Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Groppers and Redstarts

Female Redstart - one of at least 4, probably 5 Redstarts on Orcombe today. The rest were males but none stayed still long enough for me to get a decent photo. This female was in the Bristol Schools camp. I had males on the dung heap, near the Iron shelter and around the top flat field. The latter almost certainly with a fifth bird.
I almost didn't go out this morning but, as usual, I was wide awake at 6am and it seemed a shame to waste an hour before getting ready for work, so I zipped up to Foxholes. As I opened the car door I was greeted with the reeling of a Grasshopper Warbler. It was singing from one of the gardens right next to where I park the car. A Willow Warbler burst in to song and I cursed the fact that I had so little time. Fortunately however, despite a meeting after work, I was able to pop back up late this afternoon and give the area a little more coverage. Totals included 3 reeling Grasshopper Warbler, 4+ Redstart, c50+ Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 8+ Blackcap, 3 Swallow and 10 Wheatear.
A very decent fall by Orcombe standards but I guess it's a bit disappointing not to get more variety, though Terry Smith scored a couple Sedge Warblers this morning - a species I've yet to see in Exmouth this year.
A late look at the river from the back garden produced a flock of c25+ Pale-bellied Brent Geese flying upriver.

Willow Warbler - the stars today - the coastal blackthorn was heaving with birds feeding up. c50+ is probably a conservative count with many more seen this evening than early this morning and every patch of scrub harbouring birds. Really good to see after last autumn's poor showing.
 Only a handful of Chiffchaff noted - most apparently on territory.

Green-winged Orchid - I think....


  1. Ah, so annoyed I couldn't get up there today. Excellent count for redstarts... I had to content myself with a new bee in the garden :(

    1. Hi Nick, it was good but there's time for more good stuff up there this spring. See you soon. Matt

  2. Matt,
    To my enormous surprise but great pleasure, one of those male Redstarts turned up in my garden at about 3pm. It posed on top of a bird feeder post, returning once
    That's a first for my garden, but in a direct line from Orcombe not far.

    1. Hi Rupert - a fantastic garden record. I wonder how many passed through Exmouth? Every chance yours was a different bird. All the best. Matt