Thursday 30 March 2017

Spring Migrants

An early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham didn`t turn up much at all as there was no sign of any gulls at all , but I did see 5 male and 2 female Tufted Duck , a single Little Grebe , the Eurasian Oystercatcher count had now risen to 5 and there was also 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Green Sandpiper . I then had a look in Goosemoor where I saw my first 2 Willow Warblers of the year and the small copse at the top of Bowling Green Lane produced 3 male Blackcap again my first for the year .
I then went for a look at the Exminster Marshes but there was not a lot to be seen with only 200+ Eurasian Curlew , 50+ Dunlin , another Willow Warbler and 7 Common Linnet .

Also seen were 3 Slow Worm and 2 Grass Snake .

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

Common Linnet ( Carduelis cannabina ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Bonaparte`s Gull

This morning the 1st winter Bonaparte`s Gull put in an appearance but it only stayed for around 15 minutes before it flew off with a handful of Black-Headed Gull`s towards the Exe Estuary . There was no sign of the 1st winter Little Gull on the marsh today , so perhaps it could have moved to the Axe Estuary as they have had one over there today ! 

Bonaparte`s Gull ( Chroicocephalus philadelphia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Western Marsh Harrier

This morning I went for another look at Bowling Green Marsh and both 1st winter Bonaparte`s Gull and Little Gull were still on show and today they were joined by 4 Common Gull and a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull . The waders on show today were 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 4 Pied Avocet , 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and a Green Sandpiper.........Also seen was a Brown Rat .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes to look for spring migrants but again there was none to be seen , But I then had a call from my mate Brian Heasman telling me that he had just had a Western Marsh Harrier out on the marsh , it took me a while to get on to it but then I got some nice flight views of a smart Imm/female bird but it never came very close at all ... It was my first in Devon this year so cheers Bri .

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 27 March 2017


I went down to my local patch Bowling Green Marsh just after first light this morning to catch the high tide and the birding was quite good for a while before the sun came up , as at the marsh we are blighted with the sun shining right in our faces first thing in the morning plus the birds always being quite a distance from the hide......but still its the best birding spot around here !
Anyway I saw a superb 1st winter Bonaparte`s Gull ( They seem to be annual on the marsh now ) , the 1st winter Little Gull , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Common Snipe , my 1st Whimbrel of the year that flew over the marsh calling , 5 Common Sand Martin and a Barn Swallow .
I then went up to Woodbury Common where I saw a Great Grey Shrike that showed very well !( Good to see one in Devon again ) ....also seen were 2 Holly Blue Butterflies .

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) . Woodbury Common . Devon

Bonaparte`s Gull ( Chroicocephalus philadelphia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 25 March 2017

A nice sunny day !

I had a call this morning asking me if I could take a look at a strange duck that was on a private lake near Alphington in Exeter . So I went and had a look at it and it turned out to be a female Mandarin Duck , not a rare duck but still very nice to see !
The next stop was at Steps Bridge where there were 3 Grey Wagtail , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , 3 European Green Woodpecker , a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , a calling Tawny Owl and a few Comma Butterflies . My last stop was a look at the Clyst Marshes in Topsham where I saw 9 Cattle Egret and 5 Little Egret .

Mandarin Duck ( Aix galericulata ) . Nr Alphington . Exeter . Devon

Friday 24 March 2017

Jack Snipe

A trip down to Dawlish Warren this morning with Sue to look for a reported Jack Snipe that has been seen on the main pool , and lucky enough the bird was still there but it was very hard to see as it stood in one spot hidden by the reeds . At one point a Common Moorhen went close to it setting it off in its sewing machine action but that was the best of the views today .
Also seen were 2 Little Grebe that were looking very smart in their breeding plumage , a Water Rail , a male and female Eurasian Bullfinch and a male Reed Bunting .

Little Grebe ( Tachybaptus ruficollis ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Jack Snipe ( Lymnocryptes minimus ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Eurasian Bullfinch

This morning around the Exminster Marshes vicinity I saw 11 European Golden Plover , 4 Little Ringed Plover , 2 Winter Wren , 4 Common Chiffchaff , a male Eurasian Bullfinch and 2 male Reed Bunting . I then went to the Powderham Church area where the 2 Cattle Egret were still showing in the sheep field along with 4 Little Egret , my next stop was at the railway crossing at Cockwood where a look at the Exe Estuary got me 5 male & 3 female Red-Breasted Merganser & 2 Slavonian Grebe that are now coming into summer plumage.
I then headed for home but I did stop and have a look at Bowling Green Marsh where the 1st winter Little Gull was still showing well and I also saw my 1st Red Admiral Butterfly of the year .

