Monday 29 February 2016


A flock of 21 Redwings was a surprise whilst walking the dog along Mudbank this afternoon. They've been largely absent locally over the winter period.

Sunday 28 February 2016


Two or three Stonechats on Orcombe early this morning, with another on the Maer, points at some early spring movement. There were loads of Robins around too, as well as 8 Meadow Pipits.

Saturday 27 February 2016


Black Redstart - Carter Avenue.
A Black Redstart flipped in front of the car this morning. I stopped and watched it feeding in front gardens along Carter Avenue. The red-ringed first-winter Mediterranean Gull was resting off Mudbank but otherwise there was just one Goldeneye off there. There are good numbers of Common Gull in the estuary at the moment and the Bonaparte's Gull was flying around off Shelly Beach this afternoon, resting for a while on Bull Hill. There was also a Greenshank off there and off the seafront - 2+ Purple Sandpiper, 6+ Turnstone (Maer Rocks), a second-winter Mediterranean Gull, 1 presumed 'intermedius' Lesser Black-backed Gull and 12+ Common Scoter.

I think this bird was 'PPJ' (white lettering on red) but it wasn't clear, even through the scope.

The Bonaparte's Gull never came close today but was on view for quite a while this afternoon.

Friday 19 February 2016

Bonaparte's Gull

The Bonaparte's Gull was again present off Shelly Beach this morning, around 8'ish. Nearby the Little Grebe appeared briefly in the marina and there was a Kingfisher in there too. A quick look off Maer Rocks shortly after first light produced 8 Red-throated Divers, 21 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 6 Purple Sandpipers. Off Mudbank were 2+ Great Crested Grebes, 4 Goldeneye and a Greenshank.

Thursday 18 February 2016

Shelly Beach

The Bonaparte's Gull was again off Shelly Beach shortly before 8am, along with 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese. By the time I'd made my way down to the water's edge it had moved on but there were plenty of other birds around including some displaying Red-breasted Mergansers.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Pale-bellied Brents

Avocets off Lympstone.

On Sunday I dared to venture just outside the Exmouth boundary. A look through several hundred Black-headed and Common Gulls off Lympstone failed to reveal anything unusual but I was delighted to see 48 Avocet, 80+ Bar-tailed Godwit, c1000+ Dunlin and 2 Goldeneye.

I did a sea-watch  from the raised beach huts for about an hour from 0730 this morning. The southerly wind and rain seems to have got a bit of stuff moving after a very 'sluggish' few weeks. There were a few seabirds moving south including at least 7 Red-throated Divers, 3 diver sp, 3 Fulmar, c70+ auk sp and 9 Common Scoter. Also off there - 6+ Purple Sandpipers and 25 Dark-bellied Brent Geese on Maer Rocks. Off Mudbank this evening, and adding to the sense that a bit more was happening, there were 4 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Greenshank, 10 Knot, 26+ Grey Plover, 16 Wigeon, 1 Mediterranean Gull and 1 Goldeneye.
On Monday there was a Blackcap in gardens across the road from the Shell garage.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Today's Stuff

Very little birding today but a beach dog-walk gave me the opportunity to photograph some Purple Sandpipers on Maer Rocks - just 8 present today. There were 2 Common Scoter off there and off Shelly Beach there was a single Slavonian Grebe. A single Great Northern Diver was off the seafront but yesterday's 'marina' bird was sadly found dead.

I'm guessing exhaustion from relentless stormy weather but who knows? It was really upsetting to find this wonderful bird floating in the corner of Exmouth marina.

Friday 12 February 2016


There was a nice adult Great Northern Diver in the marina tonight. It's unusual to get anything inside the marina because the entrance to it is so narrow - just a boat's width. Otherwise a male Goldeneye off Shelly Beach was the only other noteworthy sighting. Last night there were at least 9 Purple Sandpipers on Maer Rocks and there was a Little Grebe in the marina.


Sunday 7 February 2016

Med Week

Red-ringed first-winter Mediterranean Gull.
There has been very little change in the birds this week which is more than can be said for the weather. There have been no really noteworthy sightings but there does seem to have been an increase in Mediterranean Gull numbers. I had a second-winter off the seafront in the week and the day before yesterday there was a first-winter and an adult off Mudbank. Yesterday there was a white-ringed adult on the Imperial Rugby ground for most of the day.
Today's sightings included a Great Northern Diver off Maer Rocks, 3 Goldeneye off Mudbank and c20+ Sanderling off the Imperial. I counted just 4 Purple Sandpipers on Maer Rocks yesterday morning.

Waves hitting Exmouth seafront during yesterday's storm.

Meadow Pipit - Imperial. One of at least two present.

Brent Geese - Imperial. Having been largely absent from this end of the river for a few weeks, numbers seem to be picking up again. They'll be starting to head off soon.