Saturday, 29 October 2016

Yellow-browed Warbler Black Hole Marsh

Yesterday (Friday 28th) I had a Yellow-browed with Goldcrests, Chiffs etc. along the track to Tower Hide. It was in the long clump of trees just before the bend but mobile. I'll look for it again today.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Day-trip to Cornwall

I finally decided to stop 'playing it cool' and go to see the Dalmatian Pelican which has graced Devon & Cornwall since May. My old 'Twitching' associates from years ago used to argue for a separate competition to 'listing' which would be to see who could leave it the longest before successfully twitching a bird - I think I would have won the 2016 'playing it cool' stakes, wouldn't I?! The bird is easy enough to find at the moment, being along the Camel Trail less than a kilometre North of Wadebridge. If it's escaped from somewhere that's too bad; it's still a magnificent Pelican...

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


I forgot to include in yesterday's posts that Clive Williams had 4 Crossbills over Seaton Hole on Saturday. I'm gripped by that as I've yet to see any there so well done C.W. !

Monday, 17 October 2016

YL Gull Video

Here's that YL Gull video I was having trouble with. In the bathing footage you will see 3 birds. The one on the left is too big for YL Gull. The one on the right is too small for YL Gull. But the one in the middle is juuuuust right...

Yellow-legged Brightens Wet Weekend

Grass Snake, Colyton, 16/10/16(Copyright T D Wright)
Grass Snake, Colyton, 16/10/16 (Copyright T D Wright)
Grass Snake,Colyton, 16/10/16 (Copyright T D Wright)
This very small snake held me up on my way down to Cownhayne on Sunday. On Saturday I'd given Colyton's Sidmouth Road Cemetery a go but without much success so I spent Sunday at Seaton Marshes and Black Hole Tower. SM produced little of note but Tower Hide was excellent with all of Friday's waders still present (Little Stint, Curlew Sand., Ruff, 2 Grey Plover and 8 Dunlin). Among the gulls were 2 Commons and quite a few LBBs plus a decent number of GBBs. Just before dusk, I noticed an adult YL Gull bathing which I presume was SW's one from Saturday. I took some phonescoped video but I'm having trouble downloading again! After the YLG flew off with all the gulls the estuary, swamped by the incoming tide, was suddenly swarming with Pied Wagtails all over the islands; at least 200 I'd say. Nice end to the day...

Bird Joke Punchline No.1

Because it's a 'Collie-biter'! HaHa! Geddit? Phylloscopus Collybita ... Oh well, suit yourselves.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Friday 14th Part One

A McMessage at lunchtime (Cheers Ian!) saw me visit BHM Friday afternoon to check on 3 juvenile waders fresh in. A Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper & Grey Plover. Later from Tower a second Grey Plover called repeatedly until the 'newbie' joined it for a stroll. The Barnacle Goose flew to the estuary where the Ruff was still present. A Water Rail & Common Snipe showed nicely on the estuary as did a 1st Winter Common Gull. Seaton Marshes was very quiet so nothing to report from there.

Bird Joke of the Week No.1

In order to show that some of us do have a sense of humour regarding our obsessions and to increase the entertainment value of this blog I thought I'd introduce a weekly ornithological wheezesnorter. Here is a prototype BirdJoke..."Why do sheepdogs fear the British Chiffchaff?" Punchline on Monday...

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Jack Snipe & Turtle Dove 13/10/16

Turtle Dove, Colyton, 12/10/16 (Copyright T D Wright)
Turtle Dove, Colyton, 12/10/16 (Copyright T D Wright)
After finally breaking my Turtle Dove duck last Wednesday I was amazed to see another along Cownhayne farm track yesterday. A different bird I reckon as its tertials were much more rufous than last week's 1st Winter bird so at a more advanced stage although still classed as 1st Winter due to pale fringing on scapulars/wing-coverts I think. Today from Tower Hide I was looking at a Common Snipe way upriver when it was joined by a Jack Snipe. Unusual to see one bobbing up 'n' down on the Axe as usually only seen during midwinter organised flushes for recording/year-listing! Nice comparison beside Common was not an everyday sight either; probably just arrived on the back of these prolonged Easterly & North-Easterly winds. The Ruff and Grey Plover were still about as were 7 Common Gulls. Goldcrests & Chiffchaffs are more in evidence now including a weird Chiff which called 'stirrup' instead of 'hooeet'!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Twilight Zone

Barnacle Goose, Coly Common, 11/10/16(Copyright TD Wright)
I'm hotfoot from Coly Common hide where all I saw was the Barnacle Goose. Earlier, Tower Hide was more fruitful with Ruff, Grey Plover, 2ndWinter Med Gull & 6 Common Gulls. Last evening, just before dusk, I saw a distant wader from Tower hide which looked very like a Long-billed Dowitcher! It disappeared into vegetation and despite looking for it today I couldn't find it again. Maybe when the tides get bigger it will be pushed onto BHM or Coly Common. Otherwise, Ian Mc reported a YB Warbler from Seaton Hole today so I need to find my own one soon. Come on Colyton...

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Great White 07/10/2016

Great White Egret, Axe Estuary, 07/10/2016 (Copyright T D Wright)
The lucky run continues! I stopped by Black Hole Marsh late yesterday and was amazed to see a G.W.Egret flying about. It went down on the estuary so I rushed to Tower Hide where 'Commie' Chris told me there was nothing about! "Well, there's a Great White Egret behind you" I said. I shan't type all of his swearwords but he was pleased to see it eventually, along with the Barnacle Goose, Grey Plover, Ruff and Barwit. For once, I had my camera with me but the light was terrible so these hastily grabbed shots (it flew off towards the sea) will have to do. I also took some phonescoped video which I'm having trouble transferring to here...                                                                
Great White Egret, Axe Estuary, 07/10/2016 (Copyright T D Wright)
Great White Egret, Axe Estuary, 07/10/2016 (Copyright T D Wright)
I've noticed an increase in Chiffs, Crests and small birds generally along the lanes so it's got to be likely we'll get a more interesting waif quite soon. Keep Birding!

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove,Colyford, 05/10/2016 (Copyright T D Wright)
Who says these Easterly winds are unbirdable? Old 'South-Easterly Steve' of Axe Birding fame, that's who! All I had to do was cycle from Colyton to Colyford along Cownhayne Lane yesterday and I found my first Coly area Turtle Dove by the A3052 at 'Cow and Gate'. Phil Abbot was the only local birder free to join me before the bird flew off over Colyford but I think he got some good pictures. Along the lane I had Chiffchaff, Mipits and my first Redwings of the Autumn, flying up the Axe valley. Easterly winds? I love 'em!

Monday, 3 October 2016

False Ilex Hairstreak

False Ilex Hairstreak, Monfrague, May'16 (Copyright T D Wright)
False Ilex Hairstreak, Monfrague, May '16 ( Copyright T D Wright )
It was a fairly quiet weekend locally so I thought I'd refer back to Spain again. People have asked me did I see any butterflies and the answer is a definite yes! I saw Lang's Short-tailed Blue, Queen of Spain Fritillary, Swallowtail and Scarce Swallowtail to name but 4...I also saw this False Ilex Hairstreak which was a first for me. Unless any butterfly experts think I got this one wrong...

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Seaton Sightings 29-30th Sept.

On Thursday evening 2 Grey Plover and a Knot were on BHM at dusk. A Whinchat was on the Cownhayne fence. On Friday, there were suddenly 50+ Meadow Pipits along Cownhayne and 3 Grey Wags. at Colyton Water Treatment Works, also 3 Stonechat on posts. At BHM 2 Grey Plover still but no sign of Knot although still at least 8 Barwits. From Tower hide at high tide, a fine drake Gadwall was the best of the day! Still, we've got Yellow-broweds and Firecrests to look for now...