26 June 2016
Managed a quick visit to Bowling Green, the Platform and a look over Goosemoor looking for some Med Gulls and the Summer Plumaged Spotted Redshank but sadly didn't find any!
Did see lots of Redshanks, Black-tailed Godwits, Curlews, Mallard, Teal, Shelduck with young, Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Herring Gulls, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Chiffchaff, Wren, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Dunnock, House Martin, Swallow and a Fox!
Good to see David B and other friendly soles around the hide.
25 June 2016
After being told about this reserve from a friend I went for a look around and what a little gem it is!
It sits between Saddle Tor and Hound Tor on Dartmoor and is a new acquisition by the Devon Wildlife Trust. It was a bit muddy in places and I would expect a winter visit a difficult one! I lost my way a couple of times because the paths are not worn enough yet to see which way to go but that's a trivial complaint.
Saw plenty of Birds, Plants, Dragons and Butterflies. Was hoping to see a Marsh Fritillary but sadly no but did see some Small Heath, Ringlet and Meadow Browns. Saw some great Dragons with Keeled Skimmer, Emperor and lots of Damsels including some stunning Large Red Damsels around the ponds which look new.
Some great flowers with Ragged Robin, English Stonecrop and Heath Spotted-orchid.
On the bird front there was a wide range because of the different habitats from open moor, scrub, stream and woodland. Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Raven, Carrion Crow, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Willow Warbler, Buzzard, Robin, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Skylark, Meadow Pipits, Wren, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Magpie, Jay, Spotted Flycatcher and a couple of Snipe flew over on the moor.
Had a great day and surprised I had the place to myself!!
18 June 2016
The day didn't quite go to plan, as it was quiet on the bird front thought I would find some flowers and Butterflies, it turned out quiet on the butterfly front as well but found some great Orchids, Pyramidal and Bee Orchid at Berry Head, Common Spotted at the Butterfly walk on Holden and Southern Marsh Orchid at Dawlish Warren, beautiful plants.
Good to meet and chat to a few fellow birders/photographers and great to have a chat as always with the head Warden at The Warren, Phil.
14 June 2016
After getting some information from Nigel S about these beautiful plants at Berry Head I managed to get there in between a split shift at work.
Some plants looked a little worse for ware but there was a couple that was out of the wind and people walking that looked just stunning!!.
Lots of other flowers out and hopefully will get down over the weekend to see some more
05 June 2016
Cuckoos, Owls and Buntings
I went to Portland in Dorset today to try and see the long staying Great Spotted Cuckoo which was into its 4th week. I was lucky enough to see it several times but unfortunately at distance so after a while I left it in peace and went to see the Little Owls in the Quarry, a adult was showing well and one of the two chicks put in a appearance. It took me a while to get a picture with its eyes open as every time I pointed the camera at it, it closed its eyes?? Great fun and a great little bird!
I then went off to Maiden Castle close to Dorchester which is a strong hold to the Corn Bunting, when I was young and work in farming I used to see loads of these fantastic bird but sadly they are becoming quite rare. Today I saw 6 from the car by the carpark as they were singing from the fence that follows the road to the monument. Just stunning!!
Met lots of birders from all over the place and the banter was great!
02 June 2016
Shetland day 6 and last day
A windy, wet and wild day! Trying to take pictures as you can see from these two side pictures was a thankless task.
So I spent the day birdwatching from the car. Looking around beaches,coves and lochs found plenty of Waders with Oystercatcher, Curlew, Whimbrel, Dunlin, Turnstones, Sanderling and Lapwings.
Went down to Sumburgh Head to look for Twite but the wind was blowing so much I could hardly stand up, there was no small birds to see around the Lighthouse. There was plenty of Auks though with Puffin, Razorbills and Gillimots including a couple of very smart Bridled bird's.
Gannets, Fulmar's, Shags an a Cormorant flying around the head as well as the Auks. Plenty of Fulmar's also nesting around the head as well as a couple of quarries.
Found a few Red Throated Divers as well as Whooper Swans nesting with Mute Swans seen as well, Shelduck, Tuffted and Mallards with Greylag Geese were the water birds.
Gull's a plenty with Common, Herring, Great-black and Black-headed Gull's. Rock and Collard Doves, Raven, Hooded Crows with a few smaller birds with Starlings, House Sparrows, Pied Wagtails, Blackbird, Wheatears, Meadow and Rock Pipits.
It's been a great week and a big thank you to Rebecca and Phil for their help and support.
01 June 2016
Shetland day 5
Went straight to Fetlar today and made sure that I wasn't distracted! The crossing wasn't the smoothest because of the wind and the boat was rolling especially on the outward journey. Managed to see Puffin, Black Gillimots, Razorbills, Gannets and Shags on the journey.
One of the target bird's was the Red-necked Phalarope which had returned to breed but sadly this year it wasn't to be. I think the wind was too strong and they were hunkered down somewhere. I did through see everything else and got some great photos, Pale phase Artic Skua, Whimbrel an Golden Plover all posed brilliantly for me. I saw 5 Artic Skuas in the end, 2 Pale and 3 Dark, these birds are fast becoming a favourite!
Saw also plenty of their bigger cousin the Great Skua Also Red Throated Divers, Great Northern Diver, Cormorant, Fulmar's, Common, Herring, Black-headed and Great-black Backed Gulls. Eider, Mallards, Dunlin, Turnstones, Redshanks, Curlew, Snipe Lapwings, Ringed Plover, Ravens, Hooded Crows, Artic Terns, House Sparrows, Starlings, Wheatears, Meadow Pipits, Skylark, Rock Dove's and a very sorry looking Swallow which was finding it hard to find flies in the strong winds.
Met some nice people out which just made the day better!
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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