Sunday, 24 September 2017


A lovely sunrise on Orcombe this morning but the birding was again a bit disappointing. Hundreds of Meadow Pipit moved west but there was surprisingly little accompanying them, with just 1 Grey Wagtail, 15+ 'alba' wagtail and 1 Siskin logged. Very little grounded - c20+ Chiffchaff, 4+ Goldcrest and 1 Wheatear being the only birds of note, though c50+ Swallow and 5+ House Martin were lingering over the top fields.
Wildfowl numbers continue to build off Mudbank with 116+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose logged, along with c6/700+ Wigeon, several Pintail and a couple Teal. Waders were represented with 15 Bar-tailed Godwit and not a lot else.

Sanderling - adult (left) and juvenile - I think - both moulting and both on the beach early this morning with c35+ Sandwich Tern offshore.

Kestrel - juv - Orcombe Point

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Quiet but Always Stuff to See

Southern Hawker
Just an Arctic Skua, c20+ Common Scoter, 7 Sandwich Tern, 1 Blackcap, 4+ Goldcrest, c20+ Swallow, c20+ Meadow Pipit, a Sand Martin and 5+ Chiffchaff on/off Orcombe early this morning. Not great. Off Mudbank, in drizzle, 39 Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Redshank, 1 Turnstone, a couple Mediterranean Gull and 1 Teal in with a stack of Wigeon that I couldn't face counting.
Yesterday evening there were c30/40+ Sandwich Tern with a couple Common Tern off Shelly Beach and on Thursday - a Sedge Warbler on Orcombe Point on a late afternoon visit.
On Wednesday (20th) there were 28 Dark-bellied Brent Geese off Mudbank with c10+ Bar-tailed Godwit, 4+ Common Tern, c20+ Sandwich Tern, 18+ Pintail, 230+ Wigeon, 1 Teal and 1 Mediterranean Gull and that's it!

Angle Shades - one of three trapped on Thursday night, along with L-album Wainscot, Feathered Ranunculus, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Brimstone, Willow Beauty, Square-spot Rustic, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Common Marbled Carpet, Spectacle and several Lunar Underwing.

Red Underwing - Bristol Schools. Blue one next!


Loads of Red Admiral butterflies around today.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

YLG and First Brents

First-winter Yellow-legged Gull (front right) - Mudbank
A few bits and pieces off Mudbank today - the first 2 Dark-bellied Brent Goose were in, along with 125 Wigeon, 27 Pintail, 5+ Teal, 2 Shoveler, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1+ Sandwich Tern, 1 juvenile Arctic Tern, 1 first-winter Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Greenshank, 1 Redshank, 1 Knot and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
Yesterday evening I joined a packed hide at Bowling Green. Great to see good numbers of waders for a change and lovely to see so many familiar faces - Keith, Andy, Tim, Gary, Martin Wolinski, Dave Stone, Dave Boult, Doug, Brian, Bob, Martin Elcoate and some I've probably forgotten. Bird-wise - 2 or possibly 3 Little Stint (including the Norwegian-ringed juvenile - see Tim's post), 2 Curlew Sandpiper, 2 Avocet, 1 Ruff, 2 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel amongst a heap of other stuff.

Greenshank - one of two birds this evening.
Probably best enlarge this one - 2 juvenile Little Stint with a Dunlin in between. The left had Little Stint is the colour-ringed bird.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Mostly Hirundines

Goldcrest - one of at least 3 on Orcombe Point this morning.
It has been a 'hirundine' day today with a number moving east shortly after dawn this morning, and a pretty much continuous presence of birds over the house and river all day, totalling hundreds of birds. Totals from Orcombe this morning - 0640 - 0800'ish - c100+ Meadow Pipit (just a rough estimate), 15+ Chiffchaff, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Grey Wagtail, 3 Goldcrest, c60+ Swallow, c180+ House Martin, c200+ hirundine sp, 1 Starling, 11+ 'alba' wagtail, c20+ Goldfinch, 1 Wheatear, 3 Blackcap and 6+ Greenfinch.
At least 5 Common Tern and a Mediterranean Gull were on Maer Rocks early on.
Good to see Glyn today. We spent some time watching Mudbank as the tide came in, and recorded 2 Snipe, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 9 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Turnstone, 2 Ringed Plover, 5 Dunlin, 12 Common Gull, 1 juvenile Arctic Tern, 1 Grey Plover, c40/50+ Sandwich Tern, 1+ Common Tern, 18 Pintail, 11 Shelduck, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Grey Wagtail, 2 Raven, 32+ Little Egret and 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.
I nipped over to Budleigh this afternoon to see the Grey Phalarope which was a little more distant than I'd hoped but good to see all the same. The only other sighting of note today was 1 or 2 Siskin west over the house.

First-winter Mediterranean Gull - Maer Rocks

Common and Sandwich Terns - Maer Rocks

Grey Phalarope - Budleigh

Green-ringed Cackling Goose - Budleigh

Kingfisher - Mudbank

Juvenile Arctic Tern - Mudbank - probably best to click on image to enlarge. It's a novelty for me to photograph this species in Exmouth as they're invariably way too distant. This one was too but at least it's identifiable!

Eighteen Pintail. They flew in and attempted to land off Mudbank but were prevented from doing so by paddle-boarders.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Orcombe Early

Yellow Wagtail - Orcombe.
A lovely clear morning on Orcombe this morning but I had to leave early for football. Recorded between 0635 and 0750 - c15+ Greenfinch, c50/100+ Goldfinch, 400+ Meadow Pipit, 1+ Goldcrest, 14+ Chiffchaff, 7+ Grey Wagtail, 5+ 'alba' wagtail, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 20+ Swallow, 20+ hirundine sp, c10+ House Martin, 2 Blackcap and my first Stonechat of the autumn.
Off Maer Rocks were 8+ Common Tern, 3+ Grey Wagtail and c30+ Sandwich Tern. Two Greylag Geese u-turned over the Warren with a flock of (uncounted) Canada Geese.
Off Mudbank late this afternoon - c40/50+ Wigeon, 8 Pintail, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Sanderling, 1 Dunlin, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Redshank, 2 Turnstone, 3+ Common Tern, 1 Greenshank and 1 Osprey (in to Powderham park with a fish @ 1715). A lonesome small wader was quite possibly Little Stint but my scope wasn't up to the job!
Greylag Geese are very infrequent visitors to Exmouth (top two birds).

Friday, 15 September 2017

This Week

A busy week but I've managed to get out briefly a few times.....
On Monday (11th) there were 2 juvenile Black Tern, 80+ Sandwich Tern and a Dunlin off the seafront.
On Tuesday - still 2 juvenile Black Tern off the seafront with 1 juv Arctic Tern, c5+ Common Tern and a Tree Pipit over. Off Orcombe Point after work - 3 Arctic Tern (2 juv and 1 adult), 1 juv Black Tern, 8 Manx Shearwater and 3 shearwater sp (probably Balearics).
On Wednesday (13th) - 1 juvenile Black Tern, 1 Ringed Plover, c30+ Sandwich Tern and 6+ Common Tern off the seafront.
Yesterday (14th) - just a single Arctic Skua off the seafront and today - the Arctic Skua again off the seafront along with 12 Pintail off Mudbank. On Orcombe, late this afternoon, there were 13+ Chiffchaff, c40+ Meadow Pipit, 2 Wheatear, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Kestrel, 13+ Swallow, 1 House Martin, 1 Goldcrest and 1 Coal Tit.

This Painted Lady has been 'stuck' to a Buddleia in our garden for two days. Yesterday I saw a Hummingbird Hawkmoth on the seafront but the moth trap remains dormant.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Black Terns

Here are my feeble attempts at photographing Black Terns. Four were feeding together in the river mouth late afternoon. Earlier there were three feeding off Maer Rocks, along with a juvenile Arctic Tern.
Otherwise it's been a bit quiet today and I managed to miss the best bird - a Grey Phalarope found on the beach this morning by Pete Aley.
Mudbank produced 69 Wigeon, 5 Pintail, 3 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Whimbrel, 38+ Little Egret, 1 Mediterranean Gull, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 8 Common Gull, 1+ Ringed Plover, 2+ Grey Wagtail, 1+ Tree Pipit and 2 Knot.
Orcombe's early morning birds included 2 Kestrel (including one which headed south, out across the bay), 1 Ringed Plover, 7+ Yellow Wagtail, 2 Tree Pipit, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Goldcrest, 4 Grey Wagtail, 128+ Meadow Pipit, 20+ Swallow and 8 Chiffchaff.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Orcombe Nuthatch

I wasn't expecting the weather to be so still and fine this morning. It meant that there was a bit of stuff moving on Orcombe, from first light. I recorded 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Ringed Plover, 125+ Meadow Pipit, c15+ Chiffchaff, 9+ Grey Wagtail, 2 Willow Warbler, 2 Wheatear, 5 'Alba' Wagtail, c20+ Swallow, 1 Blackcap, 4 Tree Pipit, 2+ Goldcrest, 5 Whitethroat, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Sedge Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler and, best of all, a Nuthatch - only my second record on Orcombe and a peculiar sight as it bounced between hedges and passed over the top fields.
Late this afternoon a quick look off the docks produced at least 3, probably 4, juvenile Black Tern, 1 juvenile Arctic Tern, c5+ Common Tern and 5 Mediterranean Gull.

Two Portland Ribbon Waves were found by lights in the Bristol Schools camp this morning. I think it's safe to say there is clearly a colony here or nearby, following the first found on August 31st.

Comma. Several Red Admiral, a Painted Lady, several Speckled Wood and a Peacock were all seen today.

Friday, 8 September 2017


Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull (preening) on Warren Point - my first one for about a month. Note also the 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull stood to its right. Click on photo to enlarge.
Masses of birds again off the docks this evening. Three Black Tern again present, along with c12+ Common Tern, c50+ Sandwich Tern, c5/10+ Mediterranean Gull and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull. Large numbers of both Herring Gull and Black-headed Gull.
Off Orcombe, in cool breezy conditions, at least 3 lingering Arctic Skua and 2 Black Tern.
The Wigeon flock off Mudbank has grown to 40 birds.
Kestrel - Orcombe Point

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Bits and Bobs

This large and colourful Wheatear is probably a 'Greenland-type' - photographed on Orcombe a couple days ago.

Just a single Sedge Warbler noted on a quick scoot around Orcombe, after work this afternoon. Two Arctic Skuas were offshore, showing interest in c20+ Kittiwake that were lingering, and a White Wagtail was on the beach with c10+ Pied Wagtail.
A large gathering of gulls and terns off the docks included 3 Black Tern (Spencer had four), c10+ Common Tern, c30/40+ Sandwich Tern and at least 2 Mediterranean Gulls.
Just one Greenshank was the only bird of note off Mudbank.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Autumn Moths

Pink-barred Sallow - what a moth!
A muggy night last night so out went the trap, providing a really nice selection of species this morning: Orange Swift, Small Dusty Wave, Garden Carpet, Green Carpet, Lime-speck Pug, Double-striped Pug, Brimstone Moth, September Thorn, Early Thorn, Willow Beauty, Common Wave, Light Emerald, Archer's Dart, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Pearly Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Square-spot Rustic, Pink-barred Sallow, Angle Shades, Dark Arches, Rosy Rustic, Uncertain, Vine's Rustic, Silver Y, Dark Spectacle, Spectacle, Straw Dot, Snout, Ruddy Streak, Twenty-plume Moth, Garden Rose Tortrix, Common Marble, Bramble Shoot Moth, Rusty Dot Pearl, Mother of Pearl, Coastal Pearl, Narrow-winged Grey and Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer.

Pearly Underwing - its fellow travellers included just a single Silver Y and Rusty Dot Pearl

Coastal Pearl - Mecyna asinalis

Female Orange Swift

My second Archer's Dart was a bit of a surprise in the trap this morning - such a stunning species.

Rosy Rustic

Spectacle and Dark Spectacle - I've always wanted to trap these two species together and seeing as both are fresh I've used the opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison shot.