Wednesday 28 February 2018

Topsham Rec

This morning I had a look at the Topsham Recreation Ground / Exe Estuary and it didn`t turn out to bad as I saw , 3 male and 4 female Red-Breasted Merganser , a male & female Common Goldeneye , 4 Black-Tailed Godwit , a Common Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper . A look through the gulls for something good only turned up 2 Lesser Black-Backed Gull`s and a 2nd winter Great Black-Backed Gull , a Water Rail was calling from the reedbed and a Common Kingfisher was sat on the wall .

Red-Breasted Merganser ( Mergus serrator ) . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Frozen Topsham

I must be mad as even though it was freezing this morning I still went out birding , my first stop was at Bowling Green Marsh where there was a small bit of water that wasn`t frozen over that had all of the usual wildfowl on it .
I then went and had a look at Goosemoor as was amazed to see that is was nearly completely frozen over , I have never seen it as bad as it was today and they say we have the worst to come Brrrr lol , hardly any birds were seen but 3 Stock Dove on the railway bridge were nice and on the Clyst Estuary there was 25 Common Teal and a single Pied Avocet .

Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Stock Dove ( Columba oenas ) . The River Clyst Railway Bridge . Topsham . Devon

Monday 26 February 2018

Pink Foot Again

An early look in the cemetery grounds at Topsham this morning got me a Common Buzzard sat on one of the gravestones and the 1st winter Peregrine Falcon was again on the water tower .
I then went to the Matford Marshes in Exeter where the drake American Wigeon was again showing well along with 100+ Eurasian Wigeon and 15 Common Snipe . Later in the day I got news that the Pink-Footed Goose that was seen the other day was showing very well on the Exminster Marshes , so I went over to see if I could get some shots of it this time and as you can see it was a good move .

Pink-Footed Goose ( Anser brachyrhynchus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

American Wigeon ( Anas americana ) . Matford Marsh . Exeter . Devon

Saturday 24 February 2018

Pink-Footed Goose

This morning I got news that there was a Pink-Footed Goose on the fields north of Powderham Corner , so I went to see if I could catch up with it as I have not had one in Devon for quite a while , and my luck was in as it was still showing but it was very distant so thanks for showing me it through your scope Mark .
I then had a look at the Matford Marshes where the drake American Wigeon was showing in with around 50+ Eurasian Wigeon . Later back home in Topsham a look around the cemetery grounds got me a female Hawfinch , and the 1st winter Peregrine Falcon spent most of the day sat on the water tower .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Friday 23rd February

Ross`s Gull

Andy Bond and myself made the trip up to Dorset today to look for a reported adult Ross`s Gull that has been seen in a couple of different locations . So our first stop was at Ferrybridge as the bird had been seen earlier but it had flow off before we got there and all we got was a few Common Ringed Plover and freezing cold as the wind was bitterly cold there .
So we then had a look at Radipole Lake in Weymouth but not much luck there either as we only saw 4 Mediterranean Gull and a Brown Rat lol , so we then went on the Lodmoor as the bird had been seen there for the last 2 days , there was quite a lot of birders already there and it was nice to catch up with some from yesteryear . There was a few birds on show with 2 Eurasian Spoonbill , a male and female Western Marsh Harrier , 5 Ruff , numerous Common Snipe , another 12 Mediterranean Gull and then a huge 2nd winter Glaucous Gull dropped in with them causing a ripple of excitement but there was still no sign of the bird that we had all come for .
Then news broke at just gone 4 pm that the Ross`s Gull was right up at the other end of Weymouth sat on the sea at Bowleaze Cove so it was a mad dash for everyone to get there , we drove right up over the hill and down into the holiday complex where some people already had their scopes up looking at the sea so we nipped out to join them and after a bit of begging one of them let us look through his scope . And after a bit of searching in the rough sea there it was the adult Ross`s Gull that we had spent the whole day looking for , at around half past four the bird decided to fly and we all watched it fly off to the east until it was lost from view around the headland . This was only my 5th different Ross`s Gull that I have seen in this country , the last one being on my local patch Bowling Green Marsh back in Devon .

Mediterranean Gull ( Larus melanocephalus ) . Radipole Lake . Weymouth . Dorset

Ruff ( Philomachus pugnax ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Thursday 22 February 2018


The only birding that I managed to get in today was a couple of walks around the cemetery grounds in Topsham . And I was lucky enough to get my first Blackcap of the year , also seen was a female Great Spotted Woodpecker , a few Goldcrest and a flock of 20+ European Greenfinch .

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Wednesday 21 February 2018

What a Day !

This morning I went for a look around my local patch Bowling Green Marsh and the day started off well with both European Green Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker the first birds of the day , I then walked down the road a bit and spotted a few Common Snipe and as I was looking at them a Jack Snipe flew in and joined then but they were soon lost from view in the sedge around the small pool , this was only my 5th seen on the marsh in over 30 years . Also seen was this European Golden Plover , 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit and a Red Knot .
As myself and a few other birders were all stood together one of them said that he had something dash across the road so we went and had a look and it was a Weasel but it shot into the bushes and was lost from view . Everyone then went off in different directions but I decided to go down the road past where it had gone in and I picked a spot with the sun behind me and just waited and after about an hour out it popped again by the side of the road and not only that a second one then dashed across the road to join it , as I have never photographed one before I just fired off shot after shot and I was over the moon with the results that I got today from my amazing encounter with an elusive Weasel .

Weasel ( Mustela nivalis ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

European Golden Plover ( Pluvialis apricaria ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 20 February 2018


Ken , Andy and myself went down to Cornwall this morning in hope of seeing a White-Billed Diver and a Pacific Diver that has been reported there , we went to Mousehole and looked out from there with numerous other birders and we picked out 2 Black-Throated Diver`s & 12 Great Northern Diver`s  but we couldn't find the two birds that we had come for ! , also seen were a few Northern Gannet and a Northern Fulmar , also nice to see were some Common Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise .
We then had a look around Newlyn Harbour where we saw this 1st winter Glaucous Gull , sorry that I have posted more Glaucous Gull pictures but I just couldn't resist as this is my 4th different one this year . Our last stop of the day was at the Carnon Downs Sewage Works where we saw 3 Firecrest , a few Goldcrest , and a Common Chiffchaff .

Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus ) . Newlyn Harbour . Cornwall

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Carnon Downs Sewage Works . Cornwall

Goldcrest ( Regulus regulus ) . Carnon Downs Water Sewage Works . Cornwall

Saturday 17 February 2018

White Wingers

A trip down to Brixham in South Devon this morning to look for a couple of white winged gulls .The first one a juvenile/1st winter Iceland Gull was soon picked out sat on the sea , but after a while it came in closer and proceeded to fly up and down the breakwater giving great views .
The next bird that we saw was the adult Glaucous Gull that was sat on the roof of the derelict structure in the harbour . Also seen were 6 Purple Sandpiper , a Ruddy Turnstone and an Atlantic Grey Seal .

Iceland Gull ( Larus glaucoides ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon

Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon

Purple Sandpiper ( Calidris maritima ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon

Atlantic Grey Seal ( Halichoerus grypus ) . Brixham Harbour . Devon

Thursday 15 February 2018

Wednesday 14th . February

A long trip today for myself and the boys up to Kent and Sussex . With our first stop at the reserve at Dungeness in Kent where it was dry but freezing cold , we went to the Christmas Dell hide where we saw a male and 2 female Smew ( It is the first male bird that I have seen for many a year ) , also seen was a Slavonian Grebe , and 2 Bearded Reedling that flew in front of the hide and dropped into the reedbed . We then went to another area called Boulder Wall Farm to look for Eurasian Tree Sparrow`s but we only managed to see one of them , plus an Egyptian Goose and a Great White Egret .
We then headed for Sussex and we went to the Sovereign Harbour at Eastbourne where after a bit of a search a Black Guillemot showed very well , we then went to an area close by called West Rise Marsh to look for a Bluethroat that has been seen there , but by now the rain and strong wind had set in so the only thing we got there was soaked lol , there was also a small herd of Asian Water Buffalo roaming around on there and as we walked passed them they went for us ! so be careful if you go there .

Smew ( Mergellus albellus ) The Christmas Dell Hide . Dungeness . Kent

Black Guillemot ( Cepphus grylle ) . The Sovereign Harbour . Eastbourne . Sussex

Monday 12 February 2018

Northern Goshawk

A look at the Topsham Recreation Ground this morning got me a single Common Gull , 7 Reed Bunting and a calling Cetti`s Warbler a 1st for me at this site .
I then went to a private site where a Northern Goshawk showed quite well .

Northern Goshawk ( Accipiter gentilis ) . Private Site

Saturday 10 February 2018

Purple Sandpiper

This morning I went down to the Maer Rocks at Exmouth in the pouring rain to see if I could catch up with Purple Sandpiper for my Devon year list and I managed to see 5 of them , I managed to get a couple of record shots of them but they were not worth posting on here lol .
Back home in my garden there were a few Great Tit , European Blue Tit and Coal Tit .

Coal Tit ( Periparus ater ) . Topsham . Devon

Friday 9 February 2018

Quite a Day

This morning I went to a private site in Devon .Where I saw 2 Woodlark with one of them singing , and then a Northern Goshawk showed for a short while before dropping out of view again , also added to the day list were 3 Common Raven , a Common Buzzard and a Common Skylark before I decided to head back home because of the freezing cold wind .
Later in the day I went to an area north of Powderham Church beside the Exe Estuary cycle path where 2 Snow Geese were in with some Canada Geese but they were very distant feeding in the fields , and nearby were 2000+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese .

Snow Goose ( Anser caerulescens ) . North of Powderham Church . Devon

Thursday 8 February 2018

A Ruff Day !

A look around the cemetery grounds in Topsham this morning got me a small flock of Redwing , a Common Buzzard and a Great Spotted Woodpecker , I then had a look around the Recreation Ground in Topsham but the only birds of any note were 2 male and 2 female Common Goldeneye seen on the River Exe .
Then a look at Bowling Green Marsh got me numerous Northern Pintail , Northern Shoveler , Common Teal and Eurasian Wigeon , 2 Common Shelduck , 100+ Dunlin , 30 + Black-Tailed Godwit , 2 Ruff , a Common Greenshank , a Common Snipe and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk that flew over the marsh a couple of times putting everything up .

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

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Tuesday 6th February

Myself and the boys did some birding today in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire . And we started the day off looking for a Richards Pipit near Arlingham and after much looking we managed to see the bird for a short while but it was soon lost from view again . So we then went to the Plock Court Wetland area in Longford where the superb looking male Penduline Tit showed very well and we were well pleased with that as we had already looked for it this year but it did not show for us that day .
The next bird that we went for was a Great Grey Shrike near Hawling and we soon connected with the bird but it was always a little bit distant , on then to Harnhill where 2 Grey Partridge were added to the list , a hard bird to catch up with back in Devon .
We then into Wiltshire and went to the Cotswald Water Park to look for Red-Crested Pochard and we saw 15 male and 7 females but not a lot else except a few Tufted Ducks , our last stop was at Hackpen Hill to look for Eurasian Tree Sparrow and we saw around 30-40 of them along with a female Hen Harrier and 4 Roe Deer to end a great days birding .

Eurasian Penduline Tit ( Remiz pendulinus ) . The Plock Court Wetland Area . Longford . Gloucestershire

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) . Hawling . Gloucestershire

Red-Crested Pochard ( Netta rufina ) . The Cotswald Water Park . Wiltshire