Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Good Variety

Being out and about the last few weeks or so has yielded a few good birds away from my home patch.   I've travelled no further than Dartmoor, some Devon Commons and Dorset but as usual there is always plenty to see.  Probably the best sighting was this lesser spotted woodpecker that I never thought I'd ever see so close.  I won't bore you with all the photos I was able to get but it was a lot!

I haven't been able to see many yellow hammers this years so far so was pleased with this one that sat  in this tree singing for a good 10 minutes.

 A dartford warbler is always good at any time

as was this beautiful stonechat

There are certainly plenty of linnets around everywhere

and a pair of redstarts were nice too.

 The skylarks have been busy

A mandarin 

and a buzzard.  I do like a buzzard.

 Back on patch there was another avocet yesterday and this time it came a bit closer.

There have been plenty of black caps around

and the wheatears have continued to trickle through on Seaton Marshes

Monday, 17 April 2017

Spotted Redshank, Whinchat and Wheatear.

As it was a cloudy but bright morning I decided to try for the summer plumaged spotted redshank on Goosemoor over at Topsham.   I had only ever had good views of winter plumaged birds before so was pleased to see this one as it was pushed up by the tide not long after I got there.

Back on Colyford Common this afternoon Ian M. found a whinchat amongst a large fall of wheatears.   After a bit of waiting around the whinchat finally came a bit closer before quickly crossing the walkway and moving on with the wheatears. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Cattle Egrets, Spoonbills And 2 Missed Ospreys.

As I'm usually very lucky with ospreys I can't really complain about missing the 2 that have passed through here in the last few days.  I was close today as it just disappeared over the hills being chased by a buzzard as I got back to the tower hide having left a little while before.  I hung around for a while hoping for its return which it didn't but was rewarded instead with some great views of a cattle egret landing and flying around the estuary.

Here is a distant photo of all 6 that were present earlier in the week.

Last night just as I was cooking dinner a text from Tim White, who had 2 spoonbills on Black Hole Marsh, had me heading back there just before dark.  As you can see they were quite distant for my camera and the sun had gone but still nice to see.  I made a quick trip over again this morning hoping to see them in better light when Ian M said they were still there, but unfortunately they had just flown when I arrived.

Also this evening crossing the river was a mallard with 14 youngsters

And finally there was lots of squabbling and entertainment amongst the shelducks both on the river and on Black Hole Marsh.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Birds And Lambs

Earlier this week a trip to Stover produced 6 female Goosanders and 3 males though for once there was not a lot else.  Even the usual woodland birds were noticeably absent. 

 I was also lucky enough to see some Devon Cirl Buntings on my travels.

Back nearer home in Colyton a pair of grey wagtails were showing well on the Coly

There have been a few little ring plovers on Black Hole Marsh this week

and this was the closest and best sighting I ever got of the swan goose which was more than I ever got of the little gull as I was unable to get out until late afternoon.

The long staying grey plover is still present as are the 4 drake pintails.  Yesterday afternoon the knot and one lone ringed plover was viewable from the tower hide on the river.  Black Hole Marsh has plenty of squabbling shelducks plus a good number of black tailed godwits and although this one is not one of the most colourful ones it is still beautiful.

And finally these cute little things were so full of life in Axmouth I couldn't resist taking a few photos.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

A Few Black Hole Marsh Birds

There have been great views of goldcrests the last few weeks on Black Hole Marsh and they have probably become the most photographed goldcrests ever.

plus a small group of 3 long tailed tits passing through regularly

A blackbird that appears to have no voice

and a somewhat over looked bird the dunnock. 

The avocet remains on Black Hole Marsh along with the long staying grey plover