Monday, 8 July 2019

Autumn is With Us

Just a quick update as I finally got to Tower Hide last night after the football. There was only one Common Sandpiper on BHM but 9 more on the estuary took us into double figures for the first time this 'Autumn' (so far as I know). Amongst them was a lone Dunlin and a single Greenshank was lurking amongst 25 Redshanks. Plenty of Blackwits and several Curlew now so return passage is really getting going. I heard a Whimbrel call but didn't see it. More to come over the next couple of months no doubt...

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Colyton White-legged Damselfly

White-legged Damselfly, Colyton 22/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)

White-legged Damselflies

White-legged Damselfly, Colyton 22/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
WL Damselfly, Colyton, 22/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
I've often wondered if I was missing a trick locally as all these blue damselflies seem a bit tricky to me. I also thought that White-legged Damselflies only occurred on the Axe. This year however I finally looked at a photograph and thought I saw enough to seek confirmation from the 'Insect Nation' (apologies to Bill Bailey). Unfortunately I can't zoom these pictures up as much as I can on Twitter which is a shame. The close-ups revealed a thorax pattern very like WLD and some big fat hindlegs too. The Richard Lewington illustrations seem to be less strikingly blue though and even show greenish tones so I put it out there on Twitter and waited with baited breath for comments. To my great delight several accomplished entomologists immediately said WLD and I knew I'd got a Coly tick and evidence of breeding on my 'home' river. What a fantastic surprise!
White-legged Damselflies mating?, Colyton 22/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Dipper Encore

Dipper, Colyton area, May/June 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Hidden Dipper! (Geddit?) Colyton area, May 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Couldn't resist posting some more Dipperpix. They really have been fantastic this year. Long may that continue!
Dippers, Colyton area May/June 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Bee Orchids Plus

Orchid sp?, Seaton area, 12/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
I've put the above picture straight on the blog even though I don't know what species it is yet! If anyone wants to save me looking it up please leave a comment!
     Anyhow, I checked out a local Bee Orchid site and wasn't disappointed...
Bee Orchid, Seaton area 12/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Bee Orchids Plus Various!, Seaton area 12/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Thanks to Fran Sinclair for the information leading me to the site. I got more than I bargained for, including some fly-over Canada Geese. Here's 2 more pics of that first specimen...
Species TBC, Seaton area 12/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Species TBC, Seaton area, 12/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis, Axe Estuary, 08/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Glossy Ibis, Axe Estuary, 08/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Thanks to Mike Blaver for messaging me that there was a Glossy Ibis about. It seemed to have gone when I arrived at Tower Hide but I made do with 2 Dunlin, Lapwing and Whimbrel plus lots of superb hirundines. Fortunately Clive turned up and kept me talking long enough to see the Ibis fly back in. It then walked right in front of the hide (feeding voraciously) before treating us to a flying display. Superb! Thanks also to Kevin Hale for later messages.
Swallow, BHM 08/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)

Sedge Warbler, BHM 08/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Swallow, BHM 08/06/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Quiet Weekend

Quick update to mention that the wetlands were relatively quiet at the weekend. A lone Whimbrel on Sunday from Tower hide was best bird. A single Lapwing also remained as did 5 Dunlin. I took some photographs of cygnets though so may post them if nothing much happens with late migrants and suchlike...

Tuesday, 28 May 2019


Dipper, Colyton 27/05/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Dipper, Colyton 02/05/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Bumping into a Dipper by Umbridge yesterday caused me to blog again with pictures attached! Sorry the blog's been text-only for a while but time has been limited for downloading photographs. Anyway, the Dippers fledged at least 2 chicks as I saw them at various points along the Coly being fed by the adults earlier this month. Hope you like the pics of them.
      Since my last post I have visited Coly Common which was worth doing as 8 Ringed Plovers and a Wheatear were on the scrape. At BHM a Goosander was briefly present but disappeared when I looked away so I don't know where it ended up! Anyhow, the Dippers...
Dipper, Colyton 27/05/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Mediterranean Gull 2ndSummer, BHM, Spring 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Dipper, Colyton 02/05/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Dunlin & Ringed Plovers, BHM, 22/05/2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Goosander, BHM May 2019 (Copyright T D Wright)
Thought I'd throw in some recent pics while I'm at it! Enjoy...

Thursday, 23 May 2019

May the Waders Be With You

     Too much work and other stuff has kept me from blogging lately so I'll probably skip over some recent sightings as they are out of date now! Just last night I got down to Black Hole Marsh and noticed a redhead Goosander on one of the islands. In front of it were 2 Ringed Plover and 17 Dunlin. On the estuary, the male Wigeon was still hanging on after all the others have left. Also, the Greylag Goose could be seen distantly on Bridge Marsh.
     Other sightings since my last post have been Hobby, 2 Knot, Grey Plover, 5 Greenshanks and a Barwit but these I suspect have all moved on now. Colyton has myriad Swifts and the House Martins have been bolstered in number at last. Local Dippers fledged at least 2 chicks as I watched the adults feeding them along the Coly. Let's hope that Spring still has something left to give us.

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.