Saturday, 23 June 2012

Bowling green marsh & darts farm

A quick look into bowling green marsh this morning produced a 2nd summer med gull, 15+ bar tailed godwit , 1 whimbrel After took a look over at darts farm and had 15+ med gulls, 1 adult,8 2nd summer, 6+ 1st summer

Exminster Marsh

Matt's Osprey viewable distantly at the south end of the Exe, from the viewing platform at Exminster till 8.35am when appeared to fly west. Also the leucistic Black Headed Gull flew in from the estuary at 8.30 and landed on pool by the end car park.


19 ringed plover,12 dunlin,1 sanderling,15 curlew,07:45.2fs med gulls at southcott marsh east the water,bideford,08:45.


Orcombe Point - 0515 - 1 storm petrel lingering close offshore. Also good numbers of kittiwakes and gannets plus c20+ sandwich tern, 6 common scoter and a fs mediterranean gull.
Mudbank - 0800 - 1 osprey fishing til 0830 at least. Also 1 whimbrel and a very unseasonal male wigeon present.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Exe 'white' Black-headed Gull

The Black-headed Gull referred to in Dave's post below flew over Bowling Green Marsh yesterday evening and carried on down the Exe at 2030hrs. In flight I initially thought that it may be a Med Gull, but when I saw that the mantle and upperwing surfaces were white and not pale grey I concentrated on the other features in the short time I had. As Dave mentions this bird had a red bill, and dark eye, making it in my view leucistic rather than albino. Not sure about the chin shading though - perhaps it's not shaved lately? I saw a similar bird, but not so white as this individual, at Powderham some years ago. Other birders beware.........

Exminster Marshes

Lots of Swifts over the marshes this evening and 8 Teal on the pool near the canal. This almost white Black-headed Gull had a bright red bill and dusky chin patch. Couldn't see the legs and the eye appeared dark, so not albinistic.


great crested grebe,11 ringed plover,9 dunlin,1 sanderling

Berry Head

Did abit of seawatching this morning, 05:15-11:30. Sorry to say, nothing looking like an Albatross past the Head, but 1 Balearic Shearwater, 43 Manx Shearwaters, 6 Sandwich Terns, 48 Kittiwakes and 150+ Gannets.


Might be worth keeping an eye to the sea! The albatross sp. seen 20nm west of Guernsey on 15th May turned up again 20nm northwest of Alderney on 17th June (around an angling boat), where photos taken confirm an immature Black-browed, see Unfortunately this is still a good way off any Devon headland (35+nm), but you never know!

Edit: ....and again 20nm NW of Alderney on 22nd June

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

nr. Buckfastleigh

9 Crossbills flew north over Button Farm this morning, just northeast of Buckfastleigh .

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Some late news...

This Hoopoe was on a front lawn at Westwater (on the River Yarty near Axminster) on 8/6   [per Derek Carter]

Velator reserve

Delighted to see that there are 4 juvenile Little Grebes being fed by both adults on the pond in the reserve this morning. They are about half-size now so much less likely (I hope) to be predated.

Ringing this morning produced the first jvenile Reed Warbler and Blackcap.


Late news from Slapton on Sunday an Osprey flew down the line heading South , coming in over the Lower Ley disappearing towards Torcross.

Friday night one Bealeric and a handful of Manx went by and up to a dozen Sandwich Tern were fishing in close to shore. 500 plus swift and 300 House Martin feeding over the Lower Ley down from Slapton Bridge.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Plymouth Sound - WCO L4

08:00 - 12:30
Not much to report - just singles of Storm Petrel,  Puffin, Arctic Skua and Great Skua, 20 Manx Shearwater, 2 Guillemot, 5 Gannet and small numbers of Herring and GBB gulls (30+).


1 turnstone,19 ringed plover,16 dunlin and 5 black headed gulls.


Very surprised to encounter a hind Sika deer on the edge of the arable.
Also first black-tailed skimmer of the year.

Few birds but stacks of cirl buntings, whitethroats & skylarks.

Clennon Valley

Very little to report around the ponds aside from the usual breeding birds but of concern was not a single Dragon or Damselfly and no butterflies in over 1hr - a symptom of the cold wet weather?

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Having posted news of a reeling Grasshopper warbler from Exminster Marshes, I can now report that the warbler is actually singing from the middle of the largest reedbed island south of the M5 in the Exe reedbeds. I established this by paddling around the creeks this evening. One Water rail also calling and c 20 Pied wagtails coming to roost.

Shelduck Families - R.Taw (off Pottington Ind Est)


The original family/creche of 20 ducklings are still present and correct and are fit and well. They are quite large now and predation less likely.
They have been joined by a new family of 10 ducklings and are very small in size in comparison.