Monday, 27 March 2017

Colyton Update

I only managed 2 Cattle Egrets at Colcombe this weekend so they must be dispersing during the day. Still 2 there Sunday afternoon. At Colyton Waste Water Treatment Works there was also a large flock of 30+ Linnets along the 'Chiffchaff hedge' which tied in with the sighting of 20+ from Tower hide on Friday suggests a bit of movement of that species. Still no hirundines over Colyton but a few Chiffchaffs singing, especially along the Coly and the Umborne brook.

Seaton Update

Popped down to BHM Friday evening but just the Grey Plover & Pintails still, although the lateness of my visit meant I saw Barn Owl and Sparrowhawk at dusk. On Saturday, Phil & Ian both reported LRP on BHM so I returned to Tower hide and saw that. Then, I looked upriver at a distant cluster of Dunlin and had a second LRP. As the tide came in, it flew and I checked the BHM bird to see if it had joined it - in fact there were suddenly three of them! On Sunday, I looked at Bridge Marsh and saw a couple of Sand Martin out there. The 3 LRP were still at BHM but nothing else new in.

Friday, 17 March 2017

House Martins 16/03/17

A 10-minute walk from Seaton town along the path to Seaton Marshes with bins only is not what you'd expect to produce very much. Yet, at 17:30 Thursday evening I saw my first 2 House Martins of the year, a full 11 days earlier than last year - and I thought that was early! I'm not sure if they're the same 2 SW had earlier in the day; they were suddenly joined by 30 Sand Martin which appeared from nowhere so these diurnal migrants keep pushing through. A cluster of 6 egrets on Sheep's Marsh looked suspicious but without my scope I couldn't be sure if they were Cattles...but Steve had 6 going to roost about 20 mins. later after I'd hopped on my bus so maybe they were. IM had a Wheatear and a Black Redstart at Branscombe this morning plus 4 RT Diver so things are getting going. I checked on Colcombe near Colyton this morning at 10a.m. from Rosemary Lane and could see 3 Cattle Egrets but in order to get an exact count I need to try a better vantage point. Would be nice to see 6 together there...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Spring Begins

Short-eared Owl, Seaton Marshes 11/03/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Grey Plover, Black Hole Marsh 11/03/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Avocet, Black Hole Marsh 11/03/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
On a foggy Friday (10th) I was disappointed to see little at Seaton Marshes. Still 2 Shoveler on North Flood but no signs of Spring except more Chiffchaffs about. After I left, I then got a text saying "4 Sand Martins at Seaton Marshes" from KH! Typical...but Saturday was better. IMc sent me messages that SEO & Avocet were about. I picked up both of these plus the long-staying Grey Plover but nothing of my own sadly. On Sunday I decided to give Bruckland Ponds a look and was rewarded with 8 Sand Martin, my first of the year. Cycling home, I stopped at Rosemary Lane and could see at least 3 Cattle Egret still at Colcombe. Yesterday ( Tues. 14th) I bumped into CW and we noted the Avocet & Grey Plover still present from Tower hide plus a stunning breeding-plumaged Mediterranean Gull . Coly Common hide produced some distant Sand Martins but not much else. Hopefully more migrants to talk about on next update...today, I had a scan of the sea off Spot On and just had 6 distant Razorbill diving and surfacing.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Birding by Whale-Way

Humpback Whale, Slapton, Devon 09/03/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Humpback Whale, Slapton, Devon 09/03/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Not Another Whaling Birder! Four and a half hours it took me to get to Slapton monument but it was well worth it. (Financially too - a £10 Devon Ranger ticket got me from Axminster to Totnes, then a £7.70 Stagecoach Explorer covered buses to Dartmouth and on to Slapton). Arriving at 2pm, all seemed quiet except for harbour porpoises and the odd plunge-diving Gannet. Then, away to my right, I thought I saw a distant 'blow'. Was it just something else splashing? No, it was the whale! I forgot to shout out "Thar She Blows" but other people compensated by exclaiming "Oooh ennit big!" and whooping it up. None of this bothered the great Leviathan which I'm pleased to say was unmolested by boats and unconcerned by hordes of humans on the beach. I saw 3 species of marine mammal if you include Domestic Dog Canis Marinus several of which clearly wanted to swim with the porpoises and whale. They got the chance too when 'Humpy' decided to give us a close pass. I could hear it blow now as it swam straight towards me. Fantastic stuff - it showed repeatedly for an hour before seeming to double back in the direction of Start Point. I didn't get home until 9:30pm but it was well worth spending a long day travelling to see this special cetacean. Some more pics?
Humpback Whale,Slapton, Devon 09/03/17 (Copyright T D Wright)
Humpback Whale, Slapton, Devon (Copyright T D Wright)
Fluking Away...

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Seaton Update

Bullfinch (old picture) Copyright T D Wright


Bullfinch (old picture) Copyright T D Wright
I thought I'd insert these Bullfinch pictures as I've been seeing them a lot around Seaton and I've not had many pix to post lately. I had a pair along the path to the viewing ramp at Seaton Marshes from which I saw 2 drake and 1 female Shoveler on Monday. A few Redwing and a Chiffchaff around there too. The hide was disappointing but hey-ho we ought to get some migrants soon with reports of them from other counties already on the Birdguides birdmap...

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Colyton Update

Checked on Colcombe Farm yesterday and still 5 Cattle Egrets there.Three of them were in an egret flock which flew down the Coly at 17:35 so not necessarily staying at Colcombe until dusk now. Not so many Redwings now just small groups moving about. A Dipper flew down the Coly at 17:42.