Friday 30 January 2015

Birding The Weymouth Area

A trip up to the Weymouth area of Dorset today produced some great birds ! two looks at Portland Harbour got me numerous Red-Breasted Merganser , a Black Guillemot , 2 Great Northern Diver , around 15 Great Crested Grebe , 7 Slavonian Grebe , 2 Black-Necked Grebe and a Red-Necked Grebe , then a trip up to the pig farm at the Grove got us the Hooded Crow that has been there for a while now ! but it took us quite a while to catch up with it .
We then stopped off at Ferrybridge where 3 Mediterranean Gull`s were added to the list , on then to Red Cliff Point to look for a reported Richard`s Pipit and we were lucky enough to get great views of this rare bird , we then finished the day off at the Radipoll RSPB Reserve and we managed to get very close views of  4 male and 3 female Bearded Reedling these are superb little birds and this was the best views that I have ever had of them !!!

Hooded Crow ( Corvus cornix ) . The Grove Pig Farm . Dorset

Richards Pipit ( Anthus richardi ) . Red Cliff Point . Dorset

Bearded Reedling ( Male ) ( Panurus biarmicus ) Radipoll RSPB . Dorset

Bearded Reedling ( Female ) ( Panurus biarmicus ) . Radipoll R S P B . Dorset

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Birding Somerset

Andy Bond , Ken Montandon and Myself went up to Somerset to do some birding today with our first stop at Green Ore to look for Eurasian Tree Sparrow and we connected with six of them , also seen were 10 Common Raven and 2 Goldcrest , our next stop was at the Ham Wall reserve where Great White Egret , a female Marsh Harrier , 2 Cetti`s Warbler and a Lesser Redpoll were added to the day list , our last stop of the day was at the Axe Estuary Saltmarsh where we saw a Jack Snipe , a Black Redstart and 3 Roe Deer but we missed the birds that we went for the Twite... but still a good days birding .

Great White Egret ( Casmerodius albus ) . The Ham Wall Reserve . Somerset

Sunday 25 January 2015

The Good & the Bad !!

This morning I went out to a spot near the village of Ide just outside of Exeter to see if I  could find any Hawfinch as they have been seen in this spot in years gone by but today after looking for quite a while I couldn`t find any , but I did see a Eurasian Nuthatch , a Eurasian Treecreeper and 2 Redwing ! so I then decided to look elsewhere for them and I had just got on to the top road to Longdown when a Red Kite slowly drifted over the road in front of me towards the Perridge Woods , I stopped the car as fast as I could and jumped out to look for it but after searching the sky above the woods there was no sign of it so I came to the conclusion that it must of landed somewhere in the woods , I quickly drew this sketch of it at the time and added the colour later... sorry its not very good lol , I know that in other parts of the country they are seen a lot but down here in the South West it is still a rare bird .
I then went to Dunchideock to look for Little owl but there was no sign of that either and all I saw was 10 Fieldfare and a Common Raven .

Red Kite ( Milvus milvus ) . Nr the Perridge Wood Plantation . Devon

Saturday 24 January 2015

Black Brant

Only a little bit of birding done today with a look at Bowling Green Marsh getting me 2 male and a female Common Pochard , some smart looking Northern Shoveler and around 100+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , I then had a quick look at Darts Farm and saw 300+ Brent Geese with the American Brant Brant showing well today , also seen was a male and female Common Stonechat and 2 Common Chiffchaff .

Black Brant ( Branta bernicla nigricans ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Friday 23 January 2015


A look at my local patch Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me 2 Greylag Geese , around a 100+ mixed flock of both Bar-Tailed and Black-Tailed Godwit , 5 Common Snipe and a Water Rail that was just inside of the gate that leads to the viewing platform , and a Common Bullfinch was in the copse at the top of Bowling Green Lane .
And the day was finished off at the Exminster Marshes where this male Merlin was on show for quite a while , sorry about the quality of the shot but the distance was just that bit to far !

Merlin ( Falco columbarius ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Thursday 22 January 2015

Birding Cornwall

Today three of us made the trip down to Cornwall to do some birding and the first birds that we saw were around a dozen Purple Sandpiper on the rocks in Penzance , we then started scanning Mounts Bay were we saw a female Common Eider , 9 Great Northern Diver , 4 Black-Throated Diver , the very rare Pacific Diver that has been seen in the bay for a few years now was seen beside 3 B T Diver and it was good to see the size difference !  , and this male Common Eider was in Penzance Harbour.
We then had a look at the Helston Boating Lake and saw a Whooper Swan that was in with a few Mute Swan , our last stop of the day was at Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor to have a look for the male American Lesser Scaup that has been around in this area for quite a few years and we were soon on to it along with a male and female Common Goldeneye .

Common Eider ( Male ) ( Somateria mollissima ) . Penzance Harbour . Cornwall

Whooper Swan ( Cygnus cygnus ) . Helston Boating Lake . Cornwall

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Snow Bunting

I did the walk this morning from the Fishermans Carpark to the Exe Estuary Sea Wall and on the Exminster Marshes I saw all of the normal ducks for this time of year , 2 Common Buzzard , 2 Common Kingfisher and a Green Sandpiper , then a look around the Turf Locks got me 50+ Dunlin , 6 Grey Plover , a male Red-Breasted Merganser and 2 more different Common Kingfisher .
I then walked along the Estuary sea wall to look for the wintering Snow Bunting and I found it in its usual spot and I spent around an hour just enjoying this delightful little Arctic Gem ! these birds come from the High Arctic with a circumpolar breeding range , but there is a small population in the high Cairngorm mountains of Scotland so perhaps it has come from there , the day was then finished off well as on my walk back to the car I stopped to chat to another local birder Dave Boult and as we were talking a male Merlin flew right past us towards the northern part of Exminster Marsh

Snow Bunting ( Plectrophenax nivalis ) . The Exe Estuary Sea Wall . Devon

Tuesday 20 January 2015

Whooper Swan

Today I braved the freezing cold wind and had an early morning look at the Recreation Ground in Topsham but I didn`t see much at all with only a Common Gull , a Water Rail and a female Red-Breasted Merganser worth talking about , I then went for a look at Darts Farm but again it was quite dead with only 1000+ Brent Goose , 2 Egyptian Goose and a Common Chiffchaff .
I had just returned to my home when I had a message telling me that there were 2 wild swans on the Exminster Marshes , on my arrival in pouring rain they were quite distant but there was someone there with a scope and they were soon on the list as 2 Whooper Swan ! also seen was this very close Water Rail .

Whooper Swan ( Cygnus cygnus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Water Rail ( Rallus aquaticus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 19 January 2015

Not a bad days Birding !!

I started the day off at Pebblebed Heath where I saw a European Green Woodpecker and a male Common Bullfinch , on then to Sidmouth in East Devon to look for Purple Sandpiper and I found a couple of them with no trouble at all and spent quite a while trying to get a nice shot of them but had a bit of trouble with the early morning light ! but quite happy with this shot in the end .
I then went to Aylesbeare Common and after quite a trudge around the common I saw 3 Dartford Warbler but there was no sign of any  Eurasian Woodcock in there normal spot or the Great Grey Shrike , my last stop of the day was at Venn Ottery Common where I had more luck this time and while walking through the bog I put up a Eurasian Woodcock , 2 Common Snipe and a very nice Jack Snipe but it is very dangerous birding with water coming right over my boots at times and you have to be very careful where you step !!!!

Purple Sandpiper ( Calidris maritima ) . Chit Rocks . Sidmouth . Devon

Saturday 17 January 2015

Barn Owl

Not a lot to report today but a Barn Owl seen in East Devon was nice , then a look at the Otter Estuary got me 3 Common Ringed Plover , a Rock Pipit and a Female Common Kestrel .

Common Ringed Plover ( Charadrius dubius ) . The Otter Estuary . Devon

Thursday 15 January 2015

East Devon

I went out birding in East Devon this morning at different sites and I saw  Numerous Common Skylark , a Woodlark , a few Cirl Buntings , 6 Black Legged Kittiwake , 7 Little Grebe and 3 Rock Pipit .

