Saturday, 26 May 2012

Thurlestone Marsh

Have been away this week on grandparenting duties- there is nothing worse than being 200 + miles away when news comes through of a patch first ( and also a year tick )  The prayer mats were out in Berkshire- managed to get away at 15.00 and arrived back on site at 18.30- quick scan over the Marsh no sign, by 18.50 success good views of the GREAT WHITE EGRET- by 19.45 it became a garden tick . 

Went over to Yarmer Beach to find the superb summer plumaged KNOT ( first time on the beach at this time of the year) also 8 Whimbrel, 5 Sanderling ,3 Turnstone , 1 Bar Tailed Godwit .

A nice story about the Egret, Harry & June Huggins have been watching this patch for more than 30 years how appropriate that it was June who couln't believe her eyes at 10.00 on Thurs when she picked up the Egret on the Marsh - over the years they have been rsponsible for quite a number of BB rarities - we have something to live up to , Many congratulations June

Countisbury & Foreland Point, North Devon

Mid morning walk from Countisbury to Foreland point in strong easterly conditions. Highlight was a Red Kite seen over the point heading east. A dozen Gannets also seen off the point but little else. In the oak woods to the east of Foreland, 6 Wood Warblers and 2 Redstarts. Plenty of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins all heading east, along with 3 Sand Martins.

Exminster marsh

Watched from 10:00 till 13:00 A nice find was a drake Garganey on the scrapes viewable from the canal bank path by fishermans car park along with pochard(m), 8 gadwall, 2 wigeon, 4 tufted duck and 2 redshank, moved down station road and whilst watching the Garganey every thing on the marsh went up then a superb osprey flew right over our heads and over to topsham at 11:00. At least 3 hobby around with good numbers of swift, a peregrine on the ground and 20+ little egrets, sparrowhawk. Earlier of goat walk 15+ ringed plover, 20+ Dunlin, 2 whimbrel. From viewing platform at bowling green marsh 55+ curlew, 15+ bar tailed godwits, 9 little egrets, 5+ black tailed godwits, 4 knot, 2 grey plover. A good morning

South Hams

Battled against strong easterly wind at Soar early morning, with only a Garden Warbler to show for it. So headed for Slapton Ley where a Marsh Harrier showed over Ireland Bay; also 50+ Swifts. Roy McCarthy phoned me to say he had seen the Great White Egret at Thurlestone Marsh (thanks Roy!) and on the way home, I watched it over the back of the marsh 1405-1425 before it flew a short distance and dropped out of view.


Malcolm Shakespeare called earlier to say he had seen the Cattle Egret fly in to the high tide roost at Isley this morning with 2 Little Egrets.

Home Farm and Isley Marshes

[05:00-08:30] Hoped to find the Cattle egret but no sign, just a greenshank and a curlew sandpiper at Home Farm. Between the jetties large mixed flock (150-170ish) of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderling- at least 2 Sanderling in stunning summer plumage. One less since the peregrine passed by.

[Andy Lansdell]

White Storks

Four White Storks seen from Willand at 8.40 flying east. Also a Red Kite flew over Cullumpton Tesco at 14:30. [David O'Leary]

Kingsbridge, yesterday.

Bob Burridge had 4 White Storks fly over the centre of Kingsbridge mid afternoon yesterday, apparently losing height as they headed towards West Charleton. If they remained somewhere local for the rest of the day i'd be surprised if they left this morning as its a strong easterly here in Charleton at present - my guess is they would be sitting it out in a field somewhere.

EDIT : Just gone on Paul Bouldens website and as they were seen over the Totnes - Newton Abbott road yesterday evening i guess they won't be sitting it out in a field around here somewhere !

Friday, 25 May 2012

Bicton Park

3 Red Kites over Bicton Lake at 17.45 today. They spent around 10 minutes circling, mobbed by corvids, then flew off north east.

[Steve Oliver]

Venford Reservoir, Dartmoor

16 members of the of  DBWPS enjoyed a memorable walk above the Dart with good views of Wood Warblers, Pied Flycatchers and Redstarts.  A Cuckoo was present for much of the day on the higher land of Holne Moor causing a nuisance to Meadow Pipits.  A Green Woodpecker was present earlier in the morning, plus Siskin and Spotted Flycatcher but those who stayed until later in the afternoon were rewarded with a pair of Winchat. Thanks to Jean Millen for leading us.

Red Kite

Red kite circled then slowly drifting west over Kevicc school in Totnes. This is a first for me in Devon.

Yelland - Home Farm Marsh

Visited home Farm in the hope of seeing the Black-winged Stilt reported yesterday. No success there but a Cattle Egret was seen from the hide in the field with the large pond. Good to see a farm managed in this way, with plenty of finches, warblers and skylarks around.

Velator reserve

A few birds ringed this morning included three very juvenile Robins, a Whitethroat, 2 Blackcaps and 3 more Reed Warblers, a Woodpigeon, 2 juvenile Song Thrushes and 2 juvenile Kingfishers, about a month earlier than I have been catching them in previous years. Failed to catch the Green Woodpecker which appeared, called a few times and disappeared again, shame as it would have been the 7th ring size for the session!

Belated White Storks on the Otter!

BUDLEIGH JOURNAL: Nothing quite like being gripped off on the local patch by the local paper!

Been away for about a month working and return to find out that 3 White Storks were seen in the field by White Bridge (field next to where the Purple Heron was earlier this year) on Tuesday 22nd May. Doug & Joan Cullen spoke with the guy who saw them but rather frustratingly for them, a day or two after the event! It seems the birds flew out to sea quite early in the morning on the Tuesday, so presumably it is the same 3 birds that were seen over Dawlish Warren on Monday evening (21st) and the birds must have roosted on the Otter Monday night.
The only slight comfort I have is that I was in Italy watching bears at the time!

Thurlestone Marsh

Great White Egret again 0815hrs this morning, then dropped into the 'back' of the marsh and as such not viewable?

Berry Head

0600-0830hrs: at 0610 a fly over Serin dropped into the bushes just behind the Coastguards station and Artillery Store, it stayed until 0755 before flying off high - nice male, a lot of calling on the video below..

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Osprey at Axmouth on 21st

Just received the attached photograph from a friend who spotted this Osprey eating a fish off Higher Lane, Axmouth at about 3pm on Monday 21st May. He nearly crashed his car in amasement! but did manage to get some photos'......

Taw Estuary – Home Farm Marsh

Geoff Taylor reports a Black-winged Stilt on pond 3 at the Gaia Trust's Home Farm Marsh Reserve, on the southern shore of the Taw Estuary, this morning at about 09.45.


Great White Egret on the second pool at Thurlestone Marsh this morning feeding in the open.
(H & J Huggins).
Hopefully photos and more news later.


No further sign of the Common Rosefinch this morning.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Common Rosefinch singing and feeding in private garden in Princetown this afternoon, still present this evening..

Black Hole Marsh

Rather nice Curlew Sandpiper this evening...

Red kite

Red kite drifted over the Devon hotel at matford heading north east at 11:20 this morning also hobby and 6 buzzards over

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A few snippets from north of the river Taw

At Wrafton pond this morning still 7 cygnets with Dad, but no sign of 'er indoors. Never seen a group of cygnets without their Ma, so will keep an eye out to see what develops.

Sherpa was very quiet, only a couple of Swallows. Still five Goslings.

Later cycled to Barnstaple, only heard 4 Chiffchaffs, and one Willow Warbler, There used to be many more along this trail. A pair of Shelduck were shepherding no less than 20 ducklings at Pottington. I wonder how many broods this represents?

Also went out to the pond opposite Bishop's Tawton. One Shelduck and 4 Pied Wagtails.

Instow Cricket Ground and Foreshore.

06:50 - 08:30

Dunlin c150; Whimbrel 21; Bar-tailed Godwit 2 and c200 Oystercatcher mobbing a Grey Heron on the Crow Point side. No Terns about that I could see.

08:15 1st summer Med Gull with green ring arrived on cricket ground. This is same bird as on 20/05/2012 but I`ve ammended it from 2nd to 1st summer bird. Gulls are so hard to age?  I`m sure Rob Marshall will put me right  when he sees it, if I`m wrong.

