Saturday, 30 June 2012

Dawlish warren

Watched from 11:15 till 15:30 7 med gulls (1 adult, 1 2nd summer 5 1st summer), 83+ sandwich tern, 4 common tern, 120+ curlew, 12+ common scote, 1 slavonian grebe

Thurlestone Bay

A sunny breezy day - a short visit to the Bay this morning produced 2 ad + 1 1s Med Gull, the Black Necked Grebe still showing well until 11.30- an increasing number of wind/kite surfers spooked the bird and when I left i could not relocate it.

This aft. a flock of 130 Herring Gull flew into Thurlestone Marsh amongst them were 2ad Yellow Leg Gull. At least 1 Water Rail calling- a returning bird as no proof of breeding.
A Willow Warbler in the garden this morning probably a faied breeder off the moor as none breed locally

Friday, 29 June 2012

Thurlestone Bay

Back on the patch after a 9 day visit to France ( La Brenne / Loire Valley - great birding )

Very quiet morning livened up at 11.35 with 2 Arctic Skua flying east and then finding the partial sp Black Necked  Grebe just off Bob's car park  ( a most unusual summer record - and staying at least a week ).
A group of Gulls  flew down the valley over T'stone marsh at 13.45 - 3 Black Headed and 2 1s Med

Early flowering orchids - Tarka Trail, Ashford sewage works.

On the 17th June while I was down the Tarka Trail I was surprised to find a clump of 42 Early Flowering Orchids flowering behind the seawall just the river side of the wall.
Yesterday afternoon when I was there again, I was dismayed to see that all but about 5 had been mowed down as a result of seawall management.
Enquiries at the Civic Center today revealed that this had been done by the Environment Agency who have a statutory duty to keep the seawall clear of vegatation. The grass cutting is sub-contracted out to people who obviously don`t know the difference between weeds and orchids!
Yes, Early Flowering Orchids may be fairly common but to see a large clump of them was a nice sight.
You would think the E.A. could have waited a week or so for them to have set seed but I`m told cutting has been brought forward this year because of rapid growth of vegatation which has to be cut early. So much for the countryside and the environment. 

Berry Head

05:30-10-30 cloudy and afew showers with strong SW winds. A steady flow of Manx Shearwaters 203, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Puffins, 3 Common Scoters, 61 Kittiwakes no juvs, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 1 L.B.B.Gull, 227 Gannets all going South. Numerous Guillemots going back and forth. Also 8 Swifts flying south very low over the sea.


Broadsands: 1 - 1s Med Gull with 14 Black-headed Gulls, also 14 Common Scoter offshore but picked out another more distant flock....

Roundham Headland: tight flock of 7 Med Gulls sat on water (no Black-headed Gulls) 5 - 2s, 1 - ad, 1 - 1s and a flock of 19 Common Scoter

Thursday, 28 June 2012

R.Taw at Pottington Ind Est


4 cracking Black-tailed Godwits in breeding plumage and a solitary returning Redshank.

1 Black Swan with 8 Mutes.

Velator reserve

Still 4 juvenle Little Grebes.

Nearby on Wrafton Pond, 6 Juve Little Grebes, and 3 adult Tufted Ducks (2 males).

Berry Head

10:00-12:00, mist / fog clearing with freshening WSW: 60+ Manx Shearwaters (feeding out in Lyme Bay) with at least one Balearic Shearwater, also feeding Gannets and a light passage.  Note although relatively early, there is already a big build up of Balearics on the French side, see marinelife , so perhaps we're in for another good year!

Of interest I spent most of Monday fishing mid-channel close to the area the Black-browed Albatross was last seen, but no luck.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


Evening: 3 Med Gulls (2, 1s & 1, 2s), just 8 Black-headed Gulls and 15 Sandwich Terns.

Berry Head

13.30-1500hrs watched a couple of smaller day fishing trawlers returning to Brixham but only gulls and Gannets behind them. Passage birds >S; 1 Balearic Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, 12 Manx Shearwaters, 37 Gannets. Also 1 Grey Seal.

Exminster marshes

A brief visit at lunch-time cut short by more rain. On the pools near the canal were c300 black-headed gulls. Mostly adults including the leucistic bird. Incidentally I saw a very similar bird at BGM on the 4 July last year.

Two garganey (probably females) seen briefly amongst reeds, also drake wigeon and 12 mallard. Waders included 3 black-tailed godwits (sp) and 1 curlew. Lots of hirundines predominately sand martins and house martins. Also c50 swifts.

Exminster Marsh - Monday evening

Dropped in around 7.30 to 8.30 p.m. A male (going into eclipse) and two female garganey on the flood by the fishermans car park plus 5 wigeon and a single male teal there. Plenty of hirundines of which house martin was the most numerous with around 250 birds. At least 2 Cettis calling.

Monday, 25 June 2012

South Huish - yesterday 24/6

Partial summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe just offshore, between the car parks. Apparently has been present a few days.  [Roy McCarthy]


Cuckoo heard calling from coast path by Dartmouth Coastguard Cottages this morning.

Bolberry Down

Not a concerted sea watch but moving west mid-morning:

89 Manx Shearwater & 35 Gannets.

Kestrel taking in food to brood on cliff.

Downend/Saunton Down.


4 Common Scoter a long way out off the point.

23-24 June late news

23 June, Escot Park, East Devon: 15 crossbills around wild boar enclosure 24 June, Exminster Marshes: Eclipse male & female garganey, taken with earlier sightings presumably indicating a failed local breeding attempt. Also 4 Med Gull & 1 green sandpiper.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Prawle Point

06:45-10:15. 4 obs. Counts heading W. 1244 Manx S, 2 Balearic S, 188 Gannet, 40 Scoter, 23 Fulmar,  7 Stormie, 4 Sanderling, 3 Dunlin, 3 Pomarine Skua, 1 Arctic Skua, 20 Kittiwake,,5 Guilemot, 5 Razorbill, 4 Puffin. 1 Sunfish.