Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!!

Final day of 2016, so Hannah & myself decided to take a day trip down into Devon to so some birding and see the Desert Wheatear which has been lingering for several weeks at Thurlestone. A superb day's birding with mega views of the 1st winter DESERT WHEATEAR showing down to a few feet on Leas Foot Beach alongside 1 Black Redstart, several Rock Pipit & Pied Wagtails. A stunning bird in a beautiful part of Devon. After watching the Wheatear for few hours we headed off back north towards Exeter stopping off at various locations on route.

Journey back towards Exeter, we stopped off a Broadsands to search for some Cirl Buntings near the car park & beach huts. Broadsands is a renowned hotspot for Cirl Buntings in winter. Upon arrival there was a flock of 20+ Buntings feeding quite close on some of the grain & seed provided during winter months for the birds. We had some stunning birds of at least 20 Cirl Buntings with 10+ more in nearby Hedgerows along the coast path. My best views ever of this very rare bunting in Britian. My first sightings were 10 birds at Shaldon in 2010. Other previous records I've seen include 2 at Wembury in 2012, 5+ at Wembury 2014, single male in 2015 and female this august at Dawlish Warren.

After Broadsands, a short stop off at Bowling Green Marsh RSPB along the Exe River produced 100+ Wigeon, 50+ Avocet, 100+ Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, 5 Greylag Geese, 3 Little Egret, 8 Snipe, 2 Water Rail, 1 Kingfisher and a Spotted Redshank on Goosemoor marsh from the viewing screens. 
Female Wigeon showing paler head pattern and overall pale plumage

Flock of Wigeon
Continental type Blackbird

A fantastic day to finish off 2016!! Looking forward to 2017. Wishing all my friends & family, fellow birders and blog followers a very Happy New Year and all the best for a birding filled 2017!!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Radipole Lake 30th December

Took a trip down to Radipole Lake today. Highlight of the day in finding a nice flock of 20+ Bearded Reedling feeding close along the Buddleia Loop trail this afternoon. Managed a few nice shots despite very foggy weather. The Reedlings put on a fantastic performance for about 20mins before moving deeper into the reedbed. Also nice views of 50+ Mediterranean Gull, 2 Marsh Harrier, Water Rail, Kingfisher & Cetti's Warbler along the trail. Back towards the visitor centre was some nice showy Teal and more Mediterranean Gulls.

A quick look at Lodmoor produced distant views of 2 Water Pipit, 15 Snipe, 4 Black-tailed Godwit from the east car park at Overcombe from the viewing gate. Another large flock of 30+ Mediterranean Gull and 10 Common Gull present on the marsh. A fantastic afternoons birding and great to be back in the UK after few weeks home in Ireland for Christmas with Family & friends.

Bearded Reedling

Med Gull

Med Gull

Med Gull Adult


Group of Med Gulls taking a bath

Male Teal

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas morning walk

Christmas morning walk down at Seapoint beach produced 35 Black-tailed Godwit, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 50+ Sanderling, 20+ Turnstone, 10+ each of Redshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover & Knot on the strand.Large numbers of Great black-backed Gulls & Common Gulls present..

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Birding highlights of 2016

Here's a collection of images looking back on a fantastic birding year 2016 has been. Full of exciting encounters with some amazing wildlife.  From the Mega rare Siberian Accentor at Spurn to Firecrest's in my Garden,from Hoopoe's on Portland to White Storks on the Somerset Levels. 2016 has been a fantastic year for some new species seen, but also a fantastic year to witness some incredible wildlife moments from close up Foxes on the Isle of Wight to showy Spoonbills at Lodmoor. These images take a brief look back on some of my favourite birds seen this year & some of my highlights of 2016. A great year to look back on and can't wait now to see what 2017 has in store. Enjoy the pictures and Merry Christmas.


Dusky Warbler-Ham Wall

Reed Bunting-Greylake RSPB

Teal-Shapwick Heath

Yellow-browed Warbler-Yeovil

Black Redstart- Weymouth

Common Gull-Radipole Lake


Glossy Ibis-Seaton Marshes

Ring-necked Duck-Somerset Levels

Pallas's Warbler-Portesham, Dorset

Bramblings-Blashford Lakes


Song Thrush-Sherborne

Wigeon-Hole's Bay, Poole Harbour



Siberian Chiffchaff-Sherborne


Marsh Harrier-Ham Wall RSPB

Glaucous Gull-Plym Estuary 
Marsh Tit-Stover Lake



Rock Pipit-Lulworth Cove

Willow Warbler-Trent

Hobby-Ham Wall RSPB



Corn Bunting-Maiden Castle

Lesser Whitethroat- Trent

Roe Deer-Black Park, Slough

White Stork-Somerset Levels

Great Crested Grebe-Langley Lake


Great Spotted Cuckoo-Portland

Bittern-Ham Wall RSPB

House Martin-Yeovil



Grey Seal-Port Oriel, Clogherhead

Sparrowhawk-My Garden back home

Dartford Warbler-New Forest

Redstart-New Forest

Common Tern-Titchfield Haven

Mandarin Ducks-Slough

Reed Warbler- Hampshire


Water Vole, Titchfield Haven


Soldier Beetle

Common Swift-Home

Great Bustard-Salisbury Plain


Dunlin-The Fleet

Small Skipper-The Garden

Purple Hairstreak-Alner's Gorse

Collared Pratincole-Ham Wall RSPB 


Black-tailed Godwit-Seaton Marsh


Little Egret-Black Hole Marsh


Wood Sandpiper, Seaton Marshes

Banded Demosielle- London

Brown Hawker- Wraysbury

Painted Lady-Slough

Ruff-Black Hole Marsh

Yellow Wagtail- West Bexington


Rose-coloured Starling-Portland


Bar-tailed Godwit-Ferrybridge

Foxes-Isle of Wight

Fox on Isle of Wight


Sanderling- The Fleet

Sandwich Tern- Weymouth


Avocet- Brownsea Lagoon

Red Squirrel-Brownsea Island

Spoonbill-Brownsea Island

Spotted Redshank-Hole's Bay-Poole Harbour

Fieldfare- Spurn Bird Obs

Siberian Accentor-Easington, Spurn


Shore Lark-Spurn Point

Song Thrush-Spurn Bird Obs


Med Gull- Radipole

Black Redstart- Portland Castle

Pied Wagtail- Lyme Regis


Great Black Backed Gull-Clogherhead
Lapwing flock- Lurgangreen, Co.Louth

Yellow-legged Gull- Broad Lough


Great Northern Diver- Salterstown

Red-breasted Mergansers