Sunday 31 March 2019


The birding on the Exminster Marshes this morning was dire with only 2 Barnacle Geese , a Common Buzzard , 2 Common Raven , a couple of Common Chiffchaff and a Cetti`s Warbler .
But I did see 2 new species for the year with a Common Shrew and a Speckled Wood Butterfly .
Later in the day there was an Osprey on the Exe Estuary , it was found by Matt Knott at the Exmouth end and I saw it near to the Turf Hotel as it was being mobbed by gulls , it then went inland and I didn't see it again .

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

Speckled Wood ( Pararge aegeria ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 29 March 2019

The Good And The Bad

I birded on the other side of the Exe Estuary this morning with my first stop at Matford in Exeter where 2 Cattle Egret  were still showing in the field behind the farm with 13 Little Egret .
I then went to the Exminster Marshes and as I was looking at the ponds by the middle car park a female Merlin flashed across the marsh and grabbed something and then flew off towards the motorway bridge , also seen was a male Peregrine Falcon and 3 Common Skylark .
I then had a message telling me that there was a Little Ringed Plover showing on Bowling Green Marsh so I went back to have a look at it but by the time I got there the bird had gone out of sight , I looked for it for quite a while but it never showed again .

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . Matford . Exeter . Devon

Thursday 28 March 2019

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Another trip out to Yarner Wood again this morning to look for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker as my mate Andy wanted to see if he could catch up with one for the year and its always better to have more eyes looking for them .
I was hoping to be able to get a better shot of one and you could say that I am quite pleased with what I got today as I have never been able to get one in flight before , and with the speed that these birds fly it was not easy and you could say that I needed quite a bit of luck lol .

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

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Bowling Green Marsh

Back on home soil again this morning with a look around Bowling Green Marsh and there wasn't a lot different to look at , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit were nice to see along with a loud European Green Woodpecker that showed now and then , besides that 3 Cetti`s Warbler , 2 Common Chiffchaff and 2 Blackcap were the only other things worth talking about .

Blackcap ( Sylvia atricapilla ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 26 March 2019

Yarner Wood

I took another trip out to Yarner Wood this morning and went to a spot in hope of getting a shot of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and after spending 4 hours there I just managed to get this distant shot , but seeing this is the 4th time that I have been for them I was just glad to get this one .
I also saw 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker , a European Green Woodpecker and 2 Lesser Redpoll .
But the highlight of the day was a calling European Turtle Dove that was somewhere in the woods below me , it called for a while and then went quiet so I expect that it was just passing through .

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

Monday 25 March 2019

Red Kite

Early this morning I saw a Red Kite that started to come up the Clyst Marshes but then it drifted off to the right and was lost from view . I then went for a look at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw 3 Gadwall , 11 Red Knot , 3 Common Snipe , numerous Common Sand Martin were passing through the reserve for most of the time I was there and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk made a few passes putting everything to flight . And down by the viewing platform end of the marsh a few Common Chiffchaff showed well and it was good to see my first 2 male Blackcap on the marsh this year .

Common Chiffchaff ( Phylloscopus collybita ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 24 March 2019


I had a call this morning telling me that there was a Red Kite over the viewing platform on Bowling Green Marsh and although I got there as fast as I could I still missed it . But I did see 15 Common Buzzard , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk , 2 Stock Dove and a Cetti`s Warbler .
A look from the viewing platform at the Clyst/Exe Estuaries then got me 12 Red-Breasted Merganser , 100+ European Golden Plover , 11 Red Knot , 6 Bar-Tailed Godwit , a Pied Avocet , a Common Kingfisher and I also saw the following Butterflies , Small Tortoiseshell , Peacock and 3 Brimstone .

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Saturday 23rd March

A trip out to Yarner Wood this morning in hope of photographing Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and although I managed to see 2 male and a female bird , again I had no photographic opportunities .
Also seen were 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2 Marsh Tit , a Mistle Thrush and on the common a Willow Warbler was in song .

Friday 22 March 2019


A look at Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham this afternoon got me my first Garganey of the year , a nice male bird that spent quite a bit of time asleep on the main island , but after a while it woke up and swam down the channel quite close to the hide .

Garganey ( Anus querquedula ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 20 March 2019

Bearded Reedling

A quick look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me a couple of  Greylag Geese , a male and female Northern Pintail , 2 Stock Dove and a Cetti`s Warbler . I then went for a look on the other side of the Exe Estuary and took a walk through the old sludge beds but it only turned up another Cetti`s Warbler and a Common Chiffchaff .
I then walked along the Exeter Canal to look at the extensive Exe Reedbeds for the very hard to see Bearded Reedling and after spending quite a bit of time there looking and I walked from one end of the beds to the other . But I only managed to see one in flight and it soon dropped back into the reeds again and I heard another 2 on call , so it is hard work but if you put the time in they are in there , but I never see any other birders there looking for them ?
I then got a call telling me that a Common Sandpiper was on the River Exe at Countess Wear and as I had not seen one yet this year I went to look for it and was soon adding it to the year list .

Common Sandpiper ( Actitis hypoleucos ) . The River Exe . Countess Wear . Exeter . Devon

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Out With The Boys

Today Andy , Ken and myself had our first birding day out for ages and we went up to Dorset to do some birding . Our first stop was at Abbotsbury where we saw 17 Cattle Egret coming out of their roost , we also saw quite a lot of Great Crested Grebe and a male Greater Scaup .
Our next stop was at Lodmoor in Weymouth where we saw/heard numerous Cetti`s Warbler , a very nice Little Gull , the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs , 4 Western Marsh Harrier , 2 Bearded Reedling , a Ruff and 5 Common Chiffchaff , we then had a quick stop at Radipoll Lake where we saw the male Ring-Necked Duck that has been there for quite a while , a singing Blackcap and another Bearded Reedling .
Our last stop of the day was out on Portland Bill and the 1st bird we saw was a Little Owl in the quarry , we then had a Northern Wheatear and my first Barn Swallow of the year flew over our heads , we then finished the day off in the top fields where we were lucky to find an extremely confiding Short-Eared Owl that showed very well . Oh how I love to watch these birds .

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Cetti`s Warbler ( Cettia cetti ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Western Marsh Harrier ( Circus aeruginosus ) . Lodmoor . Weymouth . Dorset

Ring-Necked Duck ( Aythya collaris ) . Radipoll Lake . Weymouth . Dorset

Little Owl ( Athene noctua ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Short-Eared Owl ( Asio flammeus ) . Portland Bill . Dorset

Sunday 17 March 2019

Birding Topsham

Early this morning I went to the Recreation Ground in Topsham to look for Common Sandpiper but there was no sign of any , but I did find some Otter prints as it had come out of the river and walked along the mud and this is the closest that I have come to one at the Rec .
I then had a look at Goosemoor where I saw a Eurasian Treecreeper a bird that is quite a hard to see in Topsham and also seen was a Great Spotted Woodpecker .My last stop of the day was at Bowling Green Marsh where I saw a pair of Stock Dove , a Cetti`s Warbler and a Common Chiffchaff .
Over night I caught this March Dagger Moth another new one for me !

Stock Dove ( Columba oenas ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

March Dagger Moth ( Diurnea fagella ) . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 16 March 2019

Gale Force !

I went out to the Exminster Marshes this morning but you could hardly stand up due to the gale force winds . But I still managed to see a few birds with 3 Egyptian Geese , a Peregrine Falcon that was sat on a pylon , 30+ European Golden Plover , a Common Raven , a Eurasian Jay , 4 European Goldfinch , a Eurasian Bullfinch and I also saw my first 2 Slow Worm of the year .
I then stopped for a look at the field behind the garage at Matford and I saw 13 Little Egret and 2 Cattle Egret .

Egyptian Goose ( Alopochen aegyptiaca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Slow Worm ( Anguis fragilis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 15 March 2019

The Masked Bandit

Little Egret seem to be gathering in a field beside the main road at Matford on the edge of Exeter and today when I looked there was a small flock and in with them today was a smart Cattle Egret . I then carried on to have a look at the Exminster Marshes area where I saw 3 Egyptian Geese , a Common Raven , my first Little Ringed Plover of the year , a Common Chiffchaff , a Common Raven , a new in male Northern Wheatear looking like a masked bandit and a Cetti`s Warbler that was heard on call , I then headed for home as the weather was just starting to close in .

Northern Wheatear ( Oenanthe oenanthe ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 12 March 2019


The weather was terrible this morning with heavy rain so my birding was done from the comfort of the hide at Bowling Green Marsh . But it didn`t turn out to bad at all as I saw numerous Common Redshank and with them was my first Spotted Redshank of the year , also seen were all the normal wildfowl ,15 Common Greenshank , 50+ Dunlin , 20+ Bar-Tailed Godwit , 2 Pied Avocet and singles of Ruff , Red Knot & Common Snipe , a Water Rail , a Common Kingfisher that shot past the hide , 3 Common Sand Martin and a couple of Eurasian Sparrowhawk that were causing havoc with the waders .

Eurasian Sparrowhawk ( Accipiter nisus ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Friday 8 March 2019


A quick look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me , numerous Northern Pintail , a large flock of Black-Tailed Godwit 10 Bar-Tailed Godwit , 30+ Dunlin and a Cetti`s Warbler .
I then went for a look at the Exminster Marshes where a walk down the back path got me the long staying Snow Goose that showed very well , I also saw 2 Cetti`s Warbler , my first migrant of the year a Willow Warbler , a Common Chiffchaff , a Eurasian Bullfinch , 3 male Reed Bunting and a Short-Tailed Vole .
I then had a look from the middle car park and I saw a very large flock of European Golden Plover and my first 3 Common Sand Martin of the year .

Common Sand Martin ( Riparia riparia ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Tuesday 5 March 2019

Willow Tit

A trip down to Lower Tamar Lake today with my mate Andy got us 6 female Goosander , 10 Tufted Duck , 3 Great Crested Grebe , a male Great Spotted Woodpecker ,  a Song Thrush , 4 Coal Tit and
3 Willow Tit .
We then went to Roadford Reservoir to look for a reported Pink-Footed Goose and after much searching in the heavy rain we managed to find it along with 50+ Canada Geese and 2 Barnacle Geese .

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

Pink-Footed Goose ( Anser brachyrhynchus ) . Roadford Reservoir . Devon

Monday 4 March 2019

Cattle Egret

This afternoon I popped up to Matford in Exeter to look for a reported Cattle Egret and I found it in a field right beside the main road with 9 Little Egret and a Grey Heron .
I then took a quick look at the Matford Marshes where I saw numerous Eurasian Wigeon  and Northern Shoveler and a few Tufted Duck .
Two Tawny Owl calling to each other around 11.15 pm in the Topsham Cemetery Grounds .

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) . Matford . Exeter . Devon

Saturday 2 March 2019

Red Kite

Today I had a Red Kite near Reading in Berkshire , I then had another 2 Red Kite and 3 Rose-Ringed Parakeets in Borehamwood in Hertfordshire and to finish the day off there was a Northern Goshawk and 3 Roe Deer near Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire .