Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Black Brant

 
Black Brant field sketches.
 
The Black Brant off Mudbank this evening was presumably the returning adult. It was with c8/900+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese and always distant. So distant in fact that the neck collar wasn't even visible. Also c1000/1500+ Wigeon, 1 Shoveler, 1 Teal, small numbers of Pintail, several Black-tailed Godwit, 25/30+ Turnstone, 2 Grey Plover, 10+ Great Crested Grebe and 5 Red-breasted Merganser. Also 2 Mistle Thrush over and 5 Sanderling off the seafront.
 
 
First-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull - Mudbank

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Med Gull

 
Second-winter Mediterranean Gull - red Darvic ring on right leg. No details read.
 
Disappointing on Orcombe today - best birds were 80+ Jackdaw, 4 Stonechat and 1 Stock Dove. Pretty dire really. Also c40+ Woodpigeon, c10+ Goldcrest, 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Skylark, 2 Bullfinch and 1 Kestrel. A steady trickle of Linnet, Meadow Pipit and Pied Wagtail early on.
Yesterday morning was a bit better but I only had time for a very quick look. Best birds were 5 Reed Bunting, 4+ Redpoll, 4 Swallow and 7 Starling.
Very little of note off Mudbank but yesterday c30/40+ Black-tailed Godwit and my first two Red-breasted Merganser of the autumn. Things can surely only get better this month....
 
 

Goldcrest - no Firecrests yet this autumn. Should have had at least one today really!

 
Two of four Stonechats that were all together on Orcombe today.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Clifden Nonpareil!


I thought I'd missed the chance to see one of these this year. There's been a record number seen in Devon this autumn. Ten I think. John Gale trapped this one in Underdown, his second in recent weeks, and very kindly allowed me to go and see it after work. A large and spectacular species, it certainly didn't disappoint. This species seems to be expanding in range and I reckon it's only a matter of time before I get one here in Exmouth. Here's hoping. A big thank you John!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Weekend


Two Kestrels over Orcombe yesterday morning, before heading out over the bay.
 
Very similar species lists for both today and yesterday. Numbers different. Orcombe from 0705 this morning - 8+ Goldcrest, 7+ Chiffchaff, 2+ Coal Tit, 1 Song Thrush, 130+ alba wagtail, c100+ Meadow Pipit, c230+ Linnet, c35+ Goldfinch, 22+ Siskin, 24+ Chaffinch, 10+ Reed Bunting, 1+ Bullfinch, 5 Swallow, 9+ Greenfinch, 17+ Skylark, 1 Blackcap, 17 Jackdaw and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Yesterday - c100+ Meadow Pipit, 2+ Kestrel, 10+ Goldcrest, 5+ Chiffchaff, 70+ alba wagtail, c40+ Linnet, 15+ Goldfinch, 4 Greenfinch, 23+ Siskin, c10+ Swallow, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Skylark, 3 Chaffinch, 6+ Common Scoter and 2 Sandwich Tern.


Pintail - small numbers off Mudbank today. Most presumably at the north end of the river. Also off Mudbank - 1 Teal, c8/900+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 6 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and the White-cheeked Pintail with c50+ Mallard and large numbers of Wigeon.


Mute Swan

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ring-necked Parakeet


Ring-necked Parakeet - Maer Valley
 
This Ring-necked Parakeet has been reported from the Maer Valley area, occasionally, for a couple weeks now. I had a half-hearted look for it a while back. This evening, having seen virtually nothing on Orcombe, I had a stroll around the area between the sewage works and Maer Farm. As I was nearing Maer Farm I picked up the call and located the bird in trees bordering Rolle playing fields. Always good value, I watched it sat up high in a tree before it flew off noisily over the playing fields.
Otherwise it has been a busy week at work and a quiet one for birds. There were c20+ Swallow over Maer Valley this evening and 25 Pale-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank with 6+ Teal, c20+ Pintail and a stack of Wigeon.

 
 

Speckled Wood


Comma


Small White


Comma and Painted Lady


Red Admirals are present in big numbers in Exmouth at the moment.



Peacock


Small Copper


Red Admiral

 

This evening's Pale-bellied Brent Goose flock - 13 adults and 12 juveniles.

 
 
Wheatear - Orcombe Point

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Odd Pied Wagtail, Ruff and Hobby

 
This oddly-plumaged Pied Wagtail was on the cricket pitch this afternoon. Note the dusky ear coverts and dark loral line. The breast markings are a little odd too but no doubt just an odd Pied.
 
Best birds today, and very difficult to get in Exmouth,  were 4 Ruff off Mudbank for a short while on the rising tide - all juveniles - 2 males and 2 females I think, though they were never that close to properly scrutinise. A Hobby was also notable. It went over the cricket ground, high towards the Warren, and I probably wouldn't have noticed it had the White Wagtail that I was photographing not suddenly froze and looked skywards!
Nick and I did Orcombe early on, and in similar conditions to yesterday recorded 10+ 'alba' wagtail, c200 Meadow Pipit, c40+ Linnet, c10+ Chiffchaff, 6+ Goldcrest, 1 Stonechat and, unbelievably,  my first Reed Bunting of the year.
The only other birds of note today were 5 Sandwich Tern in the estuary and 2 Greenshank, 13 Redshank, 12 Grey Plover and 9 Dunlin off Mudbank.


Hobby - Exmouth cricket pitch - thanks to a White Wag.
 
 

White Wagtail - Exmouth cricket pitch.




 
 
Dawn skies - Orcombe

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Ivy Bee and Today's Birds

 
Ivy Bee - Exmouth Cricket Club - feeding on Ivy flowers.
 
I was surprised at how much stuff was going over this morning, in seemingly poor conditions. Low cloud and a stiff south-westerly. Between 0710 and 0910 I recorded c40+ 'alba' wagtail, c250+ Meadow Pipit, 1 Starling, 16 Swallow, 2 Jackdaw, c80+ Linnet, a couple Chaffinch and c20+ Goldfinch all west. Also today - 2 duck sp east (probably Shoveler), 3 Goldcrest, c10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 10 Common Scoter and 1 Arctic Skua.
Off Mudbank - 2 Sandwich Tern, 9 Dunlin, 1+ Grey Plover, 16 Turnstone, 5 Bar-tailed Godwit, 2 Redshank, 2 Peregrine, c7/800+ Wigeon, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 435+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose, c50+ Mallard and the White-cheeked Pintail. A Siskin and small numbers of Meadow Pipit passed west over the river.
 
 
White Wagtail - Exmouth Cricket Club - seen only briefly before flying off. Below a selection of Common Gulls - each with their own character. Lovely birds.
 



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Autumnal Moths


Meadow Pipit - one of c100+ in the top fields late yesterday evening. Also yesterday, in the last hour of daylight, a Spotted Flycatcher and a small number of Chiffchaff. Tonight just a single Wheatear and a Goldcrest, with reduced numbers of Meadow Pipit.


Wheatear


Delicate - this and the Scarce Bordered Straw (below) were trapped by Martin last night. All I could manage, immigrant-wise, was a single Silver Y. A big thank you to Martin for bringing these to Exmouth!


Scarce Bordered Straw


Lunar Underwing


Feathered Ranunculus


Ruby Tiger


Sallow


Black Rustic


Light Emerald


Flounced Rustic


Hummingbird Hawkmoth caterpillars - Exmouth seafront. I noticed a tweet from John Walters, on the 'Migrant Lepidoptera' twitter feed yesterday. A couple years ago I found a single caterpillar in what I guessed was the same spot. A quick check of the Lady's Bedstraw patch revealed 5 caterpillars this evening. I'm certain I could have found a load more. Great to see!