Thursday 31 August 2017

Portland Ribbon Wave

Portland Ribbon Wave - found beside an outside light in the Bristol Schools camp. I'm assuming this is an immigrant but Nick has already trapped two of these, not too far away as the crow flies. There may well be a small resident population in Exmouth.
It was pretty good again today on Orcombe, although the highlight was a Portland Ribbon Wave - see above. The following made the notebook: 14+ Tree Pipit, 10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Whitethroat, 16+ Meadow Pipit, 7+ 'Alba' Wagtail, c15+ Wheatear, 9+ Yellow Wagtail, 2+ Grey Wagtail, 5+ Willow Warbler, 2 Sedge Warbler (my first this autumn), 4+ Blackcap, c20/30+ Swallow, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1+ Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Sand Martin and 1 Whinchat.
About 90 Canada Geese created a din as they passed over early morning. I'm guessing that a tiny one among them was probably the green-ringed Cackling Goose that's been knocking around the north end of the river. It was good to see a Kestrel on the point today, hopefully continuing the recent trend of juveniles spending the autumn in the area.
Juvenile Willow Warbler - one of at least 5 today. These are still outnumbered by Chiffies on Orcombe but I'm assuming the bulk of Chiffies I've been seeing have bred/are the result of breeding on the patch.

Whinchat - 3rd of the autumn

Wheatear and Willow Warbler

This tiny black bee is Common Furrow Bee - Lasioglossum calceatum - many thanks Nick.


Spotted Flycatcher

Wednesday 30 August 2017


White Wagtail - Orcombe Point
An early morning and a very brief late evening trip to Orcombe produced few birds. Two late Swift were perhaps most noteworthy. Otherwise I recorded just 2 Blackcap, 1 Whitethroat, 6+ Wheatear, 3+ 'Alba' Wagtail, 3+ Willow Warbler, c10+ Chiffchaff, 1 Tree Pipit, 6+ Yellow Wagtail and 1 White Wagtail.
Maer Rocks, in the rain, produced 1 Grey Heron, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank and 1 Mediterranean Gull. Offshore - c40+ Sandwich Tern, c10+ Common Tern and 1+ Arctic Tern.
I spent some time counting stuff off Mudbank and came up with 5 Mediterranean Gull, 14 Common Gull, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 12+ Turnstone, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Greenshank, 1 Peregrine, 26 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 5 Knot and 2 Kingfisher. Amongst 350+ Mallard was the first returning Pintail (rubbing shoulders with the escaped White-cheeked Pintail) and 3 Wigeon.
Bird of the day was my first Osprey this autumn, picked up from the back garden as it headed south downriver.
One of 5 Mediterranean Gulls off Mudbank today - 4 adults and a second winter, along with 14 Common Gulls and good numbers of Black-headed Gulls.
White-cheeked Pintail

Tuesday 29 August 2017

White Wag

White Wagtail - Exmouth Beach
Slightly more overcast on Orcombe this morning, with a bit of a northerly breeze. Quieter on the deck but still some movement overhead. Most wagtails went over high west. Nick and I recorded 10 Grey Wagtail, 58+ Yellow Wagtail, 7 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap, 1+ Wheatear, 1 Willow Warbler, 2 'Alba' Wagtail, 40+ House Martin, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Coal Tit and 3 Tree Pipit.
On the beach there was 1 Meadow Pipit and 1 White Wagtail in with about a dozen Pied Wagtail.
Off Mudbank - 6 Mediterranean Gull, 4 Knot, 1 Redshank and 2 Wigeon.

Monday 28 August 2017

Yellow Wags, Green Sand, Bees and Old Lady

juvenile Yellow Wagtail

Nick and I covered Orcombe this morning. Totals included 7+ Chiffchaff, 37+ Yellow Wagtail (up to a dozen in with cows), 6+ 'Alba' Wagtail, 2+ Blackcap, 2 Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 13+ House Martin and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker. Best record was a Green Sandpiper that went over east, early doors - my first in Exmouth this year.


Presumed Andrena pilipes or possibly A.nigrospina. Thought likely to be 2nd brood A.pilipes due to the late date. Many thanks to Nick for his detective work.

 Presumed Bronze Furrow Bee - Halictus tumulorum - many thanks again to Nick for putting a name to this.


Old Lady - one of two trapped last night. Other notables included Scorched Carpet, a late Elephant Hawkmoth and a Burnished Brass. The only migrants were 2 Silver Y, 2 Rusty Dot Pearl and a single Rush Veneer.

Sunday 27 August 2017


Spotted Flycatcher shortly after dawn.
Two trips to Orcombe today - a proper early morning one (0615 - 0900) and a brief mid-afternoon one. The weather is still lovely so a fair bit was moving early on. Very little added in the afternoon. Totals included 8+ Tree Pipit, 11+ Chiffchaff, 33+ Yellow Wagtail, 14+ Wheatear, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 phyllosc sp, 1 Greenshank, 2+ Willow Warbler, 5+ Blackcap, c50+ Swallow, c30+ House Martin, 1+ Sand Martin, 2+ Swift, 5 'Alba' Wagtail,  1 Whimbrel, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Siskin and c25 Starling.
Perhaps the most notable thing this morning was the number of Greenfinch recorded. At least 40 birds were noted with a flock of 27 heading east early on.
Chris Townend had a Cattle Egret over West Down Beacon this morning. It was heading towards Orcombe but I was unable to pick it up. Many thanks for the call Chris. It would have been a really nice addition to the Orcombe list.

Seeing plenty of Yellow Wagtails but not having much luck photographing them. This was one of two birds in with cattle early this morning.

Saturday 26 August 2017


White-point - an immigrant species and my first this year. Other immigrants in the trap this morning were singles of Silver Y and Rush Veneer plus 4 Rusty Dot Pearl

Tawny-barred Angle - the first I've trapped here in Exmouth. Other species in the trap last night included Ruby Tiger, Jersey Tiger, Cypress Pug, Light Emerald, Buff Ermine and Poplar Hawkmoth.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Maer Valley

I'm pretty sure this is Common Darter - male above, female below and 'teneral' bottom? Would appreciate confirmation or otherwise. Good numbers seen in Maer Valley.

Friday 25 August 2017

Good by Orcombe Standards

One of two Whinchat on Orcombe today.

Fine weather and fine birding this morning - 0615 - 0850 - 4+ Blackcap, 2 Grey Wagtail, 12+ Chiffchaff, 16+ Tree Pipit, 19+ Yellow Wagtail, c50+ Swallow, 1 Redstart, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Pied Wagtail, 7 Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 5+ Whitethroat, 1+ Goldcrest, 3 Meadow Pipit, 1 Siskin and 1 Garden Warbler.
It was great to see Ernie on Orcombe this morning but disappointing not to be able to dig out a Western Palearctic tick for him. Can't remember the last time we bumped into each other.
The beach produced my first two White Wagtail of the autumn and Mudbank produced 43 Mute Swan, 188 Mallard, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Whimbrel, 6+ Common Tern, 1 Little Tern, 1 Wigeon and 1 Kingfisher.

Small Copper. Single Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow butterflies also seen on Orcombe today.

Garden Warbler - my first of the autumn.

Redstart - another autumn first for me.
Turnip Moth - this and another Bloxworth Snout were the best of a low catch last night.

White Wagtail - 2 juv/fw on the beach with c10+ Pied Wagtail this morning.

Thursday 24 August 2017

A Few more Migrants

Spotted Flycatcher
Orcombe Point today - 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 6+ Chiffchaff, c10/20+ Swallow, 5+ Willow Warbler, 3+ Tree Pipit, 4+ Whitethroat, 3/4 Grey Wagtail, 5+ Blackcap, 1 Pied Wagtail , 6+ Wheatear and 2 Swift.
I spent a little while in the garden, hoping the escaped White Stork would fly my way but it seems it went north not south. I did record 2+ Tree Pipit, 1 Swift, 1 Kestrel north (only my second in Exmouth this year), 1 juv Mediterranean Gull, 1 Little Tern, c10/20+ Common Tern and c70/80+ Dunlin downriver.
Yesterday a concerted search for the WWBT proved fruitless bit I did see 1 juv Little Tern, 1 Greenshank, 8 Redshank, 7 Teal, 1 Kingfisher, 11 Ringed Plover, c40+ Dunlin and, quite notably, c80+ Common Tern - the highest number for quite some time.

Marbled Piercer - Cydia splendana

Vestal - my first one this year - an immigrant species, in the company of a Silver Y and a Rusty Dot Pearl.

Gold-spot - other moths trapped last night included Blood-vein, Riband Wave, Spectacle, Lobster Moth, Angle Shades, Lime-speck Pug and Cabbage Moth.

Clay Triple-lines - 2nd generation - my first trapped in Exmouth. Second generation individuals look subtly different to spring specimens - a little more like Maiden's Blush - note the white spots on both forewing and hindwing.

This pale immature male Wheatear was a real beauty - keeping company with five less striking individuals on Orcombe today.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Barred Hook-tip

Barred Hook-tip - Saint Hill, Kentisbeare - yet another new moth courtesy of Martin. Thanks once again Martin.
Quiet on Orcombe today and no sign, so far as I know, of the Hoopoe. Just 1 Tree Pipit and 3 Wheatear recorded on a short early morning visit.
The Imperial/Mudbank was better with a noticeable increase in 'Commic' Terns.  At least 'Commics' looked to be mostly Common Tern, though I suspect there were Arctics in with them too - difficult to tell with roosting birds sat facing towards you at half a mile range. At least the juvenile White-winged Black Tern was relatively easy to pick out. It is now into its third week of residency.
Also off there today - 1 Teal, 2 Ringed Plover and a juvenile Kittiwake were noteworthy.
Good numbers of moths in the garden trap last night included Orange Swift, Blood-vein, Small Dusty Wave, Common Carpet, Yellow Shell, Double-striped Pug, Brimstone Moth, Willow Beauty, Common Wave, Hoary Footman, Jersey Tiger, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, Pearly Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Square-spot Rustic, Common Wainscot, Knot Grass, Common/Lesser Common Rustic Agg, Vine's Rustic, Silver Y, Dark Spectacle, Straw Dot, Snout, Common Slender, Ruddy Streak, Long-horned Flat-body, Common Plume, Light Brown Apple Moth, Marbled Conch, Southern Bell, Grey Gorse Piercer, Rusty Dot Pearl, Mother of Pearl, Rush Veneer, Common Grass-veneer and Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer.

Pearly Underwing - one of two trapped last night. Other immigrant species included 2 Rush Veneer, 4 or 5 Rusty-dot Pearl and 3 or 4 Silver Y.
Common Slender - Gracillaria syringella
Barred Grass-veneer - Agriphila inquinatella - one of a number around Bristol Schools camp lights.
Hoary Footman