Tuesday 30 May 2023

Monday 29 May 2023

YLG returns

I always felt there was a strong possibility that last year's long-staying Yellow-legged Gull would return. Sure enough, as Lu and I were walking down to the seafront, early this morning, I glanced into the coastal waste recycling centre to see it standing there, now in its second summer plumage. It still has the familiar look to its face, which allowed me to identify it last summer as a bird I'd first seen back in August of 2021. I'm really hoping it stays the summer with us. Also today - another Red Kite, west, across the river at around 1035, and off Mudbank - 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, 8 Grey Plovers, 2 Black-headed Gulls, c200 Herring Gulls, just the 1 Shelduck and c160 Oystercatchers.

On Maer Rocks first thing - 7 Sanderlings with 3 Black-headed Gulls offshore. Two Ring-necked Parakeets were in trees along Marine Way.

At last, the Common Spotted Orchids have started to flower at Blackhill Quarry!

Sunday 28 May 2023

Sanderlings, Bee Orchids

Sanderling - Maer Rocks.

Little happening in the bird department still. Five Sanderlings on Maer Rocks were lovely to see but, aside from one or two Sandwich Terns offshore, there was little else.
Yesterday a Red Kite was watched from the back garden, drifting north at 1125. Off Mudbank - 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Whimbrel and 26 Curlew.

Small Coppers - Orcombe Point.

Exmouth beach and the Exe estuary from Orcombe Point.

Buff Long-horn Nematopogon metaxella.

Mottled Pug.

Ruddy Carpet.

Common Swift.


Green-winged Orchid - most of the Orcombe flowers are past it now but a few nice ones remain.

Lovely to see the Exmouth Bee Orchids flowering.

Thursday 25 May 2023

Sword-leaved Helleborine

I was working up in Hampshire again today, so took the opportunity to go and see some Sword-leaved Helleborines - a new orchid for me and a very captivating species at that! They carpeted parts of the beechwood floor like snowdrops. Beautiful flowers that reminded me a bit of Butterfly-orchids. I also saw some White Helleborines - a species I've only ever seen at a couple sites near the Thames before. We just don't get these orchids in Devon or neighboring counties, which is a real shame.

White Helleborine - massively outnumbered by Sword-leaved at this site, but a much more common and widespread species in general.

Grass Snake. I almost stepped on this chap whilst walking on the pebbled heaths yesterday evening. It was well over 2 ft in length.

Heath Spotted Orchids.

Common Spotted Orchid in bud.

A catoneaster species - Bicton Common.

Early Marsh Orchid.