The female Cirl Bunting is still beside the dung heap.
Sunday 30 January 2022
Thursday 27 January 2022
Fieldfares have proved difficult to catch up with this winter. Eighteen plus birds at the archery club yesterday, were my first in 2022. Redwings have been comparatively easy with regular flocks in Maer Valley and around the edges of the heaths. Big numbers only occur when we get really cold weather.
Sunday 23 January 2022
Looking across the Exe to Shelly Beach, Exmouth, from Starcross.
Friday 21 January 2022
Looking across the Exe towards Cockwood, from Mudbank.
I managed to squeeze in an hour's birding after work. Another nice sunset and 80+ Cattle Egrets in to roost, north of Starcross. Distant but distinctive in their tightly-packed pre-roost flocks. Also off Mudbank - the juvenile Spoonbill, 50+ Mallard, 6 Wigeon, just 1 drake Pintail and a flock of 22 Pied Wagtails. The 2 Black-necked Grebes were again scoped from Shelly Beach but they were feeding off Starcross. Great to catch up with Neil as always.
Thursday 20 January 2022
Greenshank - Mudbank 17/1.
Saturday 15 January 2022
Three Crossbills were on Withycombe Raleigh Common this morning.
The Spoonbill was off Mudbank this morning but it wasn't there later this afternoon. This photo was taken late, yesterday afternoon.
Thursday 13 January 2022
A huge thank you to my neighbour John who, very kindly, let me photograph this magnificent Locust that he discovered in the grill of his campervan, parked just a few doors up the road. John hasn't recently returned from a trip abroad so the origins of this insect can only be speculated upon. It's possibly an escape from the pet trade, or just possibly a migrant. Either way it's an interesting record and not one I was expecting when I woke up this morning! Kev and I have done a little preliminary research and think it could possibly be an Egyptian Locust, but we'll await confirmation or otherwise from the Orthoptera experts. Egyptian Locust is a common eastern European species. Great to see Kev, as always, and thank you again to John!
Possible identification pointers to this being an Egyptian Locust include a vertically-striped eye, a peg between the front legs and a protonum, which has three furrows. The protonum on Egyptian should be keeled, which I think this one is. Any comments on the identification would be hugely welcomed. That's a medium-sized Banana behind it. It's a whopping great insect.
Tuesday 11 January 2022
Another evening spell at Shelly Beach, watching the gull flock on Bull Hill. Good to catch up with John as always. Two Ravens were tearing around at apartment roof-top height and the male Black Redstart showed quite well. Otherwise just 6 Red-breasted Mergansers off there, along with an adult Mediterranean Gull.
I haven't personally seen the Spoonbill since 6/1 so it was good to see it back off Mudbank this evening.
Monday 10 January 2022
Sunday 9 January 2022
Grey Heron - Countess Wear.
Marsh Harrier - Exe Reedbed.
Saturday 8 January 2022
Friday 7 January 2022
Grey Wagtail - Maer Valley 5/1.
Yesterday evening in filthy, cold, wet and windy conditions, the Spoonbill was off Mudbank and there were 5 adult Mediterranean Gulls in with a flock of 650+ Black-headed Gulls. Nearby, on the Imperial rugby ground, 109 Dark-bellied Brent Geese were counted.
On the 5th the Spoonbill was still off Mudbank at lunch time, and the 2 Black-necked Grebes were scoped from Shelly Beach late afternoon, after work. Otherwise, a quick check of Maer Valley revealed 4 Ring-necked Parakeets, c20+ Redwings and at least 3 Chiffchaffs.
This nice dark Lesser Black-backed Gull was on Cockle Sands on Wednesday evening. Pity gulls are always so distant on this sandbar.
Tuesday 4 January 2022
Five Egyptian Geese flew east past Orcombe Point early this morning. This is only my third Exmouth record following a single bird, south past Orcombe on 26/1/17 and a flock of 7, off Mudbank on 27/10/17.
At least 2 Jays were at the top end of Bystock this afternoon. Also recorded - 1 Firecrest, 4 Goldcrests, 1 Treecreeper, 2 Redwings, several Coal Tits, 1 Redpoll and 2 Nuthatches.