Thursday 8 April 2021

West Side of the River

Looking back along Exmouth beach, towards the Exe, from Orcombe Point. Hard to see from the photo but it was snowing quite heavily. Photo taken Tuesday 6/4.

Persistent northerlies have made birding Orcombe thoroughly unpleasant the last few days. It even snowed a couple days ago. I had two Willow Warblers Tuesday and just one yesterday - scant reward for 0630 starts and several miles walked. Following another bird-less dawn this morning, I felt I needed a change of scenery, so after picking up a few bits for mum, I headed over to the other side of the river, where there was considerably more to see...

Shepherd's Cress - note two of the four petals are considerably longer. Thanks once again to Kev for directions as to where to find this, along with a number of other Warren specialities. Great to bump into Alan Keatley who pointed out the Yellow-legged Mining Bee colony. Many thanks Alan.

Sand Crocus

Upright Chickweed. This might be my new favourite flower.

Snake's-head Fritillary (and below).

Small-flowered Buttercup

Sea Pearlwort

Two of five Egyptian Geese at Starcross. Another two were in Powderham Park.

One of three Cattle Egrets on Exminster Marshes this morning. Also there - Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Bar-headed Goose, Swan Goose, 5 Pintail, Snow Goose, c20 Linnet, 3 Reed Bunting, 1 Cirl Bunting, Water Rail, c2/300+ Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, 2 Gadwall and just a single Swallow. Cetti's Warblers were predictably vocal but biggest surprise was two fly-over Crossbills and a distant Goshawk. Really good to catch up with Dave Land this morning.


  1. Some really special plants there Matt! I've never seen Sand Crocus (several Romulea spp grow in southern Europe) in the UK but know Dawlish Warren as one of the very few UK places it grows. Haven't seen Shepherd's Cress in a while but is locally common at Dungeness & think I've only seen Upright Chickweed on ant hills in Richmond Park.

    I can see you're really getting into botanising now!

  2. Hi Neil - fascinating to learn the grow on ant hills! I think they're a stunning flower. I've got Kev Rylands to thank for all the Warren stuff. I reckon I'd be wandering around for days, seeing nothing, without his help! All the best. Matt