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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A Good Day

I started the day off early at the White Bridge over the River Otter as I had come to look for a reported Lesser Whitethroat and it didn`t take long to hear its superb call and after a short wait the bird gave stunning views , it is always a joy to get one of these returning migrants . I also had the joy of seeing my second Weasel of the year that dashed across the road but was lost in the hedgerow .
I then went to the top fields at Gore Lane in Exmouth where a smart looking White Wagtail was showing in the dung field .
I had returned home for something to eat and later in the afternoon I got a call telling me that there was a Western Marsh Harrier showing on Bowling Green Marsh , so off I went again in hope that it would still be there and I just got there in time before the bird left the marsh heading towards the Exe Estuary .
Also seen on the marsh were 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , a Whimbrel , 3 Ruff , 3 Common House Martin and a Common Swift .

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . White Bridge . The Otter Estuary . Devon





White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba ) . The Top Fields . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon



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


Bar-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa lapponica ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Whimbrel ( Numenius phaeopus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Monday, 23 April 2018

Common Swift

A quick look this morning at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham got me numerous Black-Tailed Godwit and 4 Ruff . I then went to have a look around the Exminster Marshes where I saw 2 Barnacle Goose , my first Merlin in Devon this year shot across the marsh like a rocket but I couldn't pick it up again , numerous Barn Swallow and Common Sand Martin were going through the marsh most of the time and in with them was my first Common Swift of the year , a few Sedge Warbler and European Reed warblers were seen along with a Cetti`s Warbler and as you can see I got nice views of Common Linnet and Winter Wren .
Later in the day I went down to Exmouth to look for some Little Terns that had been seen but I was out of luck with them but I did see a Common Tern that was also new for the year .

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


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


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Garganey

I had news that there was a calling Lesser Whitethroat on the Exminster Marshes last night . So this morning I went over to have a look for it but after much searching there was no sign of it today .
But I did see the Greater White-Fronted Goose and the following warblers , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , 6 Sedge Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler , a male and female Blackcap , 4 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Willow Warbler and my first Common Whitethroat of the year .
Later on in the day I had news that a male and female Garganey had dropped into Bowling Green Marsh so I went down and got this shot of them , there was also 4 male and a female Common Pochard , 10 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 5 Red Knot and 2 Ruff .

Garganey ( Anus querquedula ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Friday, 20 April 2018

Sedge Warbler

Sedge Warbler is a bird of the Acrocephalus genus that consist of 43 different birds throughout the world . They start to come into our country in April after spending the winter in Africa and they have the ordeal of having to cross the Sahara Desert before reaching their breeding grounds in this country , they stay to around the end of September before doing the perilous return journey back to their wintering grounds in Africa . It is one of our common migrants and is quite commonly seen on the Exminster Marshes .

Also seen today was the Greater White-Fronted Goose , 2 Barnacle Goose , 100+ Common Shelduck and only my second Green Sandpiper of the year .

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




Green Sandpiper ( Tringa ochropus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 19 April 2018

Migrants

I had a look around Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning and I saw 300+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 4 Whimbrel , 2 Ruff , a European Green Woodpecker , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , 5 male and 1 female Blackcap , 5 Common Chiffchaff , a Mistle Thrush and 2 Eurasian Jay .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes where I met up with fellow birder Dave Land and we talked about our upcoming trip to Spain , birds seen on the marsh were 4 Sedge Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler , 2 Barn Swallow and a single Snow Goose that was calling for the other one that it is usually with , lets hope nothing has happened to it , also seen was a new butterfly for the year with my first Green-Veined White .

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


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


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Yarner Wood

This morning I went out to Yarner Wood that's on the edge of Dartmoor for a look around , And in the car park by Trendlebere Down there was a singing Garden Warbler , I then walked across the road into Yarner Wood to the sound of a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and I managed to see  male and female birds , there was also quite a few Pied Flycatcher and a calling Tawny Owl . I then walked along to the heath where I saw 5 Lesser Redpoll , a couple of Willow Warbler and a displaying Tree Pipit .
Also seen today were the following Butterflies , Large White , Small White , Brimstone and a Clouded Yellow . 

Tree Pipit ( Anthus trivialis ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


Pied Flycatcher ( Ficedula hypoleuca ) . Yarner Wood . Devon


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


Monday, 16 April 2018

Greater White-Fronted Goose

Around mid afternoon I went for a look around the Exminster Marshes and I saw a few Canada Geese and in with them was the  Greater White-Fronted Goose that has been around the marshes for a few weeks now , it is from the Russian race albifrons so how long it will stay with us is anyone`s guess .
There was not a lot else about but a European Reed Warbler , a male Blackcap and a Common Chiffchaff were worth putting down for the day .
I also saw 2 Common Grass Snake of the race Natrix natrix , I have said this as another race of Grass Snake has now been found in Britain the Ringed Grass Snake Natrix Helvetica that differs from the Common Grass Snake by being more greyer in colour and not having a the distinctive yellow coller .

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


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


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Not a bad couple of hours !

I spent a couple of hours this morning having a look around the Exminster Marshes and I found 2 new in to the marsh Barnacle Geese , I was lucky that they were not to far from the road when I first saw them because they soon went out into the middle of the marsh .
I also saw 2 new birds for the year with a  European Reed Warbler , and 2 Yellow Wagtail that flew over calling heading north towards the M5 , also seen were 3 Cetti`s Warbler , 2 Sedge Warbler , a male Blackcap and a male Reed Bunting .

