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Friday, 23 March 2018

Water Birds

My early walk around the Topsham Cemetery this morning produced 7 Hawfinch , 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Common Chiffchaff . I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh at high tide and saw 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , a single Bar-Tailed Godwit and 50+ Pied Avocet and down by the viewing platform a Water Rail showed very well .
I then made the trip down to Budleigh Salterton where I saw 2 Rock Pipit and a Water Pipit on the cricket pitch , then a walk along the back path on the Otter Marshes got me a European Green Woodpecker and my first singing Common Chiffchaff of the year .

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

Water Pipit ( Anthus spinoletta ) . Budleigh Salterton . Devon

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Eurasian Spoonbill

There was not a lot around today so I stayed local in Topsham . I had an early morning look in the cemetery grounds and saw 7 Hawfinch and a pair of Mistle Thrush .
I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh where the Eurasian Spoonbill was showing for most of the day and was very close at times , also seen were 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , around 15 Pied Avocet and 3 Common Chiffchaff . Later in the day I had a look at the Recreation Ground and I saw a Northern Wheatear .

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

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Northern Wheatear

A look out of my window this morning got me 2 Hawfinch and 4 Redwing in the Topsham Cemetery . I then went to have a look at the small marsh near Exton Station and I saw my first Northern Wheatear of the year with 4 male birds seen and as I was looking at them a flock of 20+ European Golden Plover were flying overhead .
I then went to the top fields at Gore Lane in Exmouth for another look at the Corn Bunting but today I only got one brief view of it . So I then went across to Budleigh Salterton cricket pitch area as a Spotted Redshank and 2 male Black Redstart were showing quite well there , also seen nearby were 3 Common Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler , it was also very nice to catch up with a few birding mates .

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . Exton Marsh . Devon

Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . Budleigh Salterton Cricket Pitch . Devon

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Eurasian Spoonbill

I was in the Topsham Cemetery early again this morning looking for the Hawfinch . As for ages I have been looking for the opportunity to photograph one of them in the open on the ground , well today it finally paid off and I was able to get the shot that I have been after .....Yippee .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes in hope of maybe seeing a Northern Wheatear but I had no luck again today , but I did see a female Western Marsh Harrier , a single Common Snipe and a flock of 20+ European Golden Plover . While I was there my phone went off with a message telling me that a Eurasian Spoonbill had dropped into Bowling Green Marsh , so I headed back over the River Exe to there and I got superb views of it .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

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

Monday, 19 March 2018

Corn Bunting

I looked out of my upstairs window this morning and saw 6 Hawfinch in the Topsham Cemetery Grounds but they flew off towards the Clyst Marshes . Later in the day I had a call telling me that there was a Corn Bunting in the top fields of Gore Lane in Exmouth ( Thanks Matt ) , so I contacted my mate Andy and off we went to see if we could catch up with it , we arrived and Matt Knott the finder of the bird was still there and soon got us onto the bird , that was the first one that I have seen in Devon since 2010 .
We then walked down to the Geoneedle area of Orcombe Point where a couple of displaced European Golden Plover were showing very well , it was quite strange to see these birds walking around the point and even a few walkers were taking in the beauty of these superb birds . We then walked back to the car seeing a few Fieldfare on the way .

Corn Bunting ( Miliaria calandra ) . The Top Fields . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon

European Golden Plover ( Pluvialis apricaria ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Fieldfare ( Turdus pilaris ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Deep Snow Again

This morning I woke up to a slight fall of snow , and I went out for a look and I was pleased to see 4 Hawfinch in the trees in the Topsham Cemetery as I had not seen them for a while and had thought that they were gone from the area .
Sue and I decided to go for a walk just as snow had started to fall but by the time we had got to Bowling Green Marsh it had become quite heavy . On the marsh there was only a few Northern Shoveler , Northern Pintail and 2 Common Raven that we could see as by now it had turned into blizzard conditions so we headed back home . At home the feeders were quite busy with numerous European Goldfinch the main bird on show and as the day went on the snow just got deeper and deeper .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

European Goldfinch ( Carduelis carduelis ) . Topsham . Devon

Friday, 16 March 2018

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

A quick early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh got me 2 new in Eurasian Oystercatcher and a calling Cetti`s Warbler .
After yesterdays encounter with the Great Spotted Woodpecker`s I decided to go and see if any woodpeckers were on show in Yarner Wood on the edge of Dartmoor . But the first bird that I came across was a calling Tawny Owl , I then made my way deeper into the wood and heard a calling male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , but it took me a little while to get my eye in before I could manage to see it , and as I stood perfectly still the bird came closer allowing me to get these shots of it and as I was taking them a female bird also turned up ...perfect day lucky me .
Also seen were 5 Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 European Green Woodpecker , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , a Eurasian Treecreeper and a Mistle Thrush .

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos minor ) . Yarner Wood . Devon

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Slow Birding

I had a look around my local patch Bowling Green Marsh today but not a lot was seen . With only 12 Northern Pintail , 9 Northern Shoveler and singles of Grey Heron , Little Egret , Common Greenshank and Water Rail .
I then had a look at Goosemoor but there was nothing on the marsh but down by the River Clyst Railway Bridge a couple of pairs of Great Spotted Woodpecker were calling and chasing each other around constantly , I have never seen this before but I suppose that it must be part of a breeding ritual .

