Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Easter Update

       Not a bad Easter as I had some time to go birding at last. On Saturday I had my first Little Ringed Plovers this year when I spotted 3 from Tower Hide on Black Hole Marsh. A Common Sandpiper joined them as did a Greenshank. On the estuary 3 Whimbrel fed alongside a lone Curlew. I also caught up with singing Reed & Sedge Warblers.
       On Easter Sunday I headed up to Ratshole gate area where 30 Sand Martin, 11 Swallow, Kingfisher and several Grey Wagtails seemed reward enough. However, just as I was leaving I heard a call which made me turn round. No, it wasn't a massive House Martin but a Green Sandpiper, my first on the Coly this Spring. Monday provided nothing new but I expect that Barwits might be next...

Monday, 15 April 2019

House Martins

     Managed a bit of birding yesterday and got my first 4 House Martins this year over Coly Common/Bridge Marsh area. Lots of Swallows and Sand Martins too.
     Earlier, I had a Snipe and a Common Sandpiper on BHM. This was my second Common Sand of the weekend as I got a really nice surprise on the Coly on Saturday when one appeared alongside the Dipper I was watching! Still present on Sunday too.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


      I got a complete surprise by visiting Colyton picnic site this afternoon when I heard a Cuckoo calling several times distantly. I didn't see it and couldn't hear it repeat its call for 15 minutes so moved on to the wetlands. There seemed to be more Blackcaps about and at least 2 Greenshank (one BHM, one on estuary). Six Shoveler (5 drakes) were on BHM too. Some very smart graellsii LBB Gulls brightened the estuary.
     On Monday I finally connected with a hirundine, a Swallow near Kings Down Tail (I think it's called) from the bus.
      Best I could manage at Coly Common on Sunday were 4 Wheatears to round off March, including my first female this year. Apparently an Osprey flew over whilst I was there but being hidebound I missed it. Enough said.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Seaton update

Just a brief post to say that Colyford Common was unproductive at the weekend so I gave Tower Hide a go. Three Shoveler were still present on BHM and a 2ndWinter Med Gull stood out on the estuary. A lone male Wheatear graced the fenceposts between the Borrow Pit and Black Hole but otherwise very quiet.

Monday, 18 March 2019


          A rare opportunity to get down to Colyford Common yesterday meant that I saw my first 3 Wheatears of the year. Also present in the field adjacent to the 'Goose Fair' area was a flock of 50 Fieldfare.
        On Black Hole we've still got at least 5 Shovelers and 2 Greenshank. The next couple of days look promising but work will be getting between me and my migrants again. Although I suppose it's possible I could get a hirundine fly over work or from the bus!

Monday, 4 March 2019

Freya and the Mandarins

       It's typical, isn't it? You aren't even birding as such but you have your bins with you. Before heading into town after the bus you have a quick scan of the sea and - Gordon Bennet! - three Mandarin Ducks (2 drakes!) are really close in off Fisherman's Gap, Seaton. I suppose that's my reward for a hundred fruitless post-bus scans. No camera, no scope to get a smartphone image with. At least the power of Twitter is there to ensure that others can grab a record shot of your Storm Freya bounty under such circumstances (well done Steve).
      Apparently we've not had a drake on patch since many moons past so I have to say I'm quite pleased all things considered. The only question I have is 'Where did they come from?' Continental birds? Comments welcome!

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Seaton update

Just thought I'd post as I haven't in a while. The lone Barwit was hiding among the Blackwits on Black Hole Marsh on Wednesday evening(27th). Also present were 2 each of Greenshank and Dunlin. Nothing else other than what's always about despite checking Seaton Marshes too.