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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Distant Shots !!

Early news this morning of a Wood Sandpiper on the Exminster Marshes ( Thanks James ) . The bird was showing on the pool to the left of the middle car park but was always on the far side of the pool so I could only grab these distant shots of it from the gate , still better than nothing lol .
Also seen were 3 Little Egret , a Western Marsh Harrier , and a Eurasian Hobby and a male Peregrine Falcon both sat on the same electricity pylon .

Wood Sandpiper ( Tringa glareola ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon



Friday, 26 May 2017

Red Kite

This morning I did an early morning Kite watch around the Exe Estuary but after looking for a couple of hours all I managed to see was 1 Red Kite and that was quite sad after yesterdays explosion of birds !! Later in the day I went over to the Exminster Marshes to try again but no luck there either , but it didn`t turn out a bad day as I had 2 Egyptian Geese , a fly over calling Yellow Wagtail that I searched for but couldn't find it in the longish grass , a Eurasian Hobby that came and went in an instant and a female Western Marsh Harrier that was quite distant out in the middle of the marsh as you can see by the photo !

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


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


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

White-Winged Black Tern

Another great days birding had today with my mates Ken and Andy . we decided to go to Martin Down in Dorset , and on the way there we stopped near the town of Dinton where we saw a Red Kite , 3 Red-Legged Partridge , a Yellow Wagtail , 3 Yellowhammer , 4 Corn Bunting and a Brown Hare . We then carried on to Martin Down to look for European Turtle Dove and we managed to see 2 of them along with 2 Common Whitethroat and another 4 Corn Bunting and a Small Blue Butterfly .
We then made a decision to go for a 1st summer White-Winged Black Tern that was showing at the Staines Reservoirs in Surrey and after a bit of a tedious journey we arrived at the reservoirs only to be told that the bird had flown off , but it soon returned and we got nice views of it , also seen were quite a few Common Tern and a summer plumaged Black-Necked Grebe , our next stop was just down the road at Wraysbury where we went to Magna Carta Lane and got views of another Red Kite and 3 Rose-Ringed Parakeets .

White-Winged Tern ( Chlidonias leucopterus ) . Staines Reservoir . Surrey



Common Tern ( Sterna hirundo ) . Staines Reservoir . Surrey



Red Kite ( Milvus milvus ) . Magna Carta Lane . Wratsbury . Middlesex


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Marsh Fritillary

I went out to a meadow near the town of Chudleigh Knighton this morning to look for Marsh Fritillary Butterfly and after walking around the meadow for about an hour & a half I managed to see one but it was soon lost from view again .
Also seen were the following Butterflies , Painted Lady , Dingy Skipper , Small Copper , Small White , Green-Veined White and Common Blue , & also seen were a couple of Burnet Companion Moths .

Painted Lady ( Cynthia cardui ) . Nr Chudleigh Knighton . Devon


Dingy Skipper ( Erynnis tages ) . Nr Chudleigh Knighton . Devon


Burnet Companion Moth ( Euclidia glyphica ) . Nr Chudleigh Knighton . Devon


Friday, 19 May 2017

Woodchat Shrike

A trip out to Cuckoo Ball on the edge of Dartmoor today to look for a female Woodback Shrike that has been showing there for a few days now . We did manage to see the bird but it was very distant and it soon was lost from our view , it seemed to spend a lot of time out of view on the ground ( very strange for a shrike species ) , also seen were a few very smart Yellowhammer`s and a Common Cuckoo was heard calling .
We then went to Headland Warren to look for Whinchat and we managed to see 2 male and a female bird ( what a stunning little bird the male Whinchat really is ! )

Woodchat Shrike ( Lanius senator ) . Cuckoo Ball . Dartmoor . Devon


Yellowhammer ( Emberiza citrinella ) . Cuckoo Ball . Dartmoor . Devon


Whinchat ( Saxicola rubetra ) ( Female ) . Headland Warren . Dartmoor . Devon


Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Exminster Marshes

A quick look this morning at the Exminster Marshes got me the usual suspects with 4 Common Shelduck , a Grey Heron , 5 Sedge Warbler , 3 European Reed Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , a Common Chiffchaff , a male Blackcap and a male Reed Bunting , also seen was this Scarce Chaser and quite a few Azure Damselflies .

