Wednesday, 19 June 2019

A Couple Hours in a Bog


Small Red Damselfly - teneral male - superbly camouflaged amongst the rushes.
 
Only a brief look at the estuary today, just as the tide was dropping. Best bird was a single Black-tailed Godwit but I also recorded 27+ Sandwich Tern, 2 first-summer Mediterranean Gulls and 75+ Black-headed Gulls.


Speckled Fanner - Glyphipterix thrasonella - a beautiful and common 'micro' but not one I've seen before!


Clouded Buff on Round-leaved Sundew. What a moth!


Brown China-mark - a remarkable moth. The larvae are aquatic, constructing a case similar to those made by caddisfly larvae.


Bog Asphodel

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Pretty Chalk Carpet


July Belle
 
Yesterday off Mudbank - 18+ Sandwich Tern and a second-summer Mediterranean Gull. On the 16th a relatively high count of c30+ Sandwich Terns in the estuary.



Pretty Chalk Carpet


Dusky Brocade

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Commons


Silver-studded Blue
 
Again quiet on the bird front. Off the Imperial Rec - 22 Sandwich Tern and 3 Dunlin, and off Maer Rocks - an adult and first-summer Mediterranean Gull.
A couple hours spent on East Budleigh and Bicton Commons this afternoon produced a few insects - most notably a nice, freshly-emerged Silver-studded Blue. Great to see Dave Land, Dave Hopkins, Geoff Smale, Colin Chivers and Brian Heasman.


Common Spotted Orchid


Green Hairstreak


 Young Emperor Moth larvae.


Large Skipper
 

 Scalloped Hook-tip


Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Spoonbill


I had just 10 minutes to look at Bowling Green's Spoonbill this afternoon, but unfortunately it was largely obscured by vegetation. It was asleep most of the time too. I haven't seen a Spoonbill in Exmouth since November 2016 so it would be good if this was one ventured a bit further south. No other news for today but yesterday evening - off Mudbank - 200 Oystercatchers in the roost, 16+ Sandwich Tern, 3 first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 20+ Dunlin and 200+ Black-headed Gulls.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Increase in Sarnies


Two first-summer Mediterranean Gulls, 17 Sandwich Terns, 8 Dunlin and 8 Sanderling off Mudbank this afternoon, and a dozen Manx Shearwaters distantly off Orcombe Point.


Sunset over Powderham Corner a couple nights ago.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Little Terns and Kittiwakes


Bar-tailed Godwit - Mudbank
 
Two Little Terns off Mudbank were today's highlight. I picked them up as they fished off Powderham Corner before they quickly made their way downstream, last seen gaining great height and heading high south over towards the Warren. Also my first Whimbrel for a while, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Sandwich Tern, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull in with a much-reduced number of Black-headed Gulls.
An early morning stroll from Orcombe to Sandy Bay (to look at the Kittiwake colony) produced a surprise in the shape of my fourth Nuthatch for Orcombe. Sadly it didn't hang around but 'bounced' off quickly eastwards along the clifftop.
Yesterday 11 Sanderling and a Bar-tailed Godwit off Mudbank, and on Friday - 3 Common Tern, 9 Sandwich Tern and 2 first-summer Mediterranean Gulls on Cockle Sands, viewed from the Imperial recreation ground. Good to see Rob and Steph Murphy there, but no sign of the Bonaparte's Gull which has now presumably gone.


Micro sp - think this is a Eucosma species, possibly cana, but I'm not sure it's quite right.


I didn't count the birds (or nests). The higgledy-piggledy arrangement of nests makes it a difficult task. Needless to say it was very busy and numbers seemed pretty high.


Exmouth's mini 'seabird city' - viewed from the beach at Sandy Bay.


Many birds were gathering seaweed to augment their nests.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

High-flying Skuas


This Swallow was singing from a post in the marina.
 
At 0645 the first-summer Bonaparte's Gull was again off Shelly Beach, viewed from the Imperial recreation ground. It was also present shortly after 7pm this evening and still there when I left it at 810 pm. Also off Shelly Beach - c200/250+ Black-headed Gull, 3 first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 6 Sandwich Tern, 1+ Ringed Plover and 1 Swift.
Off the seafront - an adult Mediterranean Gull and from Shelly Beach at 1650 - 2 Arctic Skua. I picked them up in flight as they were circling high above the Warren, and I tracked them as they then headed north, really high up. I lost them from sight as they cruised towards Exeter!
 

Two dark phase Arctic Skuas flew high over the Warren, gained height and then continued high north upriver.
 
 
 Bonaparte's Gull - still playing hard to get and sticking to the middle of the river.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Bonaparte's Still

 
The Bonaparte's Gull again present on the incoming tide from 0545 - 0645, off the imperial recreation ground, and still there when I left. It flew over to Mudbank briefly before heading back to the Black-headed Gull flock, dip-feeding off Shelly Beach. Attempts at photography again hampered by distance and poor light.
Good to meet up with Mark this evening as the bird fed well out on the river, at times close to the floating café. It was again feeding with c100+ Black-headed Gulls but 2 Sandwich Tern, one or two first-summer Mediterranean Gulls and a first-summer Common Gull were also present.
 

Monday, 3 June 2019

Bonaparte's Gull


Not too big a surprise as Bonaparte's Gull has been pretty much annual on the Exe for years. Nice to see though, especially since the famous long stayer failed to reappear this winter. I picked this bird up around 0630, with a feeding Black-headed Gull flock off Shelly Beach. Photographing it was a nightmare as it was a long way off and only alighting on the water for seconds. A couple first-summer Mediterranean Gulls and a first-summer Common Gull were also in the flock, and off Mudbank - 6 Brent Geese (at least five of which were Pale-bellied) and 5 Great Crested Grebe.
Earlier - off Maer Rocks - 1 Common Tern, 1 fs Mediterranean Gull and a Great Northern Diver.


I've been lucky enough to find four of these now. I doubt it'll be too long before the BBRC stop assessing them.


Sunday, 2 June 2019

More Insects


Dark-barred Tortrix - Syndemis musculana


Shoulder-striped Wainscot


Mullein Wave


Small Elephant Hawkmoth


 Keeled Skimmer



Spruce Carpet

Saturday, 1 June 2019

More Dragonfly Stuff.



Male Beautiful Demoiselle
 
Four Great Northern Diver off Maer Rocks thanks to an early morning call from Lee. Off Mudbank - 3 first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 8 Brent Geese and 3 Sandwich Tern. Six Sandwich Tern off there last night.
Otherwise - a bit more time spent pottering around the commons with Derek, in a very relaxed fashion, enjoying more dragonflies and trying, without success, to photograph them in flight. Superior equipment required.
 

Palmate Newt


I think this is Southern Marsh Orchid.


Female Hairy Dragonfly ovipositing. At least 5 males seen too.


Male Emperor Dragonfly with damaged leg. One of at least 3 males seen along with the female pictured below.


Female Emperor ovipositing.


Male Emperor Dragonfly. Other species seen included small numbers of Four Spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Azure Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly.
 

Sadly this Brent Goose has picked up an injury of some sort. The other remaining Brents seem ok but as to why they're still on the Exe - who knows? Six Pale-bellied and 2 Darks today.
 
 
Second-summer Lesser Black-backed Gull - Exmouth beach.