Cirl Bunting ( Female ) ( Emberiza cirlus ) . East Devon

Some Gambian Shrikes & African Golden Oriole

There are some very nice looking Shrikes in Gambia but they are quite hard to photograph lol with most of them deep in trees but here are a few of them ... hope you like them and the superb looking African Golden Oriole .

Yellow-Billed Shrike ( Corvinella corvina )

Sulpher-Breasted Bush-Shrike ( Chlorophoneus sulfureopectus )

Yellow-Crowned Gonolek ( Laniarius barbarus )

Northern Puffback ( Dryoscopus gambensis ) ( Male & Female )

African Golden Oriole ( Oriolus auratus )

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Long-Tailed Duck

The female Long-Tailed Duck was showing this morning at Exmouth in between Orcombe Point and the Life Boat Station but nothing else was seen , I then dropped into Darts Farm on the way back home but the Penduline Tit`s had already been and gone as had the Black Brant and the only thing of any note were 2 Egyptian Geese .

Long-Tailed Duck ( Clangula hyemalis ) . Lyme Bay . Exmouth . Devon

Monday 12 January 2015

More of the Snow Bunting

Late yesterday afternoon I got the Snow Bunting near to Powderham Corner on the Exe Estuary but as the light wasn`t very good I was not to happy with the shot that I got , so this morning I went to see if I could better it in the morning light and I must say that I am more than happy with the results that I got today !
I then went further down river to viewing point over the railway line at Cockwood and scanned the Estuary and I saw numerous Red-Breasted Merganser , 2 Goldeneye that were viewed up river off of Starcross , 6 European Shag , a Little Grebe , the long staying Slavonian Grebe and also seen was an Atlantic Grey Seal , on then to Dawlish Warren where I did a sea watch from the sea wall but all I saw were numerous Great Crested Grebe , 8 Northern Gannet and a Common Scoter but then the rain set in so I called it a day .

Snow Bunting ( Plectrophenax nivalis ) . The Exe Estuary . Devon

Sunday 11 January 2015

Snow Bunting

An early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham got 200+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 100+ Dunlin , 13 Pied Avocet , 2 Red Knot , 2 Common Snipe , a Spotted Redshank that was in with numerous Common Redshank , a male Northern Pintail and a male and female Tufted Duck .
I then went across to Darts Farm where 3 Penduline Tit showed very well along with 4 Common Chiffchaff , a male and 2 female Common Stonechat and a Common Kingfisher , I had then returned back home for my dinner when I got a call telling me that there was a Snow Bunting showing on the Exe Estuary up from Powderham Corner ! so I went for it and found it on the sea wall...very nice indeed .

Penduline Tit ( Remiz pendulinus ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Snow Bunting ( Plectrophenax nivalis ) . The Exe Estuary . Devon

Friday 9 January 2015

White-Throated Dipper

An hour or so spent this morning in the Ludwell Valley Country Park in Exeter got me what I was looking for with 2 White-Throated Dipper feeding on the stream , further up there were 3 Green Sandpiper in the flood prevention channel and a Grey Wagtail .
Other birds seen were 1 Common Kingfisher , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 3 Common Chiffchaff and 2 Eurasian Jay , I then had a look at the Exminster Marshes but all I could see were 300+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese with at least 2 Light Bellied birds in with them ! and over a hundred European Golden Plover .

White-Throated Dipper ( Cinclus cinclus ) . The Ludwell Valley Country Park . Exeter . Devon

Thursday 8 January 2015

Lesser Redpoll

After the rain had stopped this morning my first stop was at Ideford Common to look for Brambling and I managed to see one ! but the view that I had was very brief as it flew onto a feeder but was off again right away , also seen were a few Eurasian Siskin , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker .
My next stop was at Decoy Lake in Newton Abbott to look for the male Greater Scaup that I have already missed once this year but today my luck was in with the bird showing very well , on then to the Stover Country Park again as I had had a call telling me that there was some Lesser Redpoll showing there today and I was lucky enough to see six of them but they were in the top of a tree so it was quite hard to get a decent shot of them .

Greater Scaup . Decoy Lake . Newton Abbott . Devon

Lesser Redpoll ( Carduelis cabaret ) . Stover Park . Devon