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Another shot from today

Grey Heron ( Ardea cinerea ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

White-Fronted Goose

I went over to the Exminster Marshes this morning in hope of seeing a Northern Wheatear but my luck was out today . But I did see 2 Grey Heron , 2 Common Snipe , a nice Jack Snipe , 2 Common Buzzard , a female Western Marsh Harrier , 20+ Meadow Pipit , 4 Common Skylark and a smart male Reed Bunting , also seen were quite a few Otter prints coming out of the water and onto to mud but no sign of the Otter anywhere , I also saw my 1st Slow Worm of the year .
I had gone back home when later I had a call about a goose that was showing where I had been earlier , so I went back again for a look and it turned out to be a 1st winter White-Fronted Goose a nice bird to get in Devon .

White-Fronted Goose ( Anser albifrons ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday, 12 March 2018


This Brambling was showing on Bowling Green Marsh by the feeders until a bloody dog ran in and frightened everything away , now you cant blame the dog just the inconsiderate prat that let him do it .
There was not a lot else on show today just a few Northern Pintail that are always nice to see and a close Common Greenshank .

Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Thusday 8th March

I was already down in Cornwall so a trip to the Lower Tamar Lake was on the cards , we went over in the afternoon and managed to see a couple of Willow Tit that were coming and going to the feeders beside the hide , there was also a few Marsh Tit , Great Tit and Blue Tit and a Eurasian Nuthatch .
Out on the lake there was 11 female and 3 male Goosander and a Great Crested Grebe .

Willow Tit ( Poecile montanus ) . Lower Tamar Lake . Devon

Marsh Tit ( Poecile palustris ) . Lower Tamar Lake . Devon

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Nice Gull`s

Off out early again this morning with my destination being Dawlish Warren to look for some reported Woodlark but after much searching the nearest that I got to them was a calling fly over bird heading towards the golf course . Bur it was not all bad as I saw my first Sandwich Tern of the year along with 2 Great Northern Divers , a juvenile Common Eider and a nice male Cirl Bunting .
I was heading for home when I got a call from my mate Andy Bond saying that he was going for 2 Little Gull`s that were showing at Lyme Regis , so I met up with him and off we went and it didn`t take us long to connect with them as they were on the sea close in to the shore and my second year tick of the day . We then carried on towards Portland as we had news the Ross`s Gull that was refound yesterday was showing at Ferrybridge and this time the bird was still on show for us but was just  a little bit distant and was in with 24 Mediterranean Gull`s .
Our last stop of the day was at Winterbourne Herrington where a drake Garganey was showing on a flooded field along with a few Gadwall and Northern Pintail ... 3rd yeartick of the day in the bag lol

Sandwich Tern ( Sterna sandvicensis ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Lyme Regis . Dorset

Ross`s Gull ( Rhodostethia rosea ) . Ferrybridge . Dorset

Monday, 5 March 2018

Black-Necked Grebe

I was out at first light this morning in hope that the Black-Necked Grebe that was found on the Exeter Canal yesterday had stayed the night , and after I had parked the car up and waded through the flooded road on the Exminster Marshes I made my way to where it was last seen yesterday and I was soon pleased with my effort as the bird was still there and showing down to a few feet at times . I put the news out and was soon joined by mate Charlie Flemming who was also glad to get the opportunity to get up close to this bird .
At around 7.30 I also found some Bearded Reedlings in the Exe Reedbeds with 2 seen in flight while another was out of sight but was calling loudly ! . Also seen was the strange sight of a Water Rail perched on top of a bramble clump .

Black-Necked Grebe ( Podiceps nigricollis ) . The Exeter Canal . Exminster Marsh . Devon

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Eurasian Treecreeper

Well the bird of the day whithout doubt was a Eurasian Treecreeper in the Topsham Cemetery and a first for me in the grounds , you will have to excuse the quality of the picture but at the time it was raining hard and the bird arrived and was gone in a flash before I could fully focus on it , it is also quite a rare bird for Topsham itself .
There was also some strange birds grounded again today with a Northern Lapwing and a Common Snipe , besides that also seen were a Common Buzzard , a Great Spotted Woodpecker ,  a few Redwing and Fieldfare and 5 Hawfinch .

Eurasian Treecreeper ( Certhia familiaris ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Friday, 2 March 2018


I spent most of today birding from my house as first thing this morning there were flocks of Northern Lapwing and Fieldfare flying over heading west , I then went out into my garden and cleared some snow away and put down some food for the ground feeders and after not very long this smart looking female Brambling came into feed .
The other side of my house looks into the cemetery grounds so I stayed indoors and birded from the upstairs windows and I saw another Brambling if not the same one , a few Hawfinch , a Common Buzzard , 12 Redwing , 2 Fieldfare , 2 Song Thrush and a few Grey Squirrel . It then got the better of me so I decided to go into the cemetery to see if there was any more Hawfinch lurking around and it paid off big style as saw at least 8 of them but there could have been more . And as I was walking through the snow a Woodcock took to flight and flew towards the Clyst Marshes , its the first time that I have ever come across Woodcock in Topsham .

Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Topsham . Devon

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Redwing ( Turdus iliacus ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon