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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Tuesday 25th April

A trip up to Somerset today with the first stop being at the Meare Heath reserve where we saw 4 Great White Egret , a fly over Great Bittern , a female Western Marsh Harrier , 4 Eurasian Hobby , a distant Little Ringed Plover seen on the back of the scrape , 5 Cetti`s Warbler , a Common Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler .
We then went across to the Ham Wall reserve and we saw another male and female Western Marsh Harrier , a Eurasian Hobby , 5 more Garden Warbler and a single Glossy Ibis ....also seen were 2 female Hairy Dragonfly and a nice Fallow Deer .

Hairy Dragonfly ( Brachytron pratense ) . Ham Wall RSPB . Somerset


Monday, 24 April 2017

A Good Day

The Yarner Wood area was mine and my mate Kens destination this morning with our first stop at Trendlebere Down . And the day started well with 2 Tree Pipit , a singing Garden Warbler , 6 Willow Warbler , a few Lesser Redpoll including a stunning male in breeding plumage and a male and female Yellowhammer .
We then went for a look in the woods where we saw 4 Wood Warbler , a male and 2 female Pied Flycatcher , a male Common Redstart , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch and 2 Brimstone and a Holly Blue Butterflies .

Wood Warbler ( Phylloscopus sibilatrix ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Pied Flycatcher ( Ficedula hypoleuca ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Common Redstart ( Phoenicurus phoenicurus ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Saturday, 22 April 2017

Common Cuckoo

A look around the Exminster Marshes this morning produced 2 new year ticks with the first being a Common Whitethroat seen along the back path and the second being a Common Cuckoo that was calling down at the far end of the marsh .
Also seen were 2 Little Ringed Plover , lots of European Reed Warbler & Sedge Warbler , 6 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap , 5 Northern Wheatear including one of the Greenland Race and 6 Common Linnet........Also seen were 2 Grass Snake and my first Large Red Damselfly of the year .

Common Linnet ( Carduelis cannabina ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



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


Little Ringed Plover ( Charadrius dubius ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Two-Barred Crossbill again !

Another trip up to Haddon Hill in Somerset today for another look at the male Two-Barred Crossbill but the bird didn`t show as well today as the other day as I only got a quick view of it before it flew off again . There was a mixed flock of about a dozen Common Crossbill that showed very well and also seen were 6 Eurasian Siskin , a couple of Lesser Redpoll and an early European Nightjar was heard churring .

Common Crossbill ( Loxia curvirostra ) . Haddon Hill . Somerset




Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Two-Barred Crossbill

A trip up to Haddon Hill in Somerset for only my second ever Two-Barred Crossbill with my last one in Hampshire in 1990 . When we got there , we had to walk along a line of fir trees and at first there was no sign of it , but as we turned around and started to walk back half a dozen Common Crossbill flew in and in with them was the bird we had come for . The bird was a little bit smaller than Common Crossbill and had a slightly different call ! And after the elation of seeing it , I fired off a few shots as this is a bird that I have never photographed before . The light was not too good first thing this morning but I am still pleased with the shots that I managed to get .
We then went to Winterbourne Downs in Wiltshire where we saw a Stone Curlew , 2 Mistle Thrush , 6 Barn Swallow , 2 Brown Hare and 2 Large White Butterflies .

Two-Barred Crossbill ( Loxia leucoptera ) . Haddon Hill . Somerset




Common Crossbill ( Loxia curvirostra ) & Two-Barred Crossbill ( Loxia leucoptera ) . Haddon Hill . Somerset


Monday, 17 April 2017

Common Grasshopper Warbler

I had an early message this morning telling me that there was a reeling Common Grasshopper Warbler on the Clyst Marshes not far from my house , so I went down to see if I could see it and after a while I got it reeling and then got a quick view of it , but alas no chance of any photos .
Also seen on the marshes were 5 Cattle Egret , 5 Sedge Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , 2 Blackcap , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , a Eurasian Jay , a male and female Eurasian Bullfinch , 3 male Reed Bunting and a Roe Deer .

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . The Clyst Marshes . Topsham . Devon


Sunday, 16 April 2017

A Good Days Birding

I was on the Exminster Marshes at just gone 7 this morning as I wanted to check the back path to see if any Lesser Whitethroat had come in yet but the answer was none ! so I made my way around other areas of the marsh seeing on the way 25 Whimbrel , 30+ Dunlin , 12 Common Ringed Plover , 2 Ruff my first of the year , the sky was full with 200+ Common Sand Martin , a single Common House Martin , 2 Barn Swallow and my 1st Common Swift of the year , the warblers seen today were as follows , 4 Sedge Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , 4 Blackcap and 3 Common Chiffchaff .
A look at the Exe Estuary got me 5 Little Tern off of the Turf Locks and later in the afternoon I got a call telling me that there was a Greater-White Fronted Goose showing on the Powderham Marshes so I shot over to see it and got it alongside a late Dark-Bellied Brent Goose ....a good days birding !

Common Sand Martin ( Riparia riparia ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Greater White-Fronted Goose ( Anser albifrons ) . Powderham Marsh . Devon


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Eurasian Spoonbill

This morning I got in my car and drove to the end of my road intending to go to the Exminster Marshes but at the last minute I decided to have a quick look at Bowling Green Marsh and it turned out to be a good decision as when I was in the hide a Eurasian Spoonbill flew over and then dropped into the marsh , the first one that I have seen in Devon this year . There was not a lot else to report on the marsh but a 100+ Common Sand Martin ,  a Common House Martin and 2 Barn Swallow were nice .
A look at Goosemoor got me 15 Common Greenshank and the summer plumaged Spotted Redshank and a look from the viewing platform at the Clyst Estuary turned up 3 Great Crested Grebe , a female Long-Tailed Duck , 10 Red Knot and a Mediterranean Gull .

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



Friday, 14 April 2017

Local Birding

Around the Exminster Marsh area today I saw 2 Barnacle Goose , 50+ European Golden Plover , 5 Whimbrel , 8 Little Ringed Plover , a Common Greenshank , a male Peregrine Falcon , 2 Barn Swallow , 3 European Reed Warbler , 2 Sedge Warble , 4 Blackcap and 6 Common Linnet .
Also seen was a Slow Worm and the following Butterflies ,  6 Speckled Wood , 2 male Orange Tip , a Peacock and my first Green-Veined White of the year

European Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus scirpaceus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Western Subalpine Warbler

A trip up to Portland Bill today with Andy Bond and Ken Montandon to look for a Western Subalpine Warbler that was found this morning , we arrived to find a group of birders all looking at a patch of bracken where the bird had been seen earlier but had not been seen for a while , so Ken and I decided to have a look in a different area and I was lucky enough to find the bird again near the cliff ledge . The bird then showed on and off to all the birders there for quite a while but was always quite distant .
We then went down to the quarry and got nice views of a Little Owl the first one that I have seen for a couple of years ! And on the way home we stopped at Abbotsbury where there was 4 Long-Tailed Ducks on the Fleet .

Western Subalpine Warbler ( Sylvia cantillans ) . Portland Bill . Dorset



Little Owl ( Athene noctua ) . Portland Bill . Dorset



Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Western Marsh Harrier

This morning I took a look at the Exminster Marshes but the birding was very poor . And all I saw were 30+ Common Sand Martin , 2 Whimbrel , and singles of Blackcap , Common Chiffchaff , European Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler .
In the evening I had a call telling me that there was a female/immature Western Marsh Harrier showing on Bowling Green Marsh so I went down to have a look at it , but I could only manage to get these couple of record shots of it due to the distance .

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Gull`s

Ken Montandon and myself made a trip down to South Huish this morning to look for the reported Glaucous  Gull and Iceland Gull but after spending three and a half hours looking for them we had to admit defeat . And the best bird that we saw was this summer plumaged Cattle Egret .
We then stopped of at Slapton where we saw our first two Sandwich Terns of the year offshore in the bay .

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . South Huish . Devon



Sunday, 9 April 2017

Cetti`s Warbler

Cetti`s Warbler is a smart little bird and you can hear their distinctive call most days on Bowling Green Marsh , but seeing one let alone photographing one is a different matter ! But today , I picked a spot where one has been seen before and after about an hours wait out one popped and I am quite pleased with the result .
I also got my 1st European Reed Warbler for the marsh this year and there was also plenty of Blackcap and Common Chiffchaff , And a look from the viewing platform at the Clyst Estuary got me 4 Great Crested Grebe , a summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe and 2 Common Kingfisher .

Cetti`s Warbler ( Cettia cetti ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Common Snipe

An afternoon stroll around Bowling Green Marsh got me 5 Little Egret , a male and female Gadwall , 6 Tufted Duck , 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , a Common Snipe and around the bushes there was 6 male Blackcap , 4 Common Chiffchaff , a male Common Reed Bunting and my 1st couple of Small White Butterflies for the year .

Common Snipe ( Gallinago gallinago ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Friday, 7 April 2017

Egyptian Goose

A report yesterday of 3 Egyptian Geese on Powderham Park saw me there this morning hoping that they would still be on show ! and after much looking I managed to see one of them but perhaps the other 2 were out of view somewhere , there was not a lot else to talk about there with only a Stock Dove and a Common Chiffchaff .
On the way back home I took the back road that takes you around the back way to the village of Exminster and on the way there I came across this partial albino Common Blackbird .

Common Blackbird ( Turdus merula ) . Nr Exminster . Devon


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Northern Wheatear

A quick look at the Exminster Marshes this morning got me my 1st Northern Wheatear of the year , it was on the north end of the marsh and I was told it was still showing well around 3pm !
Also seen were European Reed Warbler , Cetti`s Warbler and Blackcap ..... but after I got back home I got a message telling me that there was a Short-Eared Owl on the north end of the marsh as well , oh well that's birding for you lol .

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


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The Exminster Marshes

This morning I did the Exminster Marshes loop and it started off well in the middle car park where I saw my 1st European Reed Warbler of the year but it was very elusive and never came out into full view . Also seen were 50+ Eurasian Curlew , 30+ Black-Tailed Godwit & 20+ Common Sand Martin . Up on the path by the Exeter Canal 8 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap , 2 Cetti`s Warbler and my 1st Sedge Warbler of the year were added to the list . And on the back path a few male Common Reed Bunting and Common Skylark were also seen .
Other things of note seen today were 2 Grass Snake , 3 Slow Worm , a Common Lizard and a Orange Tip & Speckled Wood Butterflies

European Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus scirpaceus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Common Reed Bunting ( Emberiza schoeniclus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Common Lizard ( Zootoca vivipara ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Whimbrel

A look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me 10 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 200+ Common Sand Martin , 6 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap and a Cetti`s Warbler , down the far end of the marsh I had a look at the Clyst Estuary where I saw a single Whimbrel .
I then had a look around the Goosemoor area and I saw 8 Common Greenshank , a smart looking Spotted Redshank that was just coming into summer plumage , a Common Kingfisher , a male and female Common Kestrel , a very vocal male European Green Woodpecker , a male and female Eurasian Bullfinch and my 1st Speckled Wood Butterfly of the year .

Whimbrel ( Numenius phaeopus ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon


Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon


Sunday, 2 April 2017

European Green Woodpecker

Not a lot to report today ! But for the last few days there has been a calling male European Green Woodpecker around where I live in Topsham and today I managed to catch up with it plus another calling male bird in the Cemetery Grounds outside of my house .
I also managed to see my 1st Small Tortoiseshell & Orange Tip Butterflies of the year + 2 Peacock and a Brimstone .

European Green Woodpecker ( Picus viridis ) . Topsham Cemetery Grounds . Devon


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Spring Migrants

An early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham didn`t turn up much at all as there was no sign of any gulls at all , but I did see 5 male and 2 female Tufted Duck , a single Little Grebe , the Eurasian Oystercatcher count had now risen to 5 and there was also 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper . I then had a look in Goosemoor where I saw my first 2 Willow Warblers of the year and the small copse at the top of Bowling Green Lane produced 3 male Blackcap again my first for the year .
I then went for a look at the Exminster Marshes but there was not a lot to be seen with only 200+ Eurasian Curlew , 50+ Dunlin , another Willow Warbler and 7 Common Linnet .

Also seen were 3 Slow Worm and 2 Grass Snake .

Willow Warbler ( Phylloscopus trochilus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon



Common Linnet ( Carduelis cannabina ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Bonaparte`s Gull

This morning the 1st winter Bonaparte`s Gull put in an appearance but it only stayed for around 15 minutes before it flew off with a handful of Black-Headed Gull`s towards the Exe Estuary . There was no sign of the 1st winter Little Gull on the marsh today , so perhaps it could have moved to the Axe Estuary as they have had one over there today ! 

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


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Western Marsh Harrier

This morning I went for another look at Bowling Green Marsh and both 1st winter Bonaparte`s Gull and Little Gull were still on show and today they were joined by 4 Common Gull and a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull . The waders on show today were 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 4 Pied Avocet , 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and a Green Sandpiper.........Also seen was a Brown Rat .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes to look for spring migrants but again there was none to be seen , But I then had a call from my mate Brian Heasman telling me that he had just had a Western Marsh Harrier out on the marsh , it took me a while to get on to it but then I got some nice flight views of a smart Imm/female bird but it never came very close at all ... It was my first in Devon this year so cheers Bri .

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Monday, 27 March 2017

Whimbrel

I went down to my local patch Bowling Green Marsh just after first light this morning to catch the high tide and the birding was quite good for a while before the sun came up , as at the marsh we are blighted with the sun shining right in our faces first thing in the morning plus the birds always being quite a distance from the hide......but still its the best birding spot around here !
Anyway I saw a superb 1st winter Bonaparte`s Gull ( They seem to be annual on the marsh now ) , the 1st winter Little Gull , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Common Snipe , my 1st Whimbrel of the year that flew over the marsh calling , 5 Common Sand Martin and a Barn Swallow .
I then went up to Woodbury Common where I saw a Great Grey Shrike that showed very well !( Good to see one in Devon again ) ....also seen were 2 Holly Blue Butterflies .

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) . Woodbury Common . Devon



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


Saturday, 25 March 2017

A nice sunny day !

I had a call this morning asking me if I could take a look at a strange duck that was on a private lake near Alphington in Exeter . So I went and had a look at it and it turned out to be a female Mandarin Duck , not a rare duck but still very nice to see !
The next stop was at Steps Bridge where there were 3 Grey Wagtail , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , 3 European Green Woodpecker , a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , a calling Tawny Owl and a few Comma Butterflies . My last stop was a look at the Clyst Marshes in Topsham where I saw 9 Cattle Egret and 5 Little Egret .

Mandarin Duck ( Aix galericulata ) . Nr Alphington . Exeter . Devon