Tuesday 30 April 2019

Little Gull

A look around the Exminster Marshes this morning got me a calling Yellow Wagtail but even though I had a good look for it I just couldn't see it anywhere . Also seen 20+ Common Swift , a single Barn Swallow , 4 Common Sand Martin , a male and female Blackcap , a Common Whitethroat , European Reed Warbler were calling from everywhere plus a few Sedge Warbler and Cetti`s Warbler ....also seen was my first Hairy Dragonfly of the year . And the Little Gull was still showing well on the Powderham Marshes .

Little Gull ( Hydrocolocus minutus ) . Powderham Marsh . Devon

Friday 26 April 2019

Dark-Eyed Junco

I took another look at the Exminster Marshes this morning but there was not a lot to be seen today with only 3 Little Egret , 2 Cattle Egret , 2 Common Swift , 4 Barn Swallow , 10 Common Sand Martin , 5 Common House Martin , 2 Common Raven and a Reed Bunting .
Later in the day news broke of a Dark-Eyed Junco in North Devon at Westward Ho so I made the trip up in hope that it would still be on show . The bird was showing in the back garden of a house and the owners were very kindly opening their house so that birders could see the bird from their lounge .
It took a wait of around an hour for the bird of the "Slate-Coloured Race" to turn up again and when it did it showed well for about 5 minutes and then vanished back into the garden again.......Once again many thanks to the owners and to Devon Birds .

Dark-Eyed Junco ( Junco hyemalis ) . Westward Ho . Devon

Thursday 25 April 2019

Common Swift

Late news yesterday of a Red-Rumped Swallow on the Exminster Marshes so me going over to look for it early this morning but there was no sign of it today . But after a bit of a search I did see my 1st Common Swift of the year in-between the heavy downpours of rain along with a few Common House Martin , Common Sand Martin and Barn Swallow , there was also 2 Cattle Egret , 20+ Whimbrel , a few European Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler and a very nice fly through Osprey .

Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Common Swift ( Apus apus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Sedge Warbler ( Acrocephalus schoenobaenus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Sea Watch

This morning the rain was pouring down so I went down to Exmouth to do a sea watch in Lyme Bay and I got around a dozen Northern Gannet , 20+ Sandwich Tern and 2 Common Tern ....and soaking wet .
             And as Bugs Bunny said   That's All Folks

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Wood Warbler

A trip out to Yarner Wood this morning to look for Pied Flycatcher turned out to be a good move as I saw 5 male birds and a single female bird . It is always a privilege to be able to watch and hear these superb little birds .
I also saw 2 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker , a Great Spotted Woodpecker and a male Common Redstart but the highlight of the day was a Wood Warbler that was seen along the top path of the wood , I picked it up first on call and after a bit of a search I just about managed to get on to it but the bird was right in the top of the trees doing its flight call , this is my first in the woods for a couple of years as I had no luck at all last year .
I then had a look out on the common where I saw a Garden Warbler , quite a few Willow Warbler and a Common Chiffchaff .
On the way home a stop off at the Great Haldon Forest got me my first Tree Pipit of the year and also a few more Willow Warbler and Common Chiffchaff .

Pied Flycatcher ( Ficedula hypoleuca ) . Yarner Wood . Devon

Tree Pipit ( Anthus trivialis ) . Haldon Forest . Devon

Monday 22 April 2019

A Good Morning

I got news this morning of a Lesser Whitethroat on the Exminster Marshes so I got there as fast as I could but in my hurry I read the message wrong and I went to the RSPB Car park and I got out of the car and I could hear one calling near the railway bridge , so I went to look for it and I found it ok but it never showed well and it slowly worked its way back down the entrance road .
But I then found out that the message was about one near the fishermans car park so I went to see if that one was showing better and this time I managed to get these couple of shots of it . I then had a look around the marsh seeing 2 Cattle Egret , 100+ Common Shelduck , 6 Whimbrel , quite a few European Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler , a Common Whitethroat , 5 Blackcap , 2 Yellow Wagtail with one seen and another heard calling and the day was finished off with 10 Common House Martin .

Lesser Whitethroat ( Sylvia curruca ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Common Whitethroat ( Sylvia communis ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Black-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa limosa ) & Whimbrel ( Numenius phaeopus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Common House Martin ( Delichon urbicum ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Sunday 21 April 2019

Aylesbeare Common

I took a look around Aylesbeare Common this morning the birding was rather slow and the most numerous bird was Willow Warbler and thy seemed to be singing from every vantage point .
Also seen were quite a few Common Stonechat and Common Linnet , a few Common Chiffchaff
2 European Green Woodpecker , a Mistle Thrush and a male and female Yellowhammer...stunning birds to see .

Willow Warbler ( Phylloscopus trochilus ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Common Stonechat ( Saxicola torquatus ) . Aylesbeare Common . Devon

Saturday 20 April 2019

The Exminster Marshes

This morning I took a walk down the back path on the Exminster Marshes with maybe an early Lesser Whitethroat in mind but there was no luck today . But there was still a few birds to be seen with 6 new in European Reed Warbler , 3 Sedge Warbler , 5 Cetti`s Warbler , 4 Blackcap , a Garden Warbler that is a very good bird for the marsh but I expect its the same bird that was on Powderham Marsh a few days ago...but you never know ! and also seen down the far end of the path was my first Common Whitethroat of the year .
I then had a look by the Lyons Rest area where I saw a Cattle Egret and a male Northern Wheatear .

Also seen were 3 Grass Snake , 3 Slow Worm and the following Butterflies . Brimstone , Peacock . Orange Tip , Speckled Wood , Holly Blue , Green-Veined White and Large White .

European Reed Warbler ( Acrocephalus scirpaceus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Thursday 18 April 2019

Garden Warbler

I caught this moth last night and I looked it up and its a Streamer , its supposed to be quite common but its a new one for me anyway .
Today I took a look at Bowling Green Marsh and I saw 2 Mistle Thrush , a Song Thrush and a Cetti`s Warbler . I then went across to the Marshes on the other side of the Exe Estuary where I saw the long staying Snow Goose , 4 Little Ringed Plover , a Green Sandpiper , a Ruff , a distant Little Gull , a Common Kestrel , at least 6 male Blackcap , my first Garden Warbler of the year and also seen were 5 Orange Tip and 2 Green-Veined White Butterflies .

Little Gull ( Hydrocoloeus minutus ) . Powderham Marsh . Devon

Blackcap ( Sylvia atricapilla ) . Powderham Marsh . Devon

Streamer ( Anticlea derivata ) . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Tuesday 16th April

A day out with the boys saw us heading for Salisbury Plain area in Wiltshire in hope of seeing Stone Curlew and we managed to see two of them , we also saw a female Hen Harrier , numerous Red-Legged Partridge around 20 Corn Bunting , a Red Kite , 3 Great Bustard ( The first time that I have seen them in this area ) , 2 male and a female Yellowhammer and 3 Brown Hare .
We then headed for Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire as a Bonaparte`s Gull and an Arctic Tern had been reported there and on the way there we saw another Red Kite from the car , at the Palace after a long walk through the grounds we got nice views of the Bonaparte`s Gull and Arctic Tern on the lake and we also saw a Great White Egret and a Common Tern and flying around the grounds were at least another 4 Red Kite , and just as we started our journey home a Muntjac Deer crossed the road in front of us ......A superb day out .

Corn Bunting ( Miliaria calandra ) . Salisbury Plain . Wiltshire

Yellowhammer ( Emberiza citrinella ) . Salisbury Plain . Wiltshire

Arctic Tern ( Sterna paradisaea ) . The Blenheim Palace Lake . Oxfordshire

Red Kite ( Milvus milvus ) The Blenheim Palace Grounds . Oxfordshire

Thursday 11 April 2019

Thursday 11th April

A day out today with my mates Ken and Andy and our destination was Somerset to look for a male Lesser Scaup at Blagdon Lake that has been on show there for quite a while but we picked the day when it was nowhere to be seen and that just about sums it up for us this year !
But while we were there we saw numerous Tufted Duck , a few Great Crested Grebe , 2 Little Grebe , a Great White Egret , a Tawny Owl that was heard calling from a stand of trees and a few Common Sand Martin were feeding over the lake and also seen was a Muntjac Deer .
We then went to a private site where we saw a couple of Eurasian Tree Sparrow and I still find it strange that you can come to the next county and see these birds but it is a very rare bird in Devon and in fact I have never been able to see one and that's after 34 years of birding .
Our last stop was at Shapwick Heath where we walked up to Noah`s Lake where we saw another Great White Egret , a Glossy Ibis and an adult Little Gull and on the walk back to the car there was a fly over Western Marsh Harrier .

Eurasian Tree Sparrow ( Passer montanus ) . Private Site . Somerset

Wednesday 10 April 2019

More Of The Shrike

Another trip out to Emsworthy Mire on Dartmoor today as my mate Andy was hoping to see the Great Grey Shrike and I went along as more eyes the better looking for it , But it took us two hours looking for it today before we got nice views of the bird .

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) Emsworthy Mire . Dartmoor . Devon

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Great Grey Shrike

A trip out to Emsworthy Mire on Dartmoor this afternoon with my good friend Charlie Fleming to look for a reported Great Grey Shrike . And after a bit of a search we ended up getting nice views of the bird that has probably spent the winter in the area .

Great Grey Shrike ( Lanius excubitor ) . Emsworthy Mire . Dartmoor . Devon

Monday 8 April 2019

Slow Birding

I had a look at the Exminster Marshes this morning but there was hardly any birds to be seen with only 2 Barnacle Goose , 6 Cetti`s Warbler , a Willow Warbler , a Common Chiffchaff , a male Blackcap and a few Great Tit .
I also saw my first Grass Snake of the year and 3 Slow Worm .

Great Tit ( Parus major ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Grass Snake ( Natrix natrix ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Sunday 7 April 2019


There was a bit of a movement of birds today . And my day started off at Bowling Green Marsh where there was a Little Ringed Plover , a Grey Plover , a few Red Knot , numerous Common Sand Martin , around half a dozen Barn Swallow and my 1st Common House Martin of the year .
I then went across to the Exminster Marshes and I saw a male Garganey , 20+ Common Sand Martin , 2 Northern Wheatear , 2 Reed Bunting and another 1st for the year a Sedge Warbler that was seen in the stretch between the middle car park and the fishermans car park .
Later I had a call from local birder Matt Knott telling me that he had found a Common Nightingale in the Bristol Schools Camp so I shot down there as fast as I could in hope of seeing it , but it had gone to ground and even though Matt and I searched for it there was no sign of it again ! but a male Common Redstart and 6 Willow Warbler were very nice to see indeed .

Common Redstart ( Phoenicurus phoenicurus ) . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon

Sedge Warbler ( Acrocephalus schoenobaenus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Saturday 6 April 2019

Long Distant Shots

I went for another look at Bowling Green Marsh this morning where I saw a couple of Greylag Geese , 2 male Gadwall , and yesterdays Great White Egret graced us with it presence today but it was way over in the far corner of the marsh along with a Little Egret and a Grey Heron .
There was also large flocks of Common Sand Martin going through the marsh and I was able to pick out my first Barn Swallow in Devon this year . And down around the bushes by the viewing platform I saw 2 Stock Dove , a European Green Woodpecker , a Mistle Thrush , 4 Cetti`s Warbler , 2 Blackcap and 2 Common Chiffchaff .
A look at the Exe Estuary then got me my first 4 Sandwich Tern of the year but they were well out in the middle of the estuary + a female Red-Breasted Merganser and on the Clyst Estuary there was 12 Red Knot .

Great White Egret ( Ardea alba ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Sandwich Tern ( Sterna sandvicensis ) . The Exe Estuary . Topsham . Devon

Friday 5 April 2019

Great White Egret

A look around Bowling Green Marsh this morning got me a single Brent Goose , a Common Buzzard ,  a female Western Marsh Harrier , numerous Common Sand Martin , a Lesser Black-Backed Gull , a Common Chiffchaff and a Blackcap .
I then was told that a Great White Egret had flown towards the marsh from the Exminster Marshes so I kept my eyes peeled but it never landed on the marsh , but then news came out that it was showing on Goosemoor so I went to see if it was still there and I found it in the reedbeds on the far side , I was hoping that it would come out into the open when all of a sudden up it flew and off towards the Clyst Marshes and I managed to fire off a few shots of it in flight and thought that was that . But again news came out that it was in fact now in front of the hide at the Darts Farm Reserve so over I went to look for it and this time it showed very well out in the open .

Great White Egret ( Ardea alba ) . Goosemoor & Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Common Sand Martin ( Riparia riparia ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 4 April 2019

Northern France Trip . Tuesday 2nd April . Day 2

On waking up in the house that we spent the night in at St Inglevert we ticked off Eurasian Collared Dove , Winter Wren , Common Blackbird , Great Tit , Common Chaffinch and Eurasian Nuthatch for the day list . We then made our way down across the area of the Somme ! to Le Parc Du Marquenterre  a large reserve that you pay to get into but it gives you access to 13 hides and was well worth it .
At the reserve after our breakfast of a coffee and a toasted cheese sandwich we started to make our way around the reserve and the first thing that we noticed was that there was Cetti`s Warblers everywhere , also seen were Greylag Goose , Barnacle Goose ,  breeding White Stork , Eurasian Spoonbill and Cattle Egret , plenty of Pied Avocet , 2 superb looking adult Mediterranean Gull , a couple of Common Crane , summer plumaged Black-Necked Grebes and Little Grebes and then the bird that I had hoped to see a Middle Spotted Woodpecker that was calling and drumming for quite a while but I just couldn`t get on it but then to much joy it flew across right in front of me .... mission accomplished !!
We then made our way through St Quenton-En-Tormont where we saw a few White Stork and a Eurasian Jay , towards an area of reedbeds near the town of Crotoy to look for Bluethroat , we parked the car up and walked along a long path with reedbeds on either side of us and we soon had a few singing Fan-Tailed Warbler , we walked on a bit further and picked out a singing Bluethroat and after a while we got great views of it and it turned out to be one with a white throat patch .. Luscinia cyanecula , a few more birds were heard and seen but we didn`t get as good views of them as the first one .
Also seen was a Great White Egret and 5 Eurasian Spoonbill , the rain then started to fall so we made our way back to Calais for our return journey home after a couple of great days birding .