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12 February 2020

Last seven days

This last 7 days I've been all over the place, I was lucky to see the Serin at the end of last week which I have spoken about in a previous post. I have managed in between work, bad weather, shopping and having a good time with friends seen 96 species of Birds and visited some 20 sites, some twice.

That's not including shopping in Exeter where I was lucky to watch Peregrines flying around the church spire from "Mary Arches" Carpark, also while waiting for a Bus in Teignmouth Triangle after a night out watching the Pied Wagtail roost opposite in the tree, must have been 30+ birds.

Some access to places were badly affected by water such as Beesands and the path to the hide at the Warren has been an issue for some time, the back path at Exminster Marshes and Emsworthy Mire need Wellies but nothing that couldn't be navigated with care and common sense!

Places I visited were Yarner, Emsworthy Mire, Dunsford, Stover, Exminster Marshes, The feeders at Holden Carpark, Aylesbere, Seaton Marshes, Beesands and Slapton Ley, Bowling Green Marsh, Starcross Golf Course, The Scrape by the Min of Ag Labs at Starcross, Cockwood Harbour, Cockwood Steps, River Kenn outflow, Powderham Estate and around the Church, The River Exe at Turf and Dawlish Seafront.

Not including the Serin, the Birds I have seen this last 7 days are, Peregrine, several Buzzards and Kestrel are the only Raptors I have seen. Gulls have been plenty with GBB and LBB, Black-headed, Herring and Common Gulls.

Waders have been in big numbers, especially on Exminster and off Turf at low tide with Avocet, Curlew, Ruff, Dowitcher, Turnstone, Lapwing, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits, Red and Greenshank, Knot, Dunlin, Golden and Grey Plover, Oystercatcher and Snipe.

Greylag, large numbers of Canada and Brent Geese, Mute and Black Swan, Kingfisher, Dipper, Moorhen, Coot, Water Rail, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cormorant, Shag and Red-breasted Merganser.

Ducks a plenty with Mallard, Mallard X, Tufted, Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Mandarin, Pochard, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Pintail, Gadwall and Shelduck.

Plenty of smaller Birds about especially close to the feeders which had been brought in by the cold weather with Great, Coal, Blue, Marsh and Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cirl and Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Dunnock, Wren, Cettis Warbler, House Sparrow, Starling, Pied and Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Goldcrest, Yellowhammer, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nuthatch, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Collard Dove, Feral Pigeon, Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge.

Plenty of Crows about, Raven, Carrion Crows, Rooks, Jackdaws, Magpies and the near tame Jays at Stover.

Spring is starting to show its colours with Wild Flowers, especially at Dunsford Woods with Snow Drops and Wild Daffodils, also seen plenty of Primrose about the sites. Sadly though no Butterflies yet!

Met so many great humans, too many to mention but all on good form and NO miserable sods about! Back to work for a stretch so hopefully the weather will be better in a week?



06 February 2020

324 up!

Its been a bit of a slog but have managed to get pictures of 324 species of Birds I have seen in the UK. These are all in the Bird Gallery.

There are glaring gaps, pictures I should have got but just wasn't quick enough such as a Honey Buzzard and Cory Shearwater. There are some "Fuzz"y pics such that of the Golden Oriole, although because of the conditions you can see what it is because of its colour. There is also a couple of Birds I have seen in the wild such as the Merlin which were always at a distance, so I have included one I took that belonged to a collection. Also there are a couple I took not in the UK for example the Little Auks in Svalbard, I have seen these off the East Coast but no chance of a pic. Plenty to do!!

I have in total over 850 categories of Wildlife which have a picture, Plants, Bugs, Mammals, Birds and more. Given time I hope to greatly extend this, should be fun!



05 February 2020

Serin

I noted on Bird Guides that a Serin had been seen in Seaton. This Species of Bird has been on my radar for some time, I have traveled to see them far and wide, but seem always to be 5 minutes late!

Well got to Seaton and it wasn't to be seen, some local birders informed me that it had flown off and not been located since, so decided to go to Seaton Wetlands to see what was about.

When there, there was another alert to say it was seen again so off I went again.

This time several birders about, while it had flown off again there was more eyes to watch, by the fence there is a few Butterfly bushes and something suspicious had flown from one to another and while I was watching a bush a bird flew out and landed on some weed on a dirt bank. And there it was, glad to have found it and shared it with everybody else.

It is a female, poss first winter? I managed to get one picture showing its yellow rump, but not as sharp as I would like.

I did take many pictures but most where out of focus because the camera kept focusing on the weed which was a bit frustrating, luckily a few were acceptable!

Great to meet everybody and thanks to Steve Waite who originally found it, for the additional info.

On the way back I popped into Exminster Marshes to see the Spoonbill which typically was in the centre of the reserve too far for any sort of picture!



02 February 2020

Out and About

Got a bit frustrated not being able to get out with the camera due to the bad weather when I have had a day off, but this last three days I have managed to get out and visit Stover, Yarner, Exminster Marshes, Powderham, Cockwood Steps, River Kenn Outflow and the scrap by the Ministry of Ag at the end of Starcross as well as the Golf Course.

Nice walk around Stover with all the usual stuff, they now have in place an PSPO, which stands for Public Space Protection Order designed to keep dogs on leads, but while I was there, there wasn't anybody enforcing it with several dogs running around off leads?

Lot more to see at Exminster Marshes and at Turf. The new scrapes seem to be attracting lots of waders, Curlew, Bar and Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Redshank, Ruff, Snipe and Lapwing all present as well as plenty of Black-headed Gulls, Wigeon, Teal, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Mute Swan and Canada Geese.

A Peregrine put up everything several times and a Buzzard drifted over, a Marsh Harrier had been seen earlier but sadly i could not locate it.

Lots of small birds making a racket in the bushes, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock and a Chiffchaff.

At Turf as the tide was going out 1000s of birds on the mud with Avocets, Knot, Grey Plover, Curlew, Godwits, Lapwing, Dunlin, Black-headed, Common, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls and surprisingly no Golden Plover?

Also Mute Swan, Cormorant, Carrion Crow and a Seal. Lots of Brent Geese further down and on the other side of the River.

The River Exe was fairly quiet as well as the River Kenn, Powderham a few Grey Heron about, Little Egret , Shelduck and Canada Geese. The Fallow Deer Stags looked majestic with their horns.

Lots of Birds on the Scrap by the Ministry of Agriculture, Red and Greenshanks, Godwits, Curlews and a few Oystercatchers. Starcross Golf course had 100s of Geese, both Brent and Canada Geese.

All the usual stuff at Yarner and I continue to b surprised by the lack of any birds on the Lagoon? Not sure whats happened there.

Also popped into the far end of Emsworthy Mire to look at the new ponds but forgot my wellies so didn't get very far.

Good to meet up with Karen and Dave B as well as many other Humans!



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