Monday 31 October 2016

Bowling Green Marsh Area

This morning I birded around the Bowling Green Marsh area of Topsham where I didn`t see anything different but I did see the long staying juvenile female Ruff , numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , 3 Common Greenshank , a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk , our resident Common Buzzard , 3 Water Rail , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 3 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Cetti`s Warbler , a Eurasian Nuthatch , a flock of 30+ Common Starling and 3 Eurasian Jay , after much looking I couldn`t find that elusive hidden goodie but the weather was great and it was just good to be able to be out in it !

Eurasian Jay ( Garrulus glandarius ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 30 October 2016

Eurasian Spoonbill

I did a walk around Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning and I had a good time as my first stop was at Goosemoor where I saw 50+ Black-Headed Gull , a few Black-Tailed Godwit and 2 Water Rail , I then moved onto Bowling Green Marsh and sat down in the hide and looked out and found a sub adult Eurasian Spoonbill.. always nice to see on the marsh , also seen were 2 female and a male Northern Pintail , numerous Common Teal & Eurasian Wigeon  , a juvenile female Ruff , 2 Common Chiffchaff and a Eurasian Jay , I then walked down to the viewing platform for a look at the Clyst Estuary but the tide was well out and the only bird of note was a Common Gull but after a while the Eurasian Spoonbill left the marsh and flew down the River Clyst towards the Exe Estuary allowing me to get these nice shots of it .

Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 29 October 2016

Friday 28th October

Black Brant

This afternoon I caught the train down to Exmouth to look for the reported American Wigeon on the Exe Estuary but I was out of luck as I could not find it but the estuary was packed with thousands of Eurasian Wigeon which makes it very hard to pick it out , there was also a large count of Dark Bellied Brent Geese and in with them was the returning American Black Brant !
Also seen were a few Northern Pintail and Mallard , my first 3 Red-Breasted Merganser of the winter , 6 Common Gull , a Grey Wagtail and a Common Kingfisher .

Common Gull ( Larus canus ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Hen Harrier

We decided to have a days birding at Portland Bill in Dorset today and when we were about halfway there my phone went off telling me that a Pine Bunting had been found in one of the nets there , we arrived to find a few birders in the field where they had released the bird into but I don't think it was ever seen again ! so we walked around the fields and saw a ringtail Hen Harrier , a Ring Ouzel , around 60 Common Linnet , 5 male and a female Common Stonechat , 6 Common Kestrel and at Reap Lane we saw a Eurasian Turtle Dove a bird that is becoming quite rare in the South West of England now !!

Hen Harrier ( Circus cyaneus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Common Kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

European Turtle Dove ( Streptopelia turtur ) . Reap Lane . Portland Bill . Dorset

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Bowling Green Marsh

A walk around Topsham this afternoon with Sue with our first stop being at Bowling Green Marsh where we saw 2 Greylag Geese , 50+ Common Teal , 6 Northern Shoveler , a male Gadwall , 1000+ Dunlin , numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , 6 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 5 Grey Plover & 2 Red Knot , away from the lake Common Buzzard , Common Raven and a Eurasian Jay were also seen, a look at the Clyst Estuary then got us 30+ Pied Avocet and 12 Grey Mullet

Northern Shoveler ( Anax clypeata ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 23 October 2016


Todays pictures are of a juvenile female Ruff that has been seem on Bowling Green Marsh for about a week now , these birds move through the marsh on migration and sometimes they hang around for quite a while , also seen were 500+ Dunlin , 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 45 Pied Avocet , a White Wagtail , 2 Cetti`s Warbler and 2 Common Chiffchaff , I then had a look at the Clyst Estuary from the viewing platform but only saw 6 Grey Plover and a few more Pied Avocet .

Ruff ( Philomachus pugnax ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 22 October 2016

Great Grey Shrike

A trip up to Dartmoor this morning turned out to be a good move as the Great Grey Shrike that has been there a few days now showed quite well but it was always a little bit distant , there was also a movement of thrushes with a very large flock of Redwing and Fieldfare , 3 Mistle Thrush and at least 4 Ring Ouzel , also seen were 2 female Eurasian Bullfinch , 2 Reed Bunting and a European Green Woodpecker .

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) . Sousens Area . Dartmoor . Devon

Ring Ouzel ( Turdus torquatus ) . Sousens Area . Dartmoor . Devon

Friday 21 October 2016

Thursday 20th October

Birding Cornwall

Today the three of us went down to Cornwall to do some birding with our first stop being at St Agnes Head to look for a Greater Short-Toed Lark that has been showing around one of the car parks , we went off in different directions to look for it only to find it right beside the car when we got back ! the bird was very tame sometimes walking right beside our feet and even the passing walkers were stopping to get a look at it without bothering it at all , our next stop was at Chapel Porth in hope of seeing a Dusky Warbler reported there , we started looking at the scrub but it was very thick making it quite hard to pick anything up , I then heard a Yellow-Browed Warbler calling and after a while out it popped making it 5 that I have seen this year but it was great to find my own bird , a local birder then turned up and said that there was a path through the scrub so we followed him into it and after a while we got great views of the illusive Dusky Warbler my first since 2011 also seen was a Firecrest .
News then broke of a Isabelline Wheatear showing on Godrevy Point so we headed for there as quick as we could on the way stopping at St Gothian Sands to grab a quick look at a Pink-Footed Goose we then hurried out to the point and was soon looking at a superb Isabelline Wheatear our second one in 3 days !!!! , the day ended with 4 smart looking Snow Bunting seen right out on the end of the point.......What a great few days birding !!

Greater Short-Toed Lark ( Calandrella brachydactyla ) . St Agnes Head . Cornwall

Isabelline Wheatear ( Oenanthe isabellina ) . Godrevy Point . Cornwall

Snow Bunting ( Plectrophenax nivalis ) . Godrevy Point . Cornwall

Thursday 20 October 2016

Wednesday 19th October

A trip out to the Colyford Marshes this afternoon to look for a Turtle Dove that has been around the area for a while now but guess what ....there was no sign of it today ! so we had a quick look at Blackhole Marsh but that was dead as well and all we saw was a Grey Plover , a Common Sandpiper and two Little Grebe , so we went back for another look for the dove but we still had no luck but there was a few Canada Geese well out in the marsh and in with them was a Barnacle Goose and a Greater White-Fronted Goose , quite a rare bird on the marsh !

Grey Plover ( Pluvialis squatarola ) . Blackhole Marsh . Seaton . Devon

Wednesday 19 October 2016

Tuesday 18th October

Ken Montandon , Andy Bond and myself made the long trip up to Easington in East Yorkshire to look for the very rare Siberian Accentor leaving here at 1am and getting there at 6.30 am , the weather was bad with heavy rain falling as we made our way to the bird , it showed quite well early on out in the open but the light was no good to get any photos in and as the light got a little bit better it then spent quite a lot of time in the gas compound but it was harder to see grubbing about on the floor and I was lucky to get these two shots of it .... But I got it !!!!! Yessssssssss
The Spurn area was alive with birds and we saw some Tundra Bean Geese and Pink Footed Geese , a female Black Redstart , 2 Shore Lark , an Isabelline Wheatear , 8 Northern Wheatear , 100-150 Eurasian Tree Sparrow , a Lapland Bunting , a male Brambling and also seen were numerous Redwing and Fieldfare and in with them were 2 Ring Ouzel

Siberian Accentor ( Prunella montanella ) . Easington . East Yorkshire

Shore Lark ( Eremophila alpestris ) . Spurn . East Yorkshire

Isabelline Wheatear ( Oenanthe isabellina ) . Easington . East Yorkshire

Monday 17 October 2016

Pallid Harrier

I started the day off at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where I saw the following , numerous Dunlin , 24 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Spotted Redshank , 6 Pied Avocet , a Juvenile Ruff , a European Golden Plover , a Grey Plover and 2 Cetti`s Warbler .
Then my mate Andy Bond and myself went up to the Greylake RSPB Reserve in Somerset to look for a reported juvenile Pallid Harrier and as you can see from the photos we got superb views of it displaying right in front of the hide , also seen was a female Western Marsh Harrier , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a Common Kestrel .

Pallid Harrier ( Circus macrourus ) . Greylake RSPB . Somerset

Sunday 16 October 2016

Saturday 15th October

A trip up to Portland Bill in Dorset today as yesterday there was a Red-Eyed Vireo seen there and as the last one I saw was on the Scilly Isles 16 years ago I thought I would have a look for it but as it was there was no sign of the bird today and there was not a lot else on show either with the best bird seen being a Yellow-Browed Warbler in the Observatory Garden , also seen were 2 Northern Wheatear , 4 Rock Pipit , 50+ Common Linnet and as we were sat having a cup of tea a Great Skua flew past  harassing a Herring Gull .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Rock Pipit ( Anthus petrosus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Thursday 13 October 2016

A Quiet Day

Out this morning around the Exe Estuary area but there was not a lot about with only a Eurasian Jay , a couple of Common Chiffchaff and a few Goldcrest seen on Bowling Green Marsh , from the viewing platform looking out over the Clyst Estuary there were 5 Eurasian Curlew and 2 Little Egret , on the Exe Estuary from the Topsham Goatwalk 5 Pied Avocet and 5 Great Black-Backed Gulls were seen , the last stop was at Goosemoor where there was 6 Black-Tailed Godwit , a Water Rail and 2 Common Raven .

Eurasian Curlew ( Nunenius arquata ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Western Marsh Harrier

This afternoon I went to have a look at my local patch Bowling Green Marsh and I found this Western Marsh Harrier and by the dark underwing coverts it looks like a juvenile female bird to me , the bird flew into the marsh from the Exe Estuary end and scattered everything on the marsh it then flew into Goosemoor but came back again allowing me to be able to get these record shots of it , also seen were 8 Common Buzzard and 7 Barn Swallow passing through the marsh .
A look at the Clyst Estuary also got me 20+ Grey Plover , 3 European Golden Plover , a Common Ringed Plover , numerous Dunlin , 10 Sanderling , 9 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 3 Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Common Gull .

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 11 October 2016

The Ludwell Valley Country Park

I went for a look around the Ludwell Valley Country Park area in Exeter this morning and it didn`t turn out to bad at all as I saw 4 White-Throated Dipper , a Common Kingfisher , European Green Woodpecker , Great Spotted Woodpecker , 3 Grey Wagtail & 2 Common Raven but the highlight of the day was seeing a close up Wood Mouse and a European Mink a specie that I have never photographed before !

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

Wood Mouse ( Apodemus sylvaticus ) . The Ludwell Valley CP . Exeter . Devon

European Mink ( Mustela lutreola ) . The Ludwell Valley CP . Exeter . Devon .

Monday 10 October 2016

Tawny Pipit

I went out today for a look around the donkey sanctuary at Branscombe in East Devon and in one of the fields there was 3 British Pied Wagtail and a White Wagtail , later in the day I got news of a Tawny Pipit in one of the top fields near Gore Lane in Exmouth and as I had only seen one before in Devon way back in October 1991 at Beesands Ley I got down to Exmouth as quick as I could and was lucky to find that the bird was still on show , I managed to get these shots of it but it never really came right out in full view for me.... but still pleased with these .

Tawny Pipit ( Anthus campestris ) . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon

Sunday 9 October 2016

Velvet Scoter

I made a trip down to Orcombe Point in Exmouth to look for a reported Yellow-Browed Warbler but I only managed to get a brief views of the bird and I also heard it calling , also seen was a female Common Kestrel , a male Blackcap and a few Goldcrest , I then had a look at the sea and picked up a flock of around 30ish Common Scoter flying across the bay and in with them was a Velvet Scoter , they headed towards Sandy Bay so I walked on a bit further and found them on the sea along with 2 female Common Eider a bird that I have not seen around this area for a quite a while , I was viewing them from on the cliffs so they were always a bit distant but scope views were ok !!

Common Kestrel ( Falco tinnunculus ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Common Eider ( Somateria mollissima ) . Lyme Bay . Devon

Friday 7 October 2016

Sabine`s Gull

I decided to go down to Berry Head again this morning to see if I could get some more shots of the Blyth`s Reed Warbler but on getting there I met up with an old birding mate Pete Dennis ( more rarer in these parts than the BRW lol ) anyway he told me that there was no sign of the bird this morning so I went out to the point and did a sea watch , the weather was not very good with heavy rain at times and in one of the squalls a pristine juvenile Sabine`s Gull passed by quite close heading south , I was over the moon with this as the last one I saw was at Exmouth in 2011 , also seen were numerous Northern Gannet , a light phase Arctic Skua and a few Common Guillemots , also seen were 2 Harbour Porpoise  .
I then went and had a look at the quarry where there was no sign of the BRW but a Yellow-Browed Warbler showed very well , note the slight crown stripe on the last photo reminiscent of Pallas`s Leaf Warbler , also seen where a few Common Chiffchaffs , a Firecrest and a male Blackcap and a Eurasian Hobby passed by overhead .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . Berry Head Quarry . Devon

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Blyth`s Reed Warbler

Yesterday a Blyth`s Reed Warbler was found at the Berry Head Quarry ( Well done Mike ) , so I got there just after first light this morning in hope that it would still be there ! and I didn`t have to wait long before hearing it call and getting views of this very rare little gem , it is only the second one for Devon and the first on the mainland .
Other birders then started to turn up and we went down into the quarry to look at the area where it was seen yesterday and I managed to get these shots of it , I know that there are better one`s but I am still over the moon with the one`s that I got as it is a bird that I have never managed to photograph before .

Blyth`s Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus dumetorum ) . Berry Head Quarry . Devon