Saturday, 21 July 2012

Exminster marsh

Watched from 18:55 till 21:00 A good evening with 42+ sandwich tern including 3 juv on the scrape by the fishermans car park with good numbers of black headed gulls, also 5 common terns, 5 med gulls (3ad,1st summer and 2nd summer),6 Dunlin, 36+ black tailed godwits, 11+ little egrets,peregrine

A Couple of Photos from Yesterday

In a bid to add a little more July colour to DBN...

Silver-washed Fritillaries (Pete Adey)

Juv Green Woodpecker at Northam (Steve Hatch)

Thurlestone Bay / Kingsbridge Est

A few snippets for Fri / Sat.

Waders opn the beach/ rocks - 7 Whimbrel, 12 Sanderling, 4 Dunlin., today 2 Green Sandpiper on Thurlestone Marsh.
Surprising to watch 4 Lapwing come in off the sea and fly straight up the valley. Earlier Bob  B had a Hobby and a Grey Wagtail . Also on Thurlestone Marsh 2 Green sandpiper.

Last night went down the Kingsbridge on a friends boat - 9 Greenshank in South Pool , 15 Curlew, 3 Sandwich Tern, 2da + 2 1st/s Med Gull and 1ad + 2juv Egyptian Goose.

Bowling green marsh & exminster marsh

Bowling green marsh 09:00 till 10:35 from the hide

The summer plumage spotted redshank showed on and off mostley hidden by the tall grass which is proving to be very frustrating when trying to do any counts, only 2 whimbrel amongst the curlew and black tailed godwits.

Exminster marsh  11:00 till 12:45

Decided to take a quick look over at the scrapes on exminter marsh and was rewarded with good views of 142+ black tailed godwits, 8+ med gulls (6ad, 1 2s, 1 1s), 33+ little egrets and 10 dunlin, good numbers of black headed gulls around the marsh including a couple of juv's, 3 sandwich terns and a common tern

A good morning around the marshes

English Channel 25nm S off Start Point

Again out on a fishing boat chumming pulled in one juv Yellow-legged Gull (only juv gull seen), 40+ Lesser black-backs, 10+ Great black-backs, 5 Herring gulls, 3 Common Terns, 1 Arctic Skua, 35 Fulmars and a scattering of Manx Shearwaters. Paid particular attention to Storm- petrels, but only pulled up 12 European.
At last managed to get some shots with the eye highlighted, the eye is dark on most tubenoses, so with a dark bird it just blends in with the head (see below).

and eye highlighted by sun (below)

Instow Cricket Ground and foreshore.

06:15 - 08:00

With Rob Marshall,
8 adult Mediterranen Gulls; 5 Sandwich Terns; 1 Common Gull; 3 Whimbrel; 1 Turnstone and 1 Redshank.
Kathleen and May came in on the tide and moored near Appledore lifeboat.

Friday, 20 July 2012


6 med gulls,5adult 2s. Calmer conditions have allowed fish to shoal in estuary again so if forecasters are to be believed then should result in larger numbers of gulls being present of which there were 3-400 tonight,19:30-20:30.this morning two gourgeous turnstones(bp)with 3 sanderling,07;30

Barnstaple - Fremington Quay

10:00 - 11:00 The black swan was still with 12 mutes  off Anchor wood bank. I was surprised to see a couple of dozen Redshank in the Pill, seemed to have returned early this year.

Axe Estuary

Adult Osprey fishing this morning 08:45-08:55 when it caught a (very small!) fish and flew north. Also three Med Gulls on Black Hole Marsh.

Thursday, 19 July 2012


4 adult med gulls,20;10. 7-800 jackdaws on roofs above broad lane northam.High proportion of juvs indicating good breeding.

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide this evening the adult summer plumage spotted redshank showed well at times also 10 little grebes (7ad and 3 juv ) 12 little egrets, 2+ Dunlin, 2 greenshank, 5+ whimbrel, 2 tufted duck , unable to get a count on the curlew and black tailed godwits due to the height of the grass around the reserve but similar numbers to the last few days

R.Taw - Taw bridge to Ashford Strand.

11:15 - 13:15

c140 LBBGs; 2 Mediterranean Gulls(1A, 1 1st summer); 17 Black-tailed Godwits off Penhill Point ( 1 colour ringed but too far away to decifer) and 1 Peregrine that took a Black-headed Gull.

2 Green Sandpiper in the ditch beside Ashford sewage works.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Common Sandpiper - Teign Estuary

A colour-ringed bird was present at Passage House on 11 & 15 July, one of at least 13 birds present at the time.

Full details below with thanks to Derek Yalden.

O/R-W//M is a male from my R. Ashop population, in the Peak District, originally ringed 28 June 2010, guarding a late chick/fledgling til 5 July at Upperhouse Farm. He was back in the same territory 4 May-6 July 2011. This year, he was back again, 2 May, and I ringed his 4 chicks on 12 June. He was still there, guarding one fledgling (seen) , on 4 July, but had gone by 11 July. Fascinating to find he was already down in Devon.

It's good to know despite the weather not all the waders we are seeing are failed breeders.

English Channel 20nm S of Start Point

17/07/12 . Out on angling boat 20nm S of Start Point. In between fishing constant chumming pulled up 40+ European Storm-petrels (but still no Wilson's!), otherwise nice sub-adult Pom and Arctic Skuas (both presumed third-summer type - see pics). Also 5 Harbour Porpoise that strangely came around the boat (usually far more timid), but always disappeared when camera was to hand!
Size comparison - Lesser Black-backed Gull, Pomarine Skua & Kittiwake

Start Point today 10:20-15:20: similar to Prawle but lesser numbers: 1 Sooty, 702 Manx, 10 Puffins, 1 Arctic Skua, 1  Pomarine (dark phase heading NE), 1 Bonxie, 9 Storm Petrels, 2 Common Terns.

Prawle Point

05:00-17:00, except 2.5hrs c.lunchtime (when DN remained through rain and fog).  F5-6 WSW.

2>W Sooty Shearwater, 1>W Balearic Shearwater, 1516>W & 28>E Manx Shearwater, 2>W Stormie, 693>W & 55>E Gannet, 41 >W Fulmar, 18>W Scoter, 12>W Razorbill, 35 >W Guillemot, 9>W Puffin, 32 >W & 2>E Kittiwake.  Also singles W of Little Egret, Turnstone and Sanderling.  7>S Swift (during brief sunny spell).  Paltry returns from promising conditions.

Thurlestone Bay

Another day that would not have been out of place in Feb. Seawatch from Warren Pt from 08.40-12.30,

viz poor and very poor in rain - at times did not see any birds for 35 mins.

Totals were - 150+ Gannet, 33 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater., 1 Sooty Shearwater ( first of the year ) 10 Common Scoter, 1 Common Tern. 1 Pomarine Skua West at 10.00

In the bay 2 Whimbrel

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bowling green marsh

Watched from 16:45 till 18:30 From viewing platform 224+ black tailed godwits a slight increase from Sunday, 200+ redshank, 4+ bar tailed godwits, the summer plumage spotted redshank is still showing well, 10+ greenshank, common sandpiper From the hide in addition to the above at least 8+ whimbrel in with 202+ curlew, 6 lapwing, 3 oystercatcher, 2 tufted duck, 1 male wigeon, 4 little egrets, 2 little grebe with 3 young, 2 med gulls flew over towards darts farm (ad,2s)

The Late Post

A Red Kite quite close to the lane between Chipshop and Scrub Tor very near to Tamar Trails, on Sunday 15/7 at 14:00 [John Ladlow]

One Immature type male Marsh Harrier first picked up between the two pylons looking out from the RSPB car park then seen flying over the railway line going towards, the Powderham viewing platform at 11.20 (yesterday 16/7). The bird was again seen by another birder at the Turf lock around 12.45.  [Kevin Bainbridge]

Monday, 16 July 2012

Start Point

Seawatch 07:10-17:00. WSW4 building SW6 then WSW6. Cory's Shearwater (one slowly through at 10:22), 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 3 Balearic Shearwater, 3776 Manx Shearwater (strong possibility of some circulation). 3 Pomarine Skuas, 1 Arctic Skua, 20 Storm Petrels, 12 Puffins, 78 Common Scoter, 42 Guillemots, 7 Razorbills, 23 Kittiwakes 56 Fulmars and 3 Harbour Porpoise.

Thurlestone Bay

F6 WSW wind with poor viz nad some heavy showers.

3hr seawatch from Beacon Pt this morning and 1hr this afternoon from the car park- totals were -

100 Gannet, 80 Manx Shearwater, 5 Balearic Shearwater ( these close inshore and all flying east ) 3 Fulmar , 3 Common Scoter, 1 Ringed Plover.

On South Huish marsh 3 s/p Black Tailed Godwit

Berry Head

Seawatch 0745-1015. SW winds strong at times, showers and clear periods. Up to 400 Manx  and 4 Balearic Shearwaters milling about off the headland,  with up to 100 Manx sat  on the sea at times, accompanied by one or two Balearics. Also 1 Storm Petrel south, 2 Pomarine Skuas and 32 Common Scoter.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Bowling green marsh

Watched from viewing platform from 14:30 till 16:30 The fantastic summer plumage spotted redshank was again with 200+ redshank, 10+ greenshank, 211+ black tailed godwits, 3+ bar tailed godwits, 5+ whimbrel, 1 Dunlin, 2 common sandpiper, 17+ little egrets, 2+ med gulls(1st summer, adult)4+ juv black headed gulls, sandwich tern From goat walk 16:35 till 16:55 11+ sandwich terns, 2 med gulls( 1 adult and 2nd summer)

Seaton & Axe area

Noon to c.16:30.  26 Common Sand, 1 Green Sand, 91 Curlew, 2 Black-wit, 14 Redshank, 1 Oyc, 10s each of 3 spp hirundines & Swifts. 1 Hobby.  No Wood Sand.

Briefly dropped into Exminster Marshes - didn't even see a wader. Harsh.  


Hobby over East Soar Farm putting a flock of 160 juv.Starlings to flight - flock indicates good breeding success.

A few Gannets offshore plus 6 male Silver Studded Blues on Bolt Heads. Good nos of Dark Green Fritillaries & Graylings.

Long may the sun last!!