Tuesday 31 October 2017

Hen Harrier

This morning I got to the Exminster Marshes as I hoped that the female Merlin that has been seen there would show but I was out of luck today . But I did see a female Western Marsh Harrier , 10 Meadow Pipit , a nice Water Pipit ( only my 2nd of the year ) , 4 Winter Wren , 7 Cetti`s Warblers at least , 2 Common Chiffchaff , 10 European Goldfinch and a male Eurasian Bullfinch .
Later in the day Andy Bond and myself went up to Dartmoor near Cold East Cross to look for some reported Ring Ouzel , we heard one right away and we expected them to be feeding on the berries but we couldn`t see them anywhere then out of nowhere a flock of them flew past us showing nice silvery wing panels there must have been 10-15 making it the most that I have ever seen together , also seen was a flock of over 100 European Golden Plover and we finished the day off with a nice female Hen Harrier , my first of the year .

Winter Wren ( Troglodytes troglodytes ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Sunday 29 October 2017

Colyford Common

This morning Sue and I went over to Colyford Common to look for a reported Glossy Ibis but when we arrived we were told that the bird was not showing at the moment , so we settled down in the hide to see what else was around and we saw 4 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron and then in flew a superb Great White Egret and joined them . It is only the second one that I have seen on these marshes .
I then got news of a Cattle Egret that was showing on Bridge Marsh so we went to have a look at it but by the time we got there it had flown across the road to the fields opposite but it still showed well . While we were there I had a call telling me that the Glossy Ibis was showing again so we went back and got good views of it to end a good mornings birding .

Great White Egret ( Casmerodius albus ) . Colyford Common . Devon

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . Nr Colyford Common . Devon

Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . Colyford Common . Devon

Friday 27 October 2017


This morning I went up to Woodbury Common and went to an area called the Castle to look for some Hawfinch that were found yesterday by local birder Matt Knott . I got there around 8.30 and at around  9.15 I managed to see one on top of a beech tree but it flew off right away , around 10ish another birder turned up and we saw 3 of them as they flew from one tree to another but they flew deep into cover , later I managed to see another one but again it was soon lost from view so alas no shots today . But they were my first Hawfinch seen in Devon since 2011 .
Also see were around 20+ Common Chaffinch , 5 Brambling , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch and a Great Spotted Woodpecker .

Thursday 26 October 2017

Wednesday 25th October

A trip up to South Wales today with our destination a quarry near to Blorenge in Gwent to look for a male Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush that has been in the quarry for a couple of weeks . It took us quite a while to get there and then there was a walk of about a mile to the quarry , but it was well worth it as the bird flew and landed right in front of us and all the other birders that were already there , the bird was quite a show off and was only my 3rd one seen in Britain with the others at Portland Bill Dorset in 1988 and the Erm Valley Devon in 2004 .
Also seen were 4 Red Kite near Camarthen and another near to Merthyr Tydvil .

Rufous Tailed Rock Thrush ( Monticola saxatilis ) . Blorenge . Gwent . Wales

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Winter Birds

A look from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me 6 Greylag Geese , numerous Common Teal and Eurasian Wigeon , around 20+ Northern Pintail , 12 Northern Shoveler , 2 female Common Pochard , a Little Grebe , a Peregrine Falcon , a female Western Marsh Harrier , 2 juvenile Curlew Sandpiper , 6 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 3 Dunlin and a Pied Avocet .
I then checked out the bushes by the viewing platform and saw 8 Goldcrest , a Common Chiffchaff , a Song Thrush , 6 Eurasian Jay and a Common Raven .

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

Goldcrest ( Regulus regulus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Friday 20 October 2017

Bowling Green Marsh

A look this morning from the hide at my local patch Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham got me 4 Ruff , a Curlew Sandpiper and a Bar-Tailed Godwit .
I then went down to check out the bushes around the viewing platform where I saw a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk , around 50+ Common Wood Pigeon , a single Stock Dove , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Eurasian Jay , a Song Thrush , 2 Goldcrest and this Cetti`s Warbler that was calling most of the time but only showed just the once before it shot off deep into cover again .

Cetti`s Warbler ( Cettia cetti ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Quality not Quantity

A trip up to Dorset again today with my mate Andy with our destination this time being St Aldhelm`s Head to look for a Two-Barred Greenish Warbler a very rare bird that has only been seen once before in Britain on the Island of Gugh in the Scilly Isles way back in 1987 .
We arrived to find a crowd of birders all around a small copse beside the quarry and we joined in with them in hope that the bird would show , after a while a few calls went up from the crowd of there it is ! but from where we were standing all we got was a few glimpse of it , but after about an hour the bird came out into the open for a short spell and we all got great views of it , the long 30 year wait was over ! so the feeling was just magic !

Two-Barred Greenish Warbler ( Phylloscopus trochiloides plumbeitarsus ) . St Aldhelm`s Head . Dorset

Tuesday 17 October 2017


Andy Bond and myself went up to Dorset this afternoon with our first stop at Lodmoor near Weymouth where we saw the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs and it came as a bit of a relief as we had been for this bird at 2 different locations this year and missed it each time .
We then went across to Portland to look for a juvenile Red-Breasted Flycatcher that had been seen in Broadcroft Quarry and as you can see the bird showed very well for us just before the rain set in .

Red-Breasted Flycatcher . Broadcroft Quarry . Portland . Dorset

Monday 16 October 2017

High Winds

First thing this morning it was blowing a gale and the sky had a strange red glow with the sun shining through the Sahara Dust . So I thought that I would go down to Exmouth to do a seawatch in Lyme Bay but all I saw were about 20+ Northern Gannet and a Great Skua , but there was nearly as many windsurfers than birds !
On the way home I stopped off at the copse at the top of Bowling Green Lane where there was a flock of Long-Tailed Tits and in with them was 3 Common Chiffchaff , 4 Goldcrest and a Firecrest . Later in the day I went to Bowling Green Marsh and I saw 20+ Northern Pintail , 2 Gadwall , a Little Grebe , 2 Western Marsh Harrier`s , 4 Ruff , 2 Red Knot , 2 Curlew Sandpiper , a male Peregrine Falcon and a Red Fox .

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

Sunday 15 October 2017

Thursday 12th October

This morning we started off at Nanquidno Valley and on the way there we had a Common Buzzard and 2 Northern Wheatear along the road by St Just Airport . Down in the valley the birding was a bit slow and all we saw 5 Common Chiffchaff , 4 Goldcrest , 2 Firecrest , 2 Grey Wagtail and a European Greenfinch .
Our next stop was at Kenidjack Valley and we saw even less there with 3 Goldcrest , a Firecrest and a Common Buzzard , so we decided to go to Pendeen Point to see if I could get a shot of the female Merlin that had been there for a few days but that didn't show either and all there was there were 2 Common Kestrel and a Northern Wheatear .
News then broke of a Red-Eyed Vereo seen at Porthgwarra so we dashed over and looked for it but the bird was in deep cover so we ended up dipping it , a sad way to end the holiday , but hey that's birding for you !

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . Pendeen Point . Cornwall

Saturday 14 October 2017

Wednesday 11th October

Today was a seawatching day . And we started off at Pendeen Point where we saw numerous Northern Gannet , a Balearic Shearwater , a Black-Legged Kittiwake and 11 Razorbill , also seen was the female Merlin and the male Peregrine Falcon .
We then decided to go over to Porthgwarra as we thought that the seawatching would be better there , and it turned out to be a good move as we saw numerous Northern Gannet , 60+ Balearic Shearwater , a single Manx Shearwater , 2 Sooty Shearwater , a juvenile Sabine`s Gull , 30+ Black-Legged Kittiwake , 3 Great Skua , 4 dark phase and 2 light phase Arctic Skua , 4 Northern Fulmar , 5 Common Scoter and 30+ Common Guillemot .... But I did miss a Long-Tailed Skua and a Grey Phalarope that went through before we got there .

While we were there Sue went and got us a cream tea and brought it to where I was sitting much the derision of the other birders there ..... mmmmmm very nice lol

Norther Gannet ( Morus bassanus ) . Pendeen Point . Cornwall

Tuesday 10th October

Pendeen Point was again our first stop this morning and the 1st thing we saw again this morning was the female Merlin that was chasing a Meadow Pipit and a was a great sight to see them twisting and turning at great speed , we then did a bit of seawatching and saw numerous Northern Gannet , a Balearic Shearwater and the strange sight of a Eurasian Spoonbill going past well out to sea heading towards Lands End . Also seen was a male Peregrine Falcon , a Common Kestrel and a juvenile Northern Wheatear .
We then went to the Levant Tin Mine a very interesting place to visit plus we had the enjoyment of seeing  2 Red-Billed Chough a bird that I always enjoy seeing . Our last stop of the day was at the sewage works at Kenidjack Valley where the Yellow-Browed Warbler was heard on call but not seen .

Red-Billed Chough ( Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax ) . Levant Tin Mine . Cornwall

Friday 13 October 2017

Monday 9th October

It was a bit breezy today so we again headed for Pendeen Point , we arrived to see a few other birders seawatching so we joined in with them , Northern Gannet`s were moving past all of the time and there was well over a 100+ , there was also a single Manx Shearwater and a nice Pomarine Skua , also seen was a few Meadow Pipit , a juvenile Northern Wheatear and a female Merlin .
We then went for a look around the Nanquidno Valley , we drove down the valley and parked the car up and started to walk up the valley seeing a flock of Long-Tailed Tits and in with them was a Firecrest and a Commom Chiffchaff , we then headed back down the valley looking all of the time and as we were nearing the Nanjulian Farm there on top of a bush looking right at us was a superb juvenile Barred Warbler but on seeing us it then flew a short way and dropped into a clump of brambles , we spent some time looking for it up and down the valley but didn't see it again but someone did see and report it again the next day so that was nice !
Our next stop was at Kenidjack Valley and by the sewage works there was a Yellow-Browed Warbler , a Common Chiffchaff , 7 Goldcrest and a Firecrest . To finish the day off we went for another look at the Eurasian Wryneck at Pendeen Point and this time it was showing a lot better .

Eurasian Wryneck ( Jynx torquilla ) . Pendeen Point . Cornwall

Sunday 8th October

It was mine and Sue`s birthdays on the 8th and the 10th so we decided to spend it down on the tip of Cornwall . We had booked a place down at Mousehole that was very nice and we were close to most of the valleys .
We got up early this morning and headed for Pendeen Point as there had been a report of a Eurasian Wryneck seen there , we went down to the lighthouse and had a look out and saw numerous Northern Gannet , a Great Skua and a few Meadow Pipit were seen around the lighthouse , we then went back towards the coastguards cottages where we saw the elusive Eurasian Wryneck , 4 Common Raven , a Common Stonechat , a Common Chiffchaff and a Ring Ouzel .
We then went for a look at the valley at Porthgwarra where we saw 8 Goldcrest , a very nice Firecrest , a Blackcap and a Common Chiffchaff , by now the light had started to drop and the rain had set in so we decided to head back at the end of a 1st good days birding .

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Porthgwarra . Cornwall

Wednesday 4 October 2017

New Scapes

I had a look at Bowling Green Marsh first thing this morning but it was dead and all I saw were 2 Common Chiffchaff , 7 Goldcrest and numerous Black-Tailed Godwit .
So I went to take a look at the new scrapes at Matford Marsh , they look quite good but there is nowhere really to look in from , but I saw 12 Black-Tailed Godwit , 2 British Pied Wagtail , a juvenile Yellow Wagtail , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Meadow Pipit , a Common Chiffchaff , 4 Goldcrest and a Eurasian Bullfinch so not a bad start .

Goldcrest ( Regulus regulus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Richards Pipit again !

This morning this Mistle Thrush was outside of my house in the Topsham Cemetery grounds , I then went down to the top fields at Orcombe Point to relook for yesterdays Richard`s Pipit , I got out of the car and immediately had quite a few pipits flying over the car , I walked towards where they had flown and then at around 8.30 I put some up from the ground by the water trough , there was 9 Meadow Pipits and in with them was the Richard`s Pipit and it was great to see the size difference again and to hear that harsh shreeee call as they flew off back towards Gore Lane .The bird is very illusive but once it flies there is just quite a lot of ground it can go too with some of it out of bounds .
While I was looking for it I saw 12 Common Chiffchaff with one of then still singing , 2 Northern Wheatear , a juvenile Whinchat and this smart Painted Lady Butterfly .

Mistle Thrush ( Turdus viscivorus ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Painted Lady ( Cynthia cardui ) . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon

Monday 2 October 2017

Richards Pipit

I started today off at Bowling Green Marsh but it was quite slow birding this morning and the best that I saw was a Grey Wagtail , 2 Common Chiffchaff and a male Blackcap .
So I decided to go down to Exmouth and have a look around the top fields at Orcombe Point , I started seeing Barn Swallows going through right away and I lost count of how many went through in the end , there was also 50-100 Meadow Pipit & a Yellow Wagtail , I then went along the path towards the sea from Gore Lane and noticed some more Meadow Pipits sat on the electric fence , I put my bins up to take a look at them and was immediately drawn to a larger pipit that was sat bolt upright with them , my first thoughts were shittt its a Richards Pipit !! I was trying to take in all the features on the bird and my head was racing as I got most of them when it flew off calling down towards the lower fields by the Bristol Schools Camp before I could even lift my camera , I put the news out as a possible Dicks Pipit and went down to the fields to look for it , I was down there for a couple of hours when I met up with another birder that had just seen and heard the bird back in the original field and confirmed that it was indeed a Richards Pipit , I did hear the bird flying over calling again later on but for all of my trying I couldn't get to see it again .
I couldn't get any shots of it but I did this little drawing , I know its not great but I`m not an artist , hope you understand lol

Richards Pipit ( Anthus richardi ) . Orcombe Point Top Fields . Exmouth . Devon

Sunday 1 October 2017


Local patch birding can sometimes lead to frustration and today was one of those days . As I got to my patch around the bushes on Bowling Green Marsh around 8 o/clock , I walked down the path towards the viewing platform and I picked up the call of a Yellow-Browed Warbler in the trees towards Riversmeet House , I then heard it call from the reedbed and the last time it called was from the trees by the main path but it left me frustrated as I couldn't manage to see it and I never heard it call again .
But I did see 10-15 Common Chiffchaff , 2 Blackcap , 12 Meadow Pipit , a Grey Wagtail , a fly over calling Yellow Wagtail , my 1st ever Common Skylark on the marsh ( I know I`m a tart lol ) , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk , a Common Raven and a small Tit flock comprising of European Blue Tit , Great Tit , Long-Tailed Tit and a few Goldcrest .

European Blue Tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon