Saturday 31 May 2014

Whiskered Tern

An add on to todays previous post ! this evening this Whiskered Tern was showing on Bowling Green Marsh and it is another new bird for the marsh and that makes it two in a week along with the Ross`s Gull .... absolutely amazing !!!! , I have added these two record shots of it and it is the best that I could manage with the distance and fading light but still better than nothing .

Whiskered Tern ( Chlidonias hybrida ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

More Ross`s Gull

I apologize for more shots of the Ross`s Gull but it being such a rare bird I just couldn`t resist trying my luck again ! as there is not a lot else around at the moment , but a look at the Exe Estuary from Exton Station got me 2 Great Crested Grebe , 2 Whimbrel & a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull .

Ross`s Gull ( Rhodostethia rosea ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham

Friday 30 May 2014

Ross`s Gull again

Very early this morning I had a Great White Egret flew across the road between Tremlett`s Marsh and the Clyst Marshes flying north ! I had a look at Dart`s Farm but there was no sign of it there so if it didn`t carry on flying it just may have dropped onto the Clyst Marshes , there was one seen on the Exminster Marshes this morning so I should think that it must be the same bird .
The 1st summer Ross`s Gull was showing well again this morning on Bowling Green Marsh and I also saw it on Goosemoor & Dart`s Farm so it is now moving around a bit so keep your eyes peeled .

Ross`s Gull ( Rhodostethia rosea ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 29 May 2014

Ross`s Gull

Yesterday in the evening news came out of a possible Ross`s Gull on Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham so I went down and joined the other birders in the hide to look at the bird but it was very illusive and spent a lot of time out of view but on the views of what we saw the bird went down as just another Little Gull and everyone went off home with that conclusion ! ( Yes we all F****d up  )
Well this morning the bird was seen a lot better and was Confirmed as a 1st summer Ross`s Gull ( Well done Gary ) so I went down again to get better views of it and to see if I could get any photo`s of it , It was always quite distant to get good shots of it and these were the best that I could do.... Just wish they could have been better !

Ross`s Gull ( Rhodostethia rosea ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Tawny Owl

Now I have trouble even seeing a Tawny Owl let alone photographing one !! so when I had a call this morning from my mate Charlie Fleming telling me that he had got a shot of one the day before and that he would take me out this evening to see if it was still there ! I jumped at the chance as I had only ever been able to get a shot of one once before , so off we went this evening to look for it and after a while one started calling and then another one ! we then started to get fleeting views of one as it was chased from its tree by a couple of Eurasian Jay , we then heard a lot of small birds making alarm calls and I found this one sat out in partial view and managed to get these couple of shots of it . ( Thanks Charlie )

Tawny Owl ( Strix aluco ) . Nr Doddiscombsleigh ) . Devon

Monday 26 May 2014

Little Gull

I went down to my local patch Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham at late afternoon  in hope that the 1st summer Little Gull that has eluded me a few times before may be there today and after quite a long wait my hope was rewarded as one of the two birds that are around the Exe Estuary dropped in with the numerous Black-Headed Gull`s and showed very well ! there was also 3 1st summer Mediterranean Gull`s and a Common Gull in with the flock .
The waders today consisted of 50+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 20+ Eurasian Curlew , 15 Whimbrel , 4 Eurasian Oystercatcher and a superb looking summer plumaged Red Knot .

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 24 May 2014

Great Reed Warbler

A trip up to Somerset today with my mate Andy Bond with our first stop at the Chew Valley Lake where a Great Reed Warbler was singing its head of and showing well at times but was always distant while we were there ! we then went to the Meare Heath Reserve where the first bird we saw was a Western Marsh Harrier , a Great Bittern then flew over us and dropped into the reedbed , a distant male Garganey was then seen and then the bird that we had come for was seen a female Black-Winged Stilt but it took a while as the bird was very illusive , then a shout went out Great White Egret as it flew over the reeds behind us , also seen were numerous Common Swift & Cetti`s Warbler`s were singing everywhere , we then had a quick look at the Ham Wall Reserve where we saw another 2 Great Bittern and 2 more were heard booming , a nice end to a good days birding .

Great Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus arundinaceus ) . Chew Valley Lake . Somerset

Black-Winged Stilt ( Himantopus himantopus ) . Meare Heath . Somerset

Black-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa limosa ) . Meare Heath . Somerset

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Duke of Burgundy

A trip out of Devon today up to Thurlbear Wood in Somerset to look for Butterflies with the main one being the Duke of Burgundy Fritillary and I was lucky enough to see at least 6 of these delightful little gems , at least 10 maybe more Grizzled Skipper were seen , 2 Dingy Skipper , 6 Common Blue , a female Orange Tip , a Wall Brown & a very smart looking Scorpion Fly .
Only one bird was seen today a European Green Woodpecker but a few were heard with a very loud Common Nightingale , a Common Cuckoo , a Tawny Owl & numerous Blackcap .

Duke of Burgundy Fritillary . Thurlbear Wood . Somerset

Grizzled Skipper ( P . malvae ) . Thurlbear Wood . Somerset

Scorpion Fly ( Mecoptera ) . Thurlbear Wood . Somerset

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Meditteranean Gull

Not a lot to report today but a look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me , Three 1st Summer Mediterranean Gull`s & I managed to get this shot of one of them but as always on the marsh the birds are always a long way from the hide , a 1st Summer Common Gull and numerous Black-Headed Gull`s , 3 Grey Heron were also seen along with 3 Little Egret , numerous Common House Martin , 2 Common Sand Martin , 3 Common Swift & 2 Barn Swallow .

Mediterranean Gull . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 18 May 2014

Wood White Butterfly

This morning Brian Heasman & myself went down to an area at Branscombe Beach to look for butterflies with the main one being Wood White and after a bit of a wait we managed to see four of them at least ! also seen were a few Common Blue , two Dingy Skipper , male and female Orange Tip & a Brimstone , also seen was a Scarlet Tiger Moth my first for many years .
There was not a lot of birds around but 6 Northern Fulmar , 2 Peregrine Falcon & a Common Raven were seen & a Lesser Whitethroat was heard , on the way home we stopped of at Hawkerland Common where we saw a Dartford Warbler , a Yellowhammer & a Common Cuckoo was heard calling , and also seen was a Wall Butterfly .

Wood White ( Leptidea sinapis ) . Branscombe Beach . Devon

Saturday 17 May 2014

Birds Of Prey

This morning I got news that the Little Gull was on Bowling Green Marsh again so I went down to see if I could catch up with it but like before it had gone again before I got there , so I started looking at the other birds on show as there were quite a few Bar-Tailed Godwit , a few Whimbrel , a female Ruff & two Lesser Black-Backed Gull`s ! when all of a sudden everything took to flight so I craned my head so I could look out of the hide at the sky and found a Red Kite flying right over the hide so we all nipped outside and had great views of it soaring over the field behind the hide .
I then went over to the Exminster Marshes in hope that some more Kite`s might be going through but this time I was out of luck as no more were seen ! but I did see 4 Eurasian Hobby , 3 Common Buzzard & a Peregrine Falcon & then went home to watch the cup final & just after the match had finished I got a call ( Thanks Bri ) telling me that there were two Temminck`s Stint on Powderham Marsh so I shot off over and managed to see them just before the light started to fade Yippeeeeeeee .

Red Kite ( Milvus milvus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Eurasian Hobby ( Falco subbuteo ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 16 May 2014


A trip up to North Wood in the Haldon Hills today to look for two specific butterflies Dingy Skipper & Grizzled Skipper and luck was with me today for a change as I usually cant seem to find them here ! but today I saw 3 Dingy Skipper but only the one Grizzled Skipper that landed on the floor in front of me and I just got this poor shot of it before it was gone again & for all my looking I couldn`t find it again !! the only birds seen today were Tree Pipit , Blackcap & Common Raven .

Dingy Skipper ( Erynnis tages ) . North Wood . Devon

Grizzled skipper ( P . malvae ) . North Wood . Devon

Thursday 15 May 2014

No Kites Today

This morning I went over to the Exminster Marshes to scan the sky for Red Kite`s but I had no luck this morning and I only saw the normal birds for the marsh , with 6 Barn Swallow , 7 European Reed Warbler , 4 Sedge Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , 2 Blackcap , 2 Lesser Whitethroat & a Common Whitthroat ... also seen was a Grass Snake , a Slow Worm & this smart looking male Broad-Bodied Chaser .

