Wednesday, 22 September 2021


Buff-tip caterpillar.

Off Mudbank this evening - Spotted Redshank, Snow Goose, 1 Spoonbill, 2 Greenshank, 1 Common Tern, 160+ Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 5 Redshank, alongside a few other bits and pieces.
Just 3 Wheatears on a quick Orcombe visit and at Blackhill/Woodbury - 13 Tufted Ducks, 3 Little Grebes, 6 Dartford Warblers, 1 Whinchat, 1 Siskin and 11 Swallows through.

Wigeon - Mudbank.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

More Spoonbills

Orcombe after work this evening - 20 Yellow Wagtails, 5 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 4 Chiffchaffs, c100+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Whitethroat and the three resident Red-legged Partridges. Also - up to 3 Clouded Yellows whizzing around. 
Off Mudbank this evening - 5 Spoonbills (adult and 4 juvs) flew downriver before doubling back and landing off Mudbank. I've been truly spoiled with this species this autumn. They're not even annual in Exmouth. Also off there today - 190+ Brent Geese, c6/700+ Wigeon, a Wigeon x Pintail hybrid, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Redshank, 5 Bar-tailed Godwits and 1 Greenshank. A Goldcrest was calling from the scrub.
Yesterday off there - 64 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 3 Black-tailed Godwits.

Small Coppers on Ragwort.

Crap photo but two of this evening's twenty Yellow Wagtails. A similar number was present yesterday evening too.

Harvest Moon from Mudbank at dawn this morning.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Orange Sallow

Orange Sallow. Only the second time I've seen this species. The first was one at a light in the Bristol Schools camp, almost exactly 3 years ago. It's not a rare species but until last night I've never had one in the trap.

Mudbank today - 53 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 1 Teal, c5/600+ Wigeon, 130+ Pintail, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Stock Dove, 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, 48+ Little Egrets, 2 Whimbrel, 1 juvenile Spotted Redshank, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 12 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Redshank, 2 Greenshank and a Common Sandpiper.
Orcombe early on - 12 Swallows, 1 Sand Martin, 1 Grey Wagtail, 4+ Chiffchaffs, 1 Tree Pipit, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 3 'alba' wagtails, 4 Chaffinches, a high-flying Great Spotted Woodpecker and 5 Ring-necked Parakeets.

Juvenile Bar-tailed Godwits have been showing well off Mudbank of late. Of this morning's 11, two were sporting yellow flags on their right legs and red rings on their right. Both ringed birds were together but unfortunately they were too far out to photograph or read ring/flag details. Apparently Lee had much more success with them over at the Warren.

I photographed this magnificent Kestrel from the car. Its perch, at Maer farm, is the same one I used to regularly see a Little Owl on, but that was many years ago now.

L-album Wainscot.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Brents YLG

First-winter Yellow-legged Gull - Mudbank.

My first three Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank today, along with Yellow-legged Gull, Spotted Redshank, c500+ Wigeon, 4 Teal, 80+ Pintail, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipits, 1 Greenshank, 12 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Grey Herons, 3+ House Martins, 1 Stock Dove, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Sandwich Tern, 11 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Redshank and 1 Ringed Plover.
On Orcombe - 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2+ Tree Pipits, 1 Jay, 3 Grey Wagtails, 1 Chaffinch, 4+ Chiffchaffs, 5 Starlings, 3 Wheatears, c1/200+ Meadow Pipits and 1 Swallow. Additionally two Clouded Yellows and 1 Rush Veneer were noted, along with several Silver Ys.

There are still loads of Meadow Pipits in the top fields and a fair few were passing overhead today. Photo opportunities were, however, extremely limited.

Redshank, Redshank, Redshank, Spotted Redshank! Such a joy to see this bird on a daily basis at the moment...

Friday, 17 September 2021

Mandarins Vestal

At least  5 Chiffchaffs after work on Orcombe Point this afternoon, along with 2 Stonechats, 1 Whinchat, 3 Wheatears, 1 Redstart, 1 Blackcap and c50/100+ Meadow Pipits. A quick check of Mudbank produced the juvenile Spotted Redshank, 6 Redshanks, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Common Terns and 3 Sandwich Terns.

These juv/female-type Mandarins were on Blackhill Quarry this evening - the second time I've seen this species here. Also on tonight's dog-walk - 6 Tufted Ducks, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Wheatear, 1 Dartford Warbler and 7 Swallows.

Vestal - Orcombe Point. Not too much in trap last night but immigrant species were represented by 1 Dark Sword-grass, 5 Rusty Dot Pearl, 2 Silver Y and 1 White-point.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Glossy Ibis Radford's FS

 Glossy Ibis. I came home at lunch-time to find a text from Rupert. Without checking what time it was sent I just shot down to Mudbank, shoelaces still untied. The tide was in and I assumed it would have flown but no, it was still there and showing brilliantly. Many thanks Rupert!

Two 'when not if' species tumbled today - my first Exmouth Glossy Ibis and my first Radford's Flame Shoulder. Also noted off Mudbank - 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 75 Wigeon, 5 Pintail and a Rock Pipit.
On Orcombe - c200+ grounded Meadow Pipits, 4+ Wheatear, 2 Whinchat, 1 Whitethroat, 6+ Chiffchaffs and a Stonechat. Two or three Clouded Yellows and a heap of Silver Ys also noted.

From what I've gathered it looks like this bird was seen earlier, on the other side of the river, before Rupert picked it up off Mudbank. I've seen several on the Exe over the years so it felt like it was only a matter of time before I'd add it to my 'all important' Exmouth list. I'd always assumed though that it would be a fly-over, as there's so little fresh water/marshy habitat in Exmouth.

Radford's Flame Shoulder. I've seen this species before but, like the Clifden Nonpareil, I've not personally trapped it, so this was a very welcome sight in an otherwise fairly 'to be expected' moth trap.

Two Dark Sword-grass and a Rusty Dot Pearl were the only other immigrant species trapped last night, which is surprising given the huge numbers of Silver Y around at the moment.

Whinchat - one of two in the top fields this afternoon.


Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Cream-top Spotted Red

A surprisingly good little spell off Mudbank, after work this afternoon, produced a juvenile Spotted Redshank, juvenile Marsh Harrier and a belated 'first for the year' Common Sandpiper. I'm guessing the Spot Red is the bird that's been frequenting the Warren (and quite likely the bird I had over Orcombe) and the Marsh Harrier is the bird I had over the river on September 3rd. It was hunting over an emerging mud spit, right out in the middle of the river, from 355pm to 410pm when I lost it (no idea what it was feeding on but it was definitely picking things off the mud). Guessing it headed upriver, back to Exminster Marshes. Also off there - 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Redshank and an adult Mediterranean Gull
A late afternoon stroll around Orcombe was most notable for butterflies with 2 Painted Ladies, 4 Clouded Yellows, loads of Small Whites, several Red Admirals, Speckled Woods, Common Blues, Commas and Small Coppers. Masses of Silver Ys were springing out of the grass on the top fields. Bird-wise just 3+ Chiffchaffs, 30+ Meadow Pipits, 1 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, a few Swallows and a Sedge Warbler recorded.

A terrible photo but at least it serves as a record of this afternoon's juvenile Spotted Redshank.

Painted Lady. Two of these and at least 4 Clouded Yellows suggests there's some insect migration underway!

Monday, 13 September 2021


Prochoreutis sehestediana or myllerana. One of the two but not sure which one. I'm tempted to go myllerana as the white dusting appears to cover less than half the width of the forewing. Any helpful comments welcome.

Almost bird-less on Orcombe this afternoon. A little bit better yesterday with 7 Tree Pipits, 6+ Grey Wagtails, 7+ Yellow Wagtails, 3 'alba' wagtails, 7 Meadow Pipits, 4 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, 1 Wheatear, 4 House Martins, 1 Whitethroat, c50+ Swallows and a Sedge Warbler logged.

The incomparable Olive-tree Pearl. A couple Silver Ys were the only other immigrants.

The incomparable Burnished Brass!

Centre-barred Sallow. Mostly common species again last night with Dusky Thorn, Light Emerald, Cypress Pug, Angle Shades, Flounced Rustic, Yellow Shell,  and Common Wainscot amongst the even more regular stuff.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Clouded Yellow

Just the one Clouded Yellow on Orcombe but it's my first of the autumn.

No Yellow Wagtails on Orcombe today, for the first time in a while. It was pretty quiet in general but I did manage to record 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Meadow Pipits, at least 4 Grey Wagtails, 3 'alba' wagtails, 2 Blackcaps, 1 Wheatear, c30 Swallows, 5 Ravens and a small arrival of phylloscs that included at least 3 Willow Warblers and 6 Chiffchaffs.
Off Mudbank - 1 Dunlin, 2 Greenshank, 7 Redshank, 2 Whimbrel, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 162 Curlew, 10 Shelducks, 57 Mute Swans, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 3 Mediterranean Gulls, 30+ Little Egrets, 60+ Common Terns, several Sandwich Terns and, at last, a juvenile Arctic Tern.
A Hobby was hunting over Courtlands this afternoon - another species that I've had little luck with this autumn.

 Small Copper.