Tuesday 26 February 2019

Green Sandpiper

Not a lot of birding done today . But I did have a quick look at Bowling Green Marsh and I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon , Northern Shoveler and Northern Pintail , 4 Tufted Duck , 17 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 3 Common Snipe and a single Pied Avocet .
I then went for a look for Green Sandpiper at the Ludwell Valley Country Park in Exeter and I managed to get just the one of them , I also had my first singing Common Chiffchaff of the year and a Brimstone Butterfly .

Green Sandpiper ( Tringa ochropus ) , The Ludwell Valley C P , Exeter . Devon

Monday 25 February 2019


The sun was shining today so I went for a look at the Exe Estuary at Exton this morning , I looked for the Glossy Ibis but there was no sign of it today , So I had a look at the Exe Estuary and I saw 100+ Eurasian Oystercatcher , 60-70 Pied Avocet that looked very strange swimming out in the estuary , 100+ Dunlin , 5 Grey Plover and 2 Common Redshank .
I then took a look at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Common Teal , 20+ Northern Shoveler , 10 Tufted Duck a male Gadwall  , a Common Buzzard , a Peregrine Falcon and 2 Stock Dove .

Grey Plover ( Pluvialis squatarola ) . The Exe Estuary . Exton . Devon

Saturday 23 February 2019

Glossy Ibis

I went down to Exton this morning as I had a message yesterday telling me that a Glossy Ibis had been on the small marsh on and off for the last couple of days . At first there was no sign of it as the fog was just starting to lift , so I had a look at the Exe Estuary and I saw 60+ Northern Pintail , 12 Red-Breasted Merganser and a flock of 100+ European Golden Plover .
I then went and had another look at the and this time the Glossy Ibis was showing well so I put the news out then I fired off a few shots of it , a few other birders turned up and managed to see it ok but then a couple with a dog walked out onto the marsh and that was that as the bird was flushed and then flew off down the estuary towards Exmouth .

Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . Exton Marsh . Devon

Friday 22 February 2019

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

A trip out to Yarner Wood this morning to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and my luck was in as I managed to see one and I heard another one calling and drumming but they were very illusive so I had no chance of getting a shot of one .
Also seen were 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker , 20+ Long-Tailed Tit , 4 Coal Tit , a Marsh Tit and a mixed flock of Lesser Redpoll and Eurasian Siskin , the light was very harsh today so it was quite hard to get any shots at all .

Lesser Redpoll ( Acanthis cabaret ) . Yarner Wood . Devon

Great Spotted Woodpecker ( Dendrocopos major ) . Yarner Wood . Devon

Thursday 21 February 2019


A trip out today with my daughter and grandson to the Otterton Cliffs area , the first thing that I did was have a look at the feeding station where I saw 10-15 House Sparrow and a male Cirl Bunting .
I then went for a look off of the cliffs and I saw 2 Northern Fulmar but not a lot else , so I checked the hedge along the top of the cliffs where I saw 2 Common Skylark , 3 Yellowhammer and a male and female Reed Bunting .

Northern Fulmar ( Fulmarus glacialis ) . The Otterton Cliffs . Devon

Yellowhammer ( Emberiza citrinella ) . The Otterton Cliffs . Devon

Reed Bunting ( Emberiza schoeniclus ) . The Otterton Cliffs . Devon

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Great White Egret

I went down to Bowling Green Marsh this morning just as it started to get light as I was hoping that a Glossy Ibis that has been reported there would put in an appearance but again I was out of luck . I had been joined in the hide by fellow birder Spencer Dicks as he was looking for the Ibis as well , and around 7.30ish  we saw an egret fly out of the far left hand corner of the marsh and getting on to it to our amazement we saw that it was a Great White Egret it then flew over the railway line towards the Darts Farm area . I can only think that it must have roosted in that corner as the light was just about coming up .
Also seen of note were 150+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Red Knot , 2 Common Snipe , a Ruff and a Common Greenshank .

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

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Snow Goose

I went for a look around the Exminster Marshes this morning but there was not a lot to be seen with only a Meadow Pipit , a Common Skylark and my first Short-Tailed Vole of the year . My next stop was Powderham Marsh where I caught up with the long staying Snow Goose , a female Cirl Bunting and a female Reed Bunting .
Later in the day I went to Bowling Green Marsh to look for a reported Glossy Ibis but there was no sign of it . But I did see 60-70 Northern Shoveler , a mass of Black-Tailed Godwit , 3 Bar-Tailed Godwit , a Ruff , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine Falcon that were trying to pick out a Common Starling from a flock of 100+ .

Snow Goose ( Ansercaerulescens ) . Powderham Marsh . Devon

Sunday 17 February 2019

Glaucous Gull

A trip out with Sue this morning to look for a couple of Red-Necked Grebe at Broadsands in South Devon . The first thing I did on arrival was to check out the beach for Mediterranean Gull and there was an adult and a 1st winter bird but as I was getting a shot of one of them , out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought was a white winged gull fly in and join the other gulls . So I went to check it out and sure enough it was a 1st winter Glaucous Gull . I fired off a few shots of it and then put the news out so that other birders could get to see it .
I then went to Elbury Cove where I managed to see the 2 Red-Necked Grebe along with 4 Northern Fulmar , I then went to have a look in the car park and I saw 3 male and a female Cirl Buntings .  

Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus ) . Broadsands . Devon

Mediterranean Gull ( Larus melanocephalus ) . Broadsands . Devon

Red-Necked Grebe ( Podiceps grisegena ) . Broadsands . Devon

Cirl Bunting ( Emberiza cirlus ) . Broadsands . Devon

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Egyptian Goose

This morning I went down to Powderham Park to look for a pair of Egyptian Geese that were reported yesterday and at first there was no sign of them at all , but after a while I found them in some long grass by the pool but they never showed very well at all when I was there , but I put the news out that they were still there and it seems that they showed a lot better later in the day .
I then took a look at the Exe Estuary from the railway crossing at Cockwood and I saw 10 Common Ringed Plover...my first this year .

Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ) . Powderham Park . Devon

Monday 11 February 2019

No Change

There was not a lot different on Bowling Green Marsh today with mostly the same as the last few days , but a winter female Common Pochard showed quite well along with a nice show of Pied Avocet and Bar-Tailed Godwit but new in were a couple of Stock Dove that have returned to their spot on the railway bridge .

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

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

Sunday 10 February 2019


My look at Bowling Green Marsh from the hide today produced numerous Northern Pintail , 9 Gadwall , 200+ Pied Avocet , 200+ Black-Tailed Godwit , 50+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , numerous Common Redshank , 3 Common Greenshank , 14 Common Snipe , a Red Knot and a Red Fox .
I then took a look around the fields where I saw a Water Rail , a Song Thrush , a Fieldfare and a Common Chiffchaff that showed in the lane .

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

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

Saturday 9 February 2019

Great Bittern

First thing this morning saw me again at my local patch Bowling Green Marsh but it was a bit like after the lords mayors show compared to yesterday but I still saw 100+ Northern Pintail , 100+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 18 Common Redshank , 3 Common Greenshank and a Peregrine Falcon .
I them met up with fellow birder/photographer Dave Land and we went down to Collaton St Mary in South Devon to look for a reported Great Bittern and after we got soaked to the skin by a downpour of rain the bird came out into the open and showed incredibly well in a field at Blagdon Barton Farm . This evening a Tawny Owl was calling from the cemetery ground outside of my house and its the first one that I have heard in there for quite a while .

Great Bittern ( Botaurus stellaris ) . Collaton St Mary . Devon

Friday 8 February 2019

European Otter

This morning I had an amazing encounter with a European Otter on Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham . I was sat in the hide as the weather was terrible with high winds and rain when all of a sudden the Otter dashed out of the water on to the first island right in front of the hide putting the ducks and waders to flight , it then went back into the water and swam up the section to the left of the hide and then to my amazement it pulled itself out of the water and ran across the grass to the water on the far end of the marsh , this is the first one that I have seen on the land since I saw them in the Shetland Islands in the late 80s .
Also seen were 100+ Northern Pintail , 100+ Pied Avocet , 150+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 13 Common Snipe and a Red Knot .

European Otter ( Lutra lutra ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Bar-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa lapponica ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 7 February 2019

This morning I went up to Ideford Common as I had been told that a Bank Vole could be seen at a spot in the carpark if you are very quiet and sure enough I managed to see it ok but it was to quick to get a shot of it , but then the place was taken over by dog walkers so that was the end of that !
So I then went to the Haldon Forest where I saw numerous Common Chaffinch and in with them was a female Brambling , also seen were about a dozen Eurasian Siskin , a Eurasian Nuthatch , 20+ Coal Tit and a Song Thrush a bird that I don't see that often these days .

Song Thrush ( Turdus philomelos ) . Haldon Forest . Devon

Common Chaffinch ( Fringilla coelebs ) & Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Haldon Forest . Devon

Wednesday 6 February 2019


I went to a private site this morning where I saw this high flying Woodlark , I picked it up first by its fantastic call and was very lucky to be able to get on to it .
Also seen were 2 Northern Goshawk , a Common Buzzard , 8 Common Skylark , 50+ Fieldfare , a Eurasian Nuthatch , 2 Common Raven and a Eurasian Jay .

Woodlark ( Lullula arborea )

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Dotted Border

Even though the weather was not to good last night I still caught my first moth of the year and even better it was a new one for me a Dotted Border . It has rained all day today so not a lot of birding was done but I did pop down to Bowling Green Marsh for a quick look and I was glad that I did as I saw 3 Sanderling in their striking winter plumage but they were only on show for a short while before they flew out towards the Clyst Estuary . Also seen were 22 Northern Pintail , 22 Tufted Duck , 14 Gadwall and a male and female Common Pochard .

Dotted Border ( Agriopis marginaria ) . Topsham . Devon

Monday 4 February 2019

Yellow-Legged Gull

I had a call today telling me that there was a Black-Necked Grebe on the Exe Estuary off of Cockwood , so I went down to see if I could catch up with it . I scanned up and down the estuary but there was no sign of it anywhere but I did see a Slavonian Grebe , a Great Crested Grebe , 2 Common Eider , around a dozen Red-Breasted Merganser , a Common Gull and then the bird of the day a 2nd winter Yellow-Legged Gull that was picked out on the edge of the estuary and it then flew towards Cockwood giving great views .
I then drove around the lanes by the village of Kenn where I saw 20-30 Red-Legged Partridge . My last stop of the day was at the Exminster Marshes where 20+ European Golden Plover were seen plus a Peregrine Falcon , 20+ Fieldfare and a female type Western Marsh Harrier that was always a bit distant and I could only manage these 2 record shots of it .

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Saturday 2 February 2019

Falcated Duck

I have just read that the Falcated Duck that I saw at Pitsford Resevoir in Northamptonshire on the 22nd March 1987 has just been added to the British list . I have also read that another one found by Matt Knott on the Exe Estuary at Exmouth in November 2006 has also a very good chance of being accepted as well . The bird then moved to the north end of the estuary where I got this shot of it on my local patch Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham .........Fingers crossed for you Matt .

Falcated Duck ( Anus falcata ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon . 26 . 11 . 2006

Friday 1 February 2019

Winter Snow !

We had snow here overnight so I went down to Bowling Green Marsh this morning just in case something had turned up . And from the hide I saw large amounts of Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Shoveler , 20+ Common Teal a male Common Pochard , a male Tufted Duck , 20+ Black-Tailed Godwit and a Grey Wagtail .
I then went to look around the marsh at the viewing platform end where I saw a Common Buzzard , a large flock of Redwing and Fieldfare and 2 male and 2 female Eurasian Bullfinch a bird that it is always good to see .

Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Eurasian Bullfinch ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ) ( Male & Female ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Fieldfare ( Turdus pilaris ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Redwing ( Turdus iliacus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon