Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Greenland Wheatears

Still very little going on in Exmouth but nice to see 3 Greenland Wheatears on the dung heap, with one remaining White Wagtail.
On Monday afternoon there were 5 Little Terns ranging widely off the seafront. A first-summer Mediterranean Gull was also present.
Yesterday afternoon at least 3 Little Terns were still present, along with 2 Common Terns, 22 Manx Shearwaters, c10+ Sandwich Terns and 4 Common Scoter.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Pale Pinion and Today's Birds

Nick trapped this Pale Pinion last night and very kindly popped over with it this morning. It's a brand new moth for me and has the distinction of being my 500th photographed 'macro'. You can see each and every one of them, should you wish, by clicking on the menu bar tab at the top of this page. It's a lovely moth that I've just not come across before, and a localised species which feeds on overripe blackberries in the autumn and sallow catkins in the spring, according to 'Waring and Townsend'.
It's requiring a real effort to get up and trudge around Orcombe at the moment. There's been no significant arrivals of birds all spring and it's getting a bit disheartening to see so few migrants on such a regular basis! This morning's efforts were repaid with just 3 Whitethroat, 3 Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1+ Meadow Pipit and 2 Willow Warblers. A Wheatear was present on a quick return trip mid-afternoon (along with the two long-staying White Wagtails) and 'bird of the day' was a Red-legged Partridge that was feeding on the Foxholes estate shortly after first light!
Maer Rocks was a tiny bit better with 1 Wheatear, 2 Common Tern, 1 Turnstone and 1 Purple Sandpiper, but the best place today was Mudbank, with 41+ Whimbrel, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 Redshank, 31 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 7+ Sandwich Tern, a Willow Warbler and a solitary Sand Martin.
This lost-looking Red-legged Partridge was wandering around the front lawns of the Foxholes estate at first light this morning. This species only puts in occasional appearances in Exmouth.

Purple Sandpiper and Turnstone on Maer Rocks.

Bar-tailed Godwits - Mudbank

At least 41 Whimbrel off Mudbank today.

Wheatear - Orcombe

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Whitethroats, Hobby and Garganey

Two Whitethroats on Orcombe this morning. They've been a long time coming. The same can be said for the Green-winged Orchids - a lot of staring at a lot of grass before I picked a couple up. Also on Orcombe - still 2 White Wagtails, but otherwise very quiet.
Maer Rocks yielded singles of Grey Heron, Dunlin, Turnstone and Whimbrel, but I was quite glad of the excuse to leave for football to be honest - that's how quiet things are at the moment.
Paul Gosling was already at the archery club football pitch when we arrived. He'd dug out a male Redstart on heathland just below the pitches, but it had disappeared by the time we got there. I do hope that's not the only Redstart we get in Exmouth this year!
This afternoon I did a lightening dash to Bowling Green to get my fill of the male Garganey. Didn't see the female. Two Ruff were a bonus. A second look for Paul's Redstart was unsuccessful but I did manage to see a Hobby not too far away. Always a joy.

Green-winged Orchid - late this year, along with everything else.

I don't know the first thing about flowers but this one stood out a bit whilst I searched for orchids. Anybody know what it is?

Friday, 20 April 2018

Red Kites

Four Red Kites over the house today and a fifth way over towards Haldon Hill. Fine weather in April equals Red Kite movement. One of the more predictable birding events in the birding calendar. Also 1 Siskin over. Late this afternoon, on the dung heap, there were 2 Wheatear and 2 White Wagtail. Off Mudbank - 9+ Sandwich Tern and 2 Red-breasted Merganser. I'm still yet to see many species of common migrant in Exmouth. As yet no Sand Martins, House Martins, Whitethroats, Yellow Wagtails or Redstarts. Not good!

Twin-spot Quaker - a new one for me courtesy of Martin (last weekend) - many thanks Martin.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Two Short Sea-watches

Two short sea-watches from the raised beach huts, to 'book-end' the working day. Visibility poor for both, particularly this evening, with persistent rain.
This morning from 0600 - 0655 - 16+ Sandwich Tern, 64+ Manx Shearwater, 3 Fulmar, 2 diver sp, 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese and a Great Skua. The two immature drake Eiders still off Maer Rocks.
This evening - c1845 - 1915'ish - 6 Whimbrel, 4 Dunlin, 1 wader sp, 8 Manx Shearwater, 11+ Sandwich Tern, 5+ 'commic' tern (probably Commons) and 2 Little Tern. The two Eider still present too.

Saturday, 14 April 2018


Nick and I did Orcombe in thick fog first thing this morning, and I popped back up later on after dropping the dog off for a trim.
Orcombe totals included 1+ Wheatear, 3+ Willow Warbler, 12+ Meadow Pipit, 2 White Wagtail, 1 Swallow and 5 Whimbrel 'in-off'. Best birds however were 4 Velvet Scoter that flew out of the bay at 1050.
The Ring-necked Parakeet was seen in flight over Rolle Road mid-morning.
Yesterday 5 Whimbrel and 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese were off Mudbank and on Thursday the immature drake Eider and Slavonian Grebe were off the Imperial.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

New Eiders and Migrants

Two brief trips out today - off Maer Rocks this morning there were 5 Eiders - the usual 2 immature drakes keeping their distance from a smart adult drake and female, accompanying another immature drake, which could possibly be one of the three that have wintered off the seafront. Also 3 Common Scoter, 4 Canada Geese, 4+ Purple Sandpiper, 5+ Turnstone and 4+ Sandwich Tern.
Orcombe Point produced 3 Swallow, 1 Wheatear, 2 White Wagtail, 1 Meadow Pipit, 3+ Chiffchaff and a Whimbrel.
Off Mudbank there were 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 5+ Sandwich Tern and a Swallow.

A nice orange-flushed Meadow Pipit on the dung heap.

One of two White Wagtails on the dung heap.