Common Eider And Water Pipit

Lyme Regis, Dorset
A late post from yesterday. I was in the area so it seemed rude not to have a quick look at the Common Eider. The bird showed at very close range.

Common Eider (Male)

 Common Eider (Male)

Otter estuary, Devon 
Today I managed a lightening quick walk from the white bridge to the hide. The usual suspects were on offer but I was pleased to nab a Water Pipit on the

Birding While Working

Powderham Saw Mills, Devon. 
Whilst on route to inspect a potential resurfacing scheme near Dawlish and as a passenger in the vehicle. I kept an eye out in the fields near Powderham Saw Mills for Red-legged Partridge and as luck would have it circa 12 were in the field just past the turning to the Saw Mills as you are heading to Dawlish. Not too shabby for a work related sighting.

Eurasian Woodcock

Colaton Raleigh Common, Devon
I had to drop the kids to Exmouth for they're stage school session and it worked out nicely for a dusk walk around the common. I was hoping for Eurasian Woodcock and within 5 minutes I had 2 flyover. Despite a walk in the right places I only managed another 1 flyover.

Red Crossbill

I popped here as it's one of my usual haunts at this time of year. First bird I see, Red Crossbill, a female. A few seconds later it was joined by a male. Short but nice views were obtained. Also on site of note were a European Green Woodpecker and Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Red-necked Grebe

Shelley Beach, Exmouth, Devon 
After work I popped along to see the Red-necked Grebe. It showed rather nicely in the scope but was constantly diving so no pictures. Also about was a Great Crested Grebe. Nice to have a quick chat up with the finder, Matt Knott.

White Bridge, Otter estuary, Devon 
I couldn't resist popping here on my way home as I was in a Grebe sort of mood. As luck would have it. 2 Little Grebe were pottering about. Also a nice Cetti's Warbler.

Snow Goose and Finches

Exminster Marsh, Devon
I had the afternoon off so popped her for a look around. The place was still frozen so all the wildfowl and waders were in amongst the grass. I was along the railway path when the Snow Goose flew in with some Canada Goose from Powderham. It landed over by the canal so I drove over to the fisherman's car park. Just past the (now falling apart) viewing platform was the bird in question. Also on site was several Common Snipe, good numbers of Northern Lapwing and the usual other species.

Snow Goose 

Snow Goose

Cockwood, Devon
A quick look from here produced the Common Goldeneye and Horned Grebe. There was not much else on offer.

Aylesbeare Common, Devon
My last stop off. I spent most of my time watching a finch flock. Many Common Chaffinch but I soon located a single Brambling and Lesser Redpoll.

Some Nice Year Ticks

Brixham Harbour, Devon
The first thing I noticed as soon as I parked the car was the amount of Common Loon in the bay. Let's just say I lost count at 30. A few Purple Sandpiper were on the usual Jetti and an adult Mediterranean Gull was in the Marina. Out towards Elberry Cove was a single Red-throated Loon. Far out in the bay were a few Commo  Murre and Razorbill.

Purple Sandpiper 

Common Loon

Mansands, Devon 

I picked up the female Black Redstart instantly on the cottages roofs. A Cetti's Warbler was glimpsed whilst looking at the Wetland area. Finally the Blue-winged Teal put in a lightening performance. Too quick for a photo opportunity. Also from the hide was a pair of Eurasian Bullfinch and this rather large Brown Rat.

Brown Rat

Black Redstart (Female)

Stover Country Park, Devon 
Last stop of the day and managed a pair of Mandarin Duck, Eurasian Treecreeper and a few Marsh Tit

Eurasian Nuthatch 

Eurasian Treecreeper 


Exeter Birding

Woodwater Lane, Exeter, Devon
A quick look at lunchtime produced singles of Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail.

Ludwell Valley, Exeter, Devon
I moved on for a quick walk along Northcote Brook in the hope of White-throated Dipper. I didnt have to try to hard as I soon discovered one. Also another Grey Wagtail.

A Few Good Species

Bystock Pools, Exmouth, Devon 
I popped here first after work as I was inspired by Matt Knotts finding. As Matt mentioned, it is looking good up there at the moment. My first find were 3 Lesser Redpoll, only brief views and then flight views before disappearing. Next was a pair of Eurasian Siskin. Then the bird I was hoping for, a cracking Common Firecrest. The only one I spotted but calls suggested many more on site.

Otterton Sewage Works, Devon
I decided to give this place a quick look only way home. At the car park feeder was a stunning Male Cirl Bunting and a few Yellowhammer. Sea watching wasnt shabby either. A nice calm surface revealed 6 Red-throated Loon, 1 Black-throated Loon and plenty of Northern Fulmar.

Cirl Bunting (Male)

Red-throated Loon 

Yellowhammer (Female)

Greater Scaup And Ruff

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Devon 
I popped in at high tide after work in the hope of seeing the Greater Scaup and Ruff. There was a lot of activity and the waders were unsettled. There must have been a raptor nearby but no one in the hide got sight of one. Plenty of the normal species on offer with good numbers of Pier Avocet. The Ruff was picked up by Dave Boult soon after I arrived. He gave me directions on were the Greater Scaup was last seen but it had gone AWOL. I was about to call it a day when I picked it up in the centre of the marsh. The Iong-billed Dowitcher was on sight but couldn't be located.

I also learned that I can now again add Hudsonian Whimbrel to my list as the IOC have split it. I'm glad as I have seen 2 individuals. 1 in Sussex in 2015 and the other in Cornwall in 2016.

Greater Scaup (Male)

Greater Scaup (Male)



Chard Reservoir, Somerset 
I popped here again this morning with the youngest to see the Smew. Distant views as last time but again  enjoyed seeing the bird. Other bits and Bobs included, Eurasian Bullfinch, Great Creasted Grebe, Eurasian Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Great Creasted Grebe 

New Year

Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham, Devon
I managed to get 2 hours out whilst the rest of the family went to watch Frozen 2 in the cinema at Exmouth. It was nice to be on familiar turf. I popped here first as it's a good place to start your new year list. The highlight was the Long-billed Dowitcher that was rather showy at times. Also of note were Pied Avocet, Bar-tailed Godwit, Northern Pintail and Common Pochard.

Darts Farm, Topsham, Devon
On the fields were decent numbers of Brant Goose and a good sized finch flock that included many Conmon Linnet and a Common Reed Bunting

Mudbank Lane, Exmouth, Devon
Not too much on offer apart from the expected species.

Orcombe Point, Exmouth, Devon
I bumped into Matt Knott here but I literally only had 10 minutes before I had to pick the family up from the cinema. Matt informed me that the Cirl Bunting was in the dung heap but it failed to show for me.

Not the haul I hoped for but ended the few hours with 60 species.


Chard reservoir, Somerset 
I have a few hours to spare this afternoon so it seemed rude not to make the short journey to see the female Smew. It was hanging around with the Tufted Ducks but always stayed too distant for a photo. Still, decent scope views were obtained and a nice to see bird.

New Home, New House List

Butts Road, Ottery St Mary, Devon 
So we moved to Ottery a week ago and with Christmas, the only birding I've done is from the garden. So I have concentrated on my new house list. 33 species so far
Common Buzzard
Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Black-headed Gull
European Herring Gull
Common Wood Pigeon
Tawny Owl
Great Spotted Woodpecker
European Green Woodpecker
Eurasian Magpie
Western Jackdaw
Carrion Crow
Northern Raven
Coal Tit
Eurasian Blue Tit
Great Tit
Long-tailed Tit
Eurasian Wren
Eurasian Nuthatch
Common Starling
European Robin
Common Blackbird
Song Thrush
House Sparrow
Pied Wagtail
Common Chaffinch
European Greenfinch
European Goldfinch

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