Sunday 31 January 2016

Saturday 30 January 2016

The Exminster Marshes

Over to the Exminster Marshes for another look this morning and it turned out to be quite rewarding as I saw 3 Barnacle Geese that I watched fly from the small pool to the left of the marsh towards the reservoir were they landed again , also seen was a very large flock of 200+ European Golden Plover , I then met up with a mate of mine Dave Land and we walked the canal path down to the Turf Locks and we got a bit of luck with a couple of Grey Plover resting at high tide on the old wooden stumps that stick out of the water and a Common Kingfisher was also found nearby .
We then found a flock of Dark Bellied Brent Geese just south of the locks and in with them was the Black Brant the American race of our Brent Goose and we were very lucky that the bird was showing quite close indeed !

Grey Plover ( Pluvialis squatarola ) . The Turf Locks . Devon

Black Brant ( Branta bernicla nigricans ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 29 January 2016

A good days birding !!

I started the day off at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon , Northern Shoveler and Common Teal , there was also small numbers of Mallard , Gadwall , Tufted Duck and Northern Pintail ! the waders on show today included  300+ Pied Avocet , 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 2 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 30+ Common Redshank , a Spotted Redshank , a Common Snipe and a few Northern Lapwing .
Other birds seen today on the marsh were a fly through Merlin , a Common Buzzard and a Common Kingfisher .
My next stop was at the Northbrook Golf Course in Exeter where I got my first White Throated Dipper of the year and a Eurasian Treecreeper , I then crossed over the road into the Ludwell Valley Country Park where I saw another W T Dipper , a Common Kingfisher and a Green Sandpiper .
I then went home and had something to eat and guess what my phone went off telling me that there was a Short-Eared Owl showing on the Exminster Marshes so off out I went again , I spent quite a lot of time looking for it with no joy but then it showed again at 3.15 hunting on the north end of the marsh and I just couldn`t resist taking this long distant record shot of it lol .

White Throated Dipper ( Cinclus cinclus ) . The Ludwell Valley C P . Exeter . dEVON

Short-Eared Owl ( Asio flammeus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Thursday 28 January 2016

Lesser Redpoll

I went to a site near the town of Exmouth in Devon this morning and was lucky enough to see 20+ Lesser Redpoll , there was a stunning male bird in with them but I couldn`t get a shot of it because the birds were very nervous so I just left them to feed , also seen were 6 Common Linnet , 3 Cirl Bunting , 11 Reed Bunting and a Common Buzzard .

Lesser Redpoll ( Carduelis cabaret ) . Nr Exmouth . Devon

Cirl Bunting ( Emberiza cirlus ) . Nr Exmouth . Devon

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Jack Snipe

Yesterday there was 2 Barnacle Geese on the Exminster Marshes so I went over this morning in hope of getting a shot of them but after much searching I couldn`t see them but as I was stood in the lane looking for them I heard a flock of Long-Tailed Tit so I had a look at them and found a Firecrest moving along the lane with them , I then met someone who told me that he had seen a Cattle Egret  but it had dropped out of site in a ditch near by to where I had seen the Water Pipit the other day so I went over for a look , I couldn`t see the egret but I did see a nice Jack Snipe !... I have just seen a photo of the Cattle Egret so I shall have another look tomorrow .
I then went back to Topsham and had a look at Bowling Green Marsh but it was low tide so not many waders on show  but I did see 13 Greylag Geese , numerous Northern Shoveler , 4 male and 2 female Tufted Duck , 2 male and a female Gadwall , 3 male Common Pochard and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk .

Greylag Goose ( Anser anser ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Monday 25 January 2016

Purple Sandpiper`s

I didn`t see a lot today but what I did see were good birds ! as I went down to Exmouth and had a look on Maer Rocks for any Purple Sandpiper a smart looking bird when you can get close to them and I managed to see six of them in the end !
I then had a call about a Water Pipit on the Exminster Marshes and as I had not seen one this year I headed for there and I was lucky enough to find it still in the area along with a Grey Wagtail , also seen on the marshes were a few European Golden Plover and a Cetti`s Warbler .

Purple Sandpiper ( Calidris maritima ) . Maer Rocks . Exmouth . Devon

Sunday 24 January 2016

Ridgways Cackling Goose

This morning saw me at the Exminster Marshes but the birding was quite slow with only the following birds seen , a flock of 300+ Dark Bellied Brent goose had 2 Light Bellied birds in with them but after much searching there was no sign of the Black Brant , there was also a flock of 500+ Northern Lapwing , 20+ European Golden Plover ( My first of the year ) , 3 Common Chiffchaff and a female Common Bullfinch .
I then went for a look at the Matford Marshes on the edge of Exeter where the long staying Ridgways Cackling Goose was showing quite well , also seen was a small flock of Long-Tailed Tit , 3 Goldcrest , 3 more Common Bullfinch and a few Redwing .

Ridgways Cackling Goose ( Branta hutchinsii minima ) . The Matford Marshes . Exeter . Devon

Saturday 23 January 2016

More Common Goldeneye

I don't get to post many pictures of Common Goldeneye pictures on my blog and when the opportunity came this morning to add to yesterdays shot I just couldn`t miss it ! I had no car today so I walked down to the Recreation Ground in Topsham and the first birds that I saw was a male and 2 female Common Goldeneye but as soon as they saw me they flew off up river but as luck would have it they flew back again quite soon , they did this a few times in the time that I was there but I was very pleased to get these shots of them .
Also seen was a male and female Red-Breasted Merganser , 2 Common Sandpiper , 2 Common Gull , a Lesser Black-Backed Gull , my first Common Kingfisher of the year and 2 Grey Wagtail...not a bad mornings birding  !

Common Goleneye ( Bucephala clangula ) . The River Exe . Topsham . Devon

Friday 22 January 2016

Common Goldeneye

I only got out birding in the afternoon today , first stop was a quick look at Darts Farm but the only birds there worth taking about was 17 Stock Dove and 3 male and a female Reed Bunting , so I made my way to Bowling Green Marsh where the normal wildfowl were seen and it was nice to see a male and female Gadwall in the channel close to the hide , I then went down to the viewing platform to look at the Clyst Estuary where I saw a male Common Goldeneye , 3 Red-Breasted Merganser , 100+ Pied Avocet , 50+ Dunlin , a Spotted Redshank and my first Peregrine Falcon of the year , also seen was a Common Seal .

Common Goldeneye ( Bucephala clangula ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Little Bunting reported again !

I had news this morning that the Little Bunting had been seen again at Darts Farm , so I went over in the freezing cold to see if I could catch up with it again but after much searching I couldn`t find it but then again it does seem to cover a wide area , not a lot else was seen today ! but a large flock of Dark Bellied Brent Geese had the Black Brant in with them again , 2 Common Buzzard put on a bit of a show , a flock of 12 Fieldfare and a single Redwing were also seen along with a male Brambling that was in with the finch flock .
I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh where parts of the marsh were frozen over but I did get 3 Grey Plover , an obliging Common Snipe showed in front of the hide , a Whimbrel was heard on call and a Red Fox was seen in its usual place .

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Common Snipe ( Gallinago gallinago ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Jack Snipe

A trip down to Dawlish Warren this morning turned out quite good as I came across the Firecrest that has been on site for a while now but it was very elusive , I picked it up on call at first but then it flew into a bush and even though I knew where it was I could not get a shot of it out in the open and had to make do with these two poor shots of it ! I then started walking towards Greenland Lake with Phil one of the warren wardens and as I was walking through the damp part to the right of the path I put up a Common Snipe and a smaller Jack Snipe , it was great to see the comparison between the two birds and was pleased that Phil got on them both also .
I then walked around Warren point where I saw a male Red-Breasted Merganser , 20+ Ruddy Turnstone and 2 Sanderling and a look at the sea got me 2 Great Northern Diver`s , on the way back home I came across 12 Red-Legged Partridge near the village of Kenton .`

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Sanderling ( Calidris alba ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Red-Breasted Merganser ( Mergus serrator ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Sunday 17 January 2016

A bit slow today !!

I had a look around Bowling Green Marsh this morning but the birding was a bit slow ! with all the usual wildfowl on show with the best being 3 Common Pochard , there was masses of Black-Tailed Godwit & Common Redshank , 20+ Dunlin , 3 Common Greenshank and 3 Common Snipe , also seen was a European Green Woodpecker , a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 3 Eurasian Nuthatch.
A look from the viewing platform at the Clyst Estuary then got me 200+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese , 60+ Pied Avocet and this Grey Heron .

Common Greenshank ( Tringa nebularia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

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

Grey Heron ( Ardea cinerea ) . The Clyst Estuary . Devon

Saturday 16 January 2016

Lesser Redpoll

This morning was bright and still for a change so I thought that I would have another look for the Little Bunting at Darts Farm but I didn`t see it again this today and with it not being seen yesterday I wonder if it has moved on ! once again there was not a lot else to see with the bird of the day being a smart male Lesser Redpoll seen in the trees by the hide , there was also a male and female Common Stonechat and out on the fields there was a large flock of ( Dark Bellied ) Brent Geese and in with them was one bird of the Light Bellied race Hrota and a Black Brant the American race of our Brent Goose .

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

Common Stonechat ( Saxicola torquatus ) ( Male ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Common Stonechat ( Female ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Friday 15 January 2016

First Snow Of The Year !!

I made a trip down to Dawlish Warren this morning to look for Red-Throated Diver`s but I only managed to see just the one off of the sea wall towards Langstone Rock , but I got a nice surprise as I found a Red-Necked Grebe that was in with a flock of 17 Great Crested Grebe .
I was thinking of walking out to Warren Point but rain started to fall with snow in with it ! so I gave that a miss and headed to Newton Abbott to look for the male Greater Scaup again on Decoy Lake and this time I was in luck as it was seen in with a flock of Tufted Duck and a male Gadwall .
On the way back home you could see that Dartmoor had been hit by a heavy snow fall ...Winter has arrived .

Greater Scaup ( Aythya marila ) . Decoy Lake . Newton Abbott . Devon

Thursday 14 January 2016

Glaucous Gull

The day started off at Darts Farm to look for the Little Bunting again but today there was no sign of it , and there was not a lot else to look at either with 2 Egyptian Goose , a large flock of Rook , a Common Raven and a Brambling , I then went over to the Exminster Marshes but the road is still flooded so that put an end to that with only a male Eurasian Bullfinch seen , the next stop was at Cockwood where I had a look at the Exe Estuary and saw a Slavonian Grebe , by now I was cold and hungry so I headed for home stopping on the way to look at the Matford Marshes where the Ridgways Cacking Goose was seen .
Later in the afternoon I went down to Exmouth to look for the Bonaparte`s Gull that has been seen around the Exe Estuary but there was no sign of it today , but I got a call from my mate Matt Knott telling me that there was a Glaucous Gull on Pole Sands off of Exmouth so lucky me with another bird added to my year list .

Rook ( Corvus frugilegus ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

The Exe Estuary . Devon

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Little Bunting

I had a call this morning asking me if I knew about a Little Bunting seen at Darts Farm in Topsham I said no that I had not but that I would go and have a look for it ! I arrived on site at around 9 am  and couldn`t find any birders there at all !! , so I started to search on my own and searched every field I could and by now a few other birders turned up to look for the bird , then at around 12.15 I managed to see the bird feeding in a field , it then flew up to a row of trees with some finches allowing me to get a nice view of it ! but the flock was soon gone again , later in the day other birders connected with the bird and I was very glad about that as in this game people always have doubt about sightings lol
Also seen were 2 Egyptian Geese , a male Brambling , 17 Stock Dove , 4 Fieldfare and a flock of 250+ Rook .

Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Birding Somerset

Myself and two mates went up to Somerset today with our first stop at the Ham Wall Reserve with the Dusky Warbler that has been seen there the main bird that we were looking for and we gave it a good search but we couldn`t connect with it today , but we did see a few Western Marsh Harrier , 5 Great White Egret , a single Great Bittern , a fly by Glossy Ibis and 3 Common Chiffchaff .
We then went to Allermoor where we saw 46 Common Crane from the release programme and in with them was an unringed juvenile bird and also an unringed adult bird...the left hand bird in the picture , our last stop of the day was at Stowford where the wind was terrible but we still saw a very smart Snow Bunting .

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

Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . Ham Wall Reserve . Somerset

Common Crane ( Grus grus ) . Aller Moor . Somerset

Monday 11 January 2016

Cleaned Up !!!

Down to Cornwall again today to try and see the birds that we missed the other day , so we arrived at Trenow Cove near Marazion just as dawn was breaking to look for the Hudsonian Whimbrel and it paid off as we found the bird on the beach with 3 Whimbrel and a few Eurasian Curlew at 8.25 and watched it for a while before it flew off to the east .
We then went across to Newlyn to look at Mounts Bay and we are in luck again as we get onto the Pacific Diver at first it was quite distant but it then came a lot closer allowing us to get nice views of the bird , also seen were 15 Great Northern Diver , a Black-Throated Diver and a male Common Eider .
After something to eat and drink we decided to go out to Lizard Point and in the village we see this adult winter Rose- Coloured Starling , we then started heading for home but on the way we stopped off at Durgan where we saw a Red-Necked Grebe and another Great Northern Diver on the Helford River , our last stop of the day was at Siblyback Reservoir on Bodmin Moor where a female Smew was added to the year list........what a great days birding !!!

Rose-Coloured Dtarling ( Pastor roseus ) . Lizard Village . Cornwall

Great Northern Diver ( Gavia immer ) . Mounts Bay . Cornwall

Sunday 10 January 2016


An early morning look at the lake at Stover Park got me 3 male and a female Goosander , 4 Tufted Duck , 5 Pochard and 2 Great Crested Grebe , also seen in the park were 2 Eurasian Treecreeper , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , 8 Coal Tit and a single Marsh Tit .
I then went to Decoy Lake in Newton Abbott to look for the Greater Scaup but just my luck there was no sign of it today after it has shown well earlier in the week but I did see 20+ Tufted Duck and a nice male Gadwall , there was also a strange goose there ? any help ? .

Goosander ( Mergus merganser ) . Stover Park . Devon

Gadwall ( Anus strepera ) . Decoy Lake . Newton Abbott . Devon

Friday 8 January 2016

Cirl Bunting

Early this morning I had 2 Red Fox near the village of Otterton , I then went to a site near Stantaway Farm where I saw 2 male and 2 female Cirl Bunting , then a look at Chiselbury Bay got me a Northern Fulmar and 12 Black-Legged Kittiwake and at the Otterton Sewage Works there was a flock of 20+ Eurasian Skylark .

Cirl Bunting ( Emberiza cirlus ) . Nr Stantaway Farm . Devon

Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) . Nr Otterton . Devon

Thursday 7 January 2016

Birding Cornwall

Four of us made our first trip out of Devon this year with the destination being Cornwall , our first stop was at Trenow Cove near Marazion to look for the Hudsonian Whimbrel that has been seen there but there was no sign of it today but we did see 2 of our normal Whimbrel , we then went over to Newlyn stopping at Penzance on the way to look for Purple Sandpiper and managed to see 27 of them and an Atlantic Grey Seal , at Newlyn we went to Sunny Cove to look at Mounts Bay for the Pacific Diver but again we were out of luck but see 5 Great Northern Diver and in Newlyn Harbour there was another 6 GND .
The next stop was at the Hale Estuary where there was a juvenile Eurasian Spoonbill , a male Goosander and a few Lesser Black-Backed Gull`s , our last stop was at Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor where we saw the returning male Lesser Scaup and a male Common Goldeneye .

As I am writing this 2 Tawny Owl our calling outside of my house in Topsham Cemetery a nice end to a good days birding .

Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . The Hale Estuary . Cornwall

Great Northern Diver ( Gavia immer ) . Mounts Bay . Cornwall

Atlantic Grey Seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) . Mounts Bay . Cornwall

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Eurasian Woodcock

I spent this morning from 8 o/c to nearly 12 o/c looking for a reported Great Grey Shrike on Woodbury Common but in the end I gave up with no sighting of the bird and there was not much else to look at with only a European Green Woodpecker , a Dartford Warbler , a Mistle Thrush and this early Peacock Butterfly with a damaged wing .
I then went across to Aylesbeare Common where I saw a Eurasian Woodcock a bird that I always like to see , also seen was a Common Buzzars and another Mistle Thrush .

Peacock . Woodbury Common . Devon . 6 . 1 . 2016