Thursday 27 March 2014

Spotted Redshank

The other day I photographed Spotted Redshank on Goosemoor in Topsham and although I was quite happy with it I still thought that I could do better ! so this afternoon I went back to Goosemoor again and picked a spot and waited to see if it would come in with the Greenshank again and after a while in it came and soon there it was out in front of me allowing me to get the shot that I had been after !

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

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Northern Wheatear

This morning I went for a look around at Dawlish Warren and it didn`t turn out to bad at all as I did a sea watch & picked up some good birds ! with 6 Common Scoter & 2 Velvet Scoter , 5 Red-Breasted Merganser , 2 female Common Eider , 2 superb looking Long-Tailed Duck , 8 Great Crested Grebe , a single Red-Necked Grebe with some colour starting to show through on the neck , 4 Shag , a Red-Throated Diver & a Great Northern Diver & on the  beach there was a few male Northern Wheatear  showing well , my first real spring migrant of the year .

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

European Shag ( Phalacrocorax aristotelis ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Spotted Redshank

I started today off at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where I saw 2 male Tufted Duck , a female Common Pochard , 2 Little Grebe & 3 Red Knot , my next stop was at the Exminster Marshes but it was dead there and all I could see were 30+ Sand Martin & a Great Spotted Woodpecker .
So I went back over to Topsham again and had another look at Goosemoor and this time I was in luck as the Spotted Redshank was showing on the far side of the marsh but after a while it flew across and landed on the near side allowing me to get this shot of it before it flew off once again to the far side of the marsh lol , also seen were 11 Greenshank & 2 Stock Dove .

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

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

Monday 24 March 2014

Goosemoor . Topsham

I went for a look at Goosemoor in Topsham this morning as I had read that a Spotted Redshank had been showing there for the last few days and sure enough one flew in with some Common Redshank & Greenshank but my luck was out today as all of the birds walked towards where I was viewing them except the Spotted Redshank that went right over to the other side of the marsh , sods law as its the only bird that I havn`t got a decent shot of yet ! I have posted the picture of the Little Egret just to show how deceiving photographs can be as it looks like this bird has all dark legs but it must have just flown in from standing in mud and if you look closely you can just about see some yellow around the ankle .

Common Greenshank ( Tringa nebularia ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Little Egret ( Egretta garzetta ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 23 March 2014

Glaucous Gull

Not a lot of birding done today ! but I did make an early morning trip down to The Exmouth Docks/Marina to look for a reported Glaucous Gull & was lucky enough to get the bird right away , to me its looks like a 2nd winter bird as it is quite dark and has a pale tip to the bill & the iris is pale but it hasn`t show up in these photos , this bird also seems to have some damage on the upper mandible but it doesn`t take anything away from this classic bird !

Glaucous Gull . Exmouth Docks . Devon

Friday 21 March 2014

White Wagtail

This morning I went across to the Exminster Marshes in hope that some migrants may have come in with yesterdays bad weather but all I could see were 4 Sand Martin & a very nice White Wagtail that was showing well in with a few Pied Wagtail`s around the middle car park .
There wasn`t a lot else to see but there was 12 Common Teal , 5 Mallard and 12 Little Egret but lets hope something nice turns up in the coming week .

Mallard ( Anus platyrhynchos ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Bearded Tit Again

This morning I found this Coal Tit flying in and out of its nest site in Topsham & I got this shot of it and then left it alone ! I was quite pleased with this as I found it on one of my local patches , I then went across to the Countess Wear Sewage Works where I parked up and walked along the river towards the old sludge beds and on the way I saw a Common Sandpiper , there was not a lot to see in the sludge beds but I did have 2 Chiffchaff , a Cetti`s Warbler , & these Butterflies , numerous Small Tortoiseshell  , 3 Peacock & 2 Comma , I then had a look at the Exe Reed Beds with the scope and picked up a Bearded Tit  as it flew across the reed bed and then dropped into the reeds & out of view .

Coal Tit . Topsham . Devon

Comma ( Polygonia c-album ) . The Countess Wear Sludge Beds . Devon

Peacock Butterfly ( Inachis io ) . The Countess Wear Sludge Beds . Devon

Monday 17 March 2014

Common Shelduck

Todays pictures are of a superb looking male Common Shelduck photographed on Goose Moor in Topsham , there was a male and a female showing today but you can usually see these birds in larger flocks on the estuaries & the marshes ! also seen was a Little Egret & a Common Raven , I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh but it was low tide and the only birds of note were 2 Common Buzzard & a single Sand Martin .
I then had a look in the small copse at the top of Bowling Green Lane & saw a male and female Bullfinch , a singing Chiffchaff & a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly , I also had my first 2 Small White butterflies of the year in the Topsham Cemetery today .

