Thursday 28 November 2019


Big news today that the 1st winter Bluethroat that was seen 9 days ago south of the Turf Locks in Devon had been found again this morning , as it was my car has just gone in for an mot so I had to bum a lift with fellow birder Dave Hopkins to see if we could catch up with it , thanks Dave . I got there but missed the bird by about a minute but the bird showed itself again about an hour later to the joy of myself and all the other birders that had come to see it .
This was my first Bluethroat in Devon after 34 years of birding so as you can guess I was well pleased...Yippee lol .

Bluethroat ( Luscinia svecica ) . Sth of Turf Locks . Devon

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Greater Scaup

This morning I opened the door to 20+ Redwing in the trees in the cemetery grounds in Topsham .
I then went down for a look at Bowling Green Marsh where the best bird today was this 1st winter male Greater Scaup , only a few days ago I said that this is always a good bird for the marsh and now this one turns up lol .
Also seen today were lots of the usual Eurasian Wigeon , Common Teal & Northern Shoveler , a male and female Northern Pintail , 4 male and 2 female Tufted Duck , 2 Common Snipe , the 1st winter Long-Billed Dowitcher and a Grey Wagtail .

Greater Scaup ( Aythya marila ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Monday 25 November 2019

Monday 25th November

I took a look at Bowling Green Marsh from the hide this morning and I saw numerous Common Teal and Eurasian Wigeon , 50+ Northern Shoveler , 20+ Mallard , a male and female Northern Pintail , a female Tufted Duck and a female Greater Scaup..always a good bird for the marsh , but there was no sign today of the Long-Tailed Duck that had spent a few days with us .
A walk around the bushes by the viewing platform didn't turn up much at all with a male and female Common Stonechat , a few Goldcrest and 9 Black-Billed Magpie ,
Later in the day a look for Firecrest at the top of Bowling Green Road only turned up one very illusive you can see lol

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Bowling Green Road . Topsham . Devon

Thursday 21 November 2019

Rainy Days & Mondays Always Get Me Down

My birding today was done from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh due to the persistent rain ! But a bit of joy for the day was seeing the 1st winter Long-Tailed Duck in the channel close to the hide , and I am sorry to post a few more shots that were taken today.... I just couldn't resist lol
There was not a lot else to see with only the Long-Billed Dowitcher  and a Common Snipe .
On the way home I stopped to look for the Firecrests at the top of Bowling Green Road but I only saw one today in the rain and cold weather  

Long-Tailed Duck ( Clangula hyemalis ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Better Shots !

My daily look at Bowling Green Marsh turned up a nice surprise this morning as the 1st winter male Long-Tailed Duck came down the channel and much closer to the hide allowing me to get the shots that I have been after since it turned up 3 days ago , as up till today it had stayed well out on the main lake . Also seen from the hide today were 2000+ Black-Tailed Godwit , the Long-Billed Dowitcher , 4 Dunlin and a Common Greenshank .
I went down to look for yesterdays Hawfinch but I had no luck as the wind was a lot stronger today with not many birds on show at all with only a few Goldcrest and Redwing and 2 Eurasian Bullfinch .
I had a look at the top of Bowling Green Lane for the Firecrests but I only managed to see two of them today .

Long-Tailed Duck ( Clangula hyemalis ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Tuesday 19 November 2019

The Good & The Bad

My look around the Bowling Green Marsh this morning turned out to be a lot more rewarding than I expected as from the hide I saw the 1st winter male Long-Tailed Duck , quite a few Northern Shoveler , 2 Dunlin and the Long-Billed Dowitcher .
I then went down to the viewing platform area and came across a fresh Otter trail and as it turns out they had an Otter from the hide just after I had left ...Damn .There was only a few Redwing and Goldcrest around the bushes and I was just about to leave when I heard a Hawfinch calling and in my excitement I went up Bowling Green Lane looking for it with no luck , so I went back to where I heard it and it was still calling and this time it was coming from the Riversmeet House garden so there must be some kind of food for it in there , this is a first for me on BGM . It just shows that flogging the same patch comes up trumps sometimes !
I then went up to the top of Bowling Green Lane by the railway bridge to look for a Firecrest  that had been seen there , I was with another birder when 3 of them showed together in the tree right in front of us and another was calling from the railway embankment definitely 4 at least .

Later in the afternoon news came out of a Bluethroat on the sea wall south of the Turf Locks , a few birders went over to look for it but we had no luck at all !

Firecrest ( Regulus ignicapilla ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon

Monday 18 November 2019

Whooper Swan

I went back to Bowling Green Marsh early this morning in hope of getting a better shot of the Long-Tailed Duck that was found yesterday and I was more pleased with todays shots than yesterdays but still in hope of getter better ones !
The female Common Goldeneye is still on the marsh with a few Tufted Duck , also seen were 5 Common Snipe and the Long-Billed Dowitcher . I then took a look around the bushes by the viewing platform were I saw 3 Redwing , 2 Mistle Thrush and a fly over Grey Wagtail .
I then met up with fellow birder Bob Bailey who said that he was going to Axminster look for the Whooper Swan that has been seen there and he kindly said that I could go along also... many thanks Bob .

Long-Tailed Duck ( Clangula hyemalis ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Whooper Swan ( Cygnus cygnus ) . Axminster . Devon

Sunday 17 November 2019

Long-Tailed Duck

There was news today of a Long-Tailed Duck on Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham . So I went down to take a look at it and the 1st winter male bird was still on show but was always quite distant so these are the best shots of it that I could get today , this is the 1st Long-Tailed Duck that I have seen on the marsh since January 2014 so it was very welcome ... Well done Dave
Also seen were 2 male and a female Tufted Duck , a female Common Goldeneye and the long staying Long-Billed Dowitcher also put in an appearance .

Long-Tailed Duck ( Clangula hyemalis ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Saturday 16 November 2019

Haldon Forest

I took another look around the Haldon Forest this morning but it was a bit quiet . But I did manage to see a couple of Hawfinch and I heard another one on call , I also got a fly over Common Crossbill  .
But after that there was not a lot else to be seen with a couple of Eurasian Jay , a European Green Woodpecker , and 2 Common Raven . Most of the other birders there had seen one or two Northern Goshawk before I got there but I had to make do with this Common Buzzard lol .

Also seen was this late Red Admiral Butterfly .

Common Buzzard ( Buteo buteo ) Haldon Forest . Devon

Red Admiral ( Vanessa atalanta ) . Haldon Forest . Devon

Friday 15 November 2019

Common Goldeneye

A late afternoon look at Bowling Green Marsh got me this female Common Goldeneye a bird that is an  uncommon visitor to the marsh . Also see were 10 Greylag Geese , numerous Eurasian Wigeon and Common Teal , 2 male Northern Pintail , 6 Northern Shoveler , 2 Tufted Duck , a male Gadwall , a small flock of European Golden Plover that flew into the marsh but then flew right out again and down by the viewing platform their was a male and female Common Stonechat .
Back home I saw a small flock of Fieldfare and Redwing in the Topsham Cemetery grounds .

Common Goldeneye ( Bucephala clangula ) . Bowling Greem Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Wednesday 13 November 2019


This morning I took a look at the small copse that runs parallel to the M5 on the Exminster Marshes and I found a Tit flock going through it consisting of mostly Long-Tailed Tit , Great Tit and Blue Tit but in with them was a Eurasian Treecreeper , numerous Goldcrest and a Firecrest a new bird for me on the marshes .

Monday 11 November 2019

Blue-Winged Teal

A trip down to Man Sands with Andy and Ken to look for a reported Blue-Winged Teal and at first there was no sight of it , so we went up to the coastguards cottage as two female Black Redstart have been seen there and after a short wait they were soon added to the day list .
Back then to look for the Blue-Winged Teal from the gate area and this time we were in luck as the bird flew out of the reeds and went to the far left hand corner where it preened for a while before vanishing back into the reeds again , and making it my 5th for Britain . Another bonus for the day was a female Hen Harrier that showed for a short while before being lost from sight over the hill top .

Black Redstart ( Phoenicurus ochruros ) . Man Sands . Devon

Sunday 10 November 2019


A cold morning was spent up in the Haldon Forest in hope of seeing Hawfinch and I managed to see 3 of them at the top of the butterfly walk . Also seen were 8 Common Crossbill , 10 Eurasian Siskin , 6 Goldcrest , 20+ Redwing , a Common Buzzard and 2 Eurasian Jay .

Hawfinch ( Coccothraustes coccothraustes ) . Haldon Forest . Devon

Friday 8 November 2019

Thursday 7th November

Paddyfield Pipit ?

A trip down to Cornwall to look for a potential 1st for Britain a Paddyfield Pipit . We arrived early morning and got to the very large field where it is being seen but the only problem was that the field was full of pipits lol . there was a bit of a crowd around the edge of the field and after a while a call went up that the bird was in the far right hand corner and it then showed on and off for quite a while and I must say that it looked different from pipits that I have seen before .
Local Cornish birders have got the call of the bird on tape and everything is pointing towards Paddyfield Pipit so we will just have to wait and see .
Also seen was an American Buff-Bellied Pipit and only the second one that I have seen in Britain so I was well pleased with that !! , numerous Meadow Pipits were also seen and a White Wagtail .
We then went to Porthgrarra to look for a reported Pallas`s Warbler and after a bit of a wait in the rain the bird showed on and off for a short while , along with 3 Firecrest , a Goldcrest , a  Lesser Whitethroat possibly of the Siberian race , a Common Chiffchaff and in the car park I got the best ever views and shots of a Red Fox ....Stunning .
News then came out of 4 Pink-Footed Geese at Copperhouse Creek in Hale so we went and saw them and the day was finished off with a Little Stint on Ryans Field .....a great days birding and a good catch up with other birders from years gone by .

Footnote . We looked for Red-Billed Chough at 4 different locations around the tip of Cornwall but we had had no luck at any of them ...So frustrating lol !

Paddyfield Pipit ( Anthus rufulus ) . Sennen . Cornwall

White Wagtail ( Motacilla alba ) . Sennen . Cornwall

Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes ) . Porthgwarra . Cornwall

Pink-Footed Goose ( Anser brachyrhynchus ) . Copperhouse Creek . Hale . Cornwall

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Richards Pipit

This morning I was at the top of Gore Lane in Exmouth just as it started to get light at 7 am as a Richards Pipit was found there late yesterday evening and I was hoping that it had stayed overnight .
The light was very poor to start with as I checked the area where it was seen with no luck but at around 7.50 some Common Skylark took to flight from the dung field and there in with them was the Richards Pipit and as it flew over to the next field it let out a clinching call...yes !
I then searched for it on my own for over an hour as to my amazement no other birders had bothered to turn up to look for it , and in that time I only saw it once again . But then another birder turned up and he was from America ( I thought wow that's a long twitch lol ) but he said that he was studying at Exeter University , we then walked right up Gore Lane and as we did a flock of Meadow Pipits flew up and there was the Richards Pipit in with them so he was well pleased , the time was then 9.15 and the bird was not seen again after that , so this was really a case of early birds catch the worms lol
The farmers then drove their pickup into the field to look after their cows putting everything up , a search after that never produced the bird but it could still be in the area somewhere . The only other things of note were some smart Pale Bellied Brent Geese on the Exe Exstuary ,

Common Stonechat ( Saxicola torquatus ) . Gore Lane . Exmouth . Devon

Pale Bellied Brent Goose ( Branta bernicla hrota ) . The Exe Estuary . Exmouth . Devon

Monday 4 November 2019

Nice Moths

Overnight I caught these two moths , a splendid Feathered Thorn and a smart looking November Moth . They are not rare but still nice to see .
Later in the day I went down to Bowling Green Marsh where I saw my 1st Little Grebe on the marsh for a while , the long staying Long-Billed Dowitcher was on the far left hand side of the marsh with a Common Snipe , 20+ Pied Avocet , 20+ Common Greenshank , 15 Dunlin and 6 Rook .
My last stop of the day was at the Darts Farm Reserve but all I saw was a Common Kingfisher and a fly over Eurasian Sparrowhawk .

Feathered Thorn ( Colotois pennaria ) . Topsham . Devon

November Moth ( Epirrita dilutata ) . Topsham . Devon

Common Kingfisher ( Alcedo atthis ) . Darts Farm . Topsham . Devon

Sunday 3 November 2019

Glossy Ibis

First thing this morning I had a Firecrest in my back garden a bird that I have only had once before in the garden . I then went across to the Exminster Marshes to look for a Glossy Ibis that was found yesterday and it was still on show today but was a little bit to distant to get nice shots of it .
Also seen were 3 Common Snipe , a Jack Snipe a bird that is always illusive on the marshes , 5 Meadow Pipit and 2 Cetti`s Warbler .

Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon

Friday 1 November 2019

Mandarin and Mottled Umber

An early morning look at Bowling Green Marsh got me a male Mandarin a very uncommon bird on the marsh . The bird was on the far left hand side of the marsh under the railway lines but I just about got this distant shot of it from the hide .
Also seen were numerous Common Teal and northern Shoveler , around 20+ Northern Pintail , 3 male and a female Gadwall , 4 Pied Avocet , a male Peregrine Falcon , a Grey Wagtail and a Common Raven .
Last night I caught just one moth this Mottled Umber and was well pleased as it is a new one for me .

Mandarin ( Aix galericulata ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon

Mottled Umber ( Erannis defoliaria ) . Topsham . Devon