Thursday, 18 May 2017

Colyton Catch-up with Added Axmouth

I've not seen the Cattle Egrets at Colcombe or Road Green this week so they may have changed their habits or gone completely. At Axe Cliff on Sunday the Lesser Whitethroat was still singing ( I've also had one regularly at Colyton WWTW) and groups of 9 Manx Shearwater and 9 Kittiwake flew West. Yes, that really was the correct number which only reminded me of the Poms I missed! At least I got some compensation along Stepps Lane where my first Spotted Flycatcher of 2017 showed high up in the canopy. On Wednesday, I had 2 redhead Goosander from Tower hide looking upriver at 7pm. They settled on the bank and rested there until I left. Today, all I could see from Tower was Whimbrel and 3 Dunlin on BHM. It's always good to see fledglings at this time of year though and I've seen Great , Blue and LT Tits already, plus Wren, Dunnock and Robin. The Shelduck, Canada geese and Mallard young have also been in evidence. But I'm not feeling so confident about Cattle Egret now...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Uh? Reject Photos?

Whimbrel, Axe Estuary, April 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Colyton, April 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Colyton, April 2017 (Copyright T D Wright)
Avocet, BHM, April '17(Copyright T D Wright)
Recently, I've not been taking many pictures and have therefore not posted many either. Please offer me your opinion as to whether I ought to post 'reject' pictures such as those above - taken with old camera phone - or just post text to save you from too much visual 'dross'. By the way, I saw our long-staying Goosander fly down the valley from Coly Common hide Tuesday evening. Have a good evening.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

3052 Bridge

The bridge over the Axe along the A3052 is a spot I occasionally check. Last night there were both Cetti's & Sedge Warbler singing there plus a Common Sandpiper flew downriver. Nearby, a Lesser Whitethroat sang at the substation. I scanned Bridge Marsh close to dusk but couldn't see anything out there except Canada Geese. On Sunday, I was amazed by the number of Whimbrel from Tower hide. 25+ is pretty good going for us. They called so much I could still hear them from Colyton! Ringed Plovers still feature on Coly scrape at high tide and on Saturday there were 3 Greenshank on the estuary which I've not seen since. Nor have I seen the Grey Plover again since Friday. Swifts & Sand Martins now rival the Swallows in numbers but I'm still waiting for the final arrival of the Colyton House Martins. I think that's it...

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Ringos About

Avocet + Oystercatcher, B.H.M. 29/05/17(Copyright T D Wright)
I'll not say too much about Bank Holiday weekend as I only saw the same waders that Steve Waite had despite extensive soakings. Yesterday, I had to go to Exeter for an interview and realised after we were done that I could use my Devon Ranger ticket to pay a quick visit to Dawlish Warren. From the train I had an astonishing 16 Turnstone together. Once you leave East Devon and cross the Exe it's like a different birding continent, isn't it? Once at the Warren all I had was 5 Whitethroat and my first Small Copper of the year, plus Skylark & Swallows. A Great Crested Grebe was all I could see on the ocean side of the wall (I only had bins though). Today (3rd) I had a look from Tower Hide at high tide and the Blackwit & Barwit count was even at four apiece. The same could be said for the Dunlin & Ringed Plover count which was 3-all. However, I then checked Coly Common hide and had 5 more Ringos on the scrape. Yes, it's possible 3 of them could be the same ones but my hunch tells me the final score is 8 - and my hunch has rarely let me down in the past. A Sparrowhawk flashing past the Lookout is always good to see as was the pretty girl typing inside it. They seemed to be ringing at the Discovery Hut - wonder if they've mis-identified any Dusky Warblers today?

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Barwit Thursday

An evening visit to Tower hide on Thursday produced a new Bar-tailed Godwit with just 2 Blackwit. At least 6 Whimbrel were visible but IM had 15 at Stedcombe earlier in the day! Common Sandpiper & Dunlin both numbered 2 and the Greenshank was still present.On the way home, I managed to catch the Little Owls mating again which bodes well for the summer plus I caught a glimpse of one of the Tawny Owls which have been very vocal around Colyton. A Dipper also afforded brief flight views on the Coly as did the 7 Cattle Egrets the previous evening. Hirundines have been more numerous although 90% of them seem to be Swallows. Finally, a very brief visit to Seaton Marshes Friday afternoon yielded 3 Common Sandpiper from the hide. If you like Blackcaps we've got plenty of those!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Lesser Whitethroats

I joined Ian MacLean for a look at Axe Cliff at 8am this morning and although 'Bun' had already told us that Beer Head was very quiet we didn't do too badly. Two Lesser Whitethroat were singing simultaneously from the coast path and several Common Whitethroat were also singing. Blackcap & Chiffchaff were singing constantly and a Yellowhammer also gave us a brief flurry. A Wall Brown posed in the morning Sun, my first of the year. We also noticed a decent number of Sand Martin over the Axe from Farm Gate. Let's hope the Northerly wind today has the same effect on the valley as it did last year...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Greenshank, Etc.

Tuesday evening I was pleased to see a Whinchat and 7 Wheatear in the ploughed field along Cownhayne lane at dusk. On Wednesday they were absent. At BHM it was fairly quiet but a Greenshank flew up the river. Also Common Sandpiper. On BHM a female Wheatear spent some time on an island whilst 6 Dunlin and 4 Ringed Plover loitered at low tide. At Seaton Marshes a couple of House Martin showed well and there were more over the town. A lone Common Scoter was diving beyond a cluster of Shelduck off Fisherman's Gap. And that's about it.