Eurasian Bullfinch ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 20 March 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

It was much of the same on Bowling Green Marsh this morning . With 2 Little Egret , Eurasian Wigeon are still here in large numbers , 30+ Northern Shoveler , 20+ Northern Pintail , a flock of 40+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 20+ Dunlin , 2 Common Snipe , a lone Green Sandpiper was again in its favourite spot on the far side of the marsh , the 1st winter Little Gull is in to its 3rd day on the marsh and still putting on a bit of a show !! , also seen were 30+ Common Sand Martin , 3 Stock Dove , 2 Common Buzzard and a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk .

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 19 March 2017

Cattle Egret

I started today off at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where there was a big selection of birds to look at , with the stand out bird being the 1st winter Little Gull that was still performing well but once again quite a long way from the hide , also seen were 30+ Northern Pintail ( in my view one of our best looking ducks ) , 3 Little Grebe , 60+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , a Green Sandpiper and around 30+ Common Sand Martin .
The influx of Cattle Egret in Britain this winter is amazing and news of another two seen in a field with Little Egrets near Powderham Church saw me making the journey to have a look at them , they looked very alert so I stayed well away from them and I could only manage to get this long distance shot of them .

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) Nr Powderham . Devon

Saturday 18 March 2017

Little Ringed Plover

A look at my local patch this morning got me a 1st winter Little Gull , it was always quite distant from the hide but I managed to get these two record shots of it ( Thanks Keith ) . There was also all the normal wildfowl and a single Green Sandpiper .
I then went to have a look at the Powderham Marshes where I saw my first 2 Little Ringed Plover of the year , 2 European Golden Plover , 15 Northern Lapwing , 3 Green Sandpiper and a male Cirl Bunting .

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Friday 17 March 2017

Barn Swallow

I had a message this morning telling me that there was a Little Ringed Plover on the Exminster Marshes so I went to see if it was still on show , but it had moved on before I even got there , but I did see around 60+ Eurasian Curlew , 20+ Common Sand Martin and my first 3 Barn Swallow of the year .
Later on Ken Montandon , Andy Bond and myself went to Mansands in South Devon to look for the long staying Surf Scoter , we managed to find the scoter flock but it was distant and we couldn`t pick out the Surf Scoter but there was a flock of over 200 Common Scoter along with a few Northern Gannet , 2 Eurasian Oystercatcher and my 1st Harbour Porpoise of the year .

Eurasian Oystercatcher ( Haematopus ostralegus ) . Mansands Beach . Devon

Thursday 16 March 2017

Wednesday 15th March

Another trip over to the Exminster Marshes this morning to see if the Garganey from yesterday were showing any better , and the answer was yes but they were still a bit distant to get good shots of them .
There was also 1000+ Eurasian Wigeon that were spread out all across the marshes , 30+ Common Teal , 20+ Northern Shoveler , 10 Great Cormorant , 2 Grey Heron , 50+ Canada Goose , 6 Common Skylark , 5 Meadow Pipit , a female Reed Bunting , a Common Chiffchaff and a few Buff-Tailed Bumblebee were showing in the sunshine .

Canada Goose ( Branta canadensis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Garganey ( Anas querquedula ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 14 March 2017


I started today off at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham where I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon , 20+ Northern Shoveler , 5 male Northern Pintail , 23 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Common Snipe , 20/30 Common Sand Martin and in with them was my first Common House Martin of the year , there was also a claim of 5 Barn Swallow but I didn`t see them ! , I then went for a look at the Topsham Recreation Ground but the only bird of any note was a male Common Goldeneye .
My next stop was the Exminster Marshes and again there was not a lot to be seen with only 3 Little Egret , a Grey Heron , 12 Common Sand Martin , 3 Common Chiffchaff and a Peacock Butterfly , but then just as I was about to leave the marshes 2 male Garganey were found by the middle car park . Another 1st for the year and a good end to the days birding .

Garganey ( Anas querquedula ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Peacock Butterfly ( Inachis io ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 10 March 2017

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Ken Montandon and myself went out to Yarner Wood to do some birding today and on the way there we stopped off at Teigngrace where we saw 10 Little Egret , 6 Cattle Egret and 20+ British Pied Wagtail .
At the wood we saw 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker , a male and female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , a European Green Woodpecker , 20+ Coal Tit , around a dozen Eurasian Siskin , 3 Eurasian Nuthatch and a male Eurasian Bullfinch .

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . Teigngrace . Devon

Thursday 9 March 2017

The Exminster Marshes

A quick look this morning at the Topsham Recreation Ground got me 2 male Red-Breasted Merganser , 2 Common Gull and a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes and I went to a spot to look for Jack Snipe but there was none to be seen today and I had to make do with 2 Common Snipe , there was not a lot else worth talking about with only a Water Rail and 3 Common Chiffchaff ...great too hear their call again .
Other things of note were my first Grass Snake an adult and 2 young of the year and also my first Slow Worm of the year .

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

Slow Worm ( Anguis fragilis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Glossy Ibis

Three of us went up to Somerset for a days birding today with our first stop at the RSPB Reserve at Ham Wall . And it was not bad birding as we saw 2 Great White Egret , 2 Great Bittern , a male and female Western Marsh Harrier , a single Glossy Ibis , 2 Great Crested Grebe doing their courtship dance , 8 Little Grebe , 6 Cetti`s Warbler and a family party of European Mink .
We then went to Green Ore to look for Eurasian Tree Sparrow and we managed to see two of them , but it is now quite hard to get views of them at this site ! plus we saw 4 Fallow Deer .

Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . Ham Wall . Somerset

Great Bittern ( Botaurus stellaris ) . Ham Wall . Somerset

Sunday 5 March 2017

Common Sand Martin

A trip out to Yarner Wood on the edge of Dartmoor today to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but alas none were seen or heard . But we did see a large mixed flock of Lesser Redpoll , we made it around 20-30 birds but others thought the flock was a lot larger than that , other good birds seen were 3 Eurasian Nuthatch , 3 male and 2 female Eurasian Siskin and a male Eurasian Bullfinch .
On our way back home 5 Bohemian Waxwing were still beside the main road at Heathfield , and later in the day I got my 1st migrant of the year a Common Sand Martin on Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham ....... ( Thanks Gary )

Eurasian Nuthatch ( Sitta europaea ) . Yarner Wood . Devon

Saturday 4 March 2017

The Topsham Recreation Ground

I spent a quick hour looking around the Topsham Recreation Ground this morning and I saw 6 Common Teal , 2 male Mallard , a Eurasian Curlew , 3 Grey Wagtail , 2 British Pied Wagtail , 4 Common Chaffinch , 3 Reed Bunting and the long staying Yellow-Browed Warbler .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon

Friday 3 March 2017

More Rain !

As it was pouring with rain this morning I again went to the hide at Bowling Green Marsh to do some birding in the dry , there was again a large selection of bird in large numbers with 200+ Eurasian Wigeon , 50+ Northern Shoveler , 100+ Northern Pintail , 30+ Common Teal , there was also a bit of a build up of Tufted Duck with 7 male and 3 female .
Just like the other day there was large numbers of waders with 200+ Pied Avocet , 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 70+ Bar-Tailed Godwit showed well and with the marsh now covered in more water they were a lot closer to the hide than usual , Dunlin were everywhere you looked so you could easy say over a 1000 , 50+ Northern Lapwing & 2 Grey Plover .

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

Thursday 2 March 2017

A Nice Morning

This morning I went to a private site in Devon and saw this nice Woodlark in flight song , there was not a lot else to report with only 8 Common Skylark , 2 Common Buzzard and 3 Common Raven .

Woodlark ( Lullula arborea ) . Devon

Wednesday 1 March 2017

The Usual Suspects

It was raining this morning . So I went down to the hide at my local patch , Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham for a look but I only saw the usual birds for this time of year with 100+ Northern Pintail , 50+ Northern Shoveler , 50+ Eurasian Wigeon , 15 Common Teal , 4 male and 2 female Tufted Duck & a single Little Grebe .
Waders were showing in abundance with numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , over 60 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 200+ Pied Avocet , 100+ Northern Lapwing , 1000+ Dunlin & 5 Common Snipe , other birds on the marsh today included a European Green Woodpecker & a Stock Dove .

Dunlin ( Calidris alpina ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon