to say there's a Short-toed Lark with Skylarks in stubble on the high land just east of the Otter Estuary.

Berry Head

Small numbers of birds on the move: 13 Crossbill (single flock), 5 Siskin, 2 Yellowhammer,15 House Sparrows4 Skylark, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Around headland 1 Dartford Warbler (with Stonechats in scrub on left walking from car park to N Fort), 6 Stonechat, 1 Black Redstart, 1 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap, 4 Goldcrest. 

Right: Black Redstart on Coastguard building wall. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Woodbury Common

2 Merlin (incl 1 male) and 2 Short-eared Owl this afternoon.


2 Firecrests and 7 Goldcrests     [Tim Clyburn]


I feel your pain Pat. I'm left pondering what I might have seen from my back garden had I not taken my ****** dog for a walk on Woodbury Common!

Huge congratulations to Lee - a superb reward for all the hours he puts in.


East Soar -

Fairly quiet at Soar this am - no sign of the Dotterel, only 1 Ring Ouzel, 25 + Siskin, 12 Swallopw, 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Wheatear.

Nice surprise on Thurlestone marsh this aft. a female Pintail- sat with & flew off with the canada Goose flock.
Starling roost 4,500, Alba wagtails - 100+

Short-toed Eagle(s) at Prawle!

According to Birdguides, a Short-toed Eagle was reported flying north over Prawle Point on sunday, at 11.30. Don't know how I missed that one - perhaps it's time to give up! Or maybe that Stonechat has submitted a report after all!

Further to Dave Norman's post, some (albeit irrelevant) details on Prawle's 'other' Short-toed Eagle. It was seen on 6th October 1982, by myself, John Nicholls and Keith Robins, as well as the late Lawrence Price. It passed west over Horseley Cove, as we watched from below Prawle woods. I saw it first, and called something along the lines of 'what the **** is this!?!' Lawrence, who had seen the species abroad, immediately called 'Short-toed Eagle'. I hadn't even seen Osprey at that time, but knew it wasn't that, and when we finally got to see a fieldguide, it became obvious Lawrence was right. The sighting lasted less than a minute, but I can still see it clearly in my mind to this day. If digital cameras had been so available back then as they are today ..... well, if only!
The record was submitted to the BBRC but was rejected on a vote of 3 for, and 7 against, largely due to the brevity of the sighting of what would have been a first for Britain.

Bitter? Not me - it's on my list!!

Northam Burrows

Three Snow Buntings present late morning at Sandymere.
Also ten Spoonbills present at Isley Marsh on Sunday, one with colour rings and flags.
(Maria Fernandes & Jackie)

Froward Point

07.35-13.00. Some movement (all west); 35 Siskin, 60+ Goldfinch, 2 Redpoll heard only, 7 Crossbill. Also 3 Wheatear, 4 Stonechat, 5+ Blackcap, 5+ Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Yellow-browed Warbler (at 09.50 for 5 minutes in Sycamores half way between the point and Froward Cove but typically mobile, though occasionally vocal) and 1 Short-eared Owl, which came out of scrub at Froward Cove and flew west into Old Mill Bay where lost to view.

Great White Egrets Exminster

Just received a DBWPS rarities form for two Great White Egrets on Exminster Marshes on Friday 14th of October at 3pm.

They were feeding in a ditch just west of the main lagoon, besides a group of roosting Grey Herons and Little Egret. Seen by Sam Marles.

Worth noting two Great White Egrets were on the Axe Estuary on the same day, last seen at 09:30.


Report of a Short-eared Owl yesterday(Monday) at the rear of Sharkham near Combelake, sat on a hedge then flushed by dog walkers.
On the subject of Short-toed Eagle, I recall there was a report of one seen over Prawle Wood in the early 1980s by the late Lawrence Price( who had seen them in Turkey/N Africa) ; similar date and conditions.I do0n't think he had a full set of field notes and the record did not go anywhere.

Princetown, Dartmoor

Two Brambling made their appearance this morning (M & F/imm) in the Daniel's garden, two days earlier than last year. Let's see if their numbers build up to over 100 this winter as they did last year.

Monday, 17 October 2011


Water Rail, Merlin, Dotterel on airfield, 2 Wheatear, 7 Ring Ouzel Starehole Valley, Blackcap, 6 Chiffs, Lesser Redpoll, 36 Siskin, 8 Crossbill, 9 Goldcrest.

[from Perry Sanders]

Erme Est

Seems to be a good autumn for Wigeon - record Oct count for the Erme 372, also 280 Greater BB Gull

Earlier went to see the juv Dotterel at East Soar which Perry S found and then dipped on the jv Rose C Starling which Rod Bone & Eric W found at Aveton Gifford


Minor news in comparison to Caspians and STE(well done to the finders). First Black Redstart of the season at Sharkham Village today as well as an increasing flock of Greenfinches visiting the feeders, 80+ at the moment.

P.S Did anyone shed tears this weekend??


A magnificent sight today at around midday to 1pm. Well over 1000 birds were feeding on the Exmouth eel grass beds as the tide receeded, really close in to the shoreline off the Imperial Road carpark. Circa 600 Brent Geese with a good count of 60 juveniles (first time I've seen the juveniles this year); 70 Pintail and large numbers of Wigeon and Mallard.

There are a couple more days with good tides for lunchtime to early afternoon viewing this week if the birds will oblige again!

Lower Tamer Lake

Malcolm Shakespeare had

4 Great crested grebe
8 little grebe
87 coot
2 cormorant
10 mute swan
43 moorhen
7 wigeon
9 teal
2 gadwall
1 golden eye
15 mallard
2 water rail
1 cetti`s warbler (calling)

this morning


Unfortunately winds round to the SW but still:

2 ring ouzel Starehole Bottom.

212 skylark; 66 meadow pipit; yellow wagtail over; blackcap; 2 chiffchaff; 20 siskin.

Lundy yesterday

On Lundy yesterday, a Common Rosefinch trapped and ringed, also a Firecrest. But no sign of the Yellow-browed Warbler.

[Luke Phillips]

Sunday, 16th Oct - Dartmoor

Seven Ring Ouzel around Foggintor Quarry mid afternoon and five immatures at Whiteworks at the same time.
(J&M Daniels, P Stubbs)

Sunday, 16 October 2011


After a gloomy start (weather-wise) fine conditions picked up too late for any real vis-mig. In the morning, 3 Short-eared Owls around mid-soar including one perched in Melodious Lane. Otherwise 13 Ring Ouzels (all but one in Stare Hole), 2 Whichats, 35 Siskins, 6 Wheatear, and a Merlin.

An afternoon thrash of Saw Mill and West Soar produced....nowt!

Short-toed Eagle

A note from Lee Collins, on the bird that got a lot of us running around a bit today!

Some more news on todays Short-toed Eagle. Initially discovered over Dawlish Warren at about 11.55, then it slowly drifted N towards Exmouth, where it appeared to linger, dwarfing the Crows that were mobbing it. Crippling views gained by Lee Collins & Dave Jewell, but although news put out, thoughts were it wasn’t seen by others, so pleasing to see AJ also fortunate to see this stunning bird.

Of interest this bird also appeared on Birdguides, being picked up in Dorset at Lyme Regis at 15.15


2-00 Sidmouth Seafront appx: one mile 6 x Adult Bottlenose Dolphins moving south-west. Was aware of short toed eagle at Exmouth via mobile from 1-00 but not seen.

[from Terry Lakeman]

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

A pleasant surprise in finding a Little Owl this evening sitting in the window of one of the barns enjoying the evening sun. Wheatears continue to feature with 4 tonight along with 50 linnets and 150+ skylarks. 43 golden plover circled around but the disturbance from somebody in a landrover who has watched too much Top Gear was too much for them and they flew off north east.


Pretty quiet weekend (compared to most other places!).

Today; Merlin, 100+ Swallows, 12 House Martins, 17 Siskin (+ several others heard) and a Redpoll (sp!) over, 2 Blackcaps, 7 Chiffchaffs, 9 Goldcrests and a Firecrest.

Yesterday (15/10); 3 Ring Ouzels, 275+ Swallows, 2 House Martins, Sand Martin, 2 Wheatears, 7 Siskins, 5 Lesser Redpolls - (feeding on the reserve), 2 Coal Tits, 5 Blackcaps, Garden Warbler, Whitethroat, 9 Chiffchaffs, 12 Goldcrests.

Ooooh look - isn't that a Short-toed Eagle flying over!

Thurlestone Bay

Went into Eagle watch mode this pm - didn't drift our way only Buzzard & Merlin.

on Thurlestone marsh this eve big increase to 105 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 1 Little Grebe ( 1st since March ).

This am - South H marsh - 2 Wheatear, 30 Teal, 1 Black T Godwit

In the Bay 25 Dunlin, 5 Swallow

Short-toed Eagle at Orcombe Point

Short-toed Eagle at Orcombe Point Bird watched for 10-15 mins. From circa 12:10 – 12:25 Picked up just below cliff height above beach before it was repeatedly mobbed by gulls.  Using the thermals of the cliff to gain height it circled high then drifted east.

Bowling green marsh

A good morning from the hide 09:35 till 11:30. The juv spoonbill dropped in around 10:00 but only stayed for 25mins. Other birds of note were 2 adult and a juv spotted redshanks, 3 golden plover, a juv curlew sandpiper,1 juv male ruff, 56 avocet, 70+ Dunlin, 2 green sandpiper,40+ lapwing, 30+ bar tailed , 12+ wigeon,7 shoveler good numbers of teal, black tailed godwits and curlew, 20+ redwing over also small groups of siskin, meadow pipits and skylarks and a few redpoll.

Popped up to the viewing platform and had 2 female blackcap, and a Jay on the path upto the viewing platform with skylarks and Siskin overhead calling and a peregrine. Around 12 had news that a short toed eagle seen over exmouth but unfortunately it didn't come are way but whilst looking picked up 10+ buzzard and 2 sparrowhawks all drifting north and a few more redpoll.

Another good morning on the marsh

Forgot to include the 1st winter med gull seen from the hide this morning.

Witheridge Moor

Visit today 11-00 to 12-30

An unusual number of birds on or over the Moor comprising of :-

5 Siskin, 2 Raven, 22 Meadow Pipit, 11 Skylark, 22 Redpoll (possible the largest flock seen on Moor), 2 Nuthatch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 80+ Starling, 13 Redwing (first of Winter), Buzzard, Kestrel, 4 Reed Bunting, and a pair of Stonechat (first since Dec 2009 - a result of the last two hard Winters). Surprisingly there were no Linnets. Also seen was a very worn Red Admiral and a Fox Moth caterpillar.

Berry Head

Much quieter overhead today but interesting mix: Short-eared Owl 1 (not seen by me but saw commotion! 4Ring Ouzel, 8 Siskin, 9 Redpoll, 2 Yellowhammer, 5 Swallows, 1 Wheatear, 2 Blackcap,2 Chiffchaff, 1 Firecrest, 8 Goldcrest, 5 Stonechat, 2 Fieldfare and 1 Arctic Skua (see photo above) flew S over meadow near Wardens Bungalow!