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Saturday, 30 April 2016

Spring Migrants

News of a Lesser Whitethroat on the Exminster Marshes got me off of my bum and over to the marshes but it was in vain as I never connected with it ! but I did see a couple of Common Whitethroat , 4 Common Swift and an Osprey that was being mobbed by gulls over the Exe Estuary as it drifted out of view over Topsham .

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



Friday, 29 April 2016

Eurasian Hoopoe

This morning I went down to Exmouth to look for Terns in Lym Bay and I saw 20+ Sandwich Tern , 3 Common Tern , 2 Roseate Tern and a single Little Tern ! also seen were a couple of Northern Gannet , a Great Crested Grebe and 2 Whimbrel , later in the day news came out of a Eurasian Hoopoe that had been seen at the  Lower Bruckland Ponds near Seaton , so Ken Montandon and myself went to have a look at it and at first we got distant views of the bird but in the end it came a lot closer and we ended up getting great views of it .

Eurasian Hoopoe ( Upupa epops ) . Lower Bruckland Ponds . Musbury . Devon




Thursday 28th April

Andy Bond , Ken Montandon and myself decided to have a day out birding with our first stop being on Salisbury Plain right next to Stonehenge where we saw 6 Corn Bunting after that we went across to Winterbourn Down to look for Stone Curlew and we managed to see just the one bird , we also saw a male Whinchat , a Northern Wheatear , a male and female Yellowhammer , also seen were 8 Brown Hare and 2 Roe Deer .
We then went to Lydlinch in Dorset where we had great views of Common Nightingale , Lesser Whitethroat and Common Cuckoo ! on then to the Weymouth area for a quick look but the only birds of note was another Lesser Whitethroat at Lodmoor and a Common Tern in Portland Harbour , the last stop of the day was at Portisham where we saw the long staying Pallas`s Warbler again a superb little bird and a great end to a good days birding

Corn Bunting ( Miliaria calandra ) . Salisbury Plain . Wiltshire


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Yarner Wood

Early this morning I went out to Yarner Wood on the edge of Dartmoor to look for migrants  and I saw 7 male and 1 female Pied Flycatcher , 5 Wood Warbler , 3 Eurasian Nuthatch , 2 Eurasian Treecreeper , 2 European Green Woodpecker , a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 2 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker ( with one seen and another heard ) , 4 Mistle Thrush , 2 Blackcap and a few Common Chiffchaff , I then went up to the heath where I saw a Tree Pipit and 3 Willow Warbler before heavy rain and hail storms made me retreat to the car !

Pied Flycatcher ( Male ) ( Ficedula hypoleuca ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Wood Warbler ( Phylloscopus sibilatrix ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Mistle Thrush ( Turdus viscivorus ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Common Redstart

Another look at the Exminster Marshes this morning got me a male Common Redstart ...my 1st of the year but it never stayed around long enough for me to get a shot of it , I also saw 5 Yellow Wagtail`s , numerous Common Sand Martin and Barn Swallow , a couple of Common House Martin , a few Common Skylark and a male and female Blackcap .

Yellow Wagtail ( Male ) ( Motacilla flavissima ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Yellow Wagtail ( Female ) ( Motacilla flavissima ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Bonaparte`s Gull

A short visit this morning to Bowling Green Marsh produced an American Bonaparte`s Gull that was picking up insects from the lake , I managed to get these two shots of it but the distance is always a problem on the marsh , there was not a lot else to report with only 4 Common Greenshank , 3 Bar-Tailed Godwit and a male Blackcap .

I am away birding in Spain birding for a week so will update my blog on return .

Bonaparte`s Gull ( Larus philadelphia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Monday, 11 April 2016

European Reed Warbler

Early this morning as I was driving through Topsham this female Common Kestrel was sat by the road so I just had to take the opportunity to fire off a shot of her , I then made my way to the Exminster Marshes for another look around and I walked down the canal path to the Turf Locks and was rewarded with my first European Reed Warbler of the year , also seen were 4 Sedge Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , there was a bit of a fall of Willow Warbler with around 15-20 seen along with 8 Common Chiffchaff , and Winter Wrens were singing and showing everywhere , at the Turf Hotel I stopped and sat in the sun and had a pint of lager and I had a few Barn Swallow`s flying overhead ....very nice , my last look today was by the back path where I saw a male and female Eurasian Bullfinch and this very large Grass Snake !

Common Kestrel ( Female ) ( Falco tinnunculus ) . Topsham . Devon


Barn Swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) . Turf Locks . Devon


Winter Wren ( Troglodytes trogodytes ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


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


Sunday, 10 April 2016

Kentish Plover

Many thanks to the Warren birders that contacted me this morning to tell me that there was a Kentish Plover showing in the bight at Dawlish Warren , so I made my way there as quick as I could as I knew that the high tide was coming in , after the long walk out to Warren point I was told that the bird had flown out of sight but that they thought that it would still be seen again after the tide had dropped ! so we started to wait and in that time I saw 26 Light-Bellied Brent Geese , 20+ Sandwich Tern , 2 Arctic Tern and a lone Whimbrel , after about three hours I had then decided to walk back to car when the phone went off telling me that the Kentish Plover was showing again on the point so I turned around and got there as fast as I could but in gale force winds and getting sand blasted it was hard work but worth it in the end to get nice views and even a couple of shots of it in between the sand storms lol .

Kentish Plover ( Charadrius alexandrinus ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon



Saturday, 9 April 2016

Gropper

I was on Exminster Marsh just after first light this morning in hope that the Short-Eared Owl that has been on the marsh for a while now would be on show but again there was no sign of it ! I had walked up the canal path to the north end of the marsh and it was quite nice with the sun just coming up , when I heard a Common Grasshopper Warbler reeling from a patch of brambles I stopped and listened again and off it reeled again , I looked for it for around half an hour but never got to see it as it usually is with these birds .
Also seen were quite a few Cetti`s Warbler`s but never right out in the open as you can see by this shot , 3 Sedge Warbler`s , 7 Common Chiffchaff , 4 Willow Warbler and 2 male Reed Bunting , on the way back home 50+ Common Sand Martin were hawking over the River Exe at Countess Wear and my last stop of the day was at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where I saw 5 Red Knot and a few Bar-Tailed Godwit .

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


Friday, 8 April 2016

White-Throated Dipper

This afternoon I went out to Steps Bridge to look for Woodpeckers but I didn't see or hear any at all ! but I did see a male and female White-Throated Dipper , 2 Grey Wagtail , 6 Blackcap , 5 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , 2 Eurasian Treecreeper and 4 Marsh Tit , the woods were carpeted in Wild Daffodils making a very nice site !!

White-Throated Dipper ( Cinclus cinclus ) . Steps Bridge . Devon



Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The Exminster Marshes

Another look at the Exminster Marshes this morning did`nt  produce much at all with the best being my first Sedge Warbler of the year , also seen were 4 Common Buzzard , a male Peregrine Falcon , 6 Common Skylark , a single Common Sand Martin , a male and female Northern Wheatear , a male and female Common Stonechat , 8 Common Chiffchaff , 4 Willow Warbler and my first Brimstone Butterfly of the year .

Northern Wheatear ( Male ) ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Sunday, 3 April 2016

Cattle Egret

An early morning call telling me that the Cattle Egret was showing well at Powderham got me out of the door quickly ! and when I arrived there the bird was still on show in a stubble field with a couple of Little Egret , also in the area was a European Green Woodpecker and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.
I then went to the Exminster Marshes where I saw my first two Willow Warbler`s of the year , 2 Common Chiffchaff , 3 Common Sand Martin , and also seen was a very nice early Eurasian Hobby that flew through the marsh towards the railway line .

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . Powderham . Devon



Saturday, 2 April 2016

Friday 1st April . 2016

Rose-Ringed Parakeet

This morning five of us made a trip down to Plymouth to look for some Rose-Ringed Parakeet that have been seen around the central park area  , we stopped off first at the north end of the River Plym to look for a Glaucous Gull that has been seen around there but we had no luck with it today ! but we did se a male and female Mandarin Duck and a Common Sandpiper .
We then went on to Central Park to look for the Parakeets without a lot of luck at first so we made our way down towards the Ford Park Cemetery again without much luck but I did manage to see 2 fly over birds , we then went back to where we had started from and would you believe it we heard the Parakeets calling from close by and after a bit of searching we found 4 birds sat right out in the open , a Devon first for me at last !!

Rose-Ringed Parakeet ( Psittacula krameri ) . Home Park . Plymouth . Devon