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


Scarce Chaser ( Libellula fulva ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Tuesday 16th May

A days out birding in Dorset with my mates Andy & Ken turned out to be a real good day . As we started the day off ay Lydlinch Common to look for Common Nightingale  and our luck was in as saw one and heard another 2 on call , we also had at least 6 Blackcap , 4 Garden Warbler , 3 Lesser Whitethroat , a calling European Green Woodpecker and 2 close Roe Deer .
We then heard news of a Golden Oriole seen at Portland Bill so we got in the car and headed for there , on arrival at the obs we were told that it was still around but had not shown for a while but we did see a Hummingbird Hawkmoth so that was nice , we then went for a look around and saw a couple of Common Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher . Then the Golden Oriole was found again in the fields opposite the Obs and after a while it showed distantly right out in the open and you could see that it looked like a 1st winter male bird .
We then started to head for home stopping on the way at Ferrybridge where we saw around a dozen Little Tern , 2 Sandwich Tern and a Common Tern , we then got news of a Greater Short-Toed Lark found at Cogden Beach and as it was on our way home we just had to go for it , with the rain now falling we then had an horrendous walk along the pebbled beach for around a mile ! with no sign of the bird at all and being that we were now knackered ! we turned around and started heading back to the car and after about walking about halfway back . There was the bird stood in front of me ! I called to Ken and got the other birders who were there onto the bird and we all got good views of it , I could only get these two distant shots of it as the bird looked a bit nervous and other birders were still walking along the beach in hope of seeing it..........A great days birding with great mates !

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . Lydlinch Common . Dorset


Golden Oriole ( Oriolus oriolus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset


Greater Short-Toed Lark ( Calandrella brachydactyla ) . Cogden Beach . Dorset



Sunday, 14 May 2017

A New Devon Tick

I was down in Cornwall when I got news of a Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Dawlish Warren a new Devon tick for me , so me and my girlfriend Sue made the journey back to see if we could see it .
We arrived to find a group of birders already looking at it , the bird was a bit illusive but came into the open just once for about 30 seconds allowing me to grab these shots of it . I know there are better ones but in the end I was just happy enough to see the bird !

Eastern Subalpine Warbler ( Sylvia cantillans albistriata ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon




Friday, 12 May 2017

Very slow birding

I had another look around the Exminster Marshes again today and I saw 10-20 Mallard , 2 distant male Garganey , 16 Whimbrel , 12 Black-Tailed Godwit , 3 Ruff , 6 Barn Swallow 4 Common Swift , 5 Sedge Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler , a Common Whitethroat and an elusive Lesser Whitethroat . Also seen was a Slow Worm & a young Grass Snake , but the best thing seen today was a Water Shrew....only my 3rd ever on the marsh .

Mallard ( Anus platyrhynchos ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Wednesday 10th May

The day started off at the Exminster Marshes where my luck was better than yesterday as today I managed to see the Lesser Whitethroat , but after spending a couple of hours trying to get a shot of I got no joy at all . Also seen was a Eurasian Hobby making it my first in Devon this year , and also seen was a Common Blue Butterfly .
Later in the day a look at the Clyst Estuary from the viewing platform at Bowling Green Marsh got me a summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe , 10 Sanderling , a Little Stint ( a bird that you don't see very often in the spring ) , 1 Red Knot , 60+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Common Ringed Plover and an Atlantic Grey Seal , and on Bowling Green Marsh 2 Ruff and a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull showed well .

Ruff ( Philomachus pugnax ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Back Again

Today was my first day out birding since I got back from Spain and you could say it was like after the Lord Mayors show lol
My first stop was at the Exeminster Marshes to look for a reported Lesser Whitethroat but there was no sign of it today and all I saw was a Little Ringed Plover , a few Common Swift , 12 Sedge Warbler , 6 European Reed Warbler , 2 Common Whitethroat and a single Blackcap .
Later in the day I took a look at the Clyst Estuary and I saw 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 26 Whimbrel , 2 Grey Plover , a Red Knot and a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull .

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