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31 October 2015

Exminster Marshes and Dawlish Warren

On this lovely day I thought I might try my luck at Exminster Marshes, to my surprise the car park was empty and I had the place to myself, well the back path anyway!

Plenty of birds about especially in the bushes with lots of Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits. A large flock working its way down the path looking for food in the scrub. These were joined by 2 Goldcrest which were great to see.

Other birds seen were Carrion Crow, Magpies, Wood Pigeon, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Blackbird, Robin, wren, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Starlings, Grey Heron, Pheasants, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, Female Sparrowhawk and a Peregrine sat pruning its self on the Pylons.

At Turf there was no birds on the bushes which was unusual, but plenty of birds on the mud flats with Mute Swans, a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Grey Heron, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Herring, Black-headed and Great-black Backed Gulls, Cormorants, Little Egret and Shelduck. Up river towards Topsham you could see 100+ Dunlin, Lapwing, Godwits, Curlew, Redshanks and Avocets in good numbers.

Going back to the car via the road saw again lots of Long-tailed, blue and Great Tits, again joined by Goldcrests as well as Blackbird, Dunock, Robin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, Wren and a couple of Cettis Warblers. 100+ Canada Geese flew over from Topsham putting on a good show for the public. In the fields you could see more Canada Geese, Mute Swans and Grey Heron and Skylarks. There was also plenty of Corvides with Rook, Carrion Crow and Jackdaws working their way through the pasture with plenty of Magpies around the hedges. In the ditches and wet areas there was Mallard, Teal, Widgeon and Coots.

Also saw a Red Admiral and a few Hawker sp.

Plenty of humans about all enjoying the good weather.

As I had some more sunlight left thought I would check the bushes and Greenland Lake at the Warren on my way home. Found 18 species which wasn't bad, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Starling, Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Herring and Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Moorhens on the pond. Good also to bump into Phil for a chat.



30 October 2015

Cattle Egrets

I like this type of Bird Watching every so often, just drove up and wound down the window, took a few shots then drove off! easy!! These two were at Teigngrace, Devon.



29 October 2015

Pallas Leaf Warbler

After trying yesterday and failing thought I would give it another go!

I was just going to stay for a hour then carry on to see the Glossy Ibis at Black Hole Marsh, but this put such a good show I stayed for most of the day. It was frustrating as it didn't stay in one place long enough to get a decent picture, lots of great views as I followed it around with my bins, plenty of Goldcrests, 5 together at one point.

Met lots of other birders from all over the place and a very friendly bunch!



28 October 2015

Dawlish Warren and Powderham Marshes

As it was supposed to be dry and clear this morning and high tide was going to be 6.55am I decided to go to the Warren to see what was about.

I parked up at the station as normal and noticed the morning chorus but not as noisy as I have heard before, this sadly was taken over by Dogs barking! As I got to the area known as the "Buffer Zone" there was 7 dogs running around, chasing rabbits and crapping everywhere! The owners, one in a dressing gown drinking out of a cup were in a huddle chin wagging! Brilliant nice start to the day, but thankfully no dogs on the reserve or the beach. After watching the sun come up which is always a enjoyable experience I walked off to the hide, I did notice large numbers (50-60) of Cormorants flying from the area of the Langston Rock towards the river Exe.

Birds seen were Robin, Dunnock, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Herring and Black-headed Gulls, Magpie, linnets and Goldfinches.

When I got to the river there was a disturbance on Finger Point, a seal had come up next to the point sending the birds up, 1st time I had seen a Seal so far in the Bight.

The Tide was quite high but not enough to cover the Island, Little Egret, Dark Bellied Geese, Widgeon, Mallard, Teal, Shelduck, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Dunlin, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Black-headed, Herring, Great-black Backed Gulls, Cormorant and Mute Swans. Around the bushes behind the hide there was Linnet, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Robin and Reed Bunting.

On the way back to the car I saw Stonechat, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Robin, Blackbird, Linnet, Greenfinch, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Great and Blue Tit and the best of all a 1st Winter Female Ringed Ouzel! At the car there was a Chiffchaff busy in the shrubs looking food.

Got myself a Bacon Butty and off to look around Powderham Marshes, Large numbers of Goldfinches, Starling, Woodpigeon and Pheasants in around the fields with seed crops in, other birds seen were 2 Jays, Kestrel, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Moorhen, Dunnock, Wren, Curlew and a possible flyover Cirl Bunting.

I also went over to Exmouth to see the Pallas Warbler but as I arrived it went to cover and didn't come out so will try tomorrow.

Saw lots of birders about and good to see everybody. Good day out!



27 October 2015

Exminster Marshes

Typically when Iam on holiday it rains, this morning was no different! It thankfully started to clear up so I went to Exminster Marshes for a couple of hours.

The car park was unusually empty and so I walked off down he back path to Turf without a dog walker in sight!

Plenty of birds about and singing in the afternoon sun, because it was damp and warm there was plenty of midges about and the smaller birds were making the most of it. Lots of Robins, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Blackbirds, Wren, Starlings, Call of a Cettis Warbler made me jump! Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeons, Lots of Pheasants, 3x Greylag Geese, several hundred Canada Geese, Mute Swans, a Peregrine sat on the electricity pylons and a Female Sparrowhawk flying over the hedge looking for dinner. Also a fly over of Curlew with Black-headed and Herring Gulls.

The Bushes around Turf there was 100+ Starlings on the bushes and wires, 20+ group of Gold and Green Finches and a small Tit flock of 15 birds consisting of Blue and Long-tailed Tits. A Kestrel flew by being harassed by a Carrion Crow.

On the mud flats by Turf there was Mute Swans, Cormorants, Grey heron, Little Egrets, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls, Oystercatchers, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Avocets, Mallard, Wigeon and Shelduck.

Back to the car via the road found many birds in the roadside bushes with another 50+ Starlings, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Robins, Wrens, Blackbirds, 2x Chiffchaffs, Goldfinches, Woodpigeons and a Warbler sp. it had a call like a Sedge but was quieter, I didn't see it as it spent the time in the lower shrub and stayed out of sight?

Other birds seen were Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Little egrets, Grey Heron, Coot, Mallard, Teal, Pied Wagtail and more Pheasants!

Not many other people about but I had a great walk!!



26 October 2015

Topsham

Today the weather was opposite to yesterday in true British style!! I thought a trip to Topsham might be worth a go and to be honest had a great afternoon!

I got to Darts farm and it was grey and overcast and there was a shower of rain. Around the Darts there was Magpie, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow and some Herring Gulls flying over.

Not a lot on the cycle path with some Chaffinch, Starling, Robin, Blue Tit with plenty of Black-headed and Herring Gulls flying around.

Along the River Clyst the tide was out but only a few birds here with Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Grey Heron and Little Egret.

At Goose moor there was fly overs from Magpie, Woodpigeon and Carrion Crow. On the mud there was Black-tailed Godwits and a single Curlew. Quite a few ducks which were mainly Teal with a couple of Widgeon and Mallard. On the way back most of the above had gone and been replaced by 13 Greenshanks, 1 Redshank and a few Mallard.

Along the road there was Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Great and Blue Tits, Blackbirds, Woodpigeon, Carrion crows and Starlings.

In the Reserve there was not many Geese when I went through but on my return there was loads of Canada geese, looked like 6 Greylag and 1 Barnacle Goose.

Fly overs from Black-headed, Herring, Woodpigeon, Magpie and Carrion Crow. Plenty of Ducks with Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Pintail and Shelduck on view.

Waders that I could see were Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Greenshanks and Curlew.

From the platform that overlooks the River Clyst there was Lapwing, Redshank, Greenshank, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls, Mallard, Cormorants and further down there was a group of 50+ Avocets.

From the Goat walk I was welcomed by 1000 odd Canada Geese which crossed the River Exe from Exminster Marshes towards Bowling Green, on the mud flats there was 100+ Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Dunlin, Redshank, Mallard, Little Egret, Great-black Backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls.

In Topsham there was Pied Wagtail, Jackdaws, Starlings, Woodpigeons and Little Egrets, Black-tailed Godwits and Black-headed Gulls on the mudflats next to the quay side.

Plenty of humans about and good to see David B and other birders about, all in all a good afternoon!



25 October 2015

Shapwick, Somerset

On this brilliant sunny day I thought I would pay a visit to Somerset, mostly Shapwick which is one of my favourite places, hoping again to get some better pictures of the Marsh Harriers that are here.

After parking up at the Avalon Centre and a Bacon Butty to set me up for the day I made a start.

Plenty of birds around the buildings with House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie seen.

On the way to Decoy Hide there was a few small birds in the bushes with a calling Cettis Warbler, Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Wren, Carrion Crow, Raven and a Pheasant. Plenty of Dragonflies in this area in the sun with Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and Emperor Dragonflies seen.

At Decoy there wasn't many birds but plenty of quality with a quick flight of a Bittern and 3x Marsh Harriers, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and 5x Buzzards all soaring in front of the hide. On the water there was plenty of Coots with Shoveler, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, Cormorant and Mute Swans. There was also a flock of Lapwings that flew over as well as Black-headed and Herring Gulls in the air.

Around the path to Noah's there was Gadwall, Tufted and Mallard. Coot, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crows, Chaffinch. The three Marsh Harriers drifted towards me but frustratingly with the sun behind them!!!

At Mere Heath Hide there was another Marsh Harrier in the distance being mobbed by some crows, in the water there was Canada Geese, Wigeon, Mallard, Cormorant and Mute Swans with Cygnets.

Further along at the scrape there was very little as it was full of water, just Mute Swans, Coot, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, Cormorant and Black-headed Gulls.

I went to Noah's Hide but couldn't get in because of all the people so had a look from the ground and could see plenty of Mute Swans, Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, Cormorants, Black-headed and Herring Gulls.

Lots of friendly humans about completed a very nice day!



18 October 2015

Topsham

Went to Topsham today for a walk to the centre and back to Darts Farm, a bit grey but dry.

At Darts farm it was quite busy so had to park around the back and right in front of me was a Lesser-black Backed Gull sat on the roof, smart looking bird! Also around was House Sparrow, Starling, Great Tit, Robin, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Herring Gull and Pied Wagtail.

Onto the cycle track which was a bit quieter than normal with Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Starling, Blue Tit, Jackdaw and Carrion Crow.

The Creek continued the quiet theme with just a Little Egret on show. Hoping this was not going to continue I was relieved to see some birds on Goosemoor with Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Cormorant, Little Egret, Moorhen, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Blackbird, Carrion Crow, Black-headed Gull, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. These last two birds put in several appearances on my walk today.

Along the road apart from the two Raptors there was Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blue and Great Tits, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

I had missed most of the waders at the reserve but still plenty of ducks with good numbers of Widgeon, Teal, Shoveler, Mallard and a few Pintail. Also Black-tailed Godwits, Lapwing, Woodpigeon, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Magpie, Grey Heron, Plenty of Canada Geese, Herring and Black-headed Gull.

Along to the viewing Platform which over looks the River Clyst saw Kingfisher, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Black-tailed Godwit, Cormorant, Avocet, Little Egret, Black-headed and Herring Gull.

Along the Goat Walk Redshank, Avocet, Oystercatchers, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwits were on the mud bank, A flash of electric blue was a Kingfisher with Grey Heron, Little Egret and Cormorant at the waters edge. The ever present Black-headed and Herring gulls flying around.

In Topsham there was plenty of noisy Starlings roosting on the wires and boat rigging with House Sparrows, Collard Doves and Jackdaws around the houses.

Plenty of humans about enjoying the day and good to see Ivan and others in the hide.



17 October 2015

Isabelline Shrike

In a frustrating week at work seeing all these rarities about it was good to get out and catch up with one! This Isabelline Shrike, a rare vagrant from Mongolia and Western China was at South Huish Marshes in South Devon and making itself at home on the local wasps!

Good to see everybody today, lots of faces I recognise but don't know your names? Anyway good to see you all!!



11 October 2015

Exminster and Powderham Marshes

Started off at Exminster Marshes and a good selection of birds but no Butterflies or Dragons seen.

At Turf on the mud flats there was Herring, Black-headed and Great-black Backed Gulls, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cormorants, Mute Swans, Carrion Crows, Curlew and Black-tailed Godwits on show.

Around the rest of the Reserve there was Magpie, Carrion Crows, Wood Pigeon, Peregrine, Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Pheasants, Starlings Robin, Blue, Long-tailed and Great Tits, Lapwing, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Stonechats, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Black-tailed Godwits, Good numbers of Teal and Mallard. Surprised NOT to see any Widgeon??

Then on to Powderham Marshes were there was a lot more small birds around the bushes with good numbers of Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Blue and Great Tits, Wren, Carrion Crow, Robin, Woodpigeon, Mute Swan, and Kestrel.

Plenty of seed heads on the flowers and surprised not to see more birds but an area to keep an eye on.

Nice to bump into quite a few "non birding" friends but didn't see anybody else out with bins.

With the dull grey day winter is definitely on the way.



03 October 2015

Dawlish Warren and Exminster Marshes

Got to the Warren this morning and it looked ok but when I got to the Hide because of the fog you couldn't see 20ft, you could hear the birds such as the Oystercatchers and the returning Wigeon. The sun eventually burnt off the fog about 12 giving great views up the river.

Other birds seen at the hide were Grey Plover, Dunlin, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Carrion Crows Black-Headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls. Also great to see the returning Dark-bellied Brent Geese.

Other birds around the reserve were Blackbird, Starling, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Blackcaps, Wheatear, Linnet, Stonechat, Wren, Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow and Magpie.

At the pond there has been work done to clear the reeds which is done annually here which makes it easier to see the ducks etc. but only a Moorhen was seen.

I also saw what could have been a Yellow-Browed Warbler in Greenland lake, the bird was very mobile and went over to the golf course and couldn't relocate it.

I then went up to Exminster Marshes sort of expecting to see some more Wigeon and Brent Geese but didn't see any!!

Did see though Peregrine Falcon, both male and female Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, large number of Canada Geese, Woodpigeon, Robin, Wren, Song thrush, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Cormorant, Pheasants, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Mallard, Teal, Pied Wagtail, Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, Swallows and large numbers of Goldfinches feeding on Thistle heads in the field next to Turf.

100+ Starlings on the wires and bushes at Turf.

On the mud flats by Turf were Cormorant, Little Egret, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Greenshank, Mute Swans, Carrion Crow, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls.

A few Butterflies about with Small Copper, Small White and Spotted wood on the wing. Common Darter and Migrant Hawkers also seen.

A few humans about with Dawlish Warren being the busiest, good to see everybody at the Hide and I was the only one with some bins at the Marshes.

It started as a cold foggy day but turned into a stunning sunny day!!!



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