Tuesday 30 May 2017

Good Birding

Another good days birding had today in Somerset . We started the day off at the Ham Wall Reserve to have a look for the male Little Bittern that has been on show there , I picked a good spot in hope of getting a shot of it and after spending around 2 hours standing there I decided to walk down to where the other group of birders had gathered , and would you believe it !! as just as I reached them the bird flew...Hence no photos lol  , also seen around the reserve were 7 Garden Warbler , numerous Cetti`s Warbler , 6 Great White Egret , 4 Little Egret , 5 Western Marsh Harrier , a Red Kite , 2 Eurasian Hobby , a very nice but very distant female Red-Footed Falcon  & 2 Common Cuckoo .
We then heard news that there was a Gull-Billed Tern showing at the Steart WWT so we went to see if we could catch up with it and our luck was in as it was still showing but again it was always very distant .

Garden Warbler ( Sylvia borin ) . Ham Wall RSPB . Somerset

Cetti`s Warbler ( Cettia cetti ) . Ham Wall RSPB . Somerset

Gull-Billed Tern ( Gelochelidon nilotica ) . Steart WWT . Somerset

Monday 29 May 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

A morning visit to Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me this 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull that showed for a while before flying off to the Exe Estuary , also seen were 6 male and a female Tufted Duck , Little Egret , Grey Heron , 7 Black-Tailed Godwit , 4 Bar-Tailed Godwit , Cetti`s Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler and a Common Chiffchaff .

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

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

Friday 26 May 2017

Red Kite

This morning I did an early morning Kite watch around the Exe Estuary but after looking for a couple of hours all I managed to see was 1 Red Kite and that was quite sad after yesterdays explosion of birds !! Later in the day I went over to the Exminster Marshes to try again but no luck there either , but it didn`t turn out a bad day as I had 2 Egyptian Geese , a fly over calling Yellow Wagtail that I searched for but couldn't find it in the longish grass , a Eurasian Hobby that came and went in an instant and a female Western Marsh Harrier that was quite distant out in the middle of the marsh as you can see by the photo !

Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

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

Wednesday 24 May 2017

White-Winged Black Tern

Another great days birding had today with my mates Ken and Andy . we decided to go to Martin Down in Dorset , and on the way there we stopped near the town of Dinton where we saw a Red Kite , 3 Red-Legged Partridge , a Yellow Wagtail , 3 Yellowhammer , 4 Corn Bunting and a Brown Hare . We then carried on to Martin Down to look for European Turtle Dove and we managed to see 2 of them along with 2 Common Whitethroat and another 4 Corn Bunting and a Small Blue Butterfly .
We then made a decision to go for a 1st summer White-Winged Black Tern that was showing at the Staines Reservoirs in Surrey and after a bit of a tedious journey we arrived at the reservoirs only to be told that the bird had flown off , but it soon returned and we got nice views of it , also seen were quite a few Common Tern and a summer plumaged Black-Necked Grebe , our next stop was just down the road at Wraysbury where we went to Magna Carta Lane and got views of another Red Kite and 3 Rose-Ringed Parakeets .

White-Winged Tern ( Chlidonias leucopterus ) . Staines Reservoir . Surrey

Common Tern ( Sterna hirundo ) . Staines Reservoir . Surrey

Red Kite ( Milvus milvus ) . Magna Carta Lane . Wraysbury . Middlesex

Sunday 21 May 2017

Marsh Fritillary

I went out to a meadow near the town of Chudleigh Knighton this morning to look for Marsh Fritillary Butterfly and after walking around the meadow for about an hour & a half I managed to see one but it was soon lost from view again .
Also seen were the following Butterflies , Painted Lady , Dingy Skipper , Small Copper , Small White , Green-Veined White and Common Blue , & also seen were a couple of Burnet Companion Moths .

Painted Lady ( Cynthia cardui ) . Nr Chudleigh Knighton . Devon

Dingy Skipper ( Erynnis tages ) . Nr Chudleigh Knighton . Devon

Burnet Companion Moth ( Euclidia glyphica ) . Nr Chudleigh Knighton . Devon

Friday 19 May 2017

Woodchat Shrike

A trip out to Cuckoo Ball on the edge of Dartmoor today to look for a female Woodback Shrike that has been showing there for a few days now . We did manage to see the bird but it was very distant and it soon was lost from our view , it seemed to spend a lot of time out of view on the ground ( very strange for a shrike species ) , also seen were a few very smart Yellowhammer`s and a Common Cuckoo was heard calling .
We then went to Headland Warren to look for Whinchat and we managed to see 2 male and a female bird ( what a stunning little bird the male Whinchat really is ! )

Woodchat Shrike ( Lanius senator ) . Cuckoo Ball . Dartmoor . Devon

Yellowhammer ( Emberiza citrinella ) . Cuckoo Ball . Dartmoor . Devon

Whinchat ( Saxicola rubetra ) ( Female ) . Headland Warren . Dartmoor . Devon

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Tuesday 16th May

A days out birding in Dorset with my mates Andy & Ken turned out to be a real good day . As we started the day off ay Lydlinch Common to look for Common Nightingale  and our luck was in as saw one and heard another 2 on call , we also had at least 6 Blackcap , 4 Garden Warbler , 3 Lesser Whitethroat , a calling European Green Woodpecker and 2 close Roe Deer .
We then heard news of a Golden Oriole seen at Portland Bill so we got in the car and headed for there , on arrival at the obs we were told that it was still around but had not shown for a while but we did see a Hummingbird Hawkmoth so that was nice , we then went for a look around and saw a couple of Common Whitethroat and a Spotted Flycatcher . Then the Golden Oriole was found again in the fields opposite the Obs and after a while it showed distantly right out in the open and you could see that it looked like a 1st winter male bird .
We then started to head for home stopping on the way at Ferrybridge where we saw around a dozen Little Tern , 2 Sandwich Tern and a Common Tern , we then got news of a Greater Short-Toed Lark found at Cogden Beach and as it was on our way home we just had to go for it , with the rain now falling we then had an horrendous walk along the pebbled beach for around a mile ! with no sign of the bird at all and being that we were now knackered ! we turned around and started heading back to the car and after about walking about halfway back . There was the bird stood in front of me ! I called to Ken and got the other birders who were there onto the bird and we all got good views of it , I could only get these two distant shots of it as the bird looked a bit nervous and other birders were still walking along the beach in hope of seeing it..........A great days birding with great mates !

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . Lydlinch Common . Dorset

Golden Oriole ( Oriolus oriolus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Greater Short-Toed Lark ( Calandrella brachydactyla ) . Cogden Beach . Dorset

Sunday 14 May 2017

A New Devon Tick

I was down in Cornwall when I got news of a Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Dawlish Warren a new Devon tick for me , so we made the journey back to see if we could see it .
We arrived to find a group of birders already looking at it , the bird was a bit illusive but came into the open just once for about 30 seconds allowing me to grab these shots of it . I know there are better ones but in the end I was just happy enough to see the bird !

Eastern Subalpine Warbler ( Sylvia cantillans albistriata ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Friday 12 May 2017

Very slow birding

I had another look around the Exminster Marshes again today and I saw 10-20 Mallard , 2 distant male Garganey , 16 Whimbrel , 12 Black-Tailed Godwit , 3 Ruff , 6 Barn Swallow 4 Common Swift , 5 Sedge Warbler , 2 European Reed Warbler , a Common Whitethroat and an elusive Lesser Whitethroat . Also seen was a Slow Worm & a young Grass Snake , but the best thing seen today was a Water Shrew....only my 3rd ever on the marsh .

Mallard ( Anus platyrhynchos ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Thursday 11 May 2017

Wednesday 10th May

The day started off at the Exminster Marshes where my luck was better than yesterday as today I managed to see the Lesser Whitethroat , but after spending a couple of hours trying to get a shot of I got no joy at all . Also seen was a Eurasian Hobby making it my first in Devon this year , and also seen was a Common Blue Butterfly .
Later in the day a look at the Clyst Estuary from the viewing platform at Bowling Green Marsh got me a summer plumaged Slavonian Grebe , 10 Sanderling , a Little Stint ( a bird that you don't see very often in the spring ) , 1 Red Knot , 60+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Common Ringed Plover and an Atlantic Grey Seal , and on Bowling Green Marsh 2 Ruff and a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull showed well .

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

Tuesday 9 May 2017

Back Again

Today was my first day out birding since I got back from Spain and you could say it was like after the Lord Mayors show lol
My first stop was at the Exeminster Marshes to look for a reported Lesser Whitethroat but there was no sign of it today and all I saw was a Little Ringed Plover , a few Common Swift , 12 Sedge Warbler , 6 European Reed Warbler , 2 Common Whitethroat and a single Blackcap .
Later in the day I took a look at the Clyst Estuary and I saw 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 26 Whimbrel , 2 Grey Plover , a Red Knot and a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull .

Whimbrel ( Numenius phaeopus ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon