Thursday 30 April 2015

Greenland Wheatear ?

This morning I had another look at Bowling Green Marsh to see if yesterdays Garganey was still there but there was no sign of them today but there was a nice Common Sandpiper and a calling Cetti`s Warbler , I then went across to the Exminster Marshes where I saw two Eurasian Hobby sat on posts way out in the marsh , numerous Common Sand Martin , Common House Martin and Barn Swallow were on show along with 3 Common Swift , I then found two Northern Wheatear and by the size and brightness of the birds I think they are Greenland Wheatear of the race leucorhoa .....if anyone thinks different please let me know ! my last stop was at the Haldon Forest where I saw my first Pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies of the year .

Common Sandpiper ( Actitis hypoleucos ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Green-Winged Teal

We went to an area in Somerset today to look for Common Nightingale but we were out of luck as we didn`t see or hear any at all and the best bird seen there was a Garden Warbler , so we then headed for the RSPB Reserve at Greylake in Somerset and this time the luck was with us as we saw the American Green-Winged Teal that has been at the site for a while now and also seen was a female Western Marsh Harrier , we then headed for home and on the way we saw an amazing site of 45 Common Crane flying over a field very close to the road , what a terrific call these birds have !
Later in the afternoon when I was back at home I had a call telling me that there was two male Garganey on the Bowling Green Marshes so off I went again to have a look at these smart little ducks .

Green-Winged Teal ( Anus carolinensis ) . Greylake RSPB . Somerset

Common Crane ( Grus grus ) . Nr Burrowbridge . Somerset

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

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Common European Adder

The Common European Adder is the only venomous snake in Britain and I feel quite privileged when I see one ! well today I went up to Aylesbeare Common in hope of seeing one and I not only did that but I managed to photograph this female snake also , so a rather good day for me !
Also seen was a Eurasian Hobby , a European Green Woodpecker , a pair of Common Stonechat and a couple of Willow Warbler .

Common European Adder ( Vipera berus ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Monday 27 April 2015

Eurasian Hobby

A look at the Exminster Marshes this morning got me 4 Eurasian Hobby , 3 Peregrine Falcon , a few Common Sand Martin and Barn Swallow , a single Common Swift , a Northern Wheatear looking big and bright but to far off to clinch anything different , numerous Common Wood Pigeon and European Reed Warbler , Sedge Warbler and Cetti`s Warbler

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

Sunday 26 April 2015

Saturday 25th April


Well I started birding in 1985 and was told about an Hudsonian Godwit that was found just up the road from me at Countess Wear in 81 and it really wetted my appetite but there was not a lot that I could do about that , but it was still thrown in my face a few times as the 30 years rolled by , as birders do  lol !!
Well today there was incredible news of a Hudsonian Godwit found up at Meare Heath in Somerset so I phoned up my two mates Ken and Andy to let them know and to see if they were going and they said yes and seeing that they had both seen the 81 bird it was very good of them ( Thanks Guys ) , well we arrived and got a glimpse of the bird on the near shore it was in summer plumage and looked very smart but it then walked out of view ! but then it flew to the far side of the lake with other godwits giving great flight views , it stayed over there for the rest of the time we were there hence the long distance shots but better than nothing and a new bird photographed for me .
Other birds of note seen today were Wood SandpiperArctic Tern , Common Swift , Garden Warbler , Wood Warbler , 4 Western Marsh Harrier and a Great Bittern.......Another plus was seeing a lot of my old birding mates from my Scilly Isles days ... nice to see you guys again ..What a Day !!!

Hudsonian Godwit ( Limosa haemastica ) . Meare Heath . Somerset

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . Meare Heath . Somerset

Friday 24 April 2015

Common Cuckoo

I went over to the Exminster Marshes early this morning and there was quite a bit of mist on the marshes , I had a look for yesterdays Yellow Wagtail`s but there was no sign of them in with the cows but as I was looking a Common Cuckoo was calling on the north end of the marsh , also seen were numerous Common Sand Martin and Barn Swallow , a Peregrine Falcon , 4 Whimbrel and all of the common Warblers are now singing and showing well , around midday there was a bit of a movement of birds flying through the marsh with 12 Eurasian Jay and a Red Kite seen !
Other things of note today were 2 Grass Snake , a Slow Worm and a Short Tailed Vole .

Slow Worm ( Anguis fragilis ) & Grass Snake ( Natrix natrix ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Thursday 23 April 2015

Dipped again !

News today from the Exminster Marshes of a Red-Rumped Swallow had me making the trip over there to see if it was still around but I didn`t expect it to be still there and my expectations were proved right because after much looking the bird wasn`t seen again , but I did see plenty of Barn Swallow , Common Sand Martin and Common House Martin , also seen were Cetti`s Warbler , Sedge Warbler , European Reed Warbler , Common Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler ! and just before I was about to leave 2 female Yellow Wagtail were found in with the cows , a first of the year for me ! and to add to that there was a few Orange Tip Butterflies on the wing on the track by the railway line .

Orange Tip ( Male ) ( Anthocharis cardamines ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Not a bad day

A day out with my mates Ken and Andy with our first stop at the Salisbury Plain area  where we saw a first Corn Bunting of the year , 3 Brown Hare and a Roe Deer , we then went to another area near by to look for Stone Curlew and we managed to see 2 of them but they were distant views but that is as expected to protect these birds !
We then headed towards Dorset and on the way we had a nice Red Kite over the village of Downton , the next stop was at Longham Lakes where 2 superb summer plumaged Little Gull`s were added to the year list , on to our last stop of the day at Portland Bill but there was not a lot to be seen with a female Common Redstart , Common Skylark , Sedge Warbler and 3 Willow Warbler .

Stonehenge . Salisbury Plain . Wilshire

Stone Curlew ( Burhinus oedicnemus ) . Nr Salisbury Plain . Wiltshire

Red Kite ( Milvus milvus ) . Downton . Wiltshire

Common Skylark ( Alauda arvensis ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Sunday 19 April 2015

Evening Surprise !!

This morning I had a look at Bowling Green Marsh and saw 10 Whimbrel , 2 Eurasian Jay , a Water Rail , 20+ Common Sand Martin with a single Common House Martin in with them , 8 Common Chiffchaff with one pair nesting and 4 male Blackcap , out on the Clyst Estuary there was 20+ Dunlin in smart summer plumage and another 5 Whimbrel , and a look down the Exe Estuary got me my first 3 Sandwich Tern of the year .
But the best birds of the day showed this evening with 2 Red Kite that drifted across the Exe Estuary and over the marine camp until lost from view and an Osprey that was fishing on the Exe Estuary...very nice .

Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) . The Exe Estuary . Devon

Saturday 18 April 2015

2 Great White Egret

I started today off at around 7.30 on the Exminster Marshes and was lucky enough to see 2 Great White Egret one of the birds was yesterdays summer plumaged bird with a black bill and showed very well and this photo was taken in the early morning light , but the other one was a non breeding bird with a yellow bill and this one spent a lot of the time hidden in ditches ! also seen today were three new birds for the year with 20+ Common House Martin , 4 European Reed Warbler and a Sedge Warbler , 3 Grass Snake and my 1st Orange Tip Butterfly of the year were also added to the day list.
And on the Powderham Marshes 2 Little Ringed Plover showed well , and this superb looking Spotted Redshank was on the Clyst Estuary .

Great White Egret ( Casmerodius albus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Friday 17 April 2015

Great White Egret

I started the day off at Bowling Green Marsh but all I saw were 3 Whimbrel , so I then walked down to the viewing platform where I saw 2 female Goosander & a summer plumaged Spotted Redshank , next stop was at Goosemoor where 2 Egyptian Geese were added to the list along with numerous Blackcap .
I then decided to look for the Great White Egret that was seen on Powderham Park yesterday but there was no sign of it on the pool so I drove further down the road and turned around and headed back towards the Exminster Marshes when the GWE flew out of the park and went across the railway line towards the Exe Estuary , I didn`t get any features on this bird so I don't know if it was yesterdays bird or not ! I then had a look at the Exminster Marsh with my good mate Dave Land and we found a large Egret but it was on the far side of the marsh so we headed over to have a look at it and it turned out to be a breeding plumaged Great White Egret with a dark bill and green lores so a different bird than the Powderham bird as that had a yellow not a bad day !!

Great White Egret ( Casmerodius albus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Dipping Woodchat Shrike

Today we made a trip down to Bolberry Down in South Devon to look for a Woodchat Shrike that was seen there yesterday but today there was no sign of it , and all I saw was Eurasian Sparrowhawk , a Mistle Thrush , my first Common Whitethroat of the year and 4 Wall Butterflies .
We then had a look at South Huish Marsh where the Ruddy Shelduck of unknown origin was on show but it was quite distant !

Ruddy Shelduck ( Tadorna ferruginea ) . South Huish Marsh . Devon

Monday 13 April 2015

Grasshopper Warbler

I had early news today of a reeling Common Grasshopper Warbler near the railway bridge on the Exminster Marshes so I made my way over there as quick as I could but the traffic was horrendous that time of the morning so I didn`t get there to around 8.30 , I gave it around an hour but didn`t hear or see any sign of it , so I decided to have a look around the marshes seeing Whimbrel and Water Rail in the first fields , I then walked down the back path right to the end of the marsh and saw 6 male Blackcap , 4 Common Chiffchaff , 3 Willow Warbler ...( great to hear them in song ) and 3 Cetti`s Warbler , I then walked in an area where there are Grass Snakes and I managed to see one , Then there it was ! a reeling Common Grasshopper Warbler !! I stopped and thought to myself was that it or was I hearing things when all of a sudden it reeled again ... Gropper bang to rights , it was reeling from bramble on the other side of the railway line in Powderham Marsh so giving me no chance of seeing it or getting a shot so it still stays that I have only managed to get a shot of these birds just the once and as fate would have it that was on Powderham Marsh also !!

Whimbrel ( Numenius phaeopus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

European Greenfinch ( Carduelis carduelis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Sunday 12 April 2015

Willow Warbler

Another look around the Bowling Green Marsh area in Topsham got me my first two Willow Warbler of the year with 2 birds showing well in Goosemoor , there was also a few other warblers showing well in the sunlight with 6 singing Common Chiffchaff , 5 male Blackcap , I then walked down to the viewing platform and on the way there I saw 8 Black-Billed Magpie and a Stock Dove , once at the platform I looked at the Clyst Estuary but with the tide well out there was not a lot to be seen with only singles of Whimbrel , Spotted Redshank and Greenshank and as I was watching these a Eurasian Jay was calling in the Riversmeet House gardens ...but that's all for today folks !!!

Willow Warbler ( Phylloscopus trochilus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 11 April 2015

A very slow birding day !!

Another morning on the Exminster Marshes didn`t turn up much at all with only 200+ Common Sand Martin , 5 Barn Swallow , 8 Whimbel , 2 Little Egret and 2 Cetti`s Warbler !
Then a look around the Bowling Green Marsh area got me a male and female Blackcap in Bowling Green Lane and todays photo is of the Female bird , but that was about it today .

Blackcap ( Sylvia atricapilla ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Great White Egret

I had two looks at the Exminster Marshes today and the best bird of the day was a Great White Egret that was well out in the middle of the marsh ! only allowing a record shot of it , there was not a lot else to be seen today with only 5 Grey Heron . 4 Cetti`s Warbler , 4 Common Skylark and 3 Common Buzzard...but I also saw 4 Grass Snake and that was very pleasing .

Great White Egret ( Casmerdius albus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Black-Winged Stilt

A look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me a Little Ringed Plover , a single Grey Plover , a Pied Avocet and 2 Lesser Black-Backed Gull , a walk down to the viewing platform then got me another Osprey that was fishing on the Exe Estuary and great views were had of it diving into the river but alas it didn`t catch a fish and it then headed of up the River Clyst and was then lost from view , I then went across to the Exminster Marshes where another Little Ringed Plover was on show but it could have been the same one as the earlier one had flown off this way .
I then met up with two mates and we went up to Abbotsbury in Dorset for a Black-Winged Stilt that was showing on the Meadow Pond but we only got very distant views of it .

Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) . The Exe Estuary . Devon

Little Ringed Plover ( Charaadrius dubius ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 6 April 2015


This morning I had a look at Bowling Green Marsh as a Little Ringed Plover was found on there but it had already flown off before I got there , but I did see my 1st Whimbrel of the year along with 2 Spotted Redshank , 2 Pied Avocet , a Grey Plover , 50+ Dunlin , 2 Lesser Black-Backed Gull`s & 2 calling Cetti`s Warbler`s ! other birds seen around the far end of the marsh by the viewing platform were 4 Common Chiffchaff , 3 Winter Wren , a Water Rail , a Eurasian Jay and a smart looking Brimstone Butterfly .

Winter Wren ( Troglodytes troglodytes ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 5 April 2015


I got a call today telling me that there was an Osprey on the old ships mast on the Clyst Estuary , so I went down and fired off a few shots of it knowing that it is distant & to get good shots of it would be hard ! but this one isn`t to bad .
On Bowling Green Marsh today there was 10 Red Knot , 4 Grey Plover , 3 Common Ringed Plover , a single Spotted Redshank but I was told there was up to four but I only saw the one and in the trees there was 2 Common Chiffchaff and a Eurasian Nuthatch

Osprey ( Pandion haliaetyus ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 4 April 2015

Wednesday 1 April 2015


I had a look at the Exminster Marshes this morning and the wind was freezing ! but it paid off as I found my 1st Osprey of the year , it was at the north end of the marsh by the motorway bridge ! also seen were numerous Northern Shoveler and Common Teal , 3 Little Egret , 10 Common Sand Martin and 3 Barn Swallow again a 1st for the year .
I then walked down to the Turf Hotel but all I saw there was a male and female Red-Breasted Maganser , 2 more Little Egret & a male Common Reed Bunting .

Little Egret ( Egretta garzetta ) . The Turf Locks . Devon