Sunday 30 June 2024

June Juv YLG!

A brief juvenile Yellow-legged Gull off Mudbank today. Seen around midday, it's my earliest ever and first in June. It headed off in an easterly direction. Let's hope it's a good summer for them. Also off there - 52 Black-headed Gulls and 10 Sandwich Terns on the rising tide. A group of 6 Sand Martins headed upriver and a Goshawk circled high above the river. A productive forty-five minutes in contrast to the rest of the month!
Early morning off Maer Rocks - 10 Swift headed out across the bay and c85 Kittiwakes were feeding distantly offshore. Mediterranean Gulls totalled just 3 and the 6 Eider were further along the seafront, off the Warren.

Saturday 29 June 2024


These Eiders have been around for months but I haven't seen them for ages. Not that I've been trying. In fact, this morning was the first time I've looked off the seafront in ages. Summer apathy. Six birds in total - 3 females and 3 immature males. Also off there - a flock of 19 Sandwich Terns and 6 Curlew.
I cycled to Topsham after lunch, stopping off at Bowling Green for the Spotted Redshank. Not a lot else there with c50 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 1+ Lapwing and 310+ Black-headed Gulls logged, along with just 1 first-summer Mediterranean Gull.
Very little else to report but yesterday off Mudbank - 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 6 Sandwich Terns and 1 Great Crested Grebe.
27/6 - 2 Mediterranean Gulls.
26/6 - c190+ Black-headed Gulls, 6 Sandwich Terns and 1 Mediterranean Gull.

The Spotted Redshank at Bowling Green.

Marsh Tit - South Molton yesterday. Exmouth is once again a Marsh Tit-free zone as far as I can tell. Really sad about that.

Pretty sure this is Water Shrew. Found whilst working in South Molton but sadly deceased.

Monday 24 June 2024


Very little to report but no surprise there! Don't like going too long without updating. Off Mudbank today - 16+ Whimbrel, 3 Great Crested Grebes, c180+ Black-headed Gulls, 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Dunlin, c40 Carrion Crows, 1 Raven, 9 Shelduck and c110+ Curlew. A 'new-in' Stonechat at West Lodge.
23/6 - 1 Stock Dove, 5+ Swifts, 1 Grey Heron, 17+ Whimbrel, c105+ Curlew, 6 Sandwich Terns, c55 Carrion Crows, c210+ Black-headed Gulls and 1 Mallard.
22/6 - c95 Curlew, c65 Carrion Crows and 3 Shelduck.
21/6 - 6 Sandwich Terns, c40 Black-headed Gulls, 2 Common Gulls, 1 fs Mediterranean Gull, 7 Whimbrel and c25 Curlew.
20/6 - 30 Black-headed Gulls and 6 Curlew.

Red Deer - South Molton - a close encounter late, last Tuesday evening.

In excess of 70 Pyramidal Orchid spikes on Dinan Way - more than I remember seeing before.

Little Egret - Mudbank.

Sunday 16 June 2024

More Heath Cirls, Common Spotted Orchids

Lovely to see Common Spotted Orchids out now.

Still desperately quiet. A single Grey Plover on Cockle Sands with a smaller wader sp on this afternoon's dropping tide but that's about it.
Yesterday off Mudbank - 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 3 Whimbrel and 10 Curlew.

 Cirl Bunting - Bicton Common. Hot on the heels of a singing male on Withycombe Raleigh Common, this male was with a female. How long, I wonder, 'til there widespread on the Pebbled Heaths? Nearby - a Firecrest in song. It wasn't long ago (2017) that I recorded the first breeding birds for the Pebbled Heaths, now they're in every pocket of suitable habitat up there. Looks like Cirls are heading the same way...

Friday 14 June 2024


Yesterday - a forty minute sea-watch from the raised beach huts, after work, produced 105+ Manx Shearwaters and 2 Fulmars south. Visibility was dreadful though so I'm sure I missed stuff. 
The most Swifts I've seen together over the town in Exmouth, this summer, is six birds. On Monday a pair were inspecting our neighbours' roof and I enjoyed watching them whiz up and down our road at head height for several minutes. Three birds were then hanging around for a while afterwards. In the morning a flock of 23 flew west across the river, into a headwind - a significant number given the low number of local birds. Also on Monday - 3 Red Kites west. Two went really low over the river at 0840 and a single bird crossed at 1040. Otherwise just 5 Whimbrel off Mudbank, along with a hunting Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. A Peregrine was over the house.

Red Kite - Hurn, Dorset. I see Red Kites from the car pretty much every time I'm working up in Dorset.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Heath Cirl!

I'm used to seeing Cirl Buntings in heathland habitat around the Mediterranean but not in Devon, so this afternoon's singing male, on Withycombe Raleigh Common (against a back-drop of singing Yellowhammers), was a real surprise.

Yesterday off Mudbank - 103 Black-headed Gulls, 19 Whimbrel, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit and 6 Sandwich Terns.
June 4th - 95+ Black-headed Gulls and 6+ Sandwich Terns.
June 3rd - 19 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Whimbrel, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Mallard and 82 small wader sp, distantly on Cockle Sands.

Sunday 2 June 2024

More Bobs and Bits

Mudbank early this morning - c22+ Sanderling, c15+ Dunlin, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwits, 2 Knot, 14 Ringed Plovers, 6 Curlew and 3 Black-headed Gulls. A bit more off there than I was expecting to be honest.
On 30/5 - 1 Whimbrel, 8 Canada Geese, 1 Swift and a Red Kite across the other side of the river, heading north.
On 29/5 - 64+ Canada Geese off Mudbank - a notable count for this time of year.

Herring Gulls are roof-top nesters in Exmouth but this bird is only 5 or 6 ft off the ground, on the side of a container/waste 'bay' in the Coastal Waste recycling centre.

Lu and I were cycling to Topsham but I stopped to photograph this Marsh Harrier, high over Bowling Green marsh.

This local adult Barn Owl is attending at least one chick.

Broad-bodied Chaser.

Green Hairstreak.

Lots of recently-fledged Dartford Warblers around at the moment and plenty of singing males too.