Little Ringed Plover

Powderham Marsh, Devon 
After work I had a walk to the viewpoint as I was informed over the weekend by Rob and Steph Murphy that there were 3 Little Ringed Plover on the marsh. I wasn’t able to get out over the weekend so I was itching to have a look for them. As I walked to the viewpoint, the Snow Goose flew over and settled in its current favoured field near the Swans Nest Inn. Small flocks of Common Linnet, Common Chaffinch and Eurasian Goldfinch gave me something to look through on route.

On arriving at the viewpoint, I didn’t have to look too hard for the Little Ringed Plover as I got straight on to one of the birds and very quickly picked up the other 2 all around the base of the pylon. Several Sand Martin were hawking the marsh and after a search I picked up singles of Ruff and Common Sandpiper to the right of the marsh. A group of 20 European Golden Plover were to the left with a few coming into breeding plumage. Due to the distance here are some awful record shots!

Little Ringed Plover 
European Golden Plover 

Red-necked Grebe

Elberry Cove, Broadsands, Devon
I had most of the day off today so I thought I would look for the Red-necked Grebe. I didn’t have to look too hard as 2 birds showed rather well. Also on site were singles of Common Loon, Black-throated Loon and Great Crested Grebe.

Red-necked Grebe (2 individuals)
Red-necked Grebe
Black-throated Loon
Cockwood, Devon
I have been desperate to see Sanderling for a will to I popped to the railway steps as the tide was dropping. Plenty of Dunlin and Ruddy Turnstone feeding at the shoreline but sadly no Sanderling. Also a few Mew Gull, Common Redshank and Red-breasted Merganser but not much else of note.

Black-legged Kittiwake and Common Firecrest

Orcombe Point, Exmouth, Devon 
After work I had a craving to see Black-legged Kittiwake so I popped along the coastal path to view the firing range. There were a nice number of birds returning to the site, which is encouraging. Also a pair of Peregrine Falcon were patrolling the cliffs.

Liverton Copse, Exmouth, Devon 
I moved on to look here for Common Firecrest and after a little search I found 2 birds that showed particularly well. Lots of Primrose about the site too.

No Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

Yarner Wood, Bovey Tracey, Devon
I finished work early today so I took an optimist look around a few areas that I normally have luck with Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Luck, sadly wasn’t on my side today though. At the pond hide was a pair of Mandarin Duck that have moved back in after the works that took place last year. On the feeders were Common Chaffinch, Great Tit and Coal Tit. Around the top hide were more of the previously mentioned but in far greater numbers plus a Marsh Tit.

Mandarin Duck (Male)

Common Chaffinch (Male)

First Sand Martins And Western Cattle Egret

Exminster Marsh, Devon 
A quick look from the viewing platform first thing for yesterday’s reported female Red-crested Pochard was unsuccessful. However, I was pleased to see my first Sand Martin of the year. Around 4 birds were going over the canal from the estuary to the marsh and back. The best of the wildfowl on the lagoon were 2 Nothern Pintail, several Gadwall and several Tufted Duck. The Snow Goose was in exactly the same place I saw it a week ago in the field near the Swans Nest.

Cockwood, Devon 
After work, I decided to look for the 4 Western Cattle Egret reported on Twitter by local birder Dave Boult. They were apparently in a field at the rear of Cofton garage. The garage is just off the main Dawlish Road just past Cockwood (opposite the entrance to Cofton holiday park). I couldn’t locate any in the field but after a very brief search I located them with some Little Egret in a tree near the rear of the garage. I didn’t have my scope (left it in the car) but I could clearly make out 2 birds but I suspect that the others were there too.

I moved on to have a look off the railway steps in the hope of seeing Sanderling. Strangely a species I’ve not yet seen this year. No luck with the Sanderling but there were a few Mew Gull and the Horned Grebe. In the blight was a single Common Greenshank and towards Starcross, a small flock of Dunlin.

Slim Pickings

Darts Farm, Topsham, Devon 
A quick visit after work. The fields from the hide are flooded slightly at the moment and today held a number of Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Curlew and Eurasian Wigeon but no sign of the Water Rail that’s been rather showy of late. Around the crop field were Common Linnet, Eurasian Goldfinch and a single Lesser Black-backed Gull. Nothing else of real note.

Snow Goose And Egyptian Goose

Powderham Castle, Devon 
An early morning look into the grounds from the estuary road gave distant views of 3 Egyptian Goose near the lake. Not much else of note but I also enjoyed watching the Fallow Dear.

Egyptian Goose 
Fallow Dear
Exminster Marsh, Devon
I moved onto look for the Snow Goose and I didn’t have to look very hard at all as it was in the field just before the Swans nest (coming from the roundabout). It was hanging out with a few Canada Goose.

Snow Goose

Biking And Birding

Budleigh Salterton to Exmouth cycle path, Exmouth, Devon 
Took the kids for a bike ride today from Castle Lane to Littleham and back. As ever, I was noting the bird species. On the route were Eurasian Nuthatch, Eurasian Treecreeper, Common Buzzard, Song Thrush, Goldcrest and Eurasian Bullfinch. Around a third of the way along are a number of feeders. I’m not sure who keeps these stocked up by they were attracting a number of species including Eurasian Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Common Chaffinch, Eurasian Blue Tit, Great Tit and House Sparrow. Also of note were 2 Fallow Deer in one of the fields.

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