Tuesday 30 January 2018

Cetti`s Warbler

I started the day off on the Clyst Marshes as an Otter was seen there the other day , but there was no sign of it today and all that I saw were 2 Common Snipe , a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Fieldfare .
So I went over to the Exminster Marshes  for a look around but there was not a lot on show there either but I did see my 1st Cetti`s Warbler of the year , 2 Little Egret and a flock of 500+ European Golden Plover . I then headed for home and just as I got there my phone went off with a message telling me that 10 Hawfinch were showing in the Topsham Cemetery and seeing that I was already there I just couldn't resist going in to have a look at them .

Cetti`s Warbler ( Cettia cetti ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . The Topsham Cemetery Grounds . Devon

Monday 29 January 2018

More Hawfinch !

This morning I went to a flood plain near to the River Exe at Exwick in Exeter to look for a Barnacle Goose  that has been seen there , and sure enough the bird was still there but was quite a bit distant .
I then went to the Exwick Cemetery Grounds to look for Hawfinch and I saw around 20-30 of them , they were quite mobile and were calling all of the time making it a lot easier to catch up with them , also seen there was a European Green Woodpecker and a Eurasian Nuthatch .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Exwick Cemetary . Exeter . Devon

Sunday 28 January 2018

Bonaparte`s Gull

A look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning got me numerous wildfowl with 5 male and 3 female Northern Pintail , 3 male and a female Tufted Duck and a male and female Common Pochard the best of the bunch , also seen were 2 Ruff , 3 Common Snipe and 2 Common Greenshank , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a Grey Wagtail .
Later in the day a trip down to Exmouth got me a juvenile Common Eider , a Long-Tailed Duck and a Great Northern Diver all out in Lyme Bay and in the mouth of the Exe Estuary off of Shelly Beach the wintering Bonaparte`s Gull showed very well .

Bonaparte`s Gull ( Chroicocephalus philadelphia ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon

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

Saturday 27 January 2018

Ring-Necked Duck

A reported drake Ring-Necked Duck at Beesands Ley in South Devon saw us making the trip down there this morning to look for it . And it was soon found in with some Tufted Duck and Common Pochard but was always a bit distant .
The rain had been falling all morning and was now getting heavier so not a lot else was seen today but as we were driving out of Beesands a Weasel dashed across the road , making it the first that I have seen this year .

Ring-Necked Duck ( Aythya collaris ) . Beesands Ley . Devon

Friday 26 January 2018

Common Scoter

I got amazing news today of a drake Common Scoter inland on the Exwick Flood Relief Channel in Exeter and you don't get the chance very often to see one of these birds close up let alone get a shot of one , so I got there as fast as I could and was well pleased with the results . ( Many Thanks Nigel )
The only other birds that I saw today were 2 fly over Hawfinch in the Exwick Cemetery and a juvenile Peregrine Falcon on the water tower outside of my house in Topsham .

Common Scoter ( Melanitta nigra ) . The Exwick Flood Relief Channek . Exeter . Devon

Thursday 25 January 2018

Black Redstart

Today I went to the beach at Beer in East Devon to look for a reported Black Redstart but after much searching I could not find it , so I went on a little bit further to look for some more at Seaton Hole and my luck was a lot better there as I found 2 of them along with a couple of Common Chiffchaff .
The next stop was at the Colyford Common reserve in hope of seeing the long staying Glossy Ibis but again I was out of luck , but I did see 2 Water Rail , a male Peregrine Falcon and a flock of 100+ Redwing .

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . Seaton Hole . Devon

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Tuesday 23rd January

We started the day off today at the Cowards Marsh near Christchurch in Dorset where we saw the 1st winter Stilt Sandpiper that seems to be wintering there , it was well over on the other side of the pools so no chance of a shot of it .
We then went on towards the Staines Reservoir stopping off on the way at Magna Carta Lane in Berkshire where we saw our 1st 4 Rose-Ringed Parakeets of the year + a Red Kite , also seen were some huge planes taking off from Heathrow and flying right over us quite low , always a thrilling sight for me !
We then went on to Staines Reservoir where we got superb views of the American Horned Lark their version of our Shorelark ! And as you can see the face pattern is a lot more whiter than on our birds . We were very pleased to get better views of it this time , as last year it was very distant .Our last stop of the day with fading light was at Bedfont Lakes in Middlesex where Rose-Ringed Parakeets were coming into pre roost in the trees and there was 100-150 seen , the most that I have ever seen together .

