Saturday, 16 June 2012


I had a good early sea watch from Seaton sea front this morning between 05:00-08:30 - all heading west. Most activity over by 07:00.

1 pom skua
1 bonxie
6 arctic skua
150+ Manx shearwater
200+ gannet, mostly young birds, some very close in to the beach.
1 auk sp. to far out to identify

[Roger Harris]


A couple of recent photos from Charlie Fleming, taken on Dartmoor:

Somewhere in East Devon - location protected.

Red-backed Shrike, singing male found while surveying Bird Atlas Tetrad in East Devon...who says Atlasing is not exciting!  Located on Tuesday 12 June in meadow land with thorn hedges. Bird present all day but after stormy weather in the evening was not present the next day and in spite of continuing search over following days was not seen again and presumed to have moved on.  Record pics taken at 80 yards with (x 10 optical zoom ) compact camera.


James Leonard just returned from a week on Lundy where he saw 2 Short-toed Larks every day up to last Thursday.

Berry Head

Seawatch 13.30-16.30hrs: 7 Storm Petrel, 1 Puffin. 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, 234 Manx Shearwaters, 8 Razorbill (among many local Gullemots)  and 2 (adult and calf) Harbour Porpoise.

Saunton Down

Watched for an hour mid-morning. 9 Fulmar, 16 Gannet, 2 Comon Scoter, all heading south, and 33 Manx Shearwater nearly all heading south, (boosted by a group of 16 just as I was about to leave!)

Off teignmouth seafront 0730-0830

1balearic,a few Manx and more very distant shearwaters, lots of kittiwakes,gannets and fulmar, 1 swift in off the sea

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dawlish warren

Watched from 15:15 till 18:15 A dark phase arctic skua from the seawall and a summer plumage great northern diver flew along the beach then gained height over exmouth and seemed to head in land. An oiled guillemot in the bight was caught it was missing one foot and very weak was taken off to get checked over. 50+ sandwich tern and 1 little tern was a nice find feeding off the seawall with a group of sandwich terns only 9 Manx shearwater, 9 great crested grebe and 8 common scoter, 1 kestrel

Thurlestone Bay

One of the best mornings sea watching for a while and dry !Wind SSW 7/8 then after 10.30 SW 8 gusting 9 at times. Sat on the tip of Warren Pt from 07.30 to 12.15 . All birds flying east with some good viz and stormy seas . Totals were :-

Gannet 295, Fulmar 22, Kittiwake 11, Common Tern 12, Sandwich Tern 1 , Bonxie 2 ( together .) Arctic Skua 3 and a Pomarine Skua ( also together ).1 Puffin , 6 Guillemot, 2 Balearic Shearwater and  2 Manx Shearwater.

Went back down late pm - only a few Gannet and lots of glare.

Sharkham Point

Just to add to Mike and Paul's sightings from around the corner at Sharkham between 1200-1400hrs. The sea was spectacular but the birds weren't! Conditions were very bright and the birds looked good in it.

Just 32 Manx Shearwaters along with numerous patrolling Gannets, Fulmers, Auks, Kitts and a few Swifts

Yesterday I had 48 Manx Shearwaters during 1030hrs-1230hrs with a single Puffin.

To add to Mike's sighting from earlier, after he left, 08:20-13:30, 1 Puffin, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 46 Manx Shearwaters, 9 Sandwich Terns and another 16 Swifts coming in over the sea.

Somewhere in Devon!

A Rose-coloured Starling was photographed yesterday evening by a listener to Radio Devon the link to the comments in the BBC Facebook page are here:

I have requested the record to be sent into the recorder.

Rillage Point (nr Ilfracombe)

In contrast to the dearth of Manx Shearwaters off Berry Head – and surprisingly for the wind direction, which is not normally very productive off this stretch of the North coast – there were hundreds of Manxies passing towards the Atlantic this morning, presumably having all been driven up the Bristol Channel overnight. In an hour, from 07.55 I made a conservative count of 500, all streaming West. Also small numbers of auks, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Fulmars, but no Storm Petrels. Six Swifts low over the water far out to sea were also going West, as were three House Martins; a trickle of migration still going on, or weather-displaced like the seabirds?

Berry Head

Seawatch 0520-0820hrs, strong SSW winds but clear and even bright sunshine! 7 Puffins, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, just 28 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Sandwich Tern, 5 Swifts over sea, small numbers of Gannets, Kittiwake and Guillemots, 2 Harbour Porpoise and 1 Grey Seal.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Berry Head and English Channel

Today at Berry Head 12:00-16:00, pretty quiet given a strong SE with rain. Heading south were 5 Puffins, 213 Manx Shearwaters, 203 Gannets, one double light Fulmar in with the normal light birds. There were also 71 Swifts (in small groups), appearing to leave the land and head out in S-SE direction. Were these failed breeders or birds just trying to outpace the weather system?

Yesterday out fishing mid-channel, also pretty quiet, though the highlight was a Minke Whale. Also seen c6 Storm Petrels, 6 Common Terns,  while most Manx seen were 6 miles off Dartmouth (though I failed to spot a small one amoung them!).

Meldon - N. Dartmoor

Light rain and strong winds did not deter the five members of DBWPS (East Devon Branch) who braved the elements in search of moorland birds.  Two Cuckoo were present along the southern hillside of the reservoir and a third was present on the highter moors.  Breeding evidence of several species was obtained including: Willow Warbler (FL), Grey Wagtail (FL), Stonechat (FF), Redstart (FF), Meadow Pipit (FL), Pied Flycatcher (ON).  Other species included  3 Mistle Thrush and singles of Redpoll, Wheatear, Kestrel and Buzzard.
Thanks to Audrey Wolstenholme for leading us.

(Prompt... DBWPS needs your records ...particularly where breeding evidence is obtained, even of common species, so please put your bird records to good use and submit them.)

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Exminster Marshes

Grasshopper warbler reeling for third evening in a row from canal south of M5.

Start Bay

Quickest of looks from the central car park along Torcross Line this morning and surprised to see a couple of Arctic Skuas gently following a group of 4 Kittiwakes just off the shoreline.

Thurlestone Bay

Day started off well with a BLACK TAILED GODWIT on the Marsh at 07.30 -only on site for 30 mins, also a female Teal and a single Sand Martin ,.

Seawatching from a seat overlooking Yamer Beach proved interesting- 270 + Gannet ( 2 big feeding flocks ) 27 Manx Shearwater, 6 Fulmar, 3 Sandwich Tern, then at 11.25 a male Nightjar few in off the sea only 30 feet above me and 20 yds to my right- Afterwards I did wonder if the wine last night had left its mark . The last one on the patch was in Aug 2008 when 1 flew over my garden but that was at 22.00

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


1930hrs: 5 Common Scoter off Roundham Headland, 6 Sandwich Tern and an imm Great Northern Diver (probably 2nd summer - nearly summer plumaged) close to shore off Saltern Cove.

Thurlestone Bay

This morning 4 Turnstone on the rocks and offshore afeeding party of Gannet in excess of 210.

First views of the 4 cygnets and proud parents on Thurlestone marsh , at 15.30 brief views of an adult female Marsh Harrier

Velator reserve

Whilst ringing this morning, I was able to confirm what I have suspected for some time: successful breeding of Little Grebes again. 2 juveniles at least. I hope they do better than last year's two juvs which were predated by something. There are also at least 6 juvenile Little Grebes on the adjacent Wrafton Pond. (two pairs with 4 and 2 young.)

Ringed the third Kingfisher of the year, an adult male. Juveniles of several species and 3 adult Reed Warblers.

Instow Cricket Ground


2 Little Owls running about the green as if demented and trying to compete with about
15 Pied Wagtails for insects and worms.
By 08:40 they were back in their lean-to shed.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Exminster Marshes

Grasshopper warbler reeling south of M5 this evening.

Prawle Point - yesterday 10/6

Seawatch from 6.30 to 11am ( with Pat till 9.10 ) NE going up to force 5

Storm Petrels 29 east ( numbers picked up with two crabbers near the point) , Puffins 5 west ( I dipped on one and one landed on the sea close to the point for 5 minutes) ;Common Scoter 54 east and 6 west- one group of 43; Manxies 274 west and 21 east.

[Tony Marchese]

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Sharkham Point and Mansands

Took the opportunity to Seawatch in the wrong conditions for a couple of hours this evening off Sharkham Point 1630-1830hrs hoping to look at the returning day trawlers. No trawlers. 71 Manx Sheawaters heading north joining a huge raft of them directly off the point, sea state made it difficult to count but in excess of 250 birds. Also 1 Storm petrel. The weather cleared and a Cuckoo was present on the way back.
Yesterday went looking at Rock pools on Mansands with my eldest which gave me a chance to look at the new hide over looking the marsh. This shot was looking from the hide.

For anyone interested there seems to be a lot of Dragonflies present over the pools. The local breeders seemed to be doing well with the improved area too. Not quite what the Axe birders have but it's a start!
This shot from the beach

Hopes Nose

Sea watching 7.30am-8.30am - 2 Storm Petrels, 2 Puffins which landed on the sea just off the point, 1 Arctic Skua, LP adult, 19 Manxies all south.