Saturday, 4 August 2012

Start Point

Seawatch 07:30-14:00: Great Shearwater (through 09:58-10:06, close enough to see cap, dirty vent etc, must be the Berry Head bird moving rather slowly), 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 14 Balearic Shearwaters, 3 Pomarine Skuas,  2 Arctic Skuas, 2 Puffins, 15 Common Scoter, juv/1w Yellow-legged Gull (attending crabber), 23 Common Terns, 5 Sandwich Terns, 1716 Manx Shearwaters.


Seawatch today (05.45 - 13.45 - and again 16.45 - 17.45);  (all west unless stated), Cory's Shearwater at 10.40, 5 Sooty Shearwaters, 18 Balearics, 1670+ Manx, (110 east), 785 Gannets (155 east), 43 Fulmar, Storm Petrel (east), 9 Common Scoter, Great Skua, 3 Pomarine Skuas, Arctic Skua, 20+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Yellow-legged Gull (juv), 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Guillemots, Puffin. (Also Sunfish).   Wonder where all the Common Terns went between Berry Head and Prawle ??

(with JL, IL, TM, KR and FS)

Thurlestone Bay

On Thurlestone Marsh at 07.00 a Teal and 3 Green Sandpiper.

Seawatching from Beacon Pt from 08.30 - 10.30-  250 Gannet, 6 Sandwich Tern , 9 Common Scoter, 4 Fulmar, 1 first s Pomarine Skua.  ( the Great S 'water didnot make it into the Bay )

Best of the day was a flock of over 500 Manx Shearwater feeding all morning about 300 yds offshore, Bob B and I managed to pick out at least 12 Balearic in the flock .

Fri 21.00 the Swallow roost reached a paltry 250 . at least 1 Hobby trying to cause mayhem.

Berry Hd

Seawatching 05.45-0910hrs:
1 Great Shearwater 08.50-09.00 >S slowly (then pressumably same bird >SW Start Pt just after 10am - MD,AR), 1 Large Shearwater Sp. (possible Cory's) at long range at 06.30 but way to far out to clinch id, 2 Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Balearic Shearwaters, 772 Manx, 46 Fulmar, 3 Pom Skuas, 2 Bonxies, 2 Juv Y-l Gulls, 61 Common Tern, 8 Sandwich Tern, 1 Puffin (juv), 290 Gannets, 1 Turnstone, 68 Kittiwake (only 3 juvs). Also of interest 4 Harbour Porpoise off Hd and a Humming Bird Hawkmoth on road up from Quarry.

Southcott Valley, East the Water.


1 Wood Sandpiper with 3 Green Sandpipers.

09:15 Then joined Rob Marshall at Instow for the 75 Mediterranean Gulls. (inc 1 Polish bird PAL4  and 1 Belgian bird 33L9  -- ringed 26.05.05. Also 1 green ringed bird (French or Belgian?)



2 Mediterranean Gulls (1A, 1 2nd S); 4 Dunlin; 5 Ringed Plover; 2 Wheatear and 1 Peregrine.


75 med  gulls.38 adults,5 ss,28 fs,4 juvs.
07:00-10:00.With Maurice Clements.

Friday, 3 August 2012


Orcombe Point - 1630 - 2020 - 132+ manx shearwater, 5+ common scoter, 3+ arctic skua, 1+ pomarine skua, 1 great shearwater ( SW @ 1725), 4 fulmar, 6 whimbrel, 2 balearic shearwater and 1 common tern plus several gannets, kittiwakes and sandwich terns.


29 med gulls.20 adult,2 ss,6fs,juv on cicket ground and water.One adult had red ring on left leg PAL couldnt read last digit.50+ gulls flew off in different direction so could have contained more meds as numbers building.07:30

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Adult med gull PAJ7 again.A female common scoter was an nice and unusual surprise.My first record i believe for the site.Also 28 pied wagtails.

Thurlestone Bay

Late news for WED 1/8- Managed to get an hours seawatching from Warren Pt from 07.50 - 160 gannet, 60 Manx Shearwater, 4 Balearic Shearwater, 10 Common Tern, 1 Bonxie.

Heavy squalls this morning which produced some of the best passge - SW4/5 wind with a good swell, again all the best birds flying east.

most of the action took place between 09.30-11.00- First were 2 Sooty Shearwater  at 09.35 wioth another at 09.56. Quickly followed at 09.56 by an ad Sabines Gull only 125 yds offshore. Also - 265 Gannet, 47 Manx Shearwater, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 13 Fulmar, 6 Kittiwake, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Scoter, 1 dp Arctic Skua.

At South Milton Ley - a Groppa , 3 Sedge Warbler 1 Willow Warbler. The Spotted Flycatcher is still around


Now 2 Green Sandpipers from the 5-bar gate, and a juv Grey Heron.

Out on the river an adult Mediterranean Gull by Ashford Sewage works.

In the Velator reserve this morning, one of the older (juv) Little Grebes was attacking the new (tiny) ones.

Clennon Valley

3 Crossbills > W over my garden lunchtime today. Also of interest my first Jersey Tiger Moths of the year (first yesterday 1/08/12) and another today see photo.

Late posting - Med Gull Teignmouth

One day last week I was watching Black heads and Herring gulls excitedly catching flying ants low over my house off Woodway Road, Teignmouth. I picked out this Med Gull on call and managed a photo or two. A new Garden List species.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Seaton Area

45 minutes seawatching from 06:00 produced 1 Balearic Shearwater, 3 Manxies, 13 Common Scoter and a Sandwich Tern.

A juv Wood Sandpiper at Black Hole Marsh this evening.


5med gulls,4adult  inc.polish birds PAH4 and PEL5 +juv.Very quiet after yesterday

Berry Head

Seawatch 07:00-17:00. First reasonable movement of Balearic Shearwaters with 24 south, supporting cast: Sooty Shearwater, 653 Manx Shearwaters (also 100+ N), 2 European Storm-petrels, Pomarine Skua, 3 Bonxie, Arctic Skua, 33 Common Terns, 3 Sandwich Terns, 56 Common Scoter, 8 Puffins, 342 Gannets, 123 Kittiwakes (incl. 7 juvs, first of the year), 3 Black-headed Gulls, 4+ juv/1w Yellow-legged Gulls, Grey Seal and 3 Harbour Porpoise.


They're back! 130+ Canada Geese back at Wrafton this morning. The adult male Mute Swan was busy chasing them off Wrafton pond. I finally managed to read his (the Swan's) ring number yesterday, so will submit it to BTO and find out where it was ringed.

2 Pochard still.

Meanwhile in the reserve, the Little Grebes are now feeding another brood! Their first four juvs still present.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Bowling green marsh

Watched from the hide 15:25 till 18:00

The adult spotted redshank again showed on the far side  in with 270+ black tailed godwits, 16+ greenshank, 340+ curlew , the whimbrel numbers had increase today to 22+, 8 bar tailed godwits, a juv water rail put in a brief appearance, 3 green sandpipers , 45+ little egrets was a good count, 1 wigeon, 7+ little grebe , 12+ shoveler, 5 lapwing , 3 Dunlin, 150+ redshank


23 med gulls.12 adult,4fs,2s,5  juvs.4 common tern,3ad,juv.6  whimbrel 17:30-19:00.Wood sand  still at southcott marsh.

East Portlemouth

At least 10 Crossbills feeding in and flying around conifers along Millbay Road, East Portlemouth this morning.

Axe Estuary

3 juv Yellow-legged Gulls this afternoon (GMH and SDW)

Aveton Gifford

On a falling tide:

10 common sandpipers, greenshank, 8 little egrets & kingfisher  -  in spite of dogs hurtling around on the mud!

Berry Head

Seawatch 0810-1010 , moderate SW winds, cloudy. Total of 277 Manx Shearwater south including some looping around feeding early on, and 3 Balearic. Also 1 Bonxie, 1 Whimbrel south ,  and 2-3 Crossbills calling high overhead. Single  Grey Seal and  Harbour Porpoise in the area.

English Channel 25nm S of Start Point

Yesterday 30/07/2012. From an angling boat. Good numbers of gulls, with juvs of both Herring and Lesser Black now appearing out at sea, in with them at least 3 juv/1w Yellow-legged Gulls. Constant chumming only produced 4 European Storm-petrels, a brief visit by a Sooty Shearwater, Common Tern, Bonxie and Fulmars numbers were higher with over 50. Cormorants are not usually seen out this far, but we had two circle the boat then pitch in with the gulls!
One Ocean Sunfish drifted past the boat but conditions were too rough to see any cetaceans.
Although a few Manx were seen further out most were within 6nm of land both when going out and returning.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Bowling green marsh

Watched  from the hide  from 15:15 till 17:45

A good afternoon with the spotted redshank still showing well on the far side among 270+ black tailed godwits, 8 bar tailed godwits, 11+ whimbrel, 305+ curlew, 6 greenshank, 4 green sandpipers, 12+ shoveler, 6 little grebe , 38 little egrets, 2 water rail( 1ad, 1juv), kingfisher, 9 Dunlin, 4 lapwing  including 1 juv

Southcott Marsh

Wood sandpiper,4 green sandpipers on the marsh east water,bideford.16-16.30.


5 med gulls,3ad,fs,juv.Loads of gulls fishing in estuary.15;30.


Mon 30th July

Juv YL Gull, 3 Med Gull the best of the bunch off the Boatyard this lunch time.
fem. Marsh Harrier over (West) at 1845hrs Sunday 29/07

Powderham Marshes 29 July

Little ringed plover, garganey, 3 green sandpiper and a tufted duck brood y'day evening


Mudbank - c0630 - 7 crossbill south plus 1 juv yellow-legged gull and 3+ common tern.
Orcombe Pt - c0700 - 1 green sandpiper over plus 10 swift west and 1 willow warbler.
Mudbank - 29/7 - 25+ whimbrel, 3+ mediterranean gull and 1 hobby. Also 5 ad med gull and 4 ad common gull the previous day.
Orcombe Point - 28/7 - 2+ crossbill west, 1 turnstone and 1 coal tit.
Clearly some crossbill movement happening at the moment. A further 8 birds on Bicton Common yesterday were more expected.

Sunday, 29 July 2012


Nice photo of a juv Kingfisher, taken yesterday on R. Torridge at Bideford by Steve Hatch. Nice to know some didn't get flooded out...

Beer & Blackhole Marsh

A wander around the fields at Beer Cemetery this morning turned up a male Redstart but no other migrants.
This evening at Blackhole Marsh the wader numbers remained pretty much the same with 29 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 4 Common Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper & 14 Black Tailed Godwits, also seen was a Hobby that flew south.

Prawle today

A short seawatch this morning from 8 to 9.30am produced a large feeding wraft of Manx Shearwaters with passage east and west. I estimated at least 750 -probably more, plus at least 11 Balearic Shearwaters amonst them. Otherwise a few Gannets, Kittiwakes, and a couple of Fulmars.
Lots of butterlies up to 11.30 am including 2 faded and 1 bright Dark Green Fritillary.
[Tony Marchese]

Otterton/Ladram Bay/Brandy Head

A walk from Otterton to the coastal path and then towards Budleigh and back. Not many birds the best being a lingering dark phase Pom Skua off Brandy Head occasionally getting up to chase the odd gannet. One juv Yellow legged gull on the rocks - apart from that a single whitethroat and a lone swift heading west. Butterflies were much better with 20+ gatekeepers, 10+ meadow browns, 3 red admirals, 3 or 4 each of large and small whites and singles of green veined white, peacock, small heath, ringlet and small tortoiseshell. 2 six spot burnets and a southern hawker added further colour.

Thurlestone Bay

Late news from Sat - 3 Green Sandpiper early am . Swallow roost reached 1000 birds at 21.15- still well below last year ( 5000).

A walk round the Bay this morning - Waders on the beaches - 8 Sanderling, 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Whimbrel,

Offshore 20 + Gannet and a feeding party of in excess of 100 Manx Shearwater. Only 1 juv amonst 40 Black Headed Gulls

Prawle (yesterday)

Saturday 28/7;  Birds on the move included 3 Whimbrel, 4 Ringed Plover, Sanderling, 2 Dunlin, Turnstone, 10 Swift, 3 Wheatears, 4 Sedge Warblers, Garden Warbler and 35+ Willow Warblers.  Previous day (27th) saw 50+ Swifts and a Lapwing.

A summer of intense breeding survey work saw, as to be expected, a rather difficult season for a lot of birds.  I've still to fully analyse the figures, but for example, 38 pairs of Herring Gulls hatched only 14 chicks, 2 pairs of Spotted Flycatchers both failed, Whitethroats appear to be down between 30-40%, while 2 pairs of Wheatears did well to raise 3 young between them.  I watched one of the females take all of 2 minutes on one accasion to get into her nest with food, in the face of stormforce winds and horizontal rain.  Once their only child had fledged, they did the sensible thing and departed !!

Southcottt Marsh

 2 green,1 common sandpipers at the marsh east the water,bideford  12;30.