Common Shelduck ( Tadorna tadorna ) . Goose Moor . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 16 March 2014

Marsh Harrier again

Another look at the Exminster Marshes again this morning once again didn't turn up much ! but the Marsh Harrier put in another appearance at 10.15 when it flew over the middle car park heading for the north end of the marsh , there was also a few Common Buzzards showing on and off but no sign again of the male Merlin , the only other birds of note were 3 Cetti`s Warbler`s & a couple of Chiffchaff .

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Saturday 15 March 2014

Not a lot today !

This afternoon I went over to the Exminster Marshes to see if any Little Ringed Plovers had arrived yet but there was no sign of any , and I didn`t see a lot else with only 6 Little Egret , 20+ Wigeon , 4 Mallard , a male and female Shoveler & a couple of Moorhen a bird that you don't take a lot of notice of ! but quite smart looking when seen up close .

Common Moorhen ( Gallinula chloropus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 14 March 2014

Dipper at last !

This morning I went over to my mate Charlie Flemings house & as we were having a chat and a coffee I told him that I had seen 149 birds in Devon so far this year but that I couldn't catch up with Dipper so he said to me that if I took him he would guarantee that he would find me one ! so we made our way to a spot on the River Teign & he was true to his word as within a couple of minutes we had a one flying down the river with a mouthful of beach leaves & we then watched it fly up to where it was building its nest & after a little while the other bird of the partnership also flew in , the river has been very high at the spot where these birds have decided to nest but they have been very clever and built the nest quite high up out of the way of the water .

White -Throated Dipper ( Cinclus cinclus ) . The River Teign . Devon

Tuesday 11 March 2014

Marsh Harrier

I was on the Exminster Marshes from 8.15 this morning but didn`t see much at all !  but I did see my first 6 Sand Martin of the year , yesterdays male Mirlin was again sat on a post on the north end of the marsh & 2 Siberian Chiffchaff were showing around the middle car park , so I headed for home only to get a call later in the afternoon telling me that there was a Marsh Harrier showing on the north end of the marsh so over I went again and just managed to see it before it dropped into cover .
In the last 2 days the North end of the marsh has had Short-Eared Owl , Merlin & Marsh Harrier not a bad yield !!!

Siberian Chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus collybita tristis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 10 March 2014

Short-Eared Owl

This morning I went over to the Exminster Marshes to look for a Spoonbill that was seen on the marshes yesterday but I didn`t have any luck seeing it today , but as I was scanning the north side of the marsh towards the moterway bridge I found a Short-Eared Owl that flew around the marsh for a while before dropping into cover , also seen today was a male Merlin , 5 Common Buzzard , 6 Common Snipe , 3 Cetti`s Warbler & a Siberian type Chiffchaff .

Merlin ( Falco columbarius ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Sunday 9 March 2014

Great Grey Shrike

This morning called for a trip up to Sousens on Dartmoor to look for a Great Grey Shrike that was found there yesterday & on the way there we had the news that we were waiting for ! that the bird was still there and showing in the valley , so we made our way there but on arrival there was no sign of the bird at all , but after a while the bird was picked up showing quite distantly on top of a ridge but it then came a bit more closer and we got good views of it , But the highlight of the day was coming across a ringtail Hen Harrier that flew across the ridge where the Shrike had been and then flew right over Birch Tor and we watched it until it was then lost from view , I fired off a few distant shots of it but this was the best I could manage of the bird .

Hen Harrier ( Circus cyaneus ) . Birch Tor . Dartmoor . Devon

Friday 7 March 2014

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Just recently I have upgraded my camera lens to a 150-500 Sigma lens that I bought off of my mate Charlie Fleming and I am just loving the results !!!  todays shots are of a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that I photographed at Yarner Wood on the edge of Dartmoor , I first picked up the bird on call and was then lucky enough to see it in the top of a tree an area where these birds frequent the most ! I have included a shot from behind just to show the fabulous wing barring these birds have , and these shots are without doubt the best that I have ever managed to get of these birds !!

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

Wednesday 5 March 2014

What a good day !!!

This morning was nice and bright with no wind so I decided to walk down past the Countess wear sewage works where I saw a male Gadwall , a Water Rail and a small flock of Redwing , I soon reached my destination a point where I could look out over the Exe reed beds for Bearded Tit , I looked for around 40 minutes with nothing but then I picked up one flying across the reeds ! I was still on a high from that when to my amazement there was 2 more calling from the reeds right below me with there distinctive ping ping ping call but the little buggers never showed themselves before I had to go .
In the afternoon I went for a look around the Topsham Recreation Ground and I saw a male & 2 female Red-Breasted Merganser , the female Black Redstart put in a fleeting appearance before it shot off into the gardens again & I finally managed to see this superb Yellow-Browed Warbler that has been wintering in the gardens .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon