25 September 2016
Went for a second try to see the Lesser Grey Shrike at Mount Batten in Plymouth but it was a No show, some birders had been looking since 7.30am and as it was 10am I decided not to waist to much time, it was very windy and I thought it had moved or gone to ground out of the wind so got in the car and went towards the South Hams. The Shrike reappeared in the afternoon apparently about 2pm giving good views which is typical!!
Anyway off towards Slapton and Beesands Leys I stopped off at Aveton Gifford to go up the tidal road to the River Avon. It continued to be windy and the river was quite rough, a few birds about though with plenty of Mallards, Mute Swans, Little Egrets, Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Canada Geese, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gull present.
On to Beesands Ley and on hearing a Cettis Warbler from the carpark I thought I was in for a good visit but sadly the Ley was devoid of birds except a couple of Mute Swans and a Moorhen with fly over Cormorant and Woodpigeons. There was a couple of Dragonflies with Common Darter and a Hawker sp. Plenty of White Butterflies on the wild flowers and Brambles that were by the side of the field but not a lot else.
On to Slapton Ley and that too was quiet for there, plenty of Coot with a few Tufted, Mallard and Gadwall. A couple of Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants, Mute Swans with Cygnets, Black-headed, Herring, Lesser and Great-black Backed Gulls of all ages. Carrion Crow, Jackdaws, Pied Wagtails, Woodpigeons, Stock Doves and a Kestrel. A few Butterflies about with Red Admirals, Spotted Woods and White sp. I also saw what could have been a Migrant Hawker as well.
Plenty of people about and great again to meet some old faces, plenty of families out enjoying the good weather. I didn't take many pics but it was still a good day, got out in the fresh air and stretched the legs!
24 September 2016
Lesser Grey Shrike
As normal when Iam back at work all the rarities appear such as the Lesser Grey Shrike at Mount Batten, Plymouth.
Luckily for me it was still here today, sadly at a distance but still got some decent views in my bins and a couple of really nice birders let me have a look at this great bird through their scopes.
Saw lots of friends and old faces from around the south west and further afield. Iam going to try again tomorrow early to see if I can get a pic.
17 September 2016
After yesterdays report of a Yellowlegs at Topsham I thought I might try my luck although it wouldn't be high tide until 8pm so waders might be thin on the ground.
Parked up at Darts Farm as normal and surprising very few birds around the place, just a few Pied Wagtails.
Down the cycle path again very few birds with a Magpie, Jackdaw, Robin and a couple of Blue Tits. On the way back though a stunning female Sparrowhawk flew past with its tea!
In the Creek there was Green and Redshanks, Curlew, Black-headed and Herring Gulls.
Goosemoor was empty due to the lack of water but on the return trip there was 20+ Greenshank, Redshank and a Spotted Redshank, Cormorant, Moorhen, Curlew, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls, Mallard and a couple of Widgeon.
At Bowling Green there has been a significant rise in Ducks with Widgeon, Teal, Shoveler, Mallard, Tufted and Pintails. Black-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Mute Swan and a fly over Buzzard.
Along to the Platform which saw a very surprising scene of a Grey Squirrel crossing the estuary mud and then swimming the water to get to our side. Saw a couple of Ospreys down river and plenty of Greenshanks, Redshanks, Curlew, Godwits, Shelducks, Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls of all ages, Cormorants and some Knott.
A really great day out and good to see everybody
10 September 2016
River Exe and Exminster Marshes
After hearing reports of 10+ Ospreys on the River Exe this week I thought I better pay a visit!
I caught it right, just on the turn of the tide and was lucky to see 3 Ospreys, one came over nice and close. Some pictures were ruined because of my position in regards to the sun, but managed to get a couple ok, but also got some brilliant views of this special bird.
Saw plenty of gulls with Black-headed, Great-black Backed, Herring and Common Gulls. Also saw a couple of Sandwich Terns, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank, Curlew, Cormorant, Shelduck, Mallard, Kingfisher, Canada Geese, Mute and Black Swans, Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Swallows, House Martins, Rooks, Carrion Crows, Jackdaws, Blackbirds, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Cettis Warbler, Stonechat, Woodpigeon, Stockdove, Buzzard, Pheasants, Starling and a Female Sparrowhawk.
I did wonder if the Wheatear I saw was from the larger Greenland race? I need to send it to someone who knows!!
Plenty of Small and Large Whites, Comma, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and a Painted Lady. Also plenty of very mobile Hawkers Sp and Common Darters.
Great to meet up with friends and other birders on this glorious day.
04 September 2016
Lyme Bay Boat Trip
Joined a boat trip this afternoon with Nigel and captain Nigel on the "Optimist" on what started on a very quiet journey out to sea, we went out 7 miles and still not many birds. When "Chumming" started it was a long time before any birds turned up. We saw Great-black Backed and Lesser-Black Backed and Herring Gulls of all ages, saw a couple of Fulmar and Kittiwakes and several adult Gannets. A Great Skua flew over the boat and we saw a couple of Shearwaters, Manx and Balearic who was joined by a couple of Storm Petrels which was great to see.
On the way back we passed a group of birds which included several Shearwaters which put the numbers up to 6 Balearic, 4 Manx and 1 shearwater I couldn't Id.
In Brixham Harbour there was 4 Purple Sandpipers, Turnstone, Cormorants and Shags. We also saw a couple of Harbour Porpoise close to Berry Head and then some more further out.
Nice to meet the birders from Gloucestershire who were also on the boat.
04 September 2016
This Sanderling was seen on Dawlish Warren Beach on the 30th August.
It was ringed at Ostgronland in Greenland and was ringed on the 7th July 2015.
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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