Sunday 27 December 2020

Rough Weather !

 A quick look at the Exminster Marshes this morning got me the following . Eleven Barnacle Goose were still on show but you still had to wade through the flooded road to see them . 2 Egyptian Goose then flew over and out onto the main marsh . 

But the highlight of the day for me were 2 Water Pipit that showed near the middle car park . Also seen were Peregrine Falcon , Common Buzzard , Common Kestrel , Water Rail , Redwing and Goldcrest .

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


Topsham from the Exminster Marshes


Tuesday 22 December 2020

Monday 21st December

 A quick trip this afternoon over to the Exeminster Marshes to look for some Barnacle Goose that had been found earlier . I parked the car up further back the road as it was flooded so I waded through with my wellies on to a spot where I could view the birds and I saw eleven of them , but by the time I got there the flock had split in two and the most I could get together was six .

It is quite rare for us to get as many as this in a flock in the South West of England , so I was happy to get the chance to see and photograph them .

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




Sunday 20 December 2020

Dusky Warbler

This morning I went out to the Exwick area of Exeter again to look for the Dusky Warbler .The weather was a lot better today with a bit of sunshine so my hopes were high of seeing the bird again .

I arrived to find some birders already there and they said that the bird had show on and off . And after a while the bird was picked up low down in the scrub and showed well for a short spell allowing me to grab this shot of it . 

Also seen were a male and female Goosander , a Common Kingfisher and 3 Common Chiffchaff .

Dusky Warbler ( Phylloscopus fuscatus ) . Exwick . Exeter . Devon . 20 / 12 / 2020


Thursday 17 December 2020

Snow Bunting

A trip up to North Devon today with the first stop at the Brauton Burrows to look for a couple of reported Snow Bunting and it was not to long before we found them . Now I just love these stunning little birds and it was a joy to have a bit of time to dwell on them .

We then headed for Fremington Pill where we saw a couple of Spotted Redshank , a Common Greenshank and four of the birds that we had come looking for the Glossy Ibis , at first there was no sign of them but then they were found roosting in trees and after a while they dropped down to the stream and showed very well . The light was very harsh to get good photos of them but we tried our best lol .

Snow Bunting ( Plectrophenax nivalis ) . Braunton Burrows . Devon




Glossy Ibis ( Plegadis falcinellus ) . Fremington Peel . Devon


Spotted Redshank ( Tringa erythropus ) . Fremington Peel . Devon


Sunday 13 December 2020

Wet But Worth It !

 This morning I went out to the Exwick part of Exeter to look for a Dusky Warbler that was reported there yesterday . By the time I got there and walked up to the very end of the flood relief . Drizzle had set in and I started getting wet , I started looking across the river at a row of trees where the bird had been seen but all was quiet . but after around 15 minutes I heard the bird calling and I got a brief view of it as some Long-Tailed Tits went through the trees but it went in quite deep , it called a few times more but I didn`t see it again , I got a bit wet but was very pleased in the end .

Also seen were 2 Great Black-Backed Gull , a Little Grebe and this Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail ( Motacilla cinerea ) . Exwick . Exeter . Devon


Saturday 12 December 2020

European Green Woodpecker

 This female European Green Woodpecker came to my garden 2 or 3 times this morning as it had found a food source , it has been a while since the last one I had in the garden and it is always an enjoyment to see these birds .

European Green Woodpecker ( Picus viridis ) . Topsham . Devon



Friday 11 December 2020

Thursday 10th December

 Now Red Kite is a majestic looking bird . And today I lucky enough to see two of them from the car , with one of them near Reading in Berkshire and another near Watford in Hertfordshire .

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Encounters with a Merlin

 A trip up to the Steart Marshes today to look for a reported Eastern Yellow Wagtail and some Penduline Tit but luck was out today as I didn`t see either of them .

But I did see this 1st winter female Merlin that was sat on a post only 10 feet in front of me , a truly  amazing encounter for me and one I will remember for quite a while . Also seen was a Western Marsh Harrier , a superb male and a female Hen Harrier a bird that I am always glad to see , 20+ Fieldfare , 3 Common Chiffchaff and 6 Common Stonechat

Merlin ( Falco columbarius ) . Steart WWT . Somerset






Monday 7 December 2020

Bowling Green Marsh Area

I had a walk around Topsham this morning and I found a Spotted Redshank on the far bank at Goosemoor . I then carried on towards Bowling Green Marsh and I saw the resident Mistle Thrush that is always in the tree with the mistletoe in it .

There was not a lot to see on the marsh with only , 11 Greylag Geese , 2 male Northern Pintail , 2 Common Greenshank , 6 Redwing , a Common Chiffchaff and 3 male and 2 female Eurasian Bullfinch . And back home there was a flock of over 30+ Redwing in the Topsham Cemetery grounds .

Northern Pintal ( Anas acuta ) . Bowling Green Marsh . Topsham . Devon


Mistle Thrush ( Turdus viscivorus ) . Bowling Green Lane . Topsham . Devon


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


Saturday 28 November 2020

Saturday 28th November

 We only have one Kingfisher in this country the Common Kingfisher and even though I have seen many Kingfishers around the world I still get a bit of a buzz when I see ours !

And that is just what happened today as I had gone to Exton Marsh to look for some reported Water Pipits but my luck was out and I only saw Rock and Meadow Pipits . But as I was scanning the marsh there was a female Common Kingfisher that was showing very well , and at one point a male bird came into her territory but she soon chased him off and carried on with her fishing .

Common Kingfisher ( Alcedo atthis ) . Exton Marsh . Devon




Thursday 26 November 2020

Haldon Forest

A trip up to the Haldon Forest on the edge of Exeter this morning and the first birds that I saw was a flock of 30+ Common Crossbill that flew over my head but they never stopped .

I then had a look around the feeders where I saw a male and female Brambling one of our smart looking winter finches , numerous Coal Tit a male and female Great Spotted Woodpecker , around a dozen Common Chaffinch , a couple of Eurasian Nuthatch and quite a few Eurasian Siskin .

Brambling ( Fringilla montifringilla ) . Haldon Forest . Devon





Eurasian Siskin ( Carduelis spinus ) . Haldon Forest . Devon



Tuesday 17 November 2020

The Exe Estuary

Today saw me again on the Exminster Marshes but the birding was very slow today and all I saw was the long staying Snow Goose , 20+ Northern Pintail and 5 Common Stonechat .

So I then went to Powderham Corner and walked up to the estuary wall and took a look at the Exe Estuary where I saw 20+ Common Ringed Plover and a few Dunlin . And in the field by the new bridge was a Common Snipe and a nice to see Song Thrush a bird that is not as common now as it used to be .

Snow Goose ( Anser caerulescens ) . The Exminster Marshes . Devon


Common Snipe ( Gallinago gallinago ) . Powderham Corner Area . Devon




Song Thrush ( Turdus philomelos ) . Powderham Corner Area , Devon


Friday 13 November 2020

Friday 13th November

 I had news of a Short-Eared Owl that was seen a couple of days ago near the back path on the Exminster Marshes . So I went over this morning to look for it but alas there was no sign of it , I can remember the days when you could see 5 or 6 of these birds on the marsh at this time of the year ...but not anymore .

But I did see the following , a Water Rail , a male Peregrine Falcon , 2 Common Raven , 10 Long-Tailed Tit and a Common Chiffchaff . I then took a look around the Turf Locks / Exe Estuary area and I saw 500+ European Golden Plover , a Common Kingfisher , a Rock Pipit , 2 Cetti`s Warbler and around 20+ Redwing .

Redwing ( Turdus iliacus ) . Turf Locks . Devon



Rock Pipit ( Anthus petrosus ) . Turf Locks . Devon


Tuesday 10 November 2020

Common Guillemot

On the Exminster Marshes this morning the drake American Wigeon was in with a  flock of 300+ Eurasian Wigeon that flew across the marsh and landed out by the main lagoon , obviously it must be the bird that was found a while back on the Exe Estuary at Exmouth by fellow birder Matt Knott but where it has been since then is a bit of a mystery . Also seen was the female Western Marsh Harrier , a Grey Wagtail , 4 Cetti`s Warbler , a Common Chiffchaff , a Song Thrush and 2 Redwing .

I walked down as far as the Turf Locks and a look at the Exe Estuary got me a few Pied Avocet , 4 Grey Plover and 400+ European Golden Plover . And close to the locks a Common Kingfisher showed well and as I was trying to get a shot of it I noticed a bird that was diving quite a lot , so I went to see what it was and to my amazement it was a Common Guillemot a very rare bird to be found this far upriver away from the coast .

Common Guillemot ( Uria aalge ) . Turf Locks . Devon



Common Kingfisher ( Alcedo atthis ) . Turf Locks . Devon


Saturday 7 November 2020

Ring Ouzel

 Today was started at Goosemoor in Topsham where there was a Green Sandpiper that was my first on the Exe Estuary this year , also seen were a few Black-Tailed Godwit and some Common Greenshank . Next a look at Bowling Green Marsh produced 3 Dunlin , a Red Knot and 3 Stock Dove but the viewing is very restricted .

I then went across to the Exminster Marshes and I saw the following birds . 20+ Dark Bellied Brent Goose , 400+ European Golden Plover , a Common Kestrel , a Eurasian Sparrowhawk , a female Merlin that has been around the marshes for a while now but it has taken me 5 trips to catch up with it ! I then saw my bird of the day first ever Ring Ouzel on the marshes , an adult female bird that was in with a few Common Blackbird and Redwings .  

Black-Tailed Godwit ( Limosa limosa ) . Goosemoor . Topsham . Devon