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

Broad-Bodied Chaser ( Libellula depressa ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Wow What a Day

An add on to todays earlier  post ..... I had just about finished my diary for this morning when I got a call telling me that 7 Red Kite had been seen near the Turf Hotel heading towards Haldon so I jumped in the car and went down to the Exe Estuary and met up with a couple of other birders and as we were scanning the sky towards Powderdam one of the other birders Keith Birchall let out a cry Red Kite over Powderham Church and we all got on it before off it went towards Haldon as the others had done , we then went for a look at Bowling Green Marsh and we saw numerous Whimbrel & Black & Bar Tailed Godwit , a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull & then someone in the hide picked out a stunning summer plumaged Bonaparte`s Gull that only stayed for around 15 minutes and I just about managed to get these distant shots of it .

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

European Turtle Dove

First thing this morning I had a look at Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor for yesterdays ( Reported ) Purple Heron but as expected there was no sign of it today !
So I decided to go up to Lower Haldon on the half - chance that there might be a European Turtle Dove around , I went to the spot where one was seen last year but there no luck there so I decided to walk further into the forest and I picked up one on call but it was distant so I walked on some more following the call & in the end I managed to see 2 birds and another was still calling further on , it is very good to get good views of these birds as they are becoming hard to find in Devon , there was also a Garden Warbler singing its head off nearby .

European Turtle Dove ( Streptopelia turtur ) . Lower Haldon . Devon

Tuesday 13 May 2014


I spent an  hour on the Exminster Marshes this morning but the birding was very slow ! with 100 + Common Swift , 10 Barn Swallow , 3 Common Sand Martin & a Common House Martin seen feeding over the pools , 3 Sedge Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , 3 Common Wood Pigeon & a Little Egret were also seen & along the path by the Railway Line 2 Grass Snake showed today , Then around 5ish I had a call telling me that there was a Ruff on Bowling Green Marsh and as it is the first one of the year for me I nipped down and got nice views of it along with around a dozen Bar-Tailed Godwit .

Common Wood Pigeon ( Columba palumbus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Saturday 10 May 2014

Spotted Flycatcher

I had news this morning of a Spotted Flycatcher at the entrance to the Bristol Schools Camp at Exmouth so I got in the car and made the journey down to Exmouth again the 3rd day on the trot lol ,
When I arrived I got a quick view of the bird but then lost it and I couldn't find it again ! but it was blowing a gale so perhaps it was just keeping its head down , I then had a look in the top fields at Gore Lane but all I saw were 3 Northern Wheatear but one of them was a smart male of the Greenland race , later in the day I got a message ( Thanks Keith ) telling me that there was another Spotted Flycatcher outside the hide at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham and as I am only 5 minutes from there I shot off to have a look at it and to try and get a photograph of it , it took me over an hour to get this shot as the bird was hidden for most of the time , but I am quite pleased with it in the end !!

Spotted Flycatcher ( Muscicapa striata ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Friday 9 May 2014

Sea Watching Again

Down to Exmouth again this morning to do some more sea watching with the first birds seen today being a number of Sandwich Tern and in with them 2 nice Roseate Tern seen off of Exmouth sea front , I then made my way up to Orcombe point and picked out my spot and settled in !!
A look out told me right away that there wasn`t as many birds as yesterday with only a few Northern Gannet & a single Black-Legged Kittiwake , I then picked out some more Sandwich Tern and 3 Common Tern & then the best bird of the day flew past heading towards Dawlish Warren a superb Light Phase Pomarine Skua but with the good views that I got of it I still couldn`t pick out spoons on the bird , Oh well you cant be greedy lol .
I then went up to Woodbury Common to look for Butterflies but all that I could find were a few Speckled Wood .

Speckled Wood ( Pararge aegeria tircis ) . Woodbury Common . Devon

Thursday 8 May 2014

Sea Watching

It was blowing a bit this morning so I decided to go down to Orcombe Point in Exmouth to do a bit of sea watching , I found a spot out of the wind and settled down and the first birds that I saw were Northern Gannet and in the end I must have seen 30+ of these , then I came across 3 Black Tern all together heading south , also seen were 5 Sandwich Tern & 3 Common Tern , 5 Black Legged Kittiwake , then the bird of the day a European Storm Petrel that was picked up heading south , the only other birds seen were my first 2 Manx Shearwater of the year but I did hear that a lot more was seen nearby off of Budleigh Salterton !
At Orcombe Point itself there was a Common Kestrel , a Common Whitethroat and a Garden Warbler & off of the Imperial Car Park in Exmouth there was 13 Whimbrel feeding by the shore line .

Common Kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon