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Monday, 31 December 2018

2018

Well the end of the year is on us . It was not a bad year of birding as I managed to see 259 different birds in Britain and out of them I managed to photograph 228 of them . With the highlight for me being 2 new birds with an Arctic Redpoll and a Grey Catbird .
In my local county of Devon I saw 218 birds for the year with the highlight being on Colaton Raleigh Common with a very nice Pallid Harrier .

A very Happy New Year to all my followers and good Birding for the coming year .

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Weasel

I went to Darts Farm in Topsham this morning to check out the finch flock and it is started to build up a little bit with mostly Common Chaffinch bit there was also a few Reed Bunting in with them , but no sign of any Brambling .
I then went to the Matford Marshes on the edge of Exeter as a Yellow-Browed Warbler had been seen there yesterday and I was only there a short while when I heard it call but I could`nt manage to see it . But I put the news out anyway and after a while Dave Boult and Andy Bond turned up and after quite a search we all managed to see the bird but it was constantly on the move with a flock of Long -Tailed Tits , also seen was a Little Grebe , 2 Common Chiffchaff , a smart male Goldcrest , 2 Redwing , a Eurasian Bullfinch and this superb Weasel that popped out for a short while before vanishing back into the undergrowth .

Weasel ( Mustela nivalis ) . The Matford Marshes . Exeter . Devon



Saturday, 29 December 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

A look around Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me 300+ Brent Goose of the dark bellied race , 5 Greylag Goose , 15 Northern Pintail , a male and female Tufted Duck , 100+ Northern Lapwing , a very good count on the marsh of over 20+ Common Snipe , 15 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Little Egret and a Red Fox .   
I then went for a look around the viewing platform area where there 2 Redwing , a Eurasian Bullfinch and 2 Cetti`s Warbler were heard on call .

Brent Goose ( Branta bernicla ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Thursday, 27 December 2018

The Fog

First thing this morning Topsham was covered in thick Fog but I still managed to pick out a Eurasian Nuthatch and a Eurasian Bullfinch on my feeders in the garden .
A bit later I went down to Bowling Green Marsh to see if I could see anything but it was still hard work but I did see 50+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 50+ Common Redshank , 8 Dunlin and a single Common Snipe .

Black-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa limosa islandica ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Great Spotted Woodpecker

I have been having a male Great Spotted Woodpecker coming into the garden to feed on the nuts for a while now but this is the first female that I have had for quite a while .

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . Topsham . Devon


Sunday, 23 December 2018

Bowling Green Marsh

I had a look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this morning and now there is so much water on it it looks like a boating lake lol . Anyway I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Shoveler , 2 male and a female Northern Pintail , numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , 2 Common Snipe , 2 Grey Wagtail and 2 Common Raven . Also seen was a run that could very well be an Otter`s !
A look from the viewing platform then got me 2 male and a female Red-Breasted Merganser and a couple of Pied Avocet .

Eurasian Wigeon ( Anus penelope ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Red-Breasted Merganser ( Mergus serrator ) . The Clyst Estuary . Topsham . Devon


Thursday, 20 December 2018

Haldon Forest

I went up to the Great Haldon Forset this morning for a look around with Common Crossbill being the primary bird that I was looking for and I was lucky to find a flock of 15-20 of them and I was very pleased with that as I just love watching these birds .
I also saw 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker , 20+ Coal Tit , 30+ Common Chaffinch , 20+ European Greenfinch , 6 Goldcrest and 8 Eurasian Siskin .
I had gone up there on my own and spent a couple of hours at least just mooching around and I was just about to leave when I bumped into my birding mucker Charlie Fleming and it was great to spend some time with him and reminisce about times gone by .

Common Crossbill ( Loxia curvirostra ) . Haldon Forest . Devon



Eurasian Siskin ( Carduelis spinus ) ( Male ) . Haldon Forest . Devon


Eurasian Sisin ( Carduelis spinus ) ( Female ) . Haldon Forest . Devon


Eurasian Nuthatch ( Sitta europaea ) . Haldon Forest . Devon


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Yellow-Browed Warbler

This morning I went to the Powderham Sawmill to look for a reported Yellow-Browed Warbler and I spent over an hour there looking for it , I heard the bird twice on call when I first got there but after an intensive search I just could`nt manage to see it , Also at the site was a Water Rail and a European Green Woodpecker .
I then went for a look at Bowling Green Marsh where there was numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Common Teal , 6 Northern Shoveler , a male and female Northern Pintail , 20+ Northern Lapwing , a Common Greenshank and a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk .

Northern Lapwing ( Vanellus vanellus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Friday, 14 December 2018

A Good Morning

I was out looking around the cemetery grounds in Topsham early this morning as I have been doing for a while now , and this morning it paid off as I saw my first returning Hawfinch of the winter but before I could get anywhere near it off it flew towards the Clyst Marshes . I also saw 14 Redwing , 20+ European Goldfinch and 7 European Greenfinch .
Yesterday there was a Great White Egret seen on the Exminster Marshes so I went over to see if it was still around but there was no sign of it today . But I did see 4 Barnacle Geese , 4 Greylag Geese , a Snow Goose ( Perhaps a new one or the one from earlier in the year...but where has it been all this time ?? ) , a large flock of European Golden Plover and Northern Lapwing kept on being spooked and after a search I found the culprits...not 1 but 2 Short-Eared Owls that were flying up and then dropping to the ground again and it was great to see these birds back on the marshes again , also seen was a male Peregrine Falcon , a Common Buzzard , 2 Common Raven and a Eurasian Bullfinch .

Barnacle Goose ( Branta bernicla ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Greylag Goose ( Anser anser ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Snow Goose ( Anser caerulescens ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Thursday, 13 December 2018

Brrrrrrrrrr

On a cold and desolate Bowling Green Marsh this morning all the usual wildfowl were on show with the best of them being a male and female Common Pochard , also seen were numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , 50+ Common Redshank , 22 Northern Lapwing and a single Pied Avocet .
I then had a look at the Exe Estuary at Exmouth where I saw 20+ Dark Bellied Brent Geese , 3 Common Shelduck and a close in Great Crested Grebe but out in the cold wind finally got to me so I then headed for home .

Great Crested Grebe ( Podiceps cristatus ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon



Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Red-Rumped Swallow

Amazing news for this time of year of a Red-Rumped Swallow found yesterday at Torpoint saw my mate Andy and myself making the trip down to Plymouth and catching the car ferry across to Torpoint , we had our fingers crossed that it would still be there but there was no worry about that because as we were driving down the road the bird flew right over the car .
We then parked up and the bird was just flying up and down the road and sometimes it was just a few feet above our heads , what an absolute privilege it was to be able to take in the features of this bird at close quarters .

Red-Rumped Swallow ( Cecropis daurica ) . Totpoint . Cornwall





Monday, 10 December 2018

Little Bunting

1st thing this morning I had 12 Fieldfare , a Mistle Thrush and 11 Rook in the cemetery grounds in Topsham . I then had a quick look at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw a Ruff and 2 fly through Black Swan .
I then met up with my mate Andy and we went up to Chiswell on the edge of Portland to look for a Little Bunting that has been showing there for a few days , we arrived to find out that the bird had gone missing but after about half an hour it was re-found and showed very well indeed , also seen was a Black Redstart . We then had a look at Radipoll Lake in Weymouth where we saw a Western Marsh Harrier , 11 Mediterranean Gull , and Cetti`s Warbler & Water Rail were heard on call .
Our last stop of the day was near the Abbotsbury Swannery where we saw 21 Cattle Egret a Common Kestrel and a Short-Eared Owl .

Little Bunting ( Emberiza pusilla ) . Chiswell . Portland . Dorset




Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . Chiswell . Portland . Dorset


Mediterranean Gull ( Larus melanocephalus ) ( 1st winter ) . Radipoll RSPB . Weymouth . Dorset


Short-Eared Owl ( Asio flammeus ) . Nr Abbotsbury . Dorset


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Topsham

I had a walk around Topsham this morning and the first bird that I saw was a Grey Wagtail near the Exe Estuary , I then walked down beside the estuary to Bowling Green Marsh where I got todays photo of a Common Starling , a bird that we just take for granted but as you can see looks fabulous in its winter plumage . Also seen were 13 Greylag Geese , numerous Eurasian Wigeon , Common Teal and Northern Shoveler , a Common Buzzard , 2 Redwing and a male and female Eurasian Bullfinch .
I then took a quick look at Goosemoor but the only bird there was a Common Chiffchaff but then again it was at low tide .

Common Starling ( Sturnusvulgaris ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Sunday, 2 December 2018

Topsham Rec

A morning look at the Topsham Recreation Ground didn`t turn up much at all with only 4 male and 3 female Red-Breasted Merganser , 6 Common Redshank , 2 Pied Avocet , a Common Sandpiper , 2 Great Black-Backed Gull`s , a Common Gull and a very late Red Admiral Butterfly .

Red-Breasted Merganser . The Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon


Saturday 1st December

I had a look for any returning Hawfinch in  the cemetery grounds in Topsham today but again there was no sign of any , but a small finch flock is starting to build up with a  few European Goldfinch and Common Chaffinch and 12-15 European Greenfinch .
Also seen was a Common Buzzard , a Eurasian Nuthatch , 20+ Redwing , a Fieldfare and 3 Mistle Thrush .

European Greenfinch ( Chloris chloris ) . The Topsham Cemetery Grounds . Devon