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Thursday, 30 January 2014

After The Lords Mayor`s Show

Well after yesterdays good day today was rather poor !! as I went to the Topsham Recreation Ground this morning but all that I saw was a quick view of the Water Pipit and a male Sparrowhawk , I then had a look at Darts Farm and saw 300+ Brent Geese , 50+ Rook & a finch flock that comprised of Chaffinch , Greenfinch & a few Reed Bunting but no sign today of the female Brambling & back in my garden in Topsham there was quite a large flock of Jackdaw .

Eurasian Jackdaw ( Corvus monedula ) . Topsham . Devon


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A Good Day

This morning I got these shots of our Siskin up at the main Haldon Forest headquarters where the birds are very confiding , also seen were numerous Coal Tit , Great Tit & Blue Tit , I then went across to Ideford Common where I saw 2 Crossbill that flew into trees on the other side of the main road .
My next port of call was down at Dawlish Warren to look for a reported Black-Necked Grebe but I couldn`t find it anywhere but I did see a very nice Red-Necked Grebe along with 3 Great Crested Grebe , a single Slavonian Grebe , 2 Red-Throated Diver , a Great Northern Diver & 2 female Eider , but the bird of the day was an adult Yellow-Legged Gull that was sat on a sand bar just inside the Exe Estuary but after a while it got up and flew around giving great views .

Eurasian Siskin ( Carduelis spinus ) . Haldon Forest . Devon



Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Deja Vu

Today was just a bit like before as I went across to the Exminster Marshes to look for the Merlin that has been seen there but there was no sign of it for me again and all I saw of any note was the Water Rail that I had seen before .
I then met up with my mate Andy and we went up to Venn Ottery Common as Andy wanted to see Jack Snipe and Woodcock and we managed to see both of these birds plus Common Buzzard , Green Woodpecker & Mistle Thrush , so Andy went home happy but nothing new for me today ! Ohhhh well lol .

Water Rail ( Rallus aquaticus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Saturday, 25 January 2014

Venn Ottery Common

A trip out to Venn Ottery Common this morning with my mate Brian Heasman turned out to be very good even though it was a bit hazardous in the marsh , as we saw a 2 Woodcock , a Jack Snipe , a Common Snipe , 5 Yellowhammer , also seen was a Mistle Thrush & a Jay was heard .
In the afternoon I had a call telling me that there was a Little Owl showing on a field near Dunchideock  saw off I went again to look for it and at first there was no sign of it but then all of a sudden there it was sat out in full view ... very nice .

Yellowhammer ( Emberiza citrinella ) . Venn Ottery Common . Devon


Friday, 24 January 2014

Not a lot today

An early morning look around Darts Farm in Topsham didn't turn up much at all today but I did see over 300 Dark Bellied Brent Geese and in with them were 2 Light Bellied birds of the race hrota , also seen in the fields was an impressive count of over 70+ Curlew , I then walked around the top fields and saw 30+ Skylark and in with them was a smaller possible Woodlark but I couldn`t get enough on it to clinch it ... but lets hope someone else sees the bird , also seen were a few Pied Wagtails the bird that we count in this country !! but it is only really a sub specie of the nominate bird the White Wagtail .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes to look for the Merlin that was seen yesterday & I saw a bird flying across the marsh very quickly that I think was it but again I did not get enough to clinch it , I had just one of those days I suppose !

Pied Wagtail ( Motacilla alba yarrellii ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Common Kingfisher

A look around the Kenton / Kenn area this morning got me 12 Red-Legged Partridge , a Buzzard & a calling Raven , I then went back to Topsham and had a look at Tremlett`s Marsh where I found this Kingfisher that kept returning to the same tree after catching fish , so I hid myself away in some bushes and waited for it to do the same again and as you can see the results were quite good .
Then I had a quick look at Darts Farm and saw 100+ Fieldfare , 20+ Skylark and 2 Chiffchaff before calling it a day .

Common Kingfisher ( Alcedo atthis ) . Tremlett`s Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Perseverance pays off !!

Today on my seventh try I finally saw the female Brambling that has been seen at Darts Farm for a while now , I got up quite early and went and had a look at some feeders that had a few finches around them yesterday but got no luck so I went over to the small hide that looks out over the Clyst Marshes and noticed that the feeders that were empty yesterday were now full and a few birds were hanging around them ,  and after a while there she was sitting in full view on one of the trees....mission accomplished .
Also seen today was a Common Kingfisher ,  20+ Fieldfare , 4 Redwing , 2 Chiffchaff ( one ordinary Collybita bird & one of the Siberian race Tristis ) .

Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon


Monday, 20 January 2014

Bar-Headed Goose

My pictures today are of a very smart looking Bar-Headed Goose seen on the Dart Farm Pool in Topsham , these birds are one of the highest flying birds & has been seen flying as high as the Himalayas , they come from around Tibet & far East Asia and winters in South Asia , but birds seen in this country are almost certain to be escaped birds that are now living in the wild .
Also seen today was a Common Kingfisher , 4 Fieldfare , a Mistle Thrush , a Stock Dove & 2 Chiffchaff........But no sign of the female Brambling the bird that I was looking for !

Bar-Headed Goose ( Anser indicus ) . Darts Farm Pool . Topsham . Devon



Friday, 17 January 2014

No rain for a change !!

A look at my local patch Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me my first Knot of the year , also seen were numerous Shoveler & Pintail , 5 Pochard , the 1st winter Long-Tailed Duck and quite a lot of Avocet , I then went across the river to the Exminster Marshes that are still holding a lot of water and I managed to see a male Peregrine Falcon , a Water Rail & 20+ Golden Plover , and further down the Exe Estuary I saw my first Greenshank of the year off of the Powderham railway crossing & later in the evening I was lucky enough to get a phone call telling me that there was a Glaucous Gull showing in the Exe Estuary viewed from The Exmouth docks so I shot off down to there as fast as I could and managed to see the 1st/2nd winter bird just before the light went , a very nice bird to get for the year ( Thanks Matt ) .

Pied Avocet ( Recurvirostra avosetta ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Water Rail ( Rallus aquaticus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

A first at the Warren for me !!

At the Recreation Ground in Topsham this morning the 1st winter/Female Black Redstart was still on show along with a couple of Grey Wagtail , I then decided to go down to Dawlish Warren in hope of seeing Cirl Bunting a bird that I still need for the site , and my luck was in as I saw a Female bird on the edge of Dead Dolphin Wood on the gold course side , also seen at the same time was a very smart looking Water Pipit and this bird was a lot brighter than the Topsham bird from yesterday , I carried on walking out to Warren Point and on the way I saw a flock of Linnet , 2 Skylark , this nice male Red-Breasted Merganser & a Green Woodpecker .
On the way back home I had a look at the Exe Estuary from the railway crossing at Cockwood and saw 2 male & a female Goldeneye , 4 Little Grebe & a Slavonian Grebe , and on the Exminster Marshes there was 20+ Golden Plover , so in the end not a bad day !!

Red-Breasted Merganser ( Mergus serrator ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon


Common Skylark ( Alauda arvensis ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon


Monday, 13 January 2014

Water Pipit

An early morning look at the Topsham Recreation Ground was a good move as I saw the elusive Water Pipit a couple of times , also seen was the Female/1st winter Black Redstart that was in its usual place but still flitting in and out of the gardens where this Female Blackbird put in a nice appearance , the only other bird of note was a Lesser Black-Backed Gull my first of the year .

Common Blackbird ( Turdus merula ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon


The Exe Reed Beds From Topsham Early This Morning


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Wow a nice day for a change !!!

The weather today was very nice for a change so I decided to go up to Colaton Raleigh  Common to have a look around in hope of maybe finding a Great Grey Shrike but alas I had no such luck , but the walk was fabulous in nice sunshine and I saw 2 Dartford Warbler`s , 2 male and a female Stonechat , 2 Skylark , 2 Raven & a male Sparrowhawk that put up around a dozen Meadow Pipit .

Dartford Warbler ( Sylvia undata ) . Colaton Raleigh Common . Devon


Common Stonechat ( Saxicola torquatus ) . Colaton Raleigh Common . Devon


Friday, 10 January 2014

Bowling Green Marsh

A quick look at Bowling Green Marsh today didn`t turn up much different at all with the only new bird being some Lapwing , but there was still a lot of wildfowl on show with the 1st winter Long-Tailed Duck , 5 Pochard , a male Pintail , a male Tufted Duck & numerous Shoveler , Teal & Wigeon , also seen were 300+ Brent Goose , 3 Stock Dove & this Blue Tit was right outside the hide .

Blue Tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus ) . Bowling Green Matsh . Topsham . Devon


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Yellow-Browed Warbler

An early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me the 1st winter male Long-Tailed Duck , 2 male and a female Pochard , 3 male and a female Pintail & a Cetti`s Warbler .
Later in the day Andy Bond and myself went to the Clennon Valley C P in Torbay and after a bit of a wait we saw the wintering Yellow-Browed Warbler it was just in view for a few minutes & then gone again , typical YBW , also seen were 2 Siberian Chiffchaff , a Blackcap & 3 Stock Dove & on the ponds were a few Shoveler & Tufted Duck , on then to some fields near Yelverton where I had a very quick view of a Cattle Egret as we were walking up the road next to the field where it has been seen before and all of a sudden off it flew from the other side of the hedge right beside the road and after much looking we couldn`t find it again .

Siberian Chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus collybita tristis ) . The Clennon Valley Country Park . Devon


Northern Shoveler ( Anus clypeata ) . The Clennon Valley Country Park . Devon


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Stover Country Park

A trip out this morning before the rain started again ! to the Stover Country Park and it didn`t turn out to bad as I saw 4 male & 6 female Goosander , they stayed in the middle of the lake most of the time but just the once they came a bit closer allowing me to get this shot of one of the male birds .
Also seen was the first returning male Great Crested Grebe well that is what the warden told me anyway lol , 4 Nuthatch , 2 Green Woodpeckers , a Kingfisher , a single Marsh Tit , a male Bullfinch & quite a few Black-Headed Gull`s were hanging around where the people feed the ducks and this is a shot of one of the 1st winter birds .

Goosander ( Mergus merganser ) . The Stover Country Park . Devon


Black-Headed Gull ( Chroicocephalus ridibundus ) . Stover Country Park . Devon


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . The Otter Estuary . Devon


Rain and more Rain

My photo`s today are of the 1st winter/female Black Redstart photographed at the Topsham Recreation Ground , I put in around 2 hours this morning trying to get a nice shot of this bird and I think that it was well worth it in the end , as this bird is the most nervous Black Redstart that I have ever come across as it flies off into the gardens everytime that you get near to it , so I positioned myself in a gate doorway and waited for it to come to me & this was the result .
The other photo is of our Rook one of our common birds of the Corvid family & this photo was taken from the car in a heavy downpour of rain & you do not realize how colourful these birds are until you get a nice shot of one .

A late add on to todays birding , there were 2 Glossy Ibis in the fields next to the Otter Estuary this afternoon .

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon


Rook ( Corvus frugilegus ) . Tremlett`s Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Monday, 6 January 2014

Long-Tailed Duck

In between the heavy downpours this morning I went for a look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham but there was not a lot to be seen , but the the long staying 1st winter male Long-Tailed Duck showed quite well in the channel in front of the hide , & out on the main water there were 2 Little Grebe , an adult male , a 1st winter male & a female Pochard . a male Pintail & a male and female Red-Breasted Merganser .
There were hardly any waders on the marsh today but in with a few Common Redshank was a nice adult winter Spotted Redshank & over in the reed bed a Cetti`s Warbler was calling !

Long-Tailed Duck ( Clangula hyemalis ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Sunday, 5 January 2014

Bonaparte`s Gull

Another trip down to Dawlish Warren this morning & when I left home the weather was ok but by the I got to the Warren it was pouring  down and blowing a gale & it seems to be not a day without rain for quite a while now , but a look out at sea from the Dawlish side of Langstone rock got me 5 Velvet Scoter that were bobbing about in the large waves , a single Common Scoter that took to flight showing no white in the wings , and the very obliging adult winter Bonaparte`s Gull that was just off the shoreline at times ! but I could only manage to get these two shots of it in the horrible conditions , but got great views of this American Gull that we think has been hanging around since 2011 !!

Bonaparte`s Gull ( Chroicocephalus philadelphia ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon



Saturday, 4 January 2014

Black Redstart

A look at the Topsham Recreation Ground this morning got me the female/1st winter Black Redstart but the bird was very hard to get a shot of today as with lots of dog walkers the bird was constantly on the move & the shot I got was not that good but shows up some strange colouring on the crown !!
Also seen today was a female Red-Breasted Merganser & a couple of Grey Wagtail .

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon


Red-Breasted Merganser ( Mergus serrator ) . The River Exe . Topsham . Devon



Friday, 3 January 2014

Brixham Harbour

Today Andy Bond & myself went down to Brixham Harbour to have a look for all the birds that have been sheltering in the harbour from the very rough weather & we had a great day seeing the superb White-Billed Diver , 20+ Great Northern Diver , 2 Black Throated Diver , a Red-Necked Grebe that gave me my best views ever !! , 1 but maybe 2 Black Guillemot as one was in the inner harbour & later we had another one near to the breakwater , 1st winter Iceland Gull & 1st winter Little Gull & 3 Purple Sandpiper , we then went along to the Shoalstone car park where we saw a female Eider & a Long-Tailed Duck .
On the way back home we stopped off at Decoy Lake near Newton Abbott and saw the male Greater Scaup but it took some finding !! , a male Gadwall & a Little Grebe , and on the edge of the Haldon Forest there were 4 Fallow Deer right beside the road .

Red-Necked Grebe ( Podiceps grisegena ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon



Black Guillemot ( Cepphus grylle ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon



Iceland Gull ( Larus glaucoides ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon



Thursday, 2 January 2014

Year Listing

I was out quite early this morning and went for a look at the Topsham Recreation Ground as a Black Redstart has been reported there , but there was no sign of it today but I did see a couple of nice looking Grey Wagtail & a few Reed Bunting , the next stop was at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw the Long-Tailed Duck , 100+ Avocet , a single Snipe & a male Sparrowhawk .
I decided then to go down to Dawlish Warren for a look and it was quite good as I saw 1 Great Northern Diver , 1 Red-Throated Diver , 4 Great Crested Grebe , 6 Velvet Scoter , 2 Common Scoter , 1 Kestrel , 1 Peregrine Falcon & the long staying Bonaparte`s Gull but the views were always quite distant , the last bird of the day was a Slavonian Grebe in the Exe Estuary near to Cockwood .

Grey Wagtail ( Motacilla cinerea ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon



Common Kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon



Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon



Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year

As the weather was horrendous today I went for a look at Bowling Green Marsh from the comfort of the hide , there was not a lot to see beside the wildfowl but I did see 5 Greylag Goose , numerous Mallard , Wigeon , Teal & Shoveler , 5 male Pintail , 1 female Pochard , a male Tufted Duck , 2 female Red-Breasted Merganser , & the 1st winter male Long-Tailed Duck .

Northern Pintail ( Anus acuta ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon . 1 / 1 / 2014