Monday, 21 May 2012


Woodbury Common - red kite north over the fort at 1945. Also cuckoo there and nightjar.
Mudbank - sum plum slavonian grebe early am.
Orcombe Point yesterday - now 2 male lesser whitethroat on territory. Good to see after a few blank years up there. Also arctic skua offshore + 16 common tern.


An Osprey late afternoon, perched in a tree along Higher Lane, eating a fish.

Haldon Forest

Colin Marker came across a Wryneck feeding on ants in short turf close to the road c 6:30 this morning at a place known as Dartmoor View around SX887843.

Ugborough Beacon - Bee eater

A report in from Dave Scott who photographed a European Bee eater at Ugborough Beacon at 10:30 this morning before it flew off high SW towards Ivybridge.

Exminster marsh

  At 0945 a Glossy Ibis flew from the direction of Turf and landed in the middle of the marsh. Whilst going back to the car for my camera it flew off about 1020 and the boys at Dawlish Warren were able to get it.
  It then returned to Exminster marsh at about 1130, just so I could get this stunning photo!
  At least 9 Hobbies still, and the White-fronted Goose.

Berry Hd

Pretty quiet saved by a couple of good birds moving over: 1 imm (probably fs) Black-throated Diver, low over the top of the headland >S, followed by a Red Kite >N and a single Siskin >NE.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Underdown, Haldon Forest

11.45 this morning a summer plumage Great Northern Diver flew north over my house at Underdown on the east side of Haldon Forest. Great addition to the garden list and one that has never even been on the radar

[John Gale]

Exminster marsh

   Bit of a surprise this evening was an Avocet on the pool nearest to the middle car park,and showing no concern of nearby traffic and a roosting Hobby.


Imm spoonbill,c100 common tern,2 sandwich feeding in  esstuary from greysands pt.131 dunlin,25 ringed plover.Also drake mandarin duck on top pond kenwith nr bideford and an imm peregrine made an half hearted attempt at an wood pidgeon giving amazing view as it came in level with top of dam

Beesands & Slapton

Predictably quiet WeBS count at Beesands this evening. Had a quick look along Slapton Sands, nice summer plumaged Great Northern Diver close offshore from the central car park. 7 adult Black-headed Gulls on the ley unusual this time of year...... failed breeders ?

lower tamar lake

3 garden warbler,4 prs great crested grebe.

Plymouth - yesterday 19/5

Red Kite drifted from North Prospect area of the city towards Weston Mill around 10:30 [Roy McCarthy]

Exminster marsh

Watched 09:30 till 13:00 9+ hobby were again performing over the lagoon, the white fronted goose showed again viewed from the canal bank, 7 redshank, 3 summer plumage Dunlin, peregrine good numbers of swifts, 4 tufted duck. A good morning on the marsh

Recent Lundy Sightings

A few records from the last week or so
12/5 Male and female siskin in Millcombe
12/5 Red kite, flew across island from east to west
12/5 Male and female oriole still present
17/5 Hooded crow (still present 19/5) seen between the village and old light
Derren Fox

Cadover Bridge

Vic and Sylvia Tucker phoned to say they had a Red Kite over Cadover Bridge , west Dartmoor, yesterday (Sat) lunchtime.

Upottery Airfield, Smeatharpe

2 wheatears (both female), 2 whitethroat (seemingly on territory), 10+ skylark and 4-5 pairs of linnet. A showy and very vocal green woodpecker was my first on the very top of the Blackdowns since the winter of 2010 and certainly the first at the site for at least 18 months. The resident stock doves and ravens also present.

Instow Cricket Ground and Foreshore

06:45 - 08:00

1 1st summer Med Gull on the pitch. Ringed with green project ring on left tarsus and metal i/d ring on right tibia. Probably a French or Belgium ringed bird. Scared off by dog.

16 Whimbrel; 12 Bar-tailed Godwit; 16 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover on the foreshore between pitch and fuel jetty.

6 Common Tern on the yellow nav buoy offshore.

1 Stoat running about in the lane btwn cricket ground and Instow Barton Marsh. Fascinating animals to watch.

08:00 dogs and walkers arrived and everything changed.