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.


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


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! 

Sunday 24 September 2017


A lovely sunrise on Orcombe this morning but the birding was again a bit disappointing. Hundreds of Meadow Pipit moved west but there was surprisingly little accompanying them, with just 1 Grey Wagtail, 15+ 'alba' wagtail and 1 Siskin logged. Very little grounded - c20+ Chiffchaff, 4+ Goldcrest and 1 Wheatear being the only birds of note, though c50+ Swallow and 5+ House Martin were lingering over the top fields.
Wildfowl numbers continue to build off Mudbank with 116+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose logged, along with c6/700+ Wigeon, several Pintail and a couple Teal. Waders were represented with 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and not a lot else.

Sanderling - adult (left) and juvenile - I think - both moulting and both on the beach early this morning with c35+ Sandwich Tern offshore.

Kestrel - juv - Orcombe Point

Saturday 23 September 2017

Quiet but Always Stuff to See

Southern Hawker
Just an Arctic Skua, c20+ Common Scoter, 7 Sandwich Tern, 1 Blackcap, 4+ Goldcrest, c20+ Swallow, c20+ Meadow Pipit, a Sand Martin and 5+ Chiffchaff on/off Orcombe early this morning. Not great. Off Mudbank, in drizzle, 39 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Redshank, 1 Turnstone, a couple Mediterranean Gull and 1 Teal in with a stack of Wigeon that I couldn't face counting.
Yesterday evening there were c30/40+ Sandwich Tern with a couple Common Tern off Shelly Beach and on Thursday - a Sedge Warbler on Orcombe Point on a late afternoon visit.
On Wednesday (20th) there were 28 Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank with c10+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 4+ Common Tern, c20+ Sandwich Tern, 18+ Pintail, 230+ Wigeon, 1 Teal and 1 Mediterranean Gull and that's it!

Angle Shades - one of three trapped on Thursday night, along with L-album Wainscot, Feathered Ranunculus, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Brimstone, Willow Beauty, Square-spot Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Common Marbled Carpet, Spectacle and several Lunar Underwing.

Red Underwing - Bristol Schools. Blue one next!


Loads of Red Admiral butterflies around today.

Tuesday 19 September 2017

YLG and First Brents

First-winter Yellow-legged Gull (front right) - Mudbank
A few bits and pieces off Mudbank today - the first 2 Dark-bellied Brent Goose were in, along with 125 Wigeon, 27 Pintail, 5+ Teal, 2 Shoveler, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1+ Sandwich Tern, 1 juvenile Arctic Tern, 1 first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Greenshank, 1 Redshank, 1 Knot and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
Yesterday evening I joined a packed hide at Bowling Green. Great to see good numbers of waders for a change and lovely to see so many familiar faces - Keith, Andy, Tim, Gary, Martin Wolinski, Dave Stone, Dave Boult, Doug, Brian, Bob, Martin Elcoate and some I've probably forgotten. Bird-wise - 2 or possibly 3 Little Stint (including the Norwegian-ringed juvenile - see Tim's post), 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Avocet, 1 Ruff, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel amongst a heap of other stuff.

Greenshank - one of two birds this evening.
Probably best enlarge this one - 2 juvenile Little Stint with a Dunlin in between. The left had Little Stint is the colour-ringed bird.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Mostly Hirundines

Goldcrest - one of at least 3 on Orcombe Point this morning.
It has been a 'hirundine' day today with a number moving east shortly after dawn this morning, and a pretty much continuous presence of birds over the house and river all day, totalling hundreds of birds. Totals from Orcombe this morning - 0640 - 0800'ish - c100+ Meadow Pipit (just a rough estimate), 15+ Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Grey Wagtail, 3 Goldcrest, c60+ Swallow, c180+ House Martin, c200+ hirundine sp, 1 Starling, 11+ 'alba' wagtail, c20+ Goldfinch, 1 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap and 6+ Greenfinch.
At least 5 Common Tern and a Mediterranean Gull were on Maer Rocks early on.
Good to see Glyn today. We spent some time watching Mudbank as the tide came in, and recorded 2 Snipe, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 12 Common Gull, 1 juvenile Arctic Tern, 1 Grey Plover, c40/50+ Sandwich Tern, 1+ Common Tern, 18 Pintail, 11 Shelduck, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Raven, 32+ Little Egret and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
I nipped over to Budleigh this afternoon to see the Grey Phalarope which was a little more distant than I'd hoped but good to see all the same. The only other sighting of note today was 1 or 2 Siskin west over the house.

First-winter Mediterranean Gull - Maer Rocks

Common and Sandwich Terns - Maer Rocks

Grey Phalarope - Budleigh

Green-ringed Cackling Goose - Budleigh

Kingfisher - Mudbank

Juvenile Arctic Tern - Mudbank - probably best to click on image to enlarge. It's a novelty for me to photograph this species in Exmouth as they're invariably way too distant. This one was too but at least it's identifiable!

Eighteen Pintail. They flew in and attempted to land off Mudbank but were prevented from doing so by paddle-boarders.

Saturday 16 September 2017

Orcombe Early

Yellow Wagtail - Orcombe.
A lovely clear morning on Orcombe this morning but I had to leave early for football. Recorded between 0635 and 0750 - c15+ Greenfinch, c50/100+ Goldfinch, 400+ Meadow Pipit, 1+ Goldcrest, 14+ Chiffchaff, 7+ Grey Wagtail, 5+ 'alba' wagtail, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 20+ Swallow, 20+ hirundine sp, c10+ House Martin, 2 Blackcap and my first Stonechat of the autumn.
Off Maer Rocks were 8+ Common Tern, 3+ Grey Wagtail and c30+ Sandwich Tern. Two Greylag Geese u-turned over the Warren with a flock of (uncounted) Canada Geese.
Off Mudbank late this afternoon - c40/50+ Wigeon, 8 Pintail, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Redshank, 2 Turnstone, 3+ Common Tern, 1 Greenshank and 1 Osprey (in to Powderham park with a fish @ 1715). A lonesome small wader was quite possibly Little Stint but my scope wasn't up to the job!
Greylag Geese are very infrequent visitors to Exmouth (top two birds).

Friday 15 September 2017

This Week

A busy week but I've managed to get out briefly a few times.....
On Monday (11th) there were 2 juvenile Black Tern, 80+ Sandwich Tern and a Dunlin off the seafront.
On Tuesday - still 2 juvenile Black Tern off the seafront with 1 juv Arctic Tern, c5+ Common Tern and a Tree Pipit over. Off Orcombe Point after work - 3 Arctic Tern (2 juv and 1 adult), 1 juv Black Tern, 8 Manx Shearwater and 3 shearwater sp (probably Balearics).
On Wednesday (13th) - 1 juvenile Black Tern, 1 Ringed Plover, c30+ Sandwich Tern and 6+ Common Tern off the seafront.
Yesterday (14th) - just a single Arctic Skua off the seafront and today - the Arctic Skua again off the seafront along with 12 Pintail off Mudbank. On Orcombe, late this afternoon, there were 13+ Chiffchaff, c40+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Wheatear, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Kestrel, 13+ Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Coal Tit.

This Painted Lady has been 'stuck' to a Buddleia in our garden for two days. Yesterday I saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on the seafront but the moth trap remains dormant.