Saturday 31 August 2019

White-streak Grass-veneer

White-streak Grass-veneer - Agriphila latistria. This localised 'Crambid' is one I've always wanted to see. Many thanks to Nick who trapped it last night in his Budleigh garden, and kindly popped in with it on his way to Exeter. I've got a soft spot for the grass moths and this might just be my favourite one yet!

Only one very brief mid-afternoon visit to Orcombe today, following a morning of football with Joel. This Whinchat was with a single Wheatear beside the dung heap, and a couple Yellow Wagtails flew over. Otherwise very quiet.

One of two Clouded Yellows seen on Orcombe this afternoon.

Friday 30 August 2019

First Kingfisher

Second-winter Mediterranean Gull - primaries still growing.
Migrants thin on the ground in Exmouth again today. A Swift over the house and 3 Wheatear on Orcombe about the best of it. Otherwise it was down to my first Kingfisher in Exmouth this year to provide the highlight - a noisy individual on Bystock Pond this afternoon. Great to bump in to Dave 'Hoppers' Hopkins on Orcombe as always, but not a lot else to report, unless you include numerous Painted Ladies and a Clouded Yellow.

Juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull.


Scarlet Pimpernel

Common Darter - good numbers of these on the commons today.

Thursday 29 August 2019


Whinchat - dung heap.
An early morning traipse around Orcombe produced 3 Whitethroat, 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Blackcap, 4+ Swallow, 6+ House Martin, 2 or 3 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 3 Sand Martin, 1+ Chiffchaff and 9 Starling.
The Wigeon number has reached at least 24 off Mudbank, and also off there - 4 Mediterranean Gull, 6 Whimbrel, 1 Greenshank and 6 Common Gull. A Tree Pipit flew over the house and today's dog-walk on Bicton Common was enlivened with a post-breeding flock of 11 Mistle Thrush. Three Greylag Geese were in with a big Canada Goose flock on the quarry pool and a Tree Pipit flew over.

Yellow Wagtail - dung heap.

Wednesday 28 August 2019

Portland Ribbon Waves

Three Portland Ribbon Waves (all pictured) around the Bristol Schools lights this morning. The third year in a row that I've found individuals from this now clearly well-established colony. Nick had an incredible eight to light in his Budleigh garden the other day.
Virtually bird-less on Orcombe today - just 3 Wheatear, one or two Yellow Wagtails, a fly-over Ringed Plover and a lone Curlew. There was more quality on this afternoon's dog walk which took me across Blackhill Quarry on to Woodbury Common - 3 Wheatear, 1 Hobby, 10 House Martin (west), 1 Dartford Warbler, 2 Greylag Geese, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Redstart and good numbers of juvenile Stonechats suggesting a decent breeding season.
Seven Wigeon were my first of the autumn off Mudbank. Good to have them back. Also 23 Teal and the escaped White-cheeked Pintail in with good numbers of Mallard.

Tuesday 27 August 2019

Bryotropha domestica and Yellow Wags

One of two or three Wheatear on Orcombe today. Quieter than yesterday.
A slower day for migrants today. The early morning rain didn't really deliver the hoped-for fall but it was still great to be out and about searching for stuff. Orcombe totals included 5 Ringed Plover, 2 Blackcap, 1 Coal Tit, 17+ Yellow Wagtail, 3+ Tree Pipit, 3+ alba wagtail, 9 Greenfinch, 25+ Swallow, 1 Swift, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, just 1+ House Martin, 2+ Wheatear, 3 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Whimbrel, 1 Whitethroat and 1 Chiffchaff.
Nearby in Maer Valley - 12+ Yellow Wagtail, 2 Spotted Fycatcher and a Kestrel.
Off Mudbank - 3 Mediterranean Gull and two Yellow Wagtail over.

Old Lady

Small Square-spot - 2nd brood and the first one I've seen for a long time. I'm sure they used to be a lot more common.

House Groundling or House Neb - Bryotropha domestica - a new 'Gelechiid' for me.

Common Darter

Bristly Ox-tongue

At least a dozen Yellow Wagtails in with the Maer Valley cow herd but these birds were bathing in the nearby stream - photographed from the footbridge.

Monday 26 August 2019

Spot Flys and More

Spotted Flycatcher - one of six feeding together along the fence-line leading to the entrance of the Bristol Schools camp.
Joel's birthday today but I managed a couple quick visits to Orcombe. Typically it looked really good so deserved more time, but my totals included 6 Spotted Flycatcher, 2+ Willow Warbler, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Coal Tit, 2 Redstart, 1 Tree Pipit, 2 Wheatear, 3 Whinchat, 1 Mediterranean Gull and a Swift. I only covered a small section of the normal 'patch'. Evidently I missed a big mid-morning push of Wheatears and who knows what else...

Willow Warbler - one of two or three seen.

A beautiful plain individual. No thoughts of tyrrhenica though...

I'll have to look through old records but I don't think I've had as many as six birds together before. Not in recent years at least and certainly not all in one group.

Tree Pipit

Whitethroat and Wheatear

I don't ever remember having such good photo opportunities with this species. All individuals giving a quiet 'tuc' as they made fly-catching sallies from the fence.

One of three Whinchat today and, believe it or not, my first in Exmouth this year.

One of two Redstarts today. One of them was yesterday's bird.

Sunday 25 August 2019

Tawny Pipit

Hastily scribbled field notes taken seconds after the Tawny Pipit flew over.
A fabulous morning birding Orcombe with Derek this morning. Clear highlight was an all too brief Tawny Pipit that flew quite low over our heads, heading north-west, roughly in the direction of Dawlish Warren. Essentially an large sandy-coloured pipit calling a forceful 'chwelp' - not quite House Sparrow, not quite Yellow Wag but pretty distinctive and my second for Orcombe, following an individual on 10/10/16 (which, by the way, was giving a much more under-stated 'chup' call). The Pipit was tailing a massive flock of House Martins heading on the same bearing. I counted 175 but I'd missed counting birds at the front of the flock. We'd had quite large numbers earlier on but they'd been too high to see - their calls continuing for a good few minutes a they headed west, along the coast.
Also this morning - 4+ Tree Pipit, 2+ Yellow Wagtail, 3+ Blackcap, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 alba wagtail, 4 Wheatear, 2 Swift and a few Swallows.
I returned this afternoon, on the off chance that the pipit was still around, but could add little to this morning's totals apart from a female-type Redstart, a Whitethroat, Blackcap and another fly-over Yellow Wagtail.
Earlier, whilst emptying the moth trap at home - 2 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Tree Pipit and a Greenshank over.

Chinese Character - beside a light - Bristol Schools Camp. I ran the trap last night. Highlight was Olive-tree Pearl Palpitta vitrealis but 4 or 5 Silver Y, a few Rusty Dot Pearl, Rush Veneer and a White-point were also caught. Also of note - my first Black Rustic of the year, Marbled Green and at least 20 Jersey Tigers.

Satin Wave - Bristol Schools.

One of at least four Wheatear on Orcombe today.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Derek and I saw Emperor on Orcombe this morning too.

Male Common Blue - The Maer.

This Hummingbird Hawkmoth was flying low to the ground over Lady's Bedstraw - presumably looking to lay eggs.

Restharrow - thank you for the identification Kev.

Female Common Blue on Sea Holly.

Looking towards Orcombe Point from the Maer - Exmouth is jam-packed in fine weather at this time of year. Not nice.

Record shot of female Redstart on Orcombe this afternoon. Statistically this is likely to be the only one of the autumn but let's hope not!


Marbled Green

Rush Veneer