Wednesday, 16 October 2019


A post-work stroll around Orcombe - 4+ Chiffchaff, 2+ Pied Wagtail, 10 Linnet, c10+ Goldcrest, c100+ Meadow Pipit, c10+ Skylark, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Green Woodpecker, Firecrest and Coal Tit.
Off Maer Rocks - 2 Turnstone and 5 Sandwich Tern, and off Mudbank - 15 Pale-bellied Brent Geese.

I think this is probably a Merlin. It was distant and flying away from me but I messed up by taking a photograph before properly grilling it. Any thoughts welcome. I might add by first impression through the bins was Hobby, not Peregrine, but I don't think it's that. I've wrongly called distant Peregrine as Merlin before so I'm under no illusion about how cautious you need to be!

Sunday, 13 October 2019

YBW Spot Fly

Better on Orcombe today with Yellow-browed Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, 10+ alba wagtail, 10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Lapwing, 7+ Starling, 1 Snipe, c70/80+ Meadow Pipit, c10/20+ Skylark, c30/40+ Linnet, 3+ Goldcrest, 3+ Swallow, 1 or 2 Blackcap, 6 Curlew, c10+ Blackbird, 3+ Song Thrush and a Mediterranean Gull.
Off Maer Rocks - Red-throated Diver, 3 Sandwich Tern, 12 Common Scoter, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 4 Mute Swan.
High numbers of Brent Geese off Mudbank with a few Pale-bellied birds scattered throughout. Also good numbers of Wigeon and Pintail but neither were counted. I did count 18 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Tufted Duck and yesterday 106 Shelduck, 100+ Pintail, male Gadwall, 4 Red-breasted Merganser, 1 Golden Plover (over north), 3 Turnstone, 1 Redshank and the Kingfisher.
On Orcombe yesterday it was Goldcrests that featured with at least 9 recorded but I had several birds around the town and quite a few up on the commons whist walking the dog too.
Off Maer Rocks yesterday - 1 Arctic Skua lingering, 4 Common Scoter and a Red-throated Diver.

I never have any luck photographing YBWs. This one was typically camera-shy.

Getting late for Spotted Flycatcher now.

Speckled Wood

Thursday, 10 October 2019


A nice first-winter Yellow-legged Gull on Orcombe Point this afternoon. Otherwise just 1 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff and c40/50+ Meadow Pipit. Hardly the deluge of catharus thrushes I was after.
Late yesterday - two or three Common Terns of Shelly Beach.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019


Brick - a common autumn moth but only my second and a smarter individual than my first.

Turnip Moth

My first Red-line Quaker of the autumn.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Moth Peculiarities

Little and Large - a big size difference in last night's Rosy Rustics.

A late Gold Spot

A very late Common or Lesser Common Rustic.

Shuttle-shaped Dart

Angle Shades

Barred Sallow


Cypress Carpet

Monday, 7 October 2019

Pearly Underwing

Pearly Underwing - I don't see too many of these so it's always a good day when I catch one, despite the fact that they're not the most aesthetically pleasing of moths. It's probably best-described as a scarce migrant for me here in Exmouth. Only a couple Rusty Dot Pearl and a Silver Y otherwise, with more local fare including several Feathered Ranunculus, a couple Black Rustic, Angle Shades, L-album Wainscot, Sallow, Pink-barred Sallow, Common Marbled Carpet, Square-spot Rustic, Vine's Rustic, Double-striped Pug, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing and Setaceous Hebrew Character.
The bulk of the day was spent at work but my first Redwing called as I went through the moth trap at dawn and half a dozen Chiffchaff were on Orcombe late this afternoon. A couple Skylark heading out to sea late on was a bit odd with c20+ Common Scoter loafing offshore.
Yesterday - c90+ Sandwich Tern off the seafront with 2 Arctic Skua in attendance. Also 2 Mediterranean Gull and 1 Common Tern along with high numbers of Black-headed Gulls.
Orcombe's birds included 12+ Chiffchaff, c25+ Linnet, 1 Kestrel, 5 Swallow, 11+ 'alba' wagtail and 1+ Goldcrest.

Saturday, 5 October 2019


Not a big-hitter in the looks department but this Anomalous put a big smile on my face! Nick and I trapped it within minutes of setting up a couple traps on the edge of East Budleigh Common last night. This is a female and a pretty worn one but its a moorland and heathland species, unlikely to turn up in my Exmouth garden. Many thanks to Nick for arranging the evening and for the use of his generator.
Yet another quiet day for birds in Exmouth. Orcombe sightings included 5 Chiffchaff, 3+ Goldcrest, c20/30+ Swallow, c20+ House Martin, c30/40+ Meadow Pipit, 3+ 'alba' wagtail, 1 Reed Bunting, 2 Snipe, 2 Wheatear, 1 Stonechat and 1+ Blackcap. Offshore 1 Arctic Skua lingering and 10 Brent Geese towards the river mouth.
Off Mudbank yesterday I counted c700 Brent Geese (still including Pale-bellied birds) and today there was a similar number, along with 2 Greenshank and the first two Red-breasted Mergansers of the autumn.

Heath Rustic - another new moth for me and, as the name suggests, a heathland species. Nick and I also trapped 2 Black Rustic, several Grey Pine Carpet, 1 Diamond-back Moth, a few Double-striped Pug, 1 or 2 Lunar Underwing, Common Marbled Carpet, Barred Sallow, Rusty Dot Pearl, Snout, 2 or 3 Brindled Green, Common Wainscot, Lesser Yellow Underwing, 2 Flounced Chestnut, Dingy Dowd and Delicate.

A Brindled Green looking more grey and white.

One of two Flounced Chestnut - the brighter and more beautiful of the two below.


Grey Pine Carpet

Barred Sallow

A Blair's Shoulder-knot from Martin's trap last night.