Barnacle Goose ( Branta leucopsis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Friday, 13 April 2018

Thursday 12th April

A trip out with the boys today and our first one for quite a while . We started the day off at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire where we saw 3 Corn Bunting , we then went to Winterbourne Downs to look for our first specific bird off the day the Stone Curlew and we managed to see 3 of them along with a few Northern Wheatear and a couple of European Green Woodpecker .
Our next stop was at Keyhaven in Hampshire and the first bird we saw was a superb summer plumaged Little Gull in all its glory , a little bit further on we saw the bird that we had come for a drake Green-Winged Teal but it was a little bit to distant to get a shot of it .
Our last stop of the day was at Portland Bill to look for a reported Ring Ouzel , we did a search but could not see it so we went down to the quarry where we saw a Little Owl and a European Green Woodpecker a bird that is not seen very often at the bill . We then went back for another look in the horse field for the male Ring Ouzel and after quite a wait we managed to see it but it didn`t show for very long and was soon lost from view again .
A good days birding we good company....what more can you ask for .

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Keyhaven . Hampshire


Little Owl ( Athene noctua ) . Portland Bill . Dorset


Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Garganey

A look around the Topsham Cemetery this morning got me a European Green Woodpecker , a Barn Swallow and 2 Song Thrush but there has been no sign of any Hawfinch for quite a while !
I then had a look around the Allotments that are next to the water tower and I saw 2 Mistle Thrush , 2 male Blackcap , a Common Chiffchaff and 2 Common Raven , also seen were the following Butterflies , 2 Peacock , 2 Brimstone and a Small White .
Later in the day I went down to Dawlish Warren to look for a reported male Garganey but when I got there I was told that the bird was in the reeds and had not shown for a while . But after a bit of a wait the bird swam out into the open but it was not for very long as it soon went back into the reeds again . Also seen was a Willow Warbler and a few of the very rare tiny Sand Crocus a Dawlish Warren speciality .
I then headed for home but on the way I stopped of at the Powderham Park where I managed to see 2 Egyptian Geese my first in Devon this year .

Garganey ( Anus querquedula ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon


Sand Crocus ( Romulea columnae ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon


Sunday, 8 April 2018

Hirundines

A look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me numerous Hirundines with 30-40 Barn Swallow , 10-20 Common Sand Martin and my first Common House Martin of the year . Another year tick was added to the list with a fly through Whimbrel , also seen were 2 male Gadwall , 8 Tufted Duck , a Cetti`s Warbler , a male and female Blackcap , 2 Common Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler .

Hirundines . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon



Friday, 6 April 2018

Osprey

Not a lot of birding done today . But late afternoon I had a message telling me that there was an Osprey fishing on the Exe Estuary , so I went down to the Goatswalk in Topsham where you can view all of the estuary and I picked it out down by Starcross being harassed  by gulls but it was very distant and was soon lost from view .
I then had a quick look at Bowling Green Marsh but the birding has been very slow there lately and all I saw worth talking about were 7 Tufted Duck , 2 Black-Tailed Godwit in nice summer plumage and 2 Common Sand Martin .

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


Thursday, 5 April 2018

Movement

I had a look around Goosemoor in Topsham this Morning but all I could see were 7 Common Greenshank and a Willow Warbler , and on Bowling Green Lane a male Blackcap showed well .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes where I saw 100+ Eurasian Curlew , 100+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 20+ Dunlin , another male Blackcap and a Common Chiffchaff . Also seen were 4 Slow Worm and my first Grass Snake of the year .

Blackcap ( Sylvia atricapilla ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Cattle Egret

My walk in the Topsham Cemetery this morning got me a Common Buzzard , a European Green Woodpecker and a Hawfinch . I then had a look at Goosemoor in Topsham where I saw a winter plumaged Spotted Redshank that was flushed by a helicopter and flew towards the Exe Estuary , it is my first around the Exe this year .
On then to Bowling Green Marsh where I saw my first 2 Barn Swallow of the year , a Common Chiffchaff , a Willow Warbler and 2 Red Fox . I then walked down to the viewing platform to see if the Spot Red was there but there was no sign of it , but I did see a Peregrine Falcon and a Common Seal . The day was finished off on the Exminster Marshes where I was pleased to see 3 Cattle Egret , quite a few Barn Swallow and Common Sand Martin and 2 Snow Geese of dubious origin .

Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon


Common Seal ( Phoca vitulina ) . The Exe Estuary . Topsham . Devon


Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Sunday, 1 April 2018

Eurasian Otter

Today started off with a Hawfinch and an Eurasian Nuthatch in the Topsham Cemetery . But after that it fell away with a look at Bowling Green Marsh only getting me a Little Egret , a male and female Eurasian Oystercatcher , 200+ Common Redshank , a calling European Green Woodpecker and a Common Chiffchaff and I thought that was it for the day .
But at 6.20 pm I got a message from another local birder Martin Elcoate telling me that he was watching an Eurasian Otter on Bowling Green Marsh , so I shot down there as fast as I could as I had never seen one on the marsh before in the 30+ years that I have been going there . The rain was falling quite heavy and the light was fading but there it was still showing and feeding well on the far side of the marsh but it was always distant , it was hard to get any kind of shot of it in those conditions but I managed this one . I know its not that good but then again I was pleased to get anything of it at all .

Eurasian Otter ( Lutra lutra ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon