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Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015

The end of a great birding year for me with four new birds added to my British list with the first being the Hudsonian Godwit seen at Meare Heath in Somerset , the next was the Greater Yellowlegs seen at Titchfield Haven in Hampshire and was a great joy for me after dipping 3 before in this country , then along came the Hudsonian Whimbrel at Church Norton in West Sussex making my first 3 birds all American birds , but my last little goodie was the European Crag Martin seen at Chesterfield in Derbyshire .
Add to them a few nice finds for me including Golden Oriole , Red Kite and a Grey Phalarope , fingers crossed for an even better birding year for 2016 !!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of my readers

Dave

Common Pheasant ( Phasianus colchicus torquatus) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Red-Breasted Merganser

I had a quick walk around the Topsham Cemetery Grounds today but didn`t see much at all with only 6 European Robin , 4 Goldcrest , 2 Winter Wren and a Mistle Thrush .
After I had gone back home and grabbed a bite to eat I made my way down to the Recreation Ground in Topsham where I saw 200+ Black-Headed Gull , 8 Common Gull , 6 Great Black-Backed Gull , a single Lesser Black-Backed Gull , a male and female Red-Breasted Merganser ( Female bird in the photo ) and a single Grey Wagtail .

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


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The Exminster Marshes

This morning I went over to the Exminster Marshes for a change ! in hope of maybe seeing the drake American Wigeon but there was no sign of it today , but there was plenty of Eurasian Wigeon , Northern Shoveler , Common Teal and Mallard , also seen was this male and female Tufted Duck and a male Northern Pintail , away from the wildfowl there was plenty of Dark Bellied Brent Geese with one of the light bellied race hrota in with them , also seen were 3 Fieldfare , 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker , a Common Kingfisher and at the Turf Locks a single male Red-Breasted Merganser showed well .

( Dark Bellied ) Brent Goose ( Branta bernicla ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Tufted Duck ( Aythya fuligula ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Friday, 18 December 2015

The Topsham Cemetery Grounds

A quick couple of reports from the Cemetery Grounds in Topsham !

In the early hours of Thursday the 17th a Tawny Owl was calling but could`nt be found later in the day .

Today a look around the grounds got me 20+Redwing , 4 Fieldfare , 3 Mistle Thrush , 2 Common Blackbird and a small flock of European Greenfinch and Goldfinch .

Fieldfare ( Turdus pilaris ) . The Topsham Cemetery Grounds . Devon


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Better shots of the American Wigeon !!

Today I went down to Bowling Green Marsh again in hope of getting better shots of the 1st winter male American Wigeon and my luck was in as it was showing a lot closer than on previous days and I was quite pleased to get these shots !
There was also lots of the other normal wildfowl that you see on the marsh along with 200+ Pied Avocet , 100+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , a Spotted Redshank , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a Mistle Thrush , then a look from the viewing platform at the Clyst Estuary on the outgoing tide got me 5 Grey Plover , the Spotted Redshank had come out from the marsh and was joined by another one , 7 adult and two 1st winter Common Gull`s and a Common Raven .

American Wigeon ( Anus americana ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon





Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

The weather today was not very good with drizzle for most of the day ! but I still decided that I would have a look at Bowling Green Marsh and it turned out to be quite a good move as I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon & Northern Shoveler , 30+ Common Teal , 3 male Northern Pintail and the American Wigeon made a return to the same field that it was found the other day but was still quite distant .
There was also a lot of waders on show with 200+ Pied Avocet , 100+ Common Redshank and in with them was a smart winter plumaged Spotted Redshank , 300 + Black-Tailed Godwit , 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 50+ Dunlin and 35 Lapwing , the only other birds of note was a Peregrine Falcon , a single Water Rail and a Eurasian Bullfinch .

Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



American Wigeon ( Anus americana ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Friday, 11 December 2015

American Wigeon

I got news today from local birder Dave Bolt of a possible American Wigeon on Bowling Green Marsh so I went down for a look and after we got better views of the bird we came to the conclusion that the bird was a sub adult male , the bird was in with a flock of Eurasian Wigeon and was showing in the field to the left of the viewing platform , with luck it should spend the winter around the Exe Estuary area .

American Wigeon ( Anus americana ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Thursday, 10 December 2015

Firecrest

For a while now I have been trying to get a shot of the Firecrest that has been seen around Bowling Green Lane , I tried again today but still had no luck again but I saw quite a few Goldcrest , Coal Tit and Long-Tailed Tits but I will keep on trying !
On Bowling Green Marsh there were numerous Eurasian Wigeon , there was a build up of Northern Shoveler now numbering well over hundred , a few Common Teal , 2 male Northern Pintail , 8 Common Moorhen , a European Green Woodpecker and 2 Eurasian Jay .

Northern Shoveler ( Anus clypeata ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Around Topsham

This morning I parked the car at the top of Bowling Green Lane and walked down the hill towards the marshes on the way seeing numerous Goldcrest , a Eurasian Nuthatch and a Eurasian Treecreeper , I then had a look at Goosemoor but didn`t see a lot besides a flock of Long-Tailed Tit , a few Dunnock a Common Raven and this Common Buzzard !
On then to Bowling Green Marsh where 6 Dark Bellied Brent Goose , 6 Greylag Goose , 12 Mallard , 3 male Northern Pintail , a single Water Rail and a Common Kingfisher were added to the day list

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon


Sunday, 6 December 2015

Brambling

There has been a couple of female Brambling being seen at Darts Farm in Topsham ! so this morning I went to see if I could get a shot of them , the finch flock has got even bigger consisting of Common Chaffinch , European Greenfinch , European Goldfinch and Common Linnet , the birds are constantly flying from the trees to a field of dead Sunflowers and feeding on the seeds so it is quite hard to pick out the Brambling but today luck was with me as I not only picked up the 2 female birds but then found another female and then this cracking male bird so lets hope that even more decide to join the flock !
Also seen today was a Eurasion Sparrowhawk , a Peregrine Falcon , a Common Kingfisher and a male and female Common Stonechat .

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




Friday, 4 December 2015

Firecrest

With the weather a bit better this morning I decided to have a look around my local patch Bowling Green Marsh and walking down the hill there was quite a few Goldcrest and a single Coal Tit , at the bottom I turned left to have a look at Goosemoor , the tide was well out and the only things showing on the marsh were 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and a Common Redshank so I had a look at the bushes and saw a few more Goldcrest and in with them was the elusive Firecrest and a Common Chiffchaff !
I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh and saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Common Teal and a few Northern Shoveler , a Little Egret , 8 Common Moorhen , 2 Water Rail and a few Meadow Pipit .

Water Rail ( Rallus aquaticus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Black Redstart

I made the trip down to Exmouth this morning to look for the two female Black Redstart`s that have been reported around the houses/flats beside the marina and after a bit of a search I managed to connect with both of them ! there was not a lot else around the area with only a single European Shag in the marina and a single Fieldfare that seemed to be lost as it flew out to sea a couple of times but each time it turned around and came back to the houses .
A look at the Exe Estuary got me 1000+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese and 3 of the Pale Bellied race , there was also numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Pintail and 2 Rock Pipits were also seen .

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . Exmouth . Devon



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Egyptian Goose

A look at the cemetery grounds in Topsham this morning got me 100+ Redwing and 2 Fieldfare , I then went for a look around the Darts Farm Reserve in Topsham and saw 2 Egyptian Geese , a large flock of finches that were very mobile consisted of mainly European Greenfinch and Goldfinch , around 20+ Common Chaffinch , 20+ Common Linnet and a few Meadow Pipit but the highlight was a couple of sightings of Brambling but it could have been the same bird as I never saw two together !!

Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ) . Darts Farm Reserve . Topsham . Devon




Monday, 16 November 2015

More Thrushes

I got up this morning and looked out of the window at the Cemetery Grounds that are next to my house and saw that there was a fall of thrushes so I grabbed my bins and camera and went for a look , the most numerous bird were Redwing with around 150 seen , there was also 20+ Fieldfare , 7 Common Blackbird and a Song Thrush .
I then had a look around the grounds and saw a Eurasian Nuthatch , 6 European Greenfinch , 4 European Goldfinch , 3 Common Chaffinch , 10 Goldcrest , and a flock of around 150+ Common Wood Pigeon flew over !

Fieldfare ( Turdus pilaris ) . The Topsham Cemetery Grounds . Devon



Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Not a lot about !

On a dull overcast morning ( Its been like that for a while now ) I went for a look around the firing range area of Woodbury Common in hope of seeing a Great Grey Shrike or a Hen Harrier but no such luck today with the best birds being a couple of Dartford Warbler`s , also seen were a 3 Meadow Pipit , 5 Fieldfare and a single Redwing .
On the way back home I had a quick look at the Clyst Estuary and saw 20+ Black Headed Gull , a Water Rail and a Rock Pipit a bird that you don't see this far up very often !!

Black-Headed Gull ( Chroicocephalus ridibundus ) . The Clyst Estary . Topsham . Devon



Monday 9th November

Eurasian Crag Martin

A long trip today up to Chesterfield in Derbyshire for a Eurasian Crag Martin got me a very brief view of the bird at 1.25 pm as it flew around the spire of St Marys & All Saints Church and then headed off to the right and was lost from view , we gave until 4pm to see if it would return but had no luck , I have seen these birds before in Majorca and Turkey but this was my first one in Britain .

Friday, 6 November 2015

European Serin still on show !

I had a quick stop at Bowling Green Marsh this morning and saw a 100+ Black-Tailed Godwit , the birds that we get on the marsh are of the race Islandica and are always nice to see , also seen was a male Common Kestrel and a Common Gull .
With heavy drizzle starting to fall I went down to Warren View in Exmouth to look for the European Serin but there was no sign of the bird and after a while my old birding mate Butch Davis turned up and we were soon reminiscing about past birding trips.....Good Times , I was just about to head for home with no sign of the Serin at all and had just opened the car door when Butch called me back and said that he had the bird but by the time I got there the bird shot into cover again out of the rain but it soon came out again giving good views but with the rain starting to fall heavier now we decided it was time to head for home .

Black-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa limosa ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Monday, 2 November 2015

No sign of the European Serin

I had another look for the European Serin this morning but there was no sign of it today but there was a large flock of European Greenfinch and Goldfinch , a few Meadow Pipit and a Great Spotted Woodpecker .
I then had a look at the Exe Estuary for the Black Brant but I missed that also ! there were numerous Dark Bellied Brent Goose and 3 Pale Bellied Brent Goose , around 300+ Eurasian Wigeon and 30+ Northern Pintail .

Meadow Pipit ( Anthus pratensis ) . The Warren View Playing Fields . Exmouth . Devon


Pale Bellied Brent Goose ( Branta bernicla hrota ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon


Sunday, 1 November 2015

A late add on to todays birding !

I had a late text at 4pm telling me that the Ridgway`s Cackling Goose was on my local patch Bowling Green Marsh so I dashed down to get it before the light had gone , as its a potential 1st for the marsh !!
Sorry about the quality of the photo but the light was dropping fast .

Ridgway`s Cackling Goose ( Branta hutchinsii minima ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Winter Thrushes

On a dull early autumn morning there was a fall of winter thrushes in the grounds of the Topsham Cemetery with 100+ Redwing , 9 Fieldfare a single Mistle Thrush and a few Common Blackbird , there was not a lot else to see though with only a couple of European Robin , a Eurasian Nuthatch and a few Goldcrest .

Redwing ( Turdus iliacus ) . The Topsham Cemetery Grounds . Devon


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Better shots of the European Serin

I spent this morning again at the warren view football pitch in hope of  getting better shots of the juvenile male European Serin and in the end the long wait was worth it !! I wanted better shots as this is the first one that I have photographed in Britain so I`m quite pleased .
Also around the area was a 20+ flock of European Goldfinch , 3 European Greenfinch , 2 Common Linnet , 8 Meadow Pipit , 6 Redwing & 2 Song Thrush .

European Serin ( Serinus serinus ) . The Warren View Football Pitch . Exmouth . Devon



Friday, 30 October 2015

European Serin

I had not gone out birding today due to the bad weather but by the late afternoon it had gotten a bit better , I was sat at home watching the television when I had a text from my mate Matt Knott telling me that he had a European Serin near his home in Exmouth ! the time was 3.10 so I shot out to car and tried to get there as fast as possible but sods law I got stuck in the traffic .
I arrived on site around 3.25 and around 10 minutes later Matt got me onto the bird ( Cheers Mate ) being a dull day the light was now dropping fast but I fired off a few shots more in hope really ! but I was quite pleased that they didn`t come out to bad in the end .

European Serin ( Serinus serinus ) . TheWarren View Football Pitch . Exmouth . Devon




Thursday, 29 October 2015

Glossy Ibis

Today four of us made our way over to the Seaton area in East Devon with our first stop at Blackhole Marsh to look for a couple of elusive Glossy Ibis that have been around the area for a while now but have only been coming in to roost , but today news came out that they were on the marsh this morning so we went and got them a last !!! also seen were two Little Grebe and a Water Rail .
We then went to the Seaton Sewage Works to look for a Yellow-Browed Warbler that had been reported there and after a bit of a search we ended up getting good views of the bird , there was also a flock of Long-Tailed Tit and some Goldcrest , we then made our way back to the car when news came out of a couple of Cattle Egret showing in a field at Teigngrace so off we went look for them in hope that they would still be there ! and we were in luck and get one of them quite close and in the end we got to see the second bird but it was a bit distant .

Little Grebe ( Tachybaptus ruficollis ) . Blackhole Marsh . Seaton . Devon


Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . The Seaton Sewage Works . Devon


Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . Teigngrace . Devon


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pallas`s Leaf Warbler

Today I didn`t think that I would be doing any birding as I was looking after my 5 year old grandson all day ! and had taken him to the museum in Exeter when my phone went off with the words Pallas`s Warbler at Gore Lane in Exmouth , so I made my way home as quick as I could by bus ughhhh ! I got home and we jumped into the car and headed for the Bristol Schools Camp at Gore Lane in Exmouth , on arrival the finder Dave Hopkins was still there with another birder Brian Heasman and they soon got me onto the bird but it was on the move all of the time but in the end I managed to get these shots of the bird that is only my second for Devon !
Also seen were quite a few Goldcrest , a Firecrest and a male Eurasian Bullfinch and in one of the top fields there was a male Peregrine Falcon not a bad days bit of birding considering the circumstances !!!

Pallas`s Leaf Warbler ( Phylloscopus proregulus ) . The Bristol Schools Camp . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon






Monday, 26 October 2015

A good bird for Goosemoor

I was down on Bowling Green Marsh very early this morning as there was a report of the Yellow-Browed Warbler seen there again yesterday by Riversmeet House and as there has been no news on one for a while now perhaps it could be a new one , but who knows !
Anyway I went right along the road to the far end of the marsh checking the bushes and trees and came across a large tit flock consisting mostly of Long-Tailed Tit and Great Tit and a few Blue Tit were in with them but no sign of the warbler , I spent around two and a half hours around the last field beside Riversmeet House and saw a bit of a build up of Common Blackbird with 12 seen + 2 Redwing , 7 European Robin , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , a Eurasian Jay and 2 Common Raven , I was getting a bit cold now so I headed back to the car but before I headed for home I thought that I would have a look at Goosemoor , that is just the other side of the railway line from BGM and as I was looking out at the pool I heard some Long-Tailed Tits again so I went to have a look and found them in the row of trees beside the railway line and would you believe it in with them was the Yellow-Browed Warbler ! it looked to me like they were sheltering from the wind , I got nice views of the bird but it seems impossible to get a shot of this bird as it is always on the move , still I will keep on trying lol .

European Robin ( Erithacus rubecula ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Goldcrest ( Regulus regulus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon