26 March 2017
Dunsford and Yarner Woods
On this sunny day thought I would spend the morning at Dunsford Reserve on Dartmoor.
The reason being to try and get some pictures of Dipper in some good light. Trees were still bare of leaves and the sun was out and high in the sky, well that was the plan!
Typically for the first time I think ever not a Dipper in sight??
Plenty of Grey Wagtail so I had some fun with them, a few other birds around but not that many, Marsh, Blue and Great Tits, Robin, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Wren, Buzzard, Raven, the call of a Green Woodpecker from the woods and some Mallard on the river. Plenty of Wild Flowers with the Wild Daffodils putting on a good show with Wood Anemone, Primrose and Wild Garlic in supporting roles. Butterflies also with Brimstone and Orange Tip which were the first of the year for me.
Off to Yarner, I parked up at the top to look over Trendlebere with just a Buzzard loafing about with Wren, Robin, Great and Blue Tits, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Mallard and 3 Mandarin Ducks, the male was just stunning!
So many people about enjoying the sun on this mothers day, great to meet and have a chat with David Price at Dunsford.
25 March 2017
Went to the Warren today after hearing a Jack Snipe had been seen around the Main Pond for the last couple of days. Typically I dipped even though everybody else saw it today!
I did see a stunning Male Wheatear, sat and watched it for 15 minutes until it flew off, stunning bird!!
Went out to the point and watched the tide coming in and not that many birds about, 9 Sanderling on the Rivers edge but that was it, several Skylarks singing on the point with a few Stonechats.
From the hide there was Oystercatchers, Little Egret, Dark-bellied and Pale-bellied Brent Geese, Linnet, Godwit, Pied Wagtail, Great-Black backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls of all ages, Cormorant and Shag.
Around the rest of the reserve Robin, Blackbird, Dunnock, House Sparrow, wren, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Great and Blue Tit, Mallard, Moorhen, Little grebe and Chiffchaff.
Also saw a few Butterflies, Peacocks and a Red Admiral being blown about in the wind. Also saw plenty of the Sand Crocus with 40 out in flower.
Good to see everybody today, Kev, Alan, Steve and quite a few other birders I met today for the first time.
19 March 2017
Last week I went to Seaton Wetlands and saw this Godwit with all its Jewellery on.
I got this reply from Peter Potts who is in charge of the ringing scheme.
It was ringed as a adult Female,
WNO YRY 28-Feb-15 Axe Estuary, Seaton, E Devon Axe Estuary Ringing Group (Mike Tyler et al)
WNO YRY 11-Apr-15 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Stephen Maxwell
WNO YRY 20-Apr-15 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Stephen Maxwell
WNO YRY 22-Apr-15 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Paul Elliott
WNO YRY 04-May-15 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Stephen Maxwell
WNO YRY 06-May-15 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Paul Elliott
WNO YRY 06-May-15 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Michael Loughridge
WNO YRY 24-Oct-15 North Frambridge, Blue House Farm, River Crouch, Essex, SE England Ian Murphy
WNO YRY 17-Nov-15 Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Exe Estuary, Exeter, Devon, SW England Martin Unwin
WNO YRY 03-Dec-15 Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Exe Estuary, Exeter, Devon, SW England Derek Carter
EX68145 S ? WNO YRY 16-Dec-15 Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Exe Estuary, Exeter, Devon, SW England Chris Marcol
WNO YRY 14-Jan-16 Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Exe Estuary, Exeter, Devon, SW England Robert Williams
WNO YRY 11-Apr-16 Axe Estuary, Seaton, E Devon Doug Rudge
WNO YRY 12-Apr-16 Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary, Seaton, E Devon Doug Rudge
WNO YRY 14-Apr-16 Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary, Seaton, E Devon Doug Rudge
WNO YRY 16-Apr-16 Black Hole Marsh, Axe Estuary, Seaton, E Devon Doug Rudge
WNO YRY 25-Apr-16 Belfast Harbour RSPB reserve, N Ireland Noeni Bryars
WNO YRY 04-Aug-16 North Frambridge, Blue House Farm, River Crouch, Essex, SE England David Low
WNO YRY 19-Aug-16 North Frambridge, Blue House Farm, River Crouch, Essex, SE England David Dives
WNO YRY 12-Mar-17 Seaton Marshes LNR, Axe Estuary, E Devon, SW England Simon Thurgood
18 March 2017
Cattle Egrets and friends
Had some time before the rugby to pop up to Powderham to see the reported Cattle Egrets.
I found them in with the sheep, but difficult to see because of the crop the sheep were in, just the odd white flash of feathers, luckily for me one of the sheep enjoyed chasing them around and one of the birds flew off to the neighbouring field where there was 7 Little Egrets walking over a stubble field looking for food. I stood in the hedge and got some great views and they were still there when I left.
The rookery by the church was in full swing with birds flying to and fro, plenty of small birds singing away with Robin, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Wren, Great Tit, Goldfinch and Magpie.
A walk to the top of the bridge over the railway to find Canada Geese and Mallard on the pasture with plenty of Shelduck on the mud flats with very little else. A few grey Heron on there nests at Powderham, but again not a lot else.
On the way home I went by the back lanes via Chivestone Farm and found plenty farm birds with Pheasants, Red-legged Partridge, Carrion Crow, wood Pigeon, Blackbird and Skylark.
And back in time for the rugby!
12 March 2017
Haven't been to the Seaton Wetlands for a while so off I went! Stopped off at Aylesbere Common to see if any Dartford Warblers about, one of my favourite birds and the thing about Aylesbere is all you have to do is stick to the paths and one always pops up, as today, a bit far for a pic but great views in the bins, such a stunning bird! Also saw Stonechat, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Wren, Carrion Crow, Raven, Buzzard, Kestrel and a fly over Herring Gull.
Off to Seaton, parked up by the Graveyard and walked around to the Tower Hide, this is a great place to practice your Gull Id especially with the Juv and Immature gulls, I find it easier here when they are all together than seeing individuals on the beach, don't know why?? Hundreds of gulls here with Common, Black-headed, Herring, Lesser and Greater Black-backed Gulls, adults and young birds of all ages. Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Grey Plover, Mallard, Shelduck, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Carrion Crow, Cettis Warbler calling from next to the hide and the weird site of a Cock Pheasant walking along the side of the river.
Along to the Island Hide, stacks of Shelduck, Coot, Moorhen, Teal, Mallard, Widgeon, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwits, lapwing, herring, Common, Black-headed Gulls and Little Egret.
Off to the Discovery Hut and a luvely mug of Coffee from the volunteers, sat down to this and a couple of chocolate bickies to the sound of another Cettis in song.
Around the rest of the reserve I saw 2 Great-spotted Woodpeckers using the telegraph Poles as drumming posts, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Blackbirds, Buzzard, Woodpigeons, Long-tailed, Great and Blue Tits.
Off to Seaton Marshes which is a little car ride down the road, a look around the "Borrow pit" found Coot, Moorhen and Mallard with Woodpigeon in the trees. From the hide there was Widgeon, Mallard, Teal, Little Egret, Herring Gull and plenty of Black-headed Gulls, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwits and Redshanks.
A really good day in a very friendly place.
11 March 2017
I went to Yarner today and spent a while looking for the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, others did see a pair but I was unlucky.
I did see Nuthatch, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Wren, Chaffinch, Robin, Blackbird, Grey Wagtail, Raven, Woodpigeon and best of all, a Goshawk!!
I was looking up at the trees for the LSW on the top path and the bird flew at tree height, fantastic sight as it speed past, unmistakable and I've never been that close.
Met lots birders today, all looking for the LSW, a pleasure to see you all
05 March 2017
I was at Beesands Ley yesterday and a gull flew in from the sea. It had quite odd markings on its wings. It did look like an Lesser Black-backed Gull but double checked with Kevin Rylands who said it was "a Lesser Black-backed Gull with an odd pattern of albino feathers matched on each wing"
04 March 2017
Torcross and Slapton Ley
I heard that the Humpback Whale was back in the bay so spent the afternoon by Slapton Ley but the weather was very changeable which I hate, I rather it rain all the time so at least you would know where you are!
The Whale had been seen a couple of times but at a distance but I never caught up with it while I was there.
Plenty of birds about with a Great Northern Diver, Gannets, Cormorant, Great-black Backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls on the sea. Plenty of people on the beach ether looking for the whale an a organised beach clean which was great to see.
On the Ley there was plenty of Gulls which included a 1st Winter Little Gull, very smart bird!
Plenty of ducks with Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and plenty of cross breeds by the feeding area, Moorhen, Coot, Water Rail, Great-crested Grebes, Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Great and Blue Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Cettis Warbler, Skylark, Kestrel and Woodpigeon.
I then went off to Beesands to see what was there, plenty of Mute Swans, I lost count at 61 and most of them were Juveniles, Canada Geese, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks, Moorhen, Coot, Lesser-black Backed Gull, Herring Gulls, Wren, robin, Blackbird, Woodpigeon and Great Tit.
Apart from the weather it was a good day!
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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