Sunday 7 March 2021

Orcombe Cirl and Mystery Plants

This lone female Cirl Bunting was the highlight on Orcombe, early this morning. Easily located on call but not so easy to see, as it buried itself in the hedge. Additionally - 1 or 2 White Wagtails, c30 Pied Wagtails, small numbers of Meadow Pipit,  2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Snipe, 17 Dark-bellied Brent Geese and 4 Great Crested Grebes. Nearby, 4 Purple Sandpipers on Maer rocks. 
The only birds of note off Mudbank were 8 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 female Pintail and a distant flock of at least fourteen Cattle Egrets, in the same cattle field as yesterday, behind Starcross.

I think there were 2, possibly three, White Wagtails in the Pied Wagtail flock this morning. A devil to photograph in low light, as birds frequently disappeared in the ruts and furrows, and the whole flock frequently spooked. Factor in the loss of feeling in my frozen hands, and a herd of cattle getting in the way, and it's no wonder this photo is so awful.

The nearest I can get with this is Green Hellebore, but not sure it's quite right. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

I think this might be Early Dog-violet. The sepals are pointed but the spur definitely has a purplish tinge and is straight. Again, any help would be appreciated.

Lots of Crossbill activity at the bottom of east Budleigh Common, including singing and variety of different-pitched 'chupping'.

I enjoyed watching this playful pair of Ravens, sticking together like glue over East Budleigh Common.


  1. I think we saw that pair of ravens at the top of Bear Lane this afternoon!

    1. Hi Simon - quite possibly but could equally be different birds I suppose...
      All the best. Matt

  2. Hi, your mystery plant looks like Wood Spurge

  3. Ah - many thanks John - hadn't got anywhere near Wood Spurge in my thinking! Great to put a name to it. All the best. Matt

  4. Will concur with Wood Spurge & Early Dog Violet. Lovely to have the Ravens. Still quite scarce here, though increasing.

  5. Thank you Neil - chuffed you agree with the id's. I was nowhere near getting Wood Spurge but had kind of sussed the Early Dog Violet. I know how careful you've got to be with plants. Ravens are an every day occurence round here but I always love to see them. All the best. Matt