Saturday, 25 February 2017

Humpback Whale And Desert Wheatear

Great day yesterday whale watching at Slapton and a visit to Thurlestone for the desert wheatear.  I have never actually seen any kind of whale before so to see a humpback close into the shore was really exciting.  We watched the whale for several hours as it swam back and forth across the bay following shoals of fish.   It really was a wonderful sight.  Shame some idiots had to keep speeding after it in a boat every time it surfaced.  I believe today police have said anyone seen going anywhere near it in a boat will be prosecuted and the area is now being patrolled by fisheries vesssels.   Such a shame its necessary.  Anyway there were many people watching and enjoying it from the car park and along the shore when we arrived.  Everybody was so excited to be seeing it and there was a great friendly atmosphere.

Before Slapton we had made a quick visit to Thurlestone to see the long staying desert wheatear which  I hadn't yet seen and is beginning to look rather smart.  As we got towards the beach it flew straight across in front of us so there was no problem locating it.  It was quite mobile but came quite close and was constantly singing.  Sad to think it won't find a mate there.

 Back to Slapton and there were plenty of gannets diving in the bay for fish

and a black necked grebe was swimming and diving reasonably close in to the shore.  Not a great picture of either though I'm afraid.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Waxwings, Cattle Egrets And More.

Due to knee problems and having been unable to get out for a bit I was delighted when I was offered a lift to see the A38 waxwings.  Unfortunately it was very overcast for photos but it was great to get to see them.   

Having tried many times to see the Colyton cattle egrets without success a friend took me up to the private Colcombe Road where we had permission to park in the driveway of one of the bungalows from where they were regularly showing well.   By this time there were 4 though they were never close enough to get all 4 in the same frame.

I had more luck with this yellow browed warbler at Topshm rec than I've had with any of our local patch ones.

I'm beginning to get out a bit more again now so here are a few more photos of some of our more common species

This shag was on Exmouth sea front last week

There were at least 2 goldcrests on BHM this afternoon

A little egret on the river that never did manage to get this meal down.

And lastly a bunny

Monday, 26 December 2016

An Overdue Update

Thought it time I put together a post as it has been quite a while since the last.  I'll start with my Christmas morning trip up the lanes behind Axmouth before a wonderful Christmas dinner and entertainment provided by some very good friends.  The weather was dull and drizzly but it was still great to see between 15 and 20 yellow hammers bathing in puddles along the hedgerows and quite a few red legged partridges.

As you can see the yellow hammers were a bit distant for my set up

A couple of weeks ago there were 3 gadwall by the FSB though they didn't stay long

and moving on to some more common varieties there were 32 dunlin flying up and down the river today and quite a few black tailed godwits again in the fields the last few days.  The fields around Colton have plenty of redwings and fieldfares though the cattle egret has so far managed to elude me.  By Seaton sewage works there were several goldcrests today with the finches and tit flock while the kingfisher provided a different background to the usual.

One of the many trusting robins around the reserve

The grey plover still puts in and occasional appearance along with the  common sandpiper

A beautiful stone chat

and dunlin from Ferrybridges

and a red breasted merganser

a redwing

and a snipe all from Topsham

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Purple Sandpipers

A trip to Lyme last Wednesday to see if the purple sandpipers had arrived proved well worth the effort.  There were 6 close to the end of the cob and a few on the stones much further away with several turnstones.

As I just said the turnstones were fairly distant

There were plenty of rock pipits around the harbour

and this distant black redstart on the marine theatre roof.  Unfortunately this was as close as I saw it.

A trip to Topsham and Bowling Green Marsh gave all the usual sights including 3 or 4 jays flying backwards and forwards near the platform collecting acorns

And this grey plover collecting lunch

 Back on the Axe Estuary I had a close encounter with this sparrowhawk that had just narrowly missed a chaffinch for dinner.  Taken through very dirty glass I'm amazed it came out as clear as it did.