Monday, 14 August 2017

Seaton Marshes update

Whimbrel, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Common Sandpiper, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Whimbrel, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Southern Hawker, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Blackwit, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
I visited BHM twice over the weekend but only had what's been around anyway - 3 Green Sands at dusk last night and 2 Greenshanks plus 9 Ringed Plover (no sign of LRP from Sat) and just 1 Cattle Egret. Today, then, I thought I'd give Seaton Marshes a go for 2 hours. Best birds were Whimbrel and 3 Common Sands but Willow Warblers are about too. Here's some snaps of other wildlife...
Gatekeeper, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Southern Hawker, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Southern Hawker,SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Blue-tailed Damselfly, SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Rattus Norvegicus (for all the Stranglers fans!), SM, 14/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Monday, 7 August 2017

Sunday Afternoon Birding

Cattle Egret, Axe Estuary, 05/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Cattle Egret, Axe Estuary, 05/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Cattle Egrets, Axe Estuary, 05/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Cattle Egret, Axe Estuary, 05/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Cattle Egret, Axe Estuary, 05/08/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
I finally managed to get down to BHM this weekend but couldn't add anything new to Steve Waite's monthly roundup. The 6 Goosander were on the estuary briefly Sunday evening and I posted video of them on Facebook. They flew off and I lost them but I expect they are still around. I had a single Yellow Wagtail by Island Hide before leaving and at least 2 Cattle Egrets were on BHM. Looking at different birds on Sat/Sun I'm sure there were 4 Cattle Egrets about as one had a black juvenile bill and the other 3 were a pair and a single which differed in the extent of black & yellow on their legs & bills. Anyhow, I'm sure we'll end up with more than 4 by the end of the Autumn. I could only manage 2 Green Sandpipers but the numbers of Common Sandpipers remain in double figures. Plenty of Dunlin still but only a single Ringed Plover at high tide so we await the next 'wave' of those. I'm not having any luck with these Wetlands Hobbies either but I've not had as much time to look for them lately as other things have been detracting from my birding time. What a nuisance!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Emperors & Others

Female Emperor, Stafford Marsh, 09/07/2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Meadow Brown, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Male Emperor, Stafford Marsh, 09/07/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Male Emperor, Stafford Marsh, 09/07/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Small Skipper, BHM, 09/07/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Southern Hawker, Stafford Brook, 09/07/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
With not much time for birding, I thought I'd keep trying to get some decent insect pics on Sunday as it was very sunny and lots were airborne (unlike today - pouring with rain!). I bumped into the Two Sues who were both way ahead of me having seen Golden-ringed and photographed Emperors already. Oh well, I thought; I've got the camera out now...

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Insect Update

Ringlet, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Comma, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Large Skipper, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Beautiful Demoiselle, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Large Skipper, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Beautiful Demoiselle, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
I saw two firsts for the year on 2nd & 3rd July around Colyton. Large Skippers were showing along the field edges (as were many Comma & Ringlet). Best of all but unfortunately too brief for photographs was a lone male Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Lots of Meadow Brown, Red Admiral & Large White were also too hyperactive for the camera to focus but the Demoiselles (of both kinds) were more co-operative - also in great abundance!                                                                    
Comma, Colyton, July '17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Fresh Birding

Freshly Stuffed Great Black-headed Gull, Exeter, June '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Stuffed Bufflehead, Exeter, June '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Pickings are sparse in birding terms when I'm in Exeter. Rougemont gardens provided me with excellent views of juvenile Goldcrests and the Peregrines sometimes put on a show. Apart from that, the odd LBBG breaks up the monotony of Herring Gull activity. And there's some tits & finches in Rougemont too. But that's about it unless you've got time to wander further afield. However, the RAMM is worth a look - especially if it's raining - and it's fun to ponder the extraordinary birds which have turned up here in the past. Back home in the evenings, I've lost the Dippers since they fledged. I'm still seeing lots of Grey Wagtails (good numbers of juvs.) on the Coly & Umborne brook plus Kingfishers and even 2 juvenile Green Woodpeckers in these dead trees so it's nice that so many species have fledged this year...                                                                                                               
Woodpecker trees, Colyton, June '17(Copyright T D Wright)
I've also had a few Ringlet butterflies and spotted Tawny Owl and Little Owl at dusk. There's plenty of Swift & Hirundine activity over Colyton which is conspicuous by its absence in central Exeter. If only I could find time to get back down to those Seaton Wetlands!                                                
Colyton from the West, June '17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Colyton at Dusk, June '17 (Copyright T D Wright)

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Demoiselles Galore

Banded Demoiselle, Colyton, 11/06/2017(Copyright T D Wright)
Last weekend I took a couple of walks along different stretches of the Coly and found a hotspot for Beautiful Demoiselles on Saturday with 8 or more performing for my binoculars only. On Sunday, I took my camera so when I came across my first Banded Demoiselle of the year I grabbed a few pictures before it flew off. On the bird front, the Grey Wagtails have fledged at least 4, possibly 5  young, but I struggled to get close enough for a good photo and decided to leave them alone after this one:-                                                       
Grey Wagtail, Colyton, 11/06/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
There were also lots of hirundines about, especially Sand Martins...          
Sand Martin, Colyton, 11/06/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Sorry that's all I've got but time has been limited lately. I did see a Green Woodpecker from the train and Peregrines over Exeter but no visits to the wetlands for a week or more now. VV Busy!

Monday, 5 June 2017

Estuarine Birds

video
video
Just when you think that it's not worth visiting Tower hide because it's June you suddenly get a surprise. I was delighted to spot 2 trios of ducks which qualify as 'goodies' (well, semi-goodies?) on the Axe. Firstly, 3 Gadwall swam past upriver. Nice. Then, I spotted a 1stSummer Med Gull flying down the estuary which landed just beyond 3 sawbills - which I think were all juvenile Goosander. (Bold, Italic & Underline all in one sentence; these IT lessons are paying off!) Anyhow, here's some video of the ducks plus a couple of snaps.                
Goosanders, Axe estuary, 04/06/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Gadwall, Axe estuary, 04/06/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Spot-the-barn-Owl, BHM, 04/06/17 (Copyright T D Wright)