American Horned Lark ( Eremophila alpestris ) . Staines Reservoir . Surrey

Rose-Ringed Parakeet ( Psittacula krameri ) . Bedfont Lakes . Middlesex

Monday 22 January 2018

Dawlish Warren

I had a look around the Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve today and to be honest I was Shocked at what it as been turned into , at the far end of the reserve towards Warren Point can only be described as looking like a prison camp with fences blocking off where you can go all over the place and most of the bushes have been ripped out making it a shell of what it used to look like , with all the places fenced off it reminded me of the film that I have just watched Dunkirk ! Perhaps the gun placements come next ! to someone who has birded this site for over 30 years it just makes me sad to see the disgusting state of it now .
Anyway I managed to see 2 Firecrest , and a look at the sea got me 3 Great Northern Diver and a few Red-Breasted Merganser and on the beach was a single Sanderling & a few Ruddy Turnstone.

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Sunday 21 January 2018

Glaucous Gull

Todays birding was a bit strange as for most of the day I was indoors suffering with a bit of a cold ! and I spent most of the morning looking out of my window for Hawfinch with no joy at all .
But later in the day I had a message from local Exmouth birder Matt Knott telling me that there was a Bonaparte`s Gull at Shelly Beach in Exmouth , so I got off of my bum and went down to look for it but I missed out on it as it had flown off before I got there . But there was a distant 1st winter Glaucous Gull showing on an area called Bull Hill ! a stretch of sand that shows at low tide in the middle of the Exe Estuary , sorry about the shot of it but I just wanted a record it  . Also seen was a European Shag and a Common Guillemot and looking across towards Warren Point I just about managed to see the Long-Tailed Duck... Many thanks Matt

Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus ) . Bull Hill . The Exe Estuary . Devon

European Shag ( Phalacrocorax aristotelis ) . Exmouth . Devon

Saturday 20 January 2018

Local Birding

This morning I got up from bed and looked out of the window and was rewarded with a Hawfinch in the Topsham Cemetery Grounds . I then had a look around the Matford Marshes in Exeter and I saw the male American Wigeon , around 60 + Eurasian Wigeon , 6 Common Snipe & 7 European Blue Tit . I finished the morning off at Darts Farm in Topsham and I saw 100 + Eurasian Curlew , a male and female Common Stonechat , 2 Common Linnet and a Common Raven .
Todays Photo is of a European Blue Tit a bird that is very common here in Britain and a bird that is a little bit taken for granted . But as you can see its a little stunner .

European Blue Tit ( Cyanistes caeruleus ) . The Matford Marshes . Exeter . Devon

Thursday 18 January 2018

Birding Cornwall

A trip down to Cornwall with my mates Ken & Andy got us some good birds . We started the day off at Newlyn Harbour and we soon connected with a 2nd c y Iceland Gull but there was not a lot else to see , so we went up the road to Penzance to look for reported Yellow-Browed Warbler in the Marrab Gardens but we never saw it but seeing a Firecrest was an added bonus .
The next stop was at the Hayle Estuary where we saw a Eurasian Spoonbill , on then to St Gothian Sands were a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull stood out like a beacon on the island , also seen there was a Greater Scaup , a bit of a drive then saw us at Trenance Pool in Newquay where a 2nd c y Ring-Billed Gull showed very well , so well that at one point it was beside our feet .
The day was starting to wind down by now as we headed for Porthpean for a sea watch that got us , 4 Northern Fulmar , Black-Throated Diver , Red-Throated Diver , Great Northern Diver , a female Long-Tailed Duck , 3 Surf Scoter comprising of an adult female , a juvenile female & a juvenile male , and a single Velvet Scoter & a few Northern Gannet . The last stop of the day was at Dozmary Pool on Bodmin Moor where after a bit of a search we saw some Tufted Duck and in with them was the adult drake Lesser Scaup ... a great end to a days birding .

Iceland Gull ( Larus glaucoides ) . Newlyn Harbour . Cornwall

Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus ) . St Gothian Sands . Gwithian . Cornwall

Ring-Billed Gull ( Larus delawarensis ) . Trenance Pool . Newquay . Cornwall

Lesser Scaup ( Aythya affinis ) . Dozmary Pool . Bodmin Moor . Cornwall

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Finches Galore

This morning I went to the Matford Marshes to look for the American Wigeon that has been there for a while now and the bird was still showing on the back pool but was quite distant .
I then went down to the village of Lympstone to look for the finch flock that has been seen there , and I found it with over 100+ Common Chaffinch , 20+ Brambling , 20+ Eurasian Greenfinch , 10-15 European Goldfinch , 2 male Eurasian Bullfinch , 14 Common Linnet and a few Reed Bunting .
I then headed for home as the rain had started to fall quite heavy and on the way I stopped for a look at Darts Farm in Topsham where I saw my first Eurasian Sparrowhawk of the year .

Eurasian Bullfinch ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ) . Lympstone . Devon

Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Lympstone . Devon

European Greenfinch ( Chloris chloris ) . Lympstone . Devon

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Common Sandpiper

I had another look for the Water Pipit at the Topsham Recreation Ground today but there was no sign of it today . But I did see a male and female Common Goldeneye , 3 Common Sandpiper , 2 Pied Avocet , a Grey Plover , 2 Common Gull , 2 Grey Wagtail and a few Reed Bunting .

Common Sandpiper ( Actitis hypoleucos ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon

Monday 15 January 2018

Water Pipit

A Water Pipit was seen this afternoon on the northern end of the Recreation Ground in Topsham by the first two wooden jetties , the 1st that I have seen here for a few years .

Topsham Today !

Sunday 14 January 2018

Siberian Chiffchaff

I was out in my garden early this morning topping up the bird feeders and was rewarded with a female Hawfinch again showing in the Topsham Cemetery Grounds .
I then met up with my mate Andy Bond and we went to look for Cattle Egret at Teigngrace but we couldn't see them anywhere , so we went for look around the water treatment plant at Heathfield where we saw 5 Common Chiffchaff and with them was a nice Siberian Chiffchaff , also seen were quite a few Goldcrest , 5 Long-Tailed Tit , 8 Common Chaffinch and a smart Brambling .

Siberian Chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus collybita tristis ) . The Heathfield Water Treatment Plant . Devon

Long-Tailed Tit ( Aegithalos caudatus ) . Heathfield Water TreatmentPlant . Devon

Saturday 13 January 2018

Friday 12th January

I took a look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning but it was low tide so not a lot was seen with the best being 12 Redwing , a Common Chiffchaff and a female Goldcrest .
So I decided to go and look for White-Throated Dipper in Exeter and I was in luck as I saw one on the stream that runs through the Northbrook Golf Course , also seen were 2 Common Kingfisher and a Grey Wagtail . I then went across the Topsham Road into the Ludwell Valley Country Park but all that I saw there was 6 Eurasian Siskin and another Grey Wagtail . 

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

Friday 12 January 2018

Thursday 11th January

I made the trip down to Exmouth this morning to look for a reported Black Redstart but after much looking there was no sign of it anywhere , but there was a few Common Linnet on Shelly Beach , and in the marina a Common Guillemot was showing well , I then had a look at Lyme Bay from the raised beach huts and picked out 2 Common Eider , 2 Great Crested Grebe and a Slavonian Grebe .
I then walked along Madeira Walk where I saw a nice Firecrest but it was soon lost from view . But 2 male and 2 female Common Bullfinch showed well .
My last stop of the day was at East Budleigh where the Italian Sparrow that is now pending with the BOURC showed on and off for a short spell .

Italian Sparrow ( Passer italiae ) . East Budleigh . Devon

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Exmouth . Devon

Common Guillemot ( Uria aalge ) . Exmouth Marina . Devon

Thursday 11 January 2018

Tuesday 9th January

Norfolk Trip . Day 2

We had spent the night in Kessingland in Suffolk so we got up early and headed for the north Norfolk coast with our first stop of the day at Thornham where we saw 15+ Twite , a good bird for us as you hardly get them in the Sth West of England .
We then headed for Titchwell where we saw the usual waders including a winter plumaged Spotted Redshank , a look at the sea then got us a few Long-Tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye & a Red-Throated Diver and on the beach there was a Purple Sandpiper , we then walked back towards the car park and on the way back there was a Water Pipit .
We then went to the Holkham Freshmarsh and a bit of a walk got us 8 Shore Lark and 2 Muntjac Deer , we then went looking for geese and near Burnham Norton there was 200+ Pink-Footed Goose , 12 Egyptian Goose , 12 Red-Legged Partridge and 4 Brown Hare , on then to fields near Holkham where we had 10-15 White-Fronted Goose and a Great White Egret , we then finished the day off at the Cley Marshes where we saw 5 Western Marsh Harrier , the end of a superb couple of days birding .

Twite ( Carduelis flavirostris ) . Thornham . Norfolk

Shore Lark ( Eremophila alpestris ) . Holkham Marsh . Norfolk