[Simon Thurgood Images] [Simon Thurgood Images]


28 November 2021

Out and About

Out for a few hours this morning and was expecting to stop off at a few points along the River Exe and see what Waders were about, But at every stop there where Fisherman there with their rods out so very little to see.

So looked around the back lanes of Dawlish, Starcross, Powderham and Kenton. Saw all the expected Farm Birds, Pheasant, Red-legged Partridge, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Jay and Magpie. The Rookery at Powderham was especially noisy. Several Buzzards and a lone Kestrel, Song and Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Starling, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Robin and Wren.

Also saw a couple of Lapwing and several Cattle Egret on the back road to Mamhead.

A few Canada and Brent geese on fields close to the River as well as Little Egret, Grey Heron, Teal, Wigeon, Mute Swan and Shelduck seen at Powderham.

27 November 2021

Beesands and Slapton Leys

Arrived early at the memorial car park at Slapton, the wind was up and debris was being blown across the road.

I parked up and took a look out to sea, plenty of Gannets in close to the beach, usual Gulls and Cormorants but nothing else seen, was going to get out and look for the Snow Bunting but with everything flying around I decided not to.

I went first to Beesands Ley and was impressed by the number and range of Birds on the Ley.

Mute and Black Swans, Canada and a lone Brent Goose, Great-crested Grebes, numerous Coots, single Moorhen, Cormorants, Grey Heron, Black-headed, Herring, Great and Lesser-black Backed Gulls.

Good numbers of Ducks including the two rarities, the Lesser Scaups and the Ring-necked Duck but also Mallard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Shoveler and a couple of Pochard which I was most pleased to see, the rarities were great but seeing the Pochard was best, another birder in the Hide first saw them, great to see. There was probably plenty of others hidden behind the islands or in the sheltered area to the left of the hide.

Back then to Slapton Ley which was quite rough with the wind whipping up the waves, I went towards Ireland Bay and met up with Richie M who said he had seen a Couple of Black-necked Grebes but due to the waves and the sun in our faces we had difficulty relocating them.

I did see plenty of Tufted Ducks, Wigeon, Great-crested Grebes, Mute Swans, Coot,all the usual gulls and my only Raptor of the day a Kestrel.

Good to get out in the wind, blew a few cob webs out!

24 November 2021

Hermit Crab without a home

Went for a walk around Coryton Cove today while the tide was out, plenty of Seaweed on the beach and on the far side I found this large Hermit Crab without his home.

It was looking rather vulnerable without its shell and its body felt quite soft, I placed it over the sea wall in the Sea in hope it will find a new shell, it looked rather vulnerable to being eaten by a Gull.

22 November 2021

Dawlish Warren Beach

Caught the low tide at Dawlish Warren just right, I walked from the Arcades to the Point and back and found a wide range of Shells and Marine Life.

Plenty of Cockle, Razor, Otter, Turban Top, Auger, Slipper, Scallop and Oyster Shells along the full length of the beach.

Closer to the point there is an area where there are plenty of stones to turn over where I found Starfish, Shore Crabs and plenty of Fish such as Rockling and Butterfish, sadly I couldn't get a picture worthy to put up of these!

While I wasn't looking for Birds it was nice to see the Brent Geese on the Sea, Like the Gulls, Oystercatchers and Redshank they wasn't bothered by me and came up close on several occasions.

The beach as always on the move, thought there was more sand than last time I visited especially on the higher parts of the beach?

19 November 2021


As ever, walking around the woods looking for other things than Birds, a few Deer, Grey Squirrels and a Fox seen.

Not that many insects which was a disappointment after moving wood about.

Did find some Fungi, but not the amount you would expect at this time of year. Surprisingly didn't find any "Fly Agaric", perhaps a bit late??

Some great "Artists Bracket" seen, some of the biggest I have seen in a while. The most common Fungi seen was the "Fairy Inkcap" which was almost on every tree stump i came across.

17 November 2021


Walked around the top end of the Butterfly walk several times hoping to see the Hawfinch, which I have done on a couple of occasions but only fleetingly as they didn't settle.

I did see though lots of other woodland birds such as Crossbill, Siskin, Coal, Great and Blue Tits.

A few Raven about but sadly no Raptors seen of any sort.

Good to get out in some fresh air!

15 November 2021

Out and About

Its been a real problem this last two weeks getting over the after effects of Covid, I have a residual cough that keeps me awake at night and I just feel permanently tired!

Had to get out so Saturday went up on to Dartmoor and do some bird watching from the car.

I thought I would see more, but apart from a flock of 30+ Fieldfares, 1st of this winter for me that was it??

Sunday I did a walk around Holden to look for the Hawfinch but I missed them, but sure I will catch up with them soon.

So pleased to be out in the fresh air!!

26 October 2021


Well I supposed it was bound to happen sooner or later but I have Covid, isolation for 10 days, apart from feeling like shit Iam bored senseless. All being well allowed out n the 2nd.

22 October 2021

Cattle Egrets

Seen a few Cattle Egrets about in small groups, but like last year larger numbers are starting to meet up around the back of Cockwood/Starcross.

Today 50+ birds split ether side of the road that goes from Starcross to Mamhead. Most were with the cattle on the left as you went up but 15 birds in the stubble on the other side of the field.

20 October 2021


In between the rain showers I managed to have a walk around Bowling Green Marsh, Goosemoor, the Platform and the Goatwalk.

Because the tide was very high there didn't seem to be that many birds about especially at Goosemoor as there wasn't the places to stand, it was very unusual not to see any Greenshank, in fact some things were more obvious by their absence. Such as Little Grebe, Coot and Shelduck?

There was as you would expect these days plenty of Canada Geese, Curlew, Redshank and Godwits. There was a Great-white Egret flying around and only one Little Egret which was at the Goat Walk, also here a couple of Oystercatchers and a small flock of Dunlin. Gulls also scarce with a few Black-headed and Herring Gulls

Duck numbers were ok but seen a lot more here, Pintails, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard and Gadwall.

Fly over Cormorant, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits, Robin, Blackbird, Dunlin and Wren all seen.

Good to see Dave Stone in the hide

© Simon Thurgood 2021
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