Wednesday 30 September 2015

The Exe Estuary

This afternoon I went down to the Mudbank Lane area of Exmouth to view the Exe Estuary where the Ridgway`s Cackling Goose was still on show in with around 200+ Dark-Bellied Brent Geese but today they were very distant , also seen on the estuary were numerous Eurasian Wigeon , 20+ Northern Pintail , a Peregrine Falcon that flew down the estuary putting everything to flight , 3 Sandwich Tern and 2 Common Raven .
Butterflies seen today included 2 Clouded Yellow , 2 Painted Lady , a Comma and a Small Copper !

Northern Pintail ( Anus acuta ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon

Monday 28 September 2015

Cackling Goose

Well as it turned out the Red Moon was not a bad omen but a good one lol as I got up this morning and went into my garden to the sound of a bird screeching and I looked up to see the great site of a Peregrine Falcon chasing a Merlin that was manoeuvring all over the place trying to get away ! I don't know how it ended because I lost them from my view .
I then got news that the Cackling Goose that was found yesterday was still showing on the Exe Estuary at Exmouth , so I made my way down to Mudbank Lane to look out at the estuary and soon picked the bird up but it was very distant out in the middle of the estuary but after about an hour it flew towards Exmouth and was seen a lot closer off of the Imperial car park in with 150/200 Dark Bellied Brent Geese and 3 Pale Bellied Brent Geese ! also seen were numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Pintail and 4 Sandwich Tern .
It now seems that this bird has gone down as a Ridgway`s Cackling Goose according to RBA !

The Red Moon over Topsham

Ridgway`s Cackling Goose ( Branta hutchinsii Minima ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon

Friday 25 September 2015


Another look at Bowling Green Marsh today didn`t turn up much different from the other days with the best being the Eurasian Spoonbill , 9 Common Greenshank , a single Spotted Redshank , 5 Red Knot , 2 Bar-Tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel so I then headed for home !
Only to get a call early evening telling me that there was an eclipse/female Garganey showing on the small pond on the marsh so I shot down and was able to get this photo of it , but the light was fading fast so this was the best that I could manage to get of it .

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

Thursday 24 September 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

Late afternoon saw me in the hide at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where the wildfowl has now started to build up with 200+ Eurasian Wigeon , 50+ Mallard , 50+ Common Teal , 30+ Northern Pintail and a few Northern Shoveler , also still showing was the Eurasian Spoonbill , a Little Grebe , 50+ Dunlin , 4 Ruff , numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , 3 Bar-Tailed Godwit , numerous Common Redshank , 1 Spotted Redshank , 3 Common Greenshank , masses of Eurasian Curlew with one Whimbrel in with them , a Peregrine Falcon made a few passes over the marsh but I don't thing that it caught anything , I then walked down to the Riversmeet House end of the marsh where this Grey Wagtail was still showing in the creek .

Grey Wagtail ( Motacilla cinerea ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 23 September 2015

Slow Birding Today !!

Today I birded around the Countess Wear sewage works and the old sludge beds for a change in hope of maybe finding something good but in the end it turned out to be a rather slow days birding !! but if you don't look you don't find lol
On the River Exe at Countess Wear there was 50+ Mallard , a Grey Heron , a Common Sandpiper and a Grey Wagtail , into the sludge beds next and it was very disappointing with only a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a few Goldcrest worth talking about , after coming out of the sludge beds I started walking back towards the car along the path beside the Exeter Canal where I saw a Common Kingfisher flash past me ! and a few Shaggy Ink Caps a Fungi otherwise known as Lawyer`s Wig.
I then decided to have a look at Powderham Marsh but again it was dead with only a Blackcap and this female Common Pheasant that practically walked right up to me , also seen was Red Admiral and Small Copper Butterflies , the last stop was the Exminster Marshes where there was a single Yellow Wagtail .

Common Pheasant ( Phasianus colchicus ) . Powderham Marshes . Devon

Small Copper ( L . phlaeas ) . Powderham Marshes . Devon

Shaggy Ink Cap ( Coprinus comatus ) . The Exeter Canal . Countess Wear . Exeter . Devon

Tuesday 22 September 2015

The end of another good days birding


I went down to Bowling Green Marsh quite early this morning and as soon as I had arrived I picked up a Firecrest on call in the trees to the right of the hide , the bird was in a mixed tit flock that soon moved on , later on in the afternoon a mate of mine saw the bird at the top of Bowling Green Lane !
A look at the marsh then got me 150+ Eurasian Wigeon , 20+ Northern Pintail , 6 Northern Shoveler , the Eurasian Spoonbill was still on show but was asleep for most of the time , 2 Spotted Redshank , 20+ Barn Swallow , 8 Common House Martin , 2 Common Sand Martin and a late Common Swift .
A couple of looks at the Clyst Estuary during the day got me 30+ Dunlin , 5 Grey Plover , 3 Red Knot , a Common Sandpiper , a Peregrine Falcon and an adult winter Mediterranean Gull .

Common Sandpiper ( Actitis hypoleucos ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 20 September 2015


A look around Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me the Eurasian Spoonbill , 3 Common Greenshank , a Spotted Redshank and a juvenile Ruff all seen from the hide , I then walked down to the viewing platform seeing a Stock Dove on the way , the tide was high so I looked around the Riversmeet House area and in the small creek there was a Grey Wagtail the first one that I have seen on the marsh for sometime , also seen was a Eurasian Nuthatch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker .
By now the tide had started to drop and a couple of looks at the Clyst Estuary got me the Spoonbill again as it came out to feed , 2 Common Sandpiper and a Common Kingfisher , a few of us then went and had a look at the Exe Estuary from the Goatswalk and we saw a Sandwich Tern , an Arctic Tern and another tern that was thought to be a juvenile Black Tern but in the end turned out to be this juvenile/1st winter Common Tern .

Common Tern ( Sterna hirundo ) . The Exe Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 17 September 2015

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper

A trip up to White Nothe in Dorset ( No I have never heard of it either before today ) but it has turned up this smart Buff-Breasted Sandpiper that was seen in a ploughed field with 9 Common Ringed Plover and a Northern Wheatear , when we first got there we were told that it had been flushed by a Merlin so we had high hopes of seeing it ! but only later to find out that it was a Merlin Helicopter ...there are some strange people around lol
On the way back we stopped at Abbotsbury and saw a Grey Phalarope on the Meadow Pool , 2 in a week that's good going !

Buff-Breasted Sandpiper ( Tryngites subruficollis ) . White Nothe . Dorset

Tuesday 15 September 2015


I started the day off with a quick look at Bowling Green Marsh and saw the Eurasian Spoonbill , a few Bar-Tailed Godwit and Whimbrel and a Spotted Redshank .
Over then to the Exminster Marshes again and the Grey Phalarope was still showing very well , I then decided to have a look around the fields to the north of the marsh ! with the first birds seen being a couple of Northern Wheatear , and a few Yellow Wagtail , I then came across the amazing sight of a fall of 20+ Whinchat ( I have never seen this many together on the marsh in 30 years of birding it ) and in with them were 3 Common Stonechat and a few Meadow Pipit , I then walked back along the road towards the Phalarope and came across a flock of 20+ more Yellow Wagtail a superb end to a great days birding !!! Lets hope that this storm coming in brings us some more good birds .

Grey Phalarope ( Phalaropus fulicarius ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Whinchat ( Saxicola rubetra ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 14 September 2015

Rain Rain and more Rain !!

This morning was wet and windy so starting at the Exminster Marshes was not a good move as I parked the car in the middle car park and walked up the road for another look at the Grey Phalarope that is still showing well and yes you guessed it ! while I was there the heavens opened up and I got soaked and the only other bird that I got for my troubles was a juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk !
So I went back for a look at Bowling Green Marsh from the comfort of the hide but I saw a few Common Teal and Northern Shoveler , a single female Northern Pintail , the rain had brought in a fall of hirundines with numerous Common House Martin and Common Sand Martin and a few Barn Swallow , the only other bird of note was the juvenile Eurasian Spoonbill that was asleep for most of the time before flying out towards the Exe Estuary .

Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 13 September 2015


Sadly it seems that the weekend was not so good as I thought ! as when I left the marshes at 1pm after looking at the Phalarope everything was fine but it seems that someone has trampled the reed bed trying to get better views of the bird later in the afternoon !!!

Grey Phalarope

The day started with an Osprey that was sat on a post in the middle of the Exe Estuary eating a fish that it had caught , I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh and saw a Eurasian Spoonbill , 3 Ruff , 2 Spotted Redshank and a few Common Greenshank .
I had forgotten my phone so I decided to go home for it just in case something turned up and after picking it up I thought instead of going back to GBM I would go and  take a look at the Exminster Marshes as a Garganey in eclipse plumage has been seen there , I started looking through  the ducks when I came across a Phalarope on the far side of the main pond and at this time of year I was hoping that it could possibly be a Red - Necked Phalarope but after a while the bird came a lot closer giving some great views and was confirmed as a Grey Phalarope still a very good bird for the marsh and a new bird for my E M List , also seen was the Garganey that was in with 20+ Common Teal , 4 Whinchat , 2 Northern Wheatear and singles of Sedge Warbler , Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff.................What with United beating Liverpool yesterday ! it was not a bad weekend !!!

Grey Phalarope ( Phalaropus fulicarius ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 11 September 2015

Convolvulus Hawkmoth

A morning look at Bowling Green Marsh got me a juvenile Ruff and a Common Snipe , but the birding was better looking at the Clyst Estuary as I saw 10 Little Egret , a Eurasian Spoonbill , 8 Pied Avocet , a Spotted Redshank and a smart juvenile Curlew Sandpiper .
Then late afternoon I went to my mates house in Exmouth to have a look at this superb looking Convolvulus Hawkmoth that he had caught overnight only the 3rd that I have seen , then a quick look at the Exe Estuary at Mudbank Lane got me this juvenile Common Tern .

Convolvulus Hawkmoth ( Agrius convolvuli ) . Exmouth . Devon

Common Tern ( Sterna hirundo ) . Mudbank Lane . Exmouth . Devon

Thursday 10 September 2015

Eurasian Spoonbill

This morning a look in my garden got me a Painted Lady Butterfly so I then went for a look around Tremlett`s Marsh in Topsham but all I got there was a Common Chiffchaff and a Clouded Yellow Butterfly that was a year tick for me .
A morning look at Bowling Green Marsh then got me a Stock Dove , a Common Darter and a Migrant Hawker , later in the day another look got me an adult Eurasian Spoonbill , 10 Little Egret , 40+ Dunlin , 3 Ruff and 2 Spotted Redshank .

Clouded Yellow ( Colias crocea ) . Tremlett`s Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 9th September

I had a late afternoon look at Bowling Green Marsh today and saw numerous Black-Tailed Godwit and Common Redshank , 2 Spotted Redshank , 3 Common Greenshank , 200+ Eurasian Curlew , 6 Whimbrel , 5 Ruff , 20+ Dunlin and a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper my first in Devon this year !
Then a look at Goosmoore got me another 12 Common Greenshank , 4 Common Redshank and a few Little Egret .

Common Redshank ( Tringa totanus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Caspian Gull Photo`s

After looking at my Caspian Gull photo`s that I submitted earlier  I was not happy with them so here they are again and I think that you will see that these are a lot better !!

Caspian Gull ( Larus Cachinnans ) . The Exe Estuary . Mudbank Lane . Exmouth . Devon

Caspian Gull

The day started with a fly over Yellow Wagtail on the Exminster Marshes , the next birds seen were 4 Common Buzzard displaying over my house in Topsham , I then went for a look at Bowling Green Marsh were I saw 5 female Northern Pintail , a Tufted Duck , 3 Spotted Redshank , a Ruff , 20+ Dunlin , 2 Common Snipe , a Red Knot and a White Wagtail .
Then late afternoon I got a call from Exmouth bird finder Matt Knott telling me to get down to Mudbank Lane as fast as I could as he had a probable Caspian Gull !!!!!! that was good enough for me so off I shot and arrived to find Matt and another Exmouth birder Terry Smith looking at the bird and saying that it looked very good !!! and for me to fire off some shots of it if I could , the light was not to good but I managed to get these shots of the 1st winter bird a very rare bird and a first for the Exe Estuary for me .........great find Matt

Monday 7 September 2015

Brown Hairstreak

Today was a red letter day for me as I managed to photograph a female Brown Hairstreak at Preston Downs in Torbay , a Butterfly that I have never been able to photograph before ! also seen were these Butterflies , Holly Blue , Common Blue , Speckled Wood and Red Admiral .
Birds also seen at the site were 6 Eurasian Siskin , 2 Eurasian Jay , a Common Buzzard , a Common Raven and a Blackcap .

Brown Hairstreak ( Thecla betulae ) . Preston Down . Torbay . Devon

Sunday 6 September 2015


I found this juvenile Osprey way down the Exe Estuary this morning , it then flew up river towards Topsham and came right past me as I was looking at the Clyst Estuary from the viewing platform , it the flew up the river Clyst and was lost from view to me but Keith Birchall picked it up from the hide on BGM and he watched it gain height and fly off very high , he had already found an adult Osprey earlier in the morning that he watched fly into Powderham Park .
Also seen on the Clyst Estuary were 3 Whimbrel , 2 Red Knot , 3 Sandwich Tern , a Little Tern and a Common Raven , on Bowling Green Marsh today was a winter plumaged Spotted Redshank , a Pied Avocet , 3 Common Chiffchaff , a Willow Warbler and a Eurasian Bullfinch .

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

Saturday 5 September 2015

Bowling Green Marsh

I spent some time at Bowling Green Marsh this morning and it didn't turn out to bad at all as I saw numerous Common Teal and Mallard , numerous Black-Tailed Godwit and Common Redshank , 20+ Red Knot , 2 winter plumaged Spotted Redshank , 2 Bar-Tailed Godwit and 2 Whimbrel .
A mixed flock of 500+ Barn Swallow , Common House Martin and Common Sand Martin ,  3 Common Buzzard , a Eurasian Hobby , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine Falcon , 3 Yellow Wagtail and a Eurasian Nuthatch .
I then had a look for a Spotted Flycatcher seen yesterday at Darts Farm but there was no sign of it today but I did see 3 Short-Tailed Vole !

Bar-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa lapponica ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 1 September 2015

No sign of the Wryneck !!!

I went down to Orcombe Point in Exmouth again this morning in hope of getting a better shot of the Eurasian Wryneck but after quite a search there was no sign of it today, so getting off of my bum and going for it late yesterday afternoon turned out to be a good move !
Not a lot was seen today with the best being 2 Northern Wheatear , 4 Common Chiffchaff , a Common Whitethroat and 2 Common Raven .
A few Butterflies were seen with Meadow Brown , Speckled Wood , Small White and Holly blue .

Speckled Wood ( Pararge aegeria ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Holly Blue ( Celastrina argiolus ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon