Friday 30 June 2017

The Exe Estuary Area

I spent the morning today looking around the Exe Estuary . And I started the day off at the Exminster Marshes where I saw around a dozen Sandwich Tern that flew over the marsh heading towards Topsham , there was also around a dozen Common Swift , 20+ Common House Martin , 2 Common Sand Martin and quite a few Barn Swallow including 5 Juveniles .
My nest stop was on the other side of the estuary at Goosemoor where the summer plumaged Spotted Redshank flew in and went to roost , there was also a build up of juvenile Common Greenshank and 2 adult summer Mediterranean Gull , my last stop was at Bowling Green Marsh where there was 12 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 10 Sandwich Tern , a 1st summer Mediterranean Gull and 3 Stock Dove .

Barn Swallow ( Hirundo rustica ) ( Juvenile ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 27 June 2017


Today saw me at one of my local sites Goosemoor in Topsham  , I had an enjoyable day even though I didn`t see a lot , but I did see what I had gone looking for the Summer plumaged Spotted Redshank but I had to wait 4 hours for the tide to drop before the bird made a move from the far side of the reserve and even then I had to grab these two flight shots before it went towards the Exe Estuary .
Also seen was this European Reed Warbler a 1st for the reserve for me , 7 Little Egret , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Blackcap and a Common Chiffchaff , other things of note were Ringlet and Gatekeeper Butterflies both 1st for the year for me and 2 Common Soldier Beetles .

European Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus scirpaceus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Monday 26 June 2017

The Exminster Marshes

A look around the Exminster Marshes today only got me the usual birds for this time of year .With 5 Little Egret , 2 Grey Heron , 20+ Common Shelduck , 17 Common House Martin , 6 Common Sand Martin , 5 Barn Swallow , 4 European Reed Warbler , 2 Sedge Warbler , 2 Blackcap and a male Reed Bunting ,
Also seen were Large Wite , Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies .

Sedge Warbler ( Acrocephalus schoenobaenus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Saturday 24 June 2017

Red-Rumped Swallow

Now I don't usually go anywhere near Bowling Green Marsh at the weekends because of the disturbance around the marsh . But today I decided to go down and have a look for the summer plumaged Spotted Redshank on the Clyst Estuary but there was no sign of it today. So I was on the way back to the hide when a swallow flew in front of me going towards the main pool showing a pale rump . My first thought was Red-Rumped Swallow but I had only got that view of it up till now so I put news out of a probable R R S & hurried back towards the hide with fingers crossed . When I got there and looked at the pool there were a few Common House Martin , Common Sand Martin and Barn Swallow feeding over the pool and then there to my elation was a superb looking Red-Rumped Swallow feeding with them . I then put the confirmed news out and watched the bird for a while , it then flew over the railway line towards Goosemoor but it then returned to the marsh and by then another birder had got the news and managed to get there and see the bird . We watched it for a short time and then it flew over the railway line again and was lost from view , we stayed looking for it for quite a while but I had to leave then and I don't think that it was seen again . Also seen was this female Western Marsh Harrier that dropped into the marsh for a while .

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

Friday 23 June 2017

Thursday 22nd June

Elegant Tern

My mate Andy and myself went up to look for an Elegant Tern that was seen yesterday on Brownsea Island near Sandbanks in Dorset . We got to Sandbanks ferry terminal around 11 a/m and had to wait for the ferry , as we were stood there some Terns came in from the seaward side of the terminal most of them were Common Tern and a few Sandwich Tern , then there right in front of me a tern flew by close to shore , my brain took a while to take in what I was looking at but I was lost for words . Andy must have picked it up the same time as me because then we both shouted out in unison Elegant Tern , we then watched the bird fly in front of us heading towards Brownsea Island until it was lost from sight .
We then caught the ferry over to the island expecting it to be in with the other terns but we never saw it again .There was a report from a birder on the island that he had picked it up around the same time but it was flying back towards the sea again . Both Andy and myself had seen the Elegant Tern at Dawlish Warren in Devon back in 2002 but it was still nice to catch up with another one .

Common Tern ( Sterna hirundo ) . Sandbanks . Dorset

Wednesday 21 June 2017

No Sign !!

Early this morning I went to see if yesterdays Great White Egret was still around . I checked Goosemoor , Bowling Green Marsh and the Clyst Estuary but there was no sign of it today ! and there wasn`t a lot either to look at with only a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and European Reed Warbler , Blackcap and Common Chiffchaff , also seen were Red Admiral , Meadow Brown and Small White Butterflies .
And a look at the Clyst Estuary got me 4 Little Egret and a smart looking summer plumaged Spotted Redshank .

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Great White Egret

I had a call at just gone six this evening telling me that there was a Great White Egret showing on Bowling Green Marsh ( Thanks Gary ) , so I jumped in the car and got there as fast as I could and my luck was in as the bird was still showing on the far left hand side of the marsh & as we were looking at it , it flew across the marsh and landed right out in the open on the far side of the marsh from the hide .This is only the second record of one of these birds on the marsh ! the first one was way back on the 20th September 2004 found by me , so all the other birders had the joy of a pull back on me , Oh well that's life lol

Great White Egret ( Casmerodius albus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Silver-Studded Blue

I had a look around the Bystock Pools area this morning and up in the meadow I saw the following Butterflies , numerous Marbled White , Meadow Brown and Small Heath , 2 Silver-Washed Fritillary , 2 Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary and a male Silver-Studded Blue .
Around the pools Dragonflies were everywhere with numerous Keeled Skimmers , a single Emperor Dragonfly , 2 Golden-Ringed Dragonfly , 2 Large Red Damselfly , a few Beautiful Demoiselle and a Green Hairstreak Butterfly .

Silver-Studded Blue ( Plebejus argus ) . The Bystock Meadow . Devon

Marbled White ( M . galathea ) . The Bystock Meadow . Devon

Golden-Ringed Dragonfly ( Cordulegaster boltonii ) The Bystock Pools area . Devon

Sunday 18 June 2017

Ridgways Cackling Goose

This morning I went to the Pynes Hill area of Exeter to have a look for Marbled White Butterflies and I found quite a few of them flying around in the baking sunshine but after spending an hour with them waiting for just one to settle  ! I had to give up and make do with this one flight shot !!
Also seen were Meadow Brown , Large Skipper , Small Skipper , Common Blue and still quite a nice show of Bee Orchids .
I had received news that a Cackling Goose was on the main lagoon on the Exminster Marshes so this evening I went over and grabbed a look at it , it looks like the Ridgways Cackling Goose that was in the same area last year but where it has been too nobody knows lol .

Marbled White ( M . galathea ) . Pynes Hill . Exeter . Devon

Small Skipper ( T . flavus ) . Pynes Hill . Exeter . Devon

Large Skipper ( Ochlodes venatus ) . Pynes Hill . Exeter . Devon

Saturday 17 June 2017

Red Kite

This morning I walked down to have a look at a field in Topsham that is covered in Common Poppies and the view that I got was superb , but the sad thing is that the field has been sold for development so grab your chance now to see them .
Later in the day I took a look around the meadow at Highfield Farm in Topsham and a Red Kite flew over me heading towards the Clyst Marshes , also seen were the following Butterflies , Large Skipper , Meadow Brown and Meadow Brown .

Common Poppy ( Papaver rhoeas ) . Topsham . Devon

Common Blue ( P . icarus ) ( Female ) . Highfield Farm . Topsham . Devon

Friday 16 June 2017

Flogging a Dead Horse

This morning I had a look at both sides of the Exe Estuary . I started off at Goosemoor in Topsham but I only got a Cetti`s Warbler and a Large Skipper Butterfly , I then had a look around Bowling Green Marsh but again the birding was very slow and I only saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Blackcap , and singles of European Reed Warbler , Common Chiffchaff & Reed Bunting .
I then went for a look at the Exminster Marshes but it was just the same there with only the following birds seen , Barn Swallow , Common Sand Martin , Common House Martin , also seen was my first Meadow Brown of the year and 2 Slow Worm .

Large Skipper ( Ochlodes venatus ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Meadow Brown ( M . jurtina ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Saturday 10 June 2017

Bee Orchid

Todays shots are of one of my favourite flowers the superb looking Bee Orchid taken in the rain today at the Pynes Hill area of Exeter .

Bee Orchid ( Ophrys apifera ) . Pynes Hill . Exeter . Devon

Bowling Green Marsh

Once again the time of year has come to praise Mr Pete Otley  for the management of Bowling Green Marsh !! as I went for a look there today and was rewarded with some superb views of some thistles and grasses of enormous height all around the edges of the pool , the only trouble is that there could have been a dozen or so birds hidden away behind all of the foliage , perhaps even a Great Bustard but you would never get the chance to see them lol
I put in a request around 3 weeks ago asking for the edges to be cut , not a lot to ask for ! for a reserve that is claimed to be the jewel of the South West . But I wont hold my breath lol .
So once again Mr Otley the enigma that you are , thank you for all of your endeavour ! as for all of the time that I have been birding the marsh I have only met you twice and then you promised a new scrape in front of the hide, but perhaps that is still somewhere over the rainbow lol .

Wednesday 7 June 2017

Great Skua

First thing this morning I was down in my local town of Topsham and to my utter surprise I was rewarded with a fly over Rose-Ringed Parakeet a 1st for me on the Exe Estuary and only my second sighting in Devon . I then went down to Exmouth to have a look at Lyme Bay and yes it seemed a stupid thing to do seeing that it was low tide and I didn`t manage to see much at all , but I did see a Great Skua a 1st for the year ! along with 3 Common Scoter and a couple of Sandwich Tern .
I then had a look around the East Devon Commons and at Bystock Pools there were some very nice Beautiful Demoiselles , a couple of Small Red Damselfly and a Cinnabar Moth , and at another area I saw the following Butterflies , a Small Pearl-Bordered Fritillary , 2 Small Heath & 2 Speckled Wood .

Beautiful Demoiselle ( Calopteryx virgo ) ( Male & Female ) . Bystock Pools . Devon