Thursday 31 January 2019

Purple Sandpiper

I got up early this morning and cleaned the ice off of the car and made my way down to the Maer Rocks at Exmouth to look for Purple Sandpiper . I got there just as the tide had started to come in and I walked out as far as I could and I managed to find 5 of them , I fired off a few shots as the water was lapping around my feet and then made a quick dash back before I got cut off .. lol
I then had a look at the Exe Estuary at Exmouth where I saw 8 Red-Breasted Merganser and 2 Ruddy Turnstone . My last stop of the day was at Exton Station to have a look at the estuary again and this time I saw a large amount of Dark Bellied Brent Geese and in with them were 4 of the Pale Bellied race Hrota , also seen were 50+ Northern Pintail , numerous Dunlin , 16 Red Knot and 6 Bar-Tailed Godwit .

Purple Sandpiper ( Calidris maritima ) . Maer Rocks . Exmouth . Devon

Wednesday 30 January 2019

Birding Topsham

After the fall of snow this morning I took an afternoon look around Topsham starting at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw 2 Greylag Geese , numerous Eurasian Wigeon , a male and female Northern Pintail , 8 Tufted Duck , 20+ Common Redshank , 2 Common Greenshank , 4 Common Snipe , 8 Common Blackbird and the Yellow-Browed Warbler that has been with us for a while now .
I then had a look at the Darts Farm reserve but there was not a lot to see with only 50+ Brent Geese , 2 Winter Wren , a male and female Common Stonechat and a male Reed Bunting .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Winter Wren ( Troglodytes troglodytes ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 29 January 2019


Even though the weather was appalling this morning I still dragged myself down to Cockwood to have a look at the Exe Estuary . The bird that I was looking for was Sanderling but it took me quite a while to find a couple of them , but later in the morning I saw another ten of them fly by .
I also saw the long staying Slavonian Grebe , 2 Great Crested Grebe , 3 male and 3 female Red-Breasted Meganser , a male and female Common Goldeneye , 2 Common Eider and a Common Kingfisher flew in and landed on the wall of the rail track .

Slavonian Grebe ( Podiceps auritus ) . The Exe Estuary . Cockwood . Devon

Common Kingfisher ( Alcdeo atthis ) . Cockwood . Devon

Monday 28 January 2019

Northern Goshawk

This morning I went to a private site where I had the privilege of seeing 5 Northern Goshawk in the air together , a truly amazing sight even though they were viewed from quite a distance . Also seen were 4 Common Raven , a superb Brown Hare and a Red Fox .

Northern Goshawk ( Accipiter gentilis )

Brown Hare ( Lepus europaeus )

Sunday 27 January 2019

Northern Fulmar

My quest today was a common bird in this part of the country Northern Fulmar but you have to go and look for them , so I went down to the Otterton Ledge to do a sea watch but it took me quite a while to see them but I managed to see 2 of them in the end , there was also around 15 Northern Gannet , 5 Eurasian Shag and three Red-Throated Divers but you are looking from quite high up at the sea and it was blowing a gale so getting any shots at all is very hard .
I then had a look at the Otterton Sewage Works but all I saw was around a dozen Common Chaffinch and a female Cirl Bunting .

Northern Gannet ( Morus bassanus ) . Off Of The Otterton Ledge . Devon

Red-Throated Diver ( Gavia stellata ) . Off Of The Otterton Ledge . Devon

Cirl Bunting ( Emberiza cirlus ) . The Otterton Sewage Works . Devon

Friday 25 January 2019

Road Trip

Another day out with Andy and Ken saw us heading for South Wales to look for a female Smew on the River Usk and after a bit of a search we ended up getting nice views of the bird ( Sorry about the picture but it was taken at first light ) . We then saw 2 male Goosander near Usk .
We then headed for Parkend in Gloucestershire in hope of seeing Hawfinch but we only managed to see just this one male bird , also seen was a White-Throated Dipper , 2 Eurasian Jay and a Eurasian Nuthatch . On then to Northwick Wharf on the River Severn to look for 5 Greater White-Fronted Geese and they showed very well .
The day was finished of at the Steart Marshes in Somerset to look for Short Eared Owls but we were out of luck with these and we only managed to see 1000+ European Golden Plover , a Common Raven and 3 Roe Deer .

Smew ( Mergellus albellus ) . The River Usk . Usk . Gwent

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Parkend . Gloucestershire

Greater White-Fronted Goose ( Anser albifrons ) . Northwick Wharf . Avon

Thursday 24 January 2019

BGM Again

My look at Bowling Green Lane today got me much of the same as yesterday . With all the normal wildfowl for this time of year but today there was a different Common Pochard , waders had built up a bit on yesterday with over 60 Bar-Tailed Godwit in with the numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , 30+ Dunlin and just one Common Snipe . In Bowling Green Lane the Yellow-Browed Warbler was still the star turn along with a Common Chiffchaff and a Song Thrush .
Then a look at Goosemoor got me a Little Egret , 2 Common Greenshank a Common Buzzard , a Common Chiffchaff and a European Green Woodpecker was calling nearby .

Common Pochard ( Aythya ferina ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Common Greenshank ( Tringa nebularia ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

A morning look at Bowling Green Marsh on the high tide got me numerous Eurasian Wigeon , 10 Northern Shoveler , 8 Northern Pintail , 6 Mallard , 10 Tufted Duck , a female Common Pochard , 13 Common Snipe , numerous Common Redshank , 15 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit and 30+ Dunlin .
And in Bowling Green Lane the long staying Yellow-Browed Warbler again showed well along with a Common Chiffchaff and 2 Winter Wren .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon

Bar-Tailed Godwit ( Limosalapponica ) & Dunlin ( Calidris alpina ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Sea Watch

This morning I went down to Dawlish Warren and did a sea watch from the sea wall and it didn`t turn out to bad as I managed to see 2 Red-Throated Diver , a Black-Throated Diver , a Great Northern Diver , 80+ Great Crested Grebe in 3 rafts , 2 Common Scoter and 6 Great Black-Backed Gull`s .
I then saw 4 Common Gull in a sheep field near the Powderham Estate , and a quick look at the Exminster Marshes got me a Common Buzzard , a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a Common Raven .

Common Gull ( Larus canus ) . Nr The Powderham Estate . Devon

Monday 21 January 2019

Birding Exmouth

I went down to Exmouth this morning to look for Purple Sandpiper on the Maer Rocks but there was no sign of any today but there was 6 Brent Goose and a Ruddy Turnstone .
And then seeing that I was quite close to Madeira Walk I decided to go and have another look for Firecrest . And this time my luck was in as I was lucky enough to get one out in the open . I then went to the Shelley Beach area on offchance and again my luck was in as I found this superb male Black Redstart so that was two very nice birds seen today .
On the way home I stopped for a look at Darts Farm in Topsham where I saw 300+ Brent Geese , 4 Common Snipe and 2 Meadow Pipit , but there was no sign of any Water Pipit today !

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Madeira Walk . Exmouth . Devon

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . Shelley Beach Area . Exmouth . Devon

Sunday 20 January 2019

Slow Birding

I went over to the Exminster Marshes this morning but I did not see much at all with only numerous Canada Geese and Eurasian Wigeon , 2 Common Raven and a Cetti`s Warbler .
Back home in Topsham I had around a dozen Long-Tailed Tit , a European Greenfinch , 5 Common Chaffinch and 2 Eurasian Collared Dove around the feeders in the garden .

Eurasian Collared Dove ( Streptopelia decocto ) . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 17 January 2019

Water Pipits

I started today off at Bowling Green Lane where the best things that saw was the long staying Yellow-Browed Warbler and 2 Red Fox . So I went across to the Darts Farm reserve and today there were 6 Water Pipit showing and one of them came near enough to grab these 2 record shots of it , there was also 2 Common Snipe , a calling Water Rail and a Cetti`s Warbler .
I then had a look at the Clyst Estuary on the incoming tide and I saw 300+ Dunlin , 100+ Red Knot
20+ Grey Plover , 3 Bar-Tailed Godwit . But the bird of the day was Rock Pipit that was seen by the viewing platform and very rare bird in Topsham .

Water Pipit ( Anthus spinoletta ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 16 January 2019


A day out with the boys today to Somerset with our first stop at Cheddar Reservoir where we saw over 1000 Common Coot , 30+ Great Crested Grebe , a Red-Crested Pochard , 20+ Common Pochard  , 8 Tufted Duck , a Great Northern Diver and 4 Common Raven .
We then went to the Somerset levels where it was bloody freezing wherever we went !! but we saw a Great White Egret near Blakeway and 3 Common Crane at Stathe .

Great White Egret ( Casmerodius albus ) . Nr Blakeway . Somerset

Monday 14 January 2019

Water Pipit

Another look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me numerous Eurasian Wigeon , 9 Gadwall ,  quite a few Northern Pintail , a male and female Tufted Duck , an immature male Common Pochard , 2 Common Snipe , a Little Egret and 3 Peregrine Falcon , in Bowling Green Lane the Yellow-Browed Warbler was still showing well along with a Common Chiffchaff .
Some news then came out about 3 Water Pipit showing from the hide at Darts Farm so I went over to look for them and they were still there , but they were very distant .

Common Snipe ( Gallinago gallinago ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 13 January 2019


This morning I went down to Exmouth to look for a Firecrest and I spent 2 hours there looking for it but in all that time I only got 3 brief views of it and I heard it on call a few times . Also seen was my first Eurasian Sparrowhawk of the year , numerous Great Tit , 20+ Long-Tailed Tit , 2 Goldcrest and a Common Chiffchaff .
I then had a look around the marina area of Exmouth for Black Redstart but I had no luck but this juvenile Eurasian Sparrowhawk showed very well .

Eurasian Sparrowhawk . ( Accipiter nisus ) . Exmouth . Devon

Saturday 12 January 2019

White-Throated Dipper

This morning I went to the Ludwell Valley C P area in Exeter to look for White-Throated Dipper and after a bit of a search  I managed to see one of them . Also seen were 4 Green Sandpiper , 4 Grey Wagtail , 2 Common Raven and a Eurasian Treecreeper .
By now drizzle had started to fall so I made my way back to Topsham for a look at Bowling Green Marsh but there was not a lot to see on the marsh which at this moment is covered by a vast amount of water , but the Yellow-Browed Warbler was still showing well at times in the lane , but it can also be quite elusive .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phylloscopus inornatus ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon

Friday 11 January 2019

Velvet Scoter

A look at Goosemoor in Topsham this morning got me 8 Common Greenshank . I then walked down to Bowling Green Marsh and from the hide I saw 30+ Bar-Tailed Godwit that were in with the numerous Black-Tailed Godwit , there was also a good number of Dunlin and it is good to see them back on the marsh again also seen were 8 Common Snipe and a look in Bowling Green Lane got me brief views of the Yellow-Browed Warbler again .
I then met up with my mate Andy and we went down to Dawlish Warren to look for an immature Velvet Scoter and we got on to the bird ok but it was quite a long way out , also seen were 4 Common Scoter and 2 Ruddy Turnstone , we then headed back towards Exeter and on the way we stopped off at Cockwood for a look at the Exe Estuary where we saw 2 Common Eider , a Slavonian Grebe , a large flock of Dunlin and a Common Seal .

Dunlin ( Calidris alpina ) . The Exe Estuary . Devon

Thursday 10 January 2019

Winter Is Coming

I went down to my local patch Bowling Green Marsh this morning and the marsh was white with frost and frozen in places . But a look out from the hide got me a few Greylag Geese , large amounts of Common Teal , Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Shoveler , 12 Tufted Duck and 6 Northern Pintail . Waders today included 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 8 Common Snipe and a Ruff . But the highlight of the visit was a Yellow-Browed Warbler the showed very well indeed in Bowling Green Lane .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes where the 4 Barnacle Geese are still showing near the far end of the marsh , I then went to a spot that I know on the marsh to look for snipe and after about an hour of trudging around I managed to see 9 Common Snipe and 2 Jack Snipe , another one shot out of cover and it could have been another Jack but I just couldn't be sure on it .

Yellow-Browed Warbler ( Phyiioscopus inornatus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 9 January 2019

Aylesbeare Common

I decided to go and have a look around Aylesbeare Common this morning as I had heard that some Lesser Redpoll had been seen on there the other day . I stopped off at a spot where I had been lucky enough to see Eurasian Woodcock before , but I searched for a while with no luck . By now I was breaking my neck for a wee , so I went to a spot out of view from the road and would you believe it as just as I stopped . One of them flushed from just in front of me.......So now you know how to find one lol .
By now my mate Andy had turned up and as we walked around the common in the freezing cold we saw 3 Lesser Redpoll , a Reed Bunting and a female Dartford Warbler . We then went to the Otterton Sewage Works area and we saw 2 male and 2 female Cirl Bunting and a female Reed Bunting

Lesser Redpoll ( Acanthis caberet ) & Reed Bunting ( Emberiza schoeniclus ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Tuesday 8 January 2019


A day out with the boys again and this time it was down to Cornwall with our first stop at the Pendower Beach area for a sea watch . And it wasn't a bad one with the following birds seen .
7 Black-Throated Diver , 6 Great Northern Diver , around a dozen Northern Gannet , a Black-Legged Kittiwake , 2 Red-Necked Grebe and 2 Slavonian Grebe .
We then went to Chaple Amble where we saw 200+ European Golden Plover , 9 Water Pipit , a Green Sandpiper , a Grey Wagtail and this very nice Temminck`s Stint that showed quite well but it  always stayed a little bit distant .

Temminck`s Stint ( Calidris temminckii ) . Chaple Amble . Cornwall

Monday 7 January 2019

Common Goldeneye

Today started off at the Topsham Recreation Ground where a look at the River Exe got me a male and 3 female Common Goldeneye , a Common Kingfisher and 2 Reed Bunting .
My mate Andy Bond had also turned up and after he had seen the birds we went up to Haldon Forest to look for Common Crossbill and we had some as soon as we arrived , also seen were a few Eurasian Siskin and a female Brambling . Our next stop was at Stover Park where we saw 4 male and 5 female Goosander , 2 male and 2 female Mandarin Duck and a Marsh Tit .
Other birds added to the year list today were Red-Legged Partridge , Fieldfare and Redwing all seen near the village of Kenton .

Common Goldeneye ( Bucephala clangula ) . Topsham Recreation Ground . Devon

Sunday 6 January 2019

Rose-Ringed Parakeet

A trip down to Exmouth this morning to look for a Rose-Ringed Parakeet that has been seen around the Maer Farm area and after a short wait the bird showed quite well along with a Common Raven and a European Green Woodpecker .
I then had a look around the Gore Lane area  where I saw 50+ British Pied Wagtail , 30+ Meadow Pipit , 10 Common Skylark , a Common Chiffchaff and 8 Common Linnet . Later in the afternoon there were 2 Cattle Egret near the Newcourt Barton Business Units in Topsham .

Rose-Ringed Parakeet ( Psittacula krameri ) . Maer Farm Area . Exmouth . Devon

Saturday 5 January 2019

Great Northern Diver

I had a look around the Exminster Marshes this morning but there was not a lot to see with the best birds being a Common Gull , a Cetti`s Warbler and a Song Thrush . So I walked down to the Turf Locks in hope of seeing a Grey Plover but there was none to be seen but I did see a few Red-Breasted Merganser , 5 Pied Avocet and a Little Egret .
Later in the day I had a call telling me that there was a Great Northern Diver showing on the River Exe off of the Topsham Quay . I have never had one of these birds this far up the River Exe before , and by now the light was dropping fast so I was well pleased to get this shot of it .

Great Northern Diver ( Gavia immer ) . Topsham Quay . Devon

Thursday 3 January 2019

First Day Out

Today the boys and I had our first trip out of the new year and our destination was Dorset with our first stop at the Abbotsbury Swannery area where we saw 20+ Cattle Egret , a Whooper Swan and a female Long-Tailed Duck . We then carried on to Radipoll Lake in Weymouth where we added these birds to the year list , male and female Bearded Tit and Ring-Necked Duck and also seen was a Yellow-Browed Warbler .
We then had a look at Lodmoor in Weymouth where we saw the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs , a Ruff and a male and Female Western Marsh Harrier , also added to the yearlist was a Black Redstart at Chiswell and a Great Northern Diver in Portland Harbour .

Lesser Yellowlegs ( Tringa flavipes ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Ruff ( Philomachus pugnaxn ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset