Friday 30 March 2018


I got news this morning that a Great White Egret had flown from Exminster Marsh towards Powderham Marsh so I went over to look for it but there was no sign of it anywhere , but I did see a female Western Marsh Harrier .
Back home 5 Hawfinch showed in Topsham Cemetery . I then had a quick look at Bowling Green Marsh before the rain set in and I saw a Grey Heron , a Little Egret , around 10 Northern Shoveler and a Cetti`s Warbler was calling from the reed bed .

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

Thursday 29 March 2018

Not a Lot

My look around the Topsham Cemetery today only got me 2 Hawfinch and a Stock Dove , and my look around Bowling Green Marsh was not a lot better as I only saw 1 Little Egret , 1 Grey Heron , a Great Spotted Woodpecker , a Common Kingfisher that shot past the hide , a Cetti`s Warbler and a female Eurasian Bullfinch .
There was also a nice show of Sweet Violet along Bowling Green Lane that brightened up the day in-between the persistent heavy rain showers .

Sweet Violet ( Viola odorata ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Common Sand Martin

My first look today at Bowling Green Marsh got me a male and female Gadwall , 3 male and a female Tufted Duck , a Little Grebe , 2 Grey Heron , 4 Common Buzzard , 3 Stock Dove , a Common Chiffchaff and a female Eurasian Bullfinch .
Later in the day I got a message telling me that there was a Slavonian Grebe on the Exe Estuary at Topsham so I went down and got a distant view of it and also a Great Crested Grebe , then another look at Bowling Green Marsh got me my first 2 Common Sand Martin of the year .

Gadwall ( Anus strepera ) ( Female ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 25 March 2018

Snakes Alive !

My morning look in the Topsham Cemetery was quite productive this morning with numerous European Greenfinch , 3 Hawfinch , 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker , a Eurasian Nuthatch and a Common Kestrel my first in Topsham this year .
I then went and had a look at Bowling Green Marsh but it was low tide so there was not a lot on show but what I saw was worth looking at with a Ruff , a Water Rail and a Common Kingfisher , I then nipped home for a bite to eat and a cuppa .
In the afternoon as the sun was shining I decided to go for a look around Aylesbeare Common and it turned out to be a good move as on my walk around the common I saw a Common Stonechat , a male and female Dartford Warbler , a Common Raven and 4 Common European Adder ...the most that I have ever seen in a day !

Dartford Warbler ( Sylvia undata ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Common European Adder ( Vipera berus ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Saturday 24 March 2018

Little Ringed Plover

A brief look at Bowling Green Marsh today got me my first Little Ringed Plover of the year that was showing on the spit in front of the hide , it is a bird that comes from warmer climates to breed in this country , so it is always a buzz to see your first returning bird .
Also seen were 4 Grey Heron , a Little Egret , a mass of Black-Tailed Godwit with a few Bar-Tailed Godwit in with them and 20+ Pied Avocet .

Little Ringed Plover ( Charadrius dubius ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Friday 23 March 2018

Water Birds

My early walk around the Topsham Cemetery this morning produced 7 Hawfinch , 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Common Chiffchaff . I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh at high tide and saw 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , a single Bar-Tailed Godwit and 50+ Pied Avocet and down by the viewing platform a Water Rail showed very well .
I then made the trip down to Budleigh Salterton where I saw 2 Rock Pipit and a Water Pipit on the cricket pitch , then a walk along the back path on the Otter Marshes got me a European Green Woodpecker and my first singing Common Chiffchaff of the year .

Water Rail ( Rallus aquaticus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Water Pipit ( Anthus spinoletta ) . Budleigh Salterton . Devon

Thursday 22 March 2018

Eurasian Spoonbill

There was not a lot around today so I stayed local in Topsham . I had an early morning look in the cemetery grounds and saw 7 Hawfinch and a pair of Mistle Thrush .
I then had a look at Bowling Green Marsh where the Eurasian Spoonbill was showing for most of the day and was very close at times , also seen were 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , around 15 Pied Avocet and 3 Common Chiffchaff . Later in the day I had a look at the Recreation Ground and I saw a Northern Wheatear .

Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Northern Wheatear

A look out of my window this morning got me 2 Hawfinch and 4 Redwing in the Topsham Cemetery . I then went to have a look at the small marsh near Exton Station and I saw my first Northern Wheatear of the year with 4 male birds seen and as I was looking at them a flock of 20+ European Golden Plover were flying overhead .
I then went to the top fields at Gore Lane in Exmouth for another look at the Corn Bunting but today I only got one brief view of it . So I then went across to Budleigh Salterton cricket pitch area as a Spotted Redshank and 2 male Black Redstart were showing quite well there , also seen nearby were 3 Common Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler , it was also very nice to catch up with a few birding mates .

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . Exton Marsh . Devon

Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . Budleigh Salterton Cricket Pitch . Devon

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Eurasian Spoonbill

I was in the Topsham Cemetery early again this morning looking for the Hawfinch . As for ages I have been looking for the opportunity to photograph one of them in the open on the ground , well today it finally paid off and I was able to get the shot that I have been after .....Yippee .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes in hope of maybe seeing a Northern Wheatear but I had no luck again today , but I did see a female Western Marsh Harrier , a single Common Snipe and a flock of 20+ European Golden Plover . While I was there my phone went off with a message telling me that a Eurasian Spoonbill had dropped into Bowling Green Marsh , so I headed back over the River Exe to there and I got superb views of it .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

Eurasian Spoonbill ( Platalea leucorodia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Monday 19 March 2018

Corn Bunting

I looked out of my upstairs window this morning and saw 6 Hawfinch in the Topsham Cemetery Grounds but they flew off towards the Clyst Marshes . Later in the day I had a call telling me that there was a Corn Bunting in the top fields of Gore Lane in Exmouth ( Thanks Matt ) , so I contacted my mate Andy and off we went to see if we could catch up with it , we arrived and Matt Knott the finder of the bird was still there and soon got us onto the bird , that was the first one that I have seen in Devon since 2010 .
We then walked down to the Geoneedle area of Orcombe Point where a couple of displaced European Golden Plover were showing very well , it was quite strange to see these birds walking around the point and even a few walkers were taking in the beauty of these superb birds . We then walked back to the car seeing a few Fieldfare on the way .

Corn Bunting ( Miliaria calandra ) . The Top Fields . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon

European Golden Plover ( Pluvialis apricaria ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Fieldfare ( Turdus pilaris ) . Orcombe Point . Exmouth . Devon

Sunday 18 March 2018

Deep Snow Again

This morning I woke up to a slight fall of snow , and I went out for a look and I was pleased to see 4 Hawfinch in the trees in the Topsham Cemetery as I had not seen them for a while and had thought that they were gone from the area .
Sue and I decided to go for a walk just as snow had started to fall but by the time we had got to Bowling Green Marsh it had become quite heavy . On the marsh there was only a few Northern Shoveler , Northern Pintail and 2 Common Raven that we could see as by now it had turned into blizzard conditions so we headed back home . At home the feeders were quite busy with numerous European Goldfinch the main bird on show and as the day went on the snow just got deeper and deeper .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon

European Goldfinch ( Carduelis carduelis ) . Topsham . Devon

Friday 16 March 2018

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

A quick early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh got me 2 new in Eurasian Oystercatcher and a calling Cetti`s Warbler .
After yesterdays encounter with the Great Spotted Woodpecker`s I decided to go and see if any woodpeckers were on show in Yarner Wood on the edge of Dartmoor . But the first bird that I came across was a calling Tawny Owl , I then made my way deeper into the wood and heard a calling male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , but it took me a little while to get my eye in before I could manage to see it , and as I stood perfectly still the bird came closer allowing me to get these shots of it and as I was taking them a female bird also turned up ...perfect day lucky me .
Also seen were 5 Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 European Green Woodpecker , 2 Eurasian Nuthatch , a Eurasian Treecreeper and a Mistle Thrush .

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos minor ) . Yarner Wood . Devon

Thursday 15 March 2018

Slow Birding

I had a look around my local patch Bowling Green Marsh today but not a lot was seen . With only 12 Northern Pintail , 9 Northern Shoveler and singles of Grey Heron , Little Egret , Common Greenshank and Water Rail .
I then had a look at Goosemoor but there was nothing on the marsh but down by the River Clyst Railway Bridge a couple of pairs of Great Spotted Woodpecker were calling and chasing each other around constantly , I have never seen this before but I suppose that it must be part of a breeding ritual .

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Another shot from today

Grey Heron ( Ardea cinerea ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

White-Fronted Goose

I went over to the Exminster Marshes this morning in hope of seeing a Northern Wheatear but my luck was out today . But I did see 2 Grey Heron , 2 Common Snipe , a nice Jack Snipe , 2 Common Buzzard , a female Western Marsh Harrier , 20+ Meadow Pipit , 4 Common Skylark and a smart male Reed Bunting , also seen were quite a few Otter prints coming out of the water and onto to mud but no sign of the Otter anywhere , I also saw my 1st Slow Worm of the year .
I had gone back home when later I had a call about a goose that was showing where I had been earlier , so I went back again for a look and it turned out to be a 1st winter White-Fronted Goose a nice bird to get in Devon .

White-Fronted Goose ( Anser albifrons ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Monday 12 March 2018


This Brambling was showing on Bowling Green Marsh by the feeders until a bloody dog ran in and frightened everything away , now you cant blame the dog just the inconsiderate prat that let him do it .
There was not a lot else on show today just a few Northern Pintail that are always nice to see and a close Common Greenshank .

Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 10 March 2018

Thusday 8th March

I was already down in Cornwall so a trip to the Lower Tamar Lake was on the cards , we went over in the afternoon and managed to see a couple of Willow Tit that were coming and going to the feeders beside the hide , there was also a few Marsh Tit , Great Tit and Blue Tit and a Eurasian Nuthatch .
Out on the lake there was 11 female and 3 male Goosander and a Great Crested Grebe .

Willow Tit ( Poecile montanus ) . Lower Tamar Lake . Devon

Marsh Tit ( Poecile palustris ) . Lower Tamar Lake . Devon

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Nice Gull`s

Off out early again this morning with my destination being Dawlish Warren to look for some reported Woodlark but after much searching the nearest that I got to them was a calling fly over bird heading towards the golf course . Bur it was not all bad as I saw my first Sandwich Tern of the year along with 2 Great Northern Divers , a juvenile Common Eider and a nice male Cirl Bunting .
I was heading for home when I got a call from my mate Andy Bond saying that he was going for 2 Little Gull`s that were showing at Lyme Regis , so I met up with him and off we went and it didn`t take us long to connect with them as they were on the sea close in to the shore and my second year tick of the day . We then carried on towards Portland as we had news the Ross`s Gull that was refound yesterday was showing at Ferrybridge and this time the bird was still on show for us but was just  a little bit distant and was in with 24 Mediterranean Gull`s .
Our last stop of the day was at Winterbourne Herrington where a drake Garganey was showing on a flooded field along with a few Gadwall and Northern Pintail ... 3rd yeartick of the day in the bag lol

Sandwich Tern ( Sterna sandvicensis ) . Dawlish Warren . Devon

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Lyme Regis . Dorset

Ross`s Gull ( Rhodostethia rosea ) . Ferrybridge . Dorset

Monday 5 March 2018

Black-Necked Grebe

I was out at first light this morning in hope that the Black-Necked Grebe that was found on the Exeter Canal yesterday had stayed the night , and after I had parked the car up and waded through the flooded road on the Exminster Marshes I made my way to where it was last seen yesterday and I was soon pleased with my effort as the bird was still there and showing down to a few feet at times . I put the news out and was soon joined by mate Charlie Flemming who was also glad to get the opportunity to get up close to this bird .
At around 7.30 I also found some Bearded Reedlings in the Exe Reedbeds with 2 seen in flight while another was out of sight but was calling loudly ! . Also seen was the strange sight of a Water Rail perched on top of a bramble clump .

Black-Necked Grebe ( Podiceps nigricollis ) . The Exeter Canal . Exminster Marsh . Devon

Saturday 3 March 2018

Eurasian Treecreeper

Well the bird of the day whithout doubt was a Eurasian Treecreeper in the Topsham Cemetery and a first for me in the grounds , you will have to excuse the quality of the picture but at the time it was raining hard and the bird arrived and was gone in a flash before I could fully focus on it , it is also quite a rare bird for Topsham itself .
There was also some strange birds grounded again today with a Northern Lapwing and a Common Snipe , besides that also seen were a Common Buzzard , a Great Spotted Woodpecker ,  a few Redwing and Fieldfare and 5 Hawfinch .

Eurasian Treecreeper ( Certhia familiaris ) . Topsham Cemetery . Devon