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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

The Marshes Again !

The Exminster Marshes was my port of call again today but not a lot was seen ! but you have to keep on looking because as with Monday`s European Honey Buzzard you just never know what could be going through !! as for today there was 4 Little Egret , 2 Eurasian Hobby , 20+ Barn Swallow , 20+ Common Swift , 4 Common House Martin , 3 Lesser Whitethroat & a few European Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler & Cetti`s Warbler........And 2 Grass Snake .

Barn Swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Common House Martin ( Delichon urbicum ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Green-Winged Orchid

A day away from the birds today as I made the trip down to Exmouth to look at the very impressive Green-Winged Orchid that abounds at Orcombe Point and it is always a pleasure to take in this spectacle , and on the edge of the cliffs the Thrift was also in full bloom .
I then had a look at the top fields at Gore Lane but I only managed to see 5 Northern Wheatear and 3 Common Whitethroat .

Green-Winged Orchid ( Orchis morio ) ( Purple Form ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon


Green-Winged Orchid ( Orchis morio ) ( Pink Form ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon


Thrift ( Armeria maritima ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon


Monday, 28 April 2014

European Honey Buzzard

I spent some time on the Exminster Marshes today and it turned out to be rather good as at around 1.15 pm while searching the sky for Hobby I came across some birds on the thermals 4 of them were Common Buzzards but there was another one & on jizz it looked different with a longer tail and different flight action but from the distance I was at it was hard to pick out any other features on the bird , so I phoned up a friend who was on the other side of the marsh & he got on to the bird and said that it was a European Honey Buzzard and that made it only the 3rd one that I have seen on the marsh in over 25 years ! so I was rather pleased with it , the bird flew towards Topsham and was then picked up soaring over the town
Also seen today were my first two Eurasian Hobby of the year , 20+ Sand Martin , 10 Barn Swallow , 2 Lesser Whitethroat , a Common Whitethroat and numerous Orange Tip Butterflies .

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Orange Tip ( Anthocharis cardamines ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Collared Pratincole

News that the Collared Pratincole was back in North Devon at the Northam Burrows again had me making the journey to see if I could catch up with this extreme rarity in Devon and I was in luck this time after missing the bird last Tuesday , great views were had today of this classic bird on the golf course & at one time it flew off high but it turned around again and flew back to the same spot giving us superb flight views , and it was a nice pull back lol , Oh and it was my 350th tick-able bird seen in Devon !! also seen were a few Northern Wheatear`s and in with them was a Greenland Wheatear of the race Oenanthe oenanthe leucorhoa .
Later in the day a look at the Exe Estuary from Exton Station got me a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull & my first Common Tern of the year .

Collared Pratincole ( Glareola pratincola ) . Northam Burrows . Devon




Friday, 25 April 2014

Lesser Whitethroat`s

Another look at the Exminster Marshes this morning got me Sedge , European Reed & Cetti`s Warblers , 6 Blackcap , a Common Chiffchaff , a Common Whitethroat & 3 different Lesser Whitethroat`s were seen on the back path by the railway line , not a lot else to write about only a Peregrine Falcon , 10 Sand Martin & 2 Barn Swallow .
Other thing of note was the female Brimstone & its the first time that I have seen one on the marsh , 2 Grass Snake & a Field Vole .

Sedge Warbler ( Acrocephalus schoenobaenus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Brimstone ( Female ) ( G . rhamni ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Pearl-Bordered Fritillary

I went for a look for Hobby on the Exminster Marshes this morning but once again I had no luck ! and all I saw were a few Sedge Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , a European Reed Warbler & a Reed Bunting and down at the Turf Hotel there was half a dozen Barn Swallow & a Northern Wheatear .
I then went up to the Haldon Forest on the edge of Exeter where I saw a couple of Common Raven , a Tree Pipit & 6 Pearl-Bordered Fritillary Butterflies , so nice to see these on the wing again ! summer cant be far off .

Pearl-Bordered Fritillary ( Clossiana euphrosyne ) . Haldon Forest . Devon



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dipping the Pratincole !

An hour spent this morning on the Exminster Marshes before a dental appointment got me singles of Cetti`s Warbler , Blackcap , Common Whitethroat , Lesser Whitethroat and add Grass Snake & Common Lizard it turned out not to be a bad hour ! later in the day Brian Heasman & myself went for the Collared Pratincole at the Northam Burrows in North Devon , we were just about half way there when we had a call telling us that the bird had flown off high but we still carried on just in case it returned but no such luck ! but we did see our first Common Grasshopper Warbler of the year but it still didn`t make up for the Pratincole .

Common Whitethroat ( Sylvia communis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Sunday, 20 April 2014

Northern Wheatear

A look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me 2 Whimbrel , 100+ Sand Martin , 2 Barn Swallow , and singles of Cetti`s Warbler , Blackcap & Common Chiffchaff , I then went to Exmouth Docks for the Glaucous Gull that has been there for a while now but there was no sign of it today and all I saw was 5 Ruddy Turnstone & 2 Sandwich Tern , a look in the top fields at Gore Lane in Exmouth got me this Northern Wheatear .

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon


Friday, 18 April 2014

Kentish Plover

An evening trip down to Dawlish Warren for a cracking male Kentish Plover ! the bird showed very well in the bight but was to far away to get any shots of it before the light went but a great bird to see , also seen were 20 + Common Ringed Plover , 2 Sanderling and a Whimbrel .

Osprey

An early morning trip over to the Exminster Marshes paid off as the female Garganey was showing a lot better than yesterday , but after a while she became quite elusive again ! then at around 10.15 as I was looking for birds of prey I picked up an Osprey flying over the marsh and watched it until it was lost from view over Exminster Village , a very nice bird for the day !
Other birds seen on the Marshes today were 11 Little Egret , 3 Grey Heron , 50+ Sand Martin , 6 Barn Swallow , my first Common Swift of the year , 3 Common Raven , 5 Blackcap , 3 Cetti`s Warbler , a Willow Warbler , a Common Whitethroat & 2 Lesser Whitethroat one in the usual place by the railway line and another one along Station Road .

Garganey ( Anus querquedula ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Cetti`s Warbler ( Cettia cetti ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Garganey At Last !!

This female Garganey was showing on the Exminster Marshes early this morning in with a few Common Teal , they were on a close pool near the canal but a Little Egret flew over them and they took to flight and landed a bit further in on the marsh , I then went with a mate Andy Bond to Yarner Wood & we had a good time as we saw 2 male Mandarin , 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker , a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , 4 male and a female Pied Flycatcher , a Treecreeper , 4 Mistle Thrush and up on the common was my first Tree Pipit of the year .

Garganey ( Anus querquedula ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Pied Flycatcher ( Ficedula hypoleuca ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Tree Pipit ( Anthus trivialis ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Black Tern

Another look at the Exminster Marshes this morning didn`t turn up yesterdays Common Nightingale but I didn`t really expect it to be there as it was last heard working its way along Station Road towards the canal !
But the Lesser Whitethroat gave itself up to me in the end but it took a long while to get a shot of it that I was happy with  , also seen was my first Common Whitethroat of the year , 5 Cetti`s Warbler , a Sedge Warbler , a Reed Warbler , 4 Barn Swallow & 2 Northern Wheatear .
I then went back home only to get a call later telling me that there was a Black Tern on the marshes over the reservoir , so I went back over to look for it only to be told on arrival that it had flown off to the River Exe but luck was with me as it came back again to the reservoir but was always distant hence the record shot of it ( Thanks Keith ) .

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Black Tern ( Chlidonias niger ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Common Nightingale

A male Northern Wheatear was the only different bird seen on the Exminster Marshes today ! also seen was a Lesser Whitethroat , 5 Blackcap , 4 Cetti`s Warbler 20+ Sand Martin , 3 Barn Swallow , a Reed Warbler , 10 Linnet , 3 Skylark .... early evening update ! while I was looking for Grasshopper Warbler a Common Nightingale called from near the car park by the railway line & was then heard further along Station Road but couldn't be seen .
There was also quite a few Orange Tip & Green-Veined White Butterflies & my first Large Red Damselfly of the year .

Green-Veined White ( A . napi ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Monday, 14 April 2014

Willow Warbler

A look at the Powderham Marshes this morning got me the Barnacle Goose , 10 Blackcap , 2 Barn Swallow & a few Green-Veined White Butterflies , I then had a look at the Exminster Marshes but there was not a lot different on show there ! with 5 Common Ringed Plover , a single Greenshank , 4 Cetti`s Warbler and singles of Willow Warbler & Lesser Whitethroat but a very nice day had walking the marsh in the sunshine .

Willow Warbler ( Phyllosopus trochilus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Sunday, 13 April 2014

The Exminster Marshes

I was on the Exminster Marshes at 7.30 this morning ( I know I`m mad ) but I wanted to catch the Lesser Whitethroat with its morning song & to see if I could get a shot of it and as it was it took me 4 hours to get this shot as the bird is very mobile and spends quite a bit of time on the other side of the railway line on Powderham Marsh !
Another new year tick today was Sedge Warbler and I had a couple of these along with a few Cetti`s Warbler & Blackcap , there was a few Butterflies on the wing today with Orange Tip , Speckled Wood , Peacock & Small Tortoiseshell seen

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Orange Tip ( Anthocharis cardamines ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Lesser Whitethroat

There was a very early Lesser Whitethroat on the Exminster Marshes this morning , the bird was on the usual spot working its way along the back path beside the railway line and was very vocal... but when I went back again in the afternoon I only heard it call the once ! also heard by the middle car park was my first Reed Warbler of the year , there was not a lot else to see today with only 30 + Sand Martin , 6 Cetti`s Warbler , 4 Blackcap , a Chiffchaff & another Grass Snake .

Grass Snake ( Natrix natrix ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Friday, 11 April 2014

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Snow Bunting

An early look around the Exminster Marshes this morning ! but it was dead with only a few Cetti`s Warbler & Willow Warbler worth talking about , but I did see my first Speckled Wood Butterfly of the year & Grass Snake and Slow Worm were seen again .
I then went down to Dawlish Warren as I had heard that a Snow Bunting had been found on the end of Warren point , it was a bit of a walk but worth it in the end as the female Snow Bunting showed very well indeed , and to make it even better it was a Warren tick for me ! on the walk back there was a female Northern Wheatear in Greenland Lake , I then had a look at the sea as a Surf Scoter was found yesterday & I had no trouble finding the flock of Common Scoter but they were far out and looked like black dots lol so no chance with the surf but when they flew I did see one Velvet Scoter in with them , also seen were 2 Red-Throated Diver & 20+ Sandwich Tern .

Snow Bunting ( Plectrophenax nivalis ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon




Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Northern Goshawk

A look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham turned up a real surprise today as a Northern Goshawk put in an appearance over the marsh this afternoon , it came in quite low but soon gained height and was all the time being harassed by a Common Buzzard until lost from view , also seen were 2 Little Grebe in smart summer plumage , 6 Swallow and in with them was my first House Martin of the year , 2 Blackcap & a Willow Warbler .
Later in the day I got news of 4 Egyptian Goose on the Exminster Marshes so I nipped over and walked down the path beside the railway line and found the birds ok but they were quite a way out in the marsh & I just about managed to get this record shot of them , also seen on the marsh today was a Grass Snake & a Field Vole !

Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Monday, 7 April 2014

Blackcap

A look at Bowling Green Marsh around early afternoon got me the juvenile Eurasian Spoonbill again that I watched for around half an hour before it flew towards the Exe Estuary again , also seen were 20+ Northern Shoveler , 12 Common Shelduck & a Grey Heron & at the entrance to Goosemoor on Bowling Green Lane there was 2 Common Chiffchaff & this male Blackcap .

Blackcap ( Sylvia atricapilla ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Eurasian Spoonbill

An early start this morning at the Topsham Recreation Ground where on the River Exe the elusive Slavonian Grebe finally showed itself to me , as I have tried for this a few times without any luck !
I then got news that there was a Spoonbill over on the Exminster Marshes so I went over to look for it only to be told on arrival that it had flown off ! so I went to look for it on the Powderham Marshes but it wasn`t there and all I saw were 30+ Swallow , 14 Sand Martin and a male Blackcap , when my phone went off with news that the Eurasian Spoonbill was on Bowling Green Marsh !! sods law as that is 5 minutes from my house lol , so back I went again with more luck this time as the bird ( a Juvenile ) was sat out in full view in front of the hide it stayed for quite a while before off it flew towards the Exe Estuary / Exminster Marshes again .

Slavonian Grebe ( Podiceps auritus ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon


Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Devon




Saturday, 5 April 2014

Migrants

I started the day off at the Exminster Marshes and saw my first Willow Warbler of the year but not a lot else , so I went across to Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where I saw  2 superb partial summer plumaged Spotted Redshank , 1 Red Knot and another Willow Warbler .
Later in the day I had a call telling me that there was a Little Ringed Plover and a Yellow Wagtail on the Powderham Marshes so over I went again to find the finder of the birds Brian Heasman still there and he soon put me on to the LRP but the Yellow Wag had gone missing so we started to look for it again and after a while Brian exclaimed I have got a Blue-Headed Wagtail and soon after a bit of panic had set in Dave Hopkins and myself got onto the smart looking bird and we watched it for a short while before it flew off and was lost from view , then as luck would have it I picked out the normal Yellow Wagtail that Brian had found earlier and it was a male in full summer plumage ! mmmmmm very nice , also seen were 2 Green Sandpiper , I then drove to the other end of the Powderham Marshes where this Barnacle Goose was showing very well ! a good end to a nice day .

Barnacle Goose ( Branta leucopsis ) . The Powderham Marshes . Devon



Friday, 4 April 2014

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Well would you believe it !!! after moaning about no spring migrants turning up , when news came out today of only my second Great Spotted Cuckoo in Devon , the bird was at Beer Head & looked to be an adult and looked very nice in summer plumage just sitting still in the hedge , the other one that I saw was a juvenile at Dawlish Warren way back in 1990 so its been quite a wait for another one .

Great Spotted Cuckoo ( Clamator glandarius ) . Beer Head . Devon