Saturday 30 May 2015

Cirl Bunting

A quick look around the Exminster Marshes was quite slow birding today with only a few birds worth talking about , a bit of a rare sight these days a Common Kestrel put in a appearance , a few Barn Swallow and Common House Martin were also seen along with the normal warblers that are on the marsh at this time of the year , I then went to another area nearby where I saw 4 Cirl Bunting a stunning little bird of the South West of England .

Barn Swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 29 May 2015

Red Kite

Another high tide look at Bowling Green Marsh was again quite slow with not a lot on show ! but the following were seen today , 7 Little Egret , 40+ Black-Tailed Godwit , a single Common Greenshank that seems to be hanging around with the godwits , the same 1st winter Mediterranean Gull that I photographed the other day again put in an appearance , a Eurasian Hobby then flew through the marsh quite quickly but a Red Kite stayed a bit longer as it slowly went through the marsh towards the Darts Farm area .

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

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

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

An afternoon look around the Bowling Green Marsh didn`t get me much at all but a 1st Summer Mediterranean Gull showed well at times , 3 Sandwich Tern came in on the high tide but they never stayed long , and a Red Fox was on show near the railway line , I then walked down to the viewing platform and on the way I saw a male Blackcap and a Common Chiffchaff , a look at the Clyst Estuary from the viewing platform then got me a Great Crested Grebe , 4 Eurasian Oystercatcher and a single Whimbrel .

Mediterranean Gull ( Larus melanocephalus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 26th May . 2015

Wow what a good day !!

Ken Montandon and myself decided to go to Cornwall today in hope of seeing some of the good birds that have been showing down there ! and two hours later saw us at the Drift Reservoir looking for a Purple Heron ! we had walked along the track to the hide and another birder was walking in front of us , we stopped to scan the far corner of the reservoir for the bird and he carried on walking and to our luck he must have flushed the bird because all of a sudden there it was flying right in front of us it flew across the water and went down another arm of the reservoir and was never seen by us again....lucky b******s or what lol
We then went to Lands End where a Sardinian Warbler has been showing for a while now , we saw some other birders so we went over to then and asked if they had any luck and one of them told us that the bird had been seen very briefly but had now gone into cover again , we looked for about an hour with no luck and then I heard a bird singing very much like a Common Whitethroat so I tracked it down and there was the Sard sat out in full view !! but off it flew before I could even focus the camera but as it flew over the hedge Ken and the other birders got on it so all ended well lol , as we were then stood there a Red Kite flew over our heads , we then headed back towards Penzance and had another Red Kite over the road near Sancreed .
Our last stop was at Tresemple Pool near the village of St Clement just outside of Truro where this Black-Crowned Night Heron was sat in a tree basking in the evening sun , what a nice way to  end to a great days birding .

Black-Crowned Night Heron . Tresemple Pool . St Clement . Cornwall

Saturday 23 May 2015

2 Cracking Birds Seen Today !

First let me start with an apology for the quality of the photo of the American Golden Plover another great find by James Dimond out on his early morning journeys around the Exminster Marshes ! but the bird always stayed very distant out in the middle of the marsh and I was lucky to only get this record shot of it , I hope it hangs around for a while and perhaps I will be able to get a better shot of it .
Then as I was still over on the marshes in hope that the AGP would come closer ! I had a call telling me that there was a Gull-Billed Tern showing on Bowling Green Marsh so I hot footed back to there and was lucky enough that the bird was still on show and I watched it for around ten minutes when it took to flight and flew off towards the Exe Estuary .... Good Find Keith .

American Golden Plover ( Pluvialis dominica ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Gull-Billed Tern ( Gelochelidon nilotica ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Friday 22 May 2015

Missed Again !

Early this morning I went down to Exmouth and looked in Lyme Bay for a reported Pomarine Skua but sadly the bird had already passed through and all that I could see was 20+ Northern Gannet , 20+ Black-Legged Kittiwake , 4 Sandwich Tern , 2 Common Tern and 3 Bottlenose Dolphin .
I then had a look at the Exminster Marshes but it was dead and the only birds seen were a male Peregrine Falcon , a few Common Swift and a Willow Warbler and best of all was this Grass Snake .

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

Thursday 21 May 2015

European Turtle Dove

Early this morning I went up to the Lower Haldon Forest to look for European Turtle Dove but none were seen at the site that they have been for the last 2 years but I found one at a site that they used to be seen a few year back so I was quite pleased about that , I then had a look around the Great Haldon Forest area where I saw numerous Willow Warbler , 2 Garden Warbler , a Tree Pipit , 3 male and 4 female Eurasian Siskin , a Eurasian Nuthatch and 3 superb Woodlark a rare bird to be seen around this area !
Also seen today were these Butterflies , 7 Pearl Bordered Fritillary , 3 Grizzled Skipper and a male and female Green-Veined White

Woodlark ( Lullula arborea ) . Great Haldon Forest . Devon . 21 . 5 . 2015

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Greater Yellowlegs

Well would you believe it I wait around two years for a new bird !! then I get two in under a month with the first being the Hudsonian Godwit at Meare Heath and then today we had this superb looking Greater Yellowlegs seen at Titchfield Haven in Hampshire that was really appreciated by me as I had already gone for three of these birds in Britain and missed them all !
But the luck was certainly with us today as we had first gone to Posbrook Floods to look for this bird with no joy so we then headed for Titchfield Haven and had just reached the coast road when we came across a group of birders looking through their scopes ! so we jumped out of the car and there the little beauty was right in front of us , what more could we ask for lol !

Greater Yellowlegs ( Tringa melanoleuca ) . Titchfield Haven . Hampshire

Monday 18 May 2015

Some Butterflies From My Trip to Gambia . November 2014

SMALL ORANGE ACRAEA ( Acraea eponina )

TINY ORANGE TIP ( Colotis evagore )

DIADEM ( Hypolimnas misippus )

COMMON GRASS YELLOW ( Eurema helabe )

CAPER WHITE ( Belenois aurota )

CAPER WHITE ( Belenois aurota )

CITRUS SWALLOWTAIL ( Papilio demodocus )

AFRICAN TIGER ( Danaus chrysippus )

AFRICAN MIGRANT ( Catopsilia florella )

Sunday 17 May 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

A look around Bowling Green Marsh this morning didn`t turn up very much at all , first a look from the viewing platform at the Clyst Estuary got me a good count of 20 Little Egret , on the marsh itself were 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker , singles of Eurasian Jay and Common Raven and in the reeds by the viewing platform 2 European Reed Warbler showed well at times .

European Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus scirpaceus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 16 May 2015

Bowling Green Marsh Tick !!!

This morning saw me on the Exminster Marshes looking for a reported Lesser Whitethroat but after much searching there was no sign of the bird , they just seem to go right through this year ! there was not a lot else to be seen and all I managed to see was a Little Egret , a Eurasian Hobby , 30+ Common Swift and the normal common warblers with Cetti`s Warbler , European Reed Warbler , Sedge Warbler and Blackcap , other things of note seen were Grass Snake , Slow Worm and Common Lizard .
This evening I had a call ( Thanks Keith ) telling me that there was a Short-Eared Owl at Bowling Green Marsh and as I had never seen one on the marsh I got there as fast as I could and just managed to connect with the bird before it was lost from sight making it 198 for the marsh !!!

Little Egret ( Egretta garzetta ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Common Nightingale

Ken Montandon and myself went to a spot near Sherborne in Dorset today to look for Common Nightingale and within a quarter of an hour we had 5 singing birds providing us with a magical experience ! also seen was Garden Warbler and Blackcap , we then headed for the Lodmoor RSPB Reserve at Weymouth to look for a reported Purple Heron but we had no luck with it ! but we did see 20+ Common Tern , 6 Cetti`s Warbler and a male Common Reed Bunting .
Our next stop was at Ferrybridge where 20+ Little Tern were added to the year list , we then had a look at Portland Bill but there was nothing showing that was worth talking about .

Garden Warbler ( Sylvia borin ) . Nr Sherborne . Dorset

Common Tern ( Sterna hirundo ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Orcombe Point to Sandy Bay

A walk this morning from Orcombe Point to Sandy Bay in pleasant sunshine got me numerous Common Whitethroat , a Lesser Whitethroat that was singing from the seaward side of the cliffs , and a fly over Common Raven , a look at Lyme Bay then got me 100+ European Shag , 20+ Black-Legged Kittiwake , 20+ Northern Gannet , 4 Sandwich Tern and a Great Northern Diver ! and the fields nearby were full of Green-Winged Orchids a very nice sight to see .

Common Whitethroat ( Sylvia communis ) . Sandy Bay . Devon

Green-Winged Orchid ( Orchis morio ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Monday 11 May 2015

Sunday 10th May . 2015

A trip out to Lundy Island with the Devon bird group today ! we left Ilfracombe at 8.30 on the M S Oldenburg and steamed out into the Bristol Channel and we soon started to pick up some sea birds with Northern Gannet , Northern Fulmar and Manx Shearwater seen along with numerous auks , on arriving at Lundy the boat went around the island allowing us to see numerous Razorbill & Guillemot and a few Atlantic Puffin , the ship then docked and from it we could see 3 Atlantic Grey Seal in the harbour , so we had 5 hours to bird the island but first we had the horrendous climb up the steep hill ! once we had got to the top people headed in all directions but myself and Ken went to look for more Atlantic Puffin and we managed to see 12 of them , we then looked around the island but there was not a lot to be seen but we did see numerous Barn Swallow , 12 Common House Martin , a Common Sand Martin , 20+ Meadow Pipit , 8 Northern Wheatear , 2 Blackcap and 10 Sika Deer , we were birding on the right hand side of the island when we came across another birder who said that he had seen a bird that he thought was a female Golden Oriole but that he wasn't sure as he had never seen one before so we stopped and had a look at the tree where he had it when all of a sudden out flew the bird and right enough it was a female Golden Oriole it flew around the corner and out of site so I followed it in hope of getting a shot of it and as I got around the corner to my amazement I found a stunning male Golden Oriole sat on top of a tree in front of me but as soon as I had seen it , it had seen me and off it flew again with the female bird , we watched them fly into some trees where they called for some time but after much searching we never saw them again , but I did hear that other birders were lucky enough to catch up with them , this is the first time that I have had luck to find one of these birds so as you can expect it made the trip for me .

Manx Shearwater ( Puffinus puffinus ) . The Bristol Channel . Devon . 10 / 5 / 2015

Atlantic Puffin ( Fratercula arctica ) . Lundy Island . Devon . 10 / 5 / 2010

Barn Swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) . Lundy Island . Devon . 10 / 5 / 2015

Sika Deer ( Cervus nippon ) . Lundy Island . Devon . 10 / 5 / 2015

Saturday 9 May 2015

Bonaparte`s Gull

There was another 1st summer Bonaparte`s Gull found on Bowling Green Marsh this morning , in the last few years we have done very well with this species and last year we had three different birds on the marsh , also seen were 3 Common Gull and two 1st summer Mediterranean Gull , sorry about the quality of the picture but I could only just about grab this shot of it at some distance , in the afternoon I went down to Exmouth where I saw 2 Spotted Flycatcher near Maer Lane and out on a sand bar in Lyme Bay there was a few Common Tern and a Roseate Tern .

Bonaparte`s Gull . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 6 May 2015

1st Sea Watch Of The Year

This morning I went down to Exmouth to do some sea watching but there was not a lot on show in the rough sea and all I could see was 20+ Northern Gannet , 10 Black Legged Kittiwake , 1 Northern Fulmar , 6 Common Scoter , my first 3 Manx Shearwater of the year , good to see these birds again !
3 distant Great Northern Diver , 20+ Sandwich Tern and 5 Common Tern .
I then stopped off at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw another Sandwich tern , 6 Common Gull , 2 Lesser Black-Backed Gull , 9 Little Egret , a Grey Heron , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit and a few Whimbrel .

Late afternoon I went down to Exmouth again for another sea watch and saw 2 Arctic Skua that were in Lyme Bay chasing the terns , one was a smart looking light phase bird and the other was a dark phase bird .

Grey Heron ( Ardea cinerea ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 5 May 2015

European Nightjar

Today I saw my 185th bird on the Exminster Marshes a European Nightjar that was found by another Marsh lister James Dimond , he had it sat on a fence at around 6.30 am but by the time that I got there at around 6.45 there was no sign of it , after a while another birder Brian Heasman turned up and we were just talking about missing such a good bird for the marsh when it flew out over our heads then circled around and then flew off towards the Powderham Marsh area !
We then had a look at the Marsh around the middle car park and saw the usual hirundines , around 15 Common Swift and 2 male and 2 female Northern Wheatear, further up the road 20+ smart summer plumaged Dunlin were showing well on the small pool to the left .

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

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

Monday 4 May 2015

Sunday 3 May 2015

Garden Warbler

I went over for a quick look at the Exminster Marshes this morning to see if there was any sign of Lesser Whitethroat but there is still no sign of any yet , but I did have a nice find of a Garden Warbler down the back path and that's not a common bird for the marsh , there was not a lot else to talk about with the usual warblers seen with European Reed , Sedge , Cetti`s , Willow & Blackcap and 2 Eurasian Hobby were sat on posts out on the marsh .

Butterflies seen today were only Green-Veined White and Orange Tip but it was a cold day with drizzle !

Green-Veined White ( A . napi ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 1 May 2015

Yellow Wagtail`s

Another look at the Exminster Marshes this morning but today a cold change in the weather with quite a breeze , the highlight was 2 Yellow Wagtail that flew over the middle car park and headed to the north side of the marsh , other birds seen were 20+ Common Swift , 30+ Common House Martin , 5 Common Sand Martin , around a dozen Barn Swallow , and European Reed Warbler , Sedge Warbler & Cetti`s Warbler .

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