Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Melody at the Bill...

Thanks again to Dave Helliar (Dave, you're having a great Autumn already!) - this very obliging Melodious Warbler graced the Bill Quarry at Portland for the last couple of days, a little beaut and some great photos!

Melodious Warbler, Portland Bill: Dave Helliar
Melodious Warbler: Dave Helliar
Melodious Warbler: Dave Helliar

Bit of catch up...

Looks like everything kicked off as soon as I left the country!  Happened last year too, no sooner had I jumped on the plane to Canada, the short-billed dowitcher turned up at least that stuck around until I got back unlike many of these lovelies - thanks to Dave H. for the photos:

Little stint, Chard Res (I did get this one) 3rd record: D. Helliar
Lesser Yellowlegs, Exeter: D. Helliar
Lesser Yellowlegs: D. Helliar
Lesser Yellowlegs: D. Helliar
Osprey: D. Helliar
Crossbill, Chard Res: D. Helliar
Grey Phalarope, Chard Res: D. Helliar
Found by Kev Harris - 3rd record
Grey Phalarope: D. Helliar
Spotted Crake, Seaton: D. Helliar
I'm sure the local birders are hoping I'll go away more often!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Good day on the Exe

Dave and Andy headed off to Dawlish today to try and catch up with the young red-backed shrike that was reported early this morning. They not only managed to get that but saw an osprey further up the river too:

Red-backed shrike: Dave Helliar
Red-backed shrike: Andy Grinter
Osprey: Dave Helliar
Sparrowhawk: A. Grinter
Dunlin on close approach!: D. Helliar
Wall: D. Helliar
Fuligo septica: Andy Grinter
Striking colour but less than stricking English name
of 'dog vomit slime mold'

Knot the patch tick I was expecting...

A call from Dave Helliar on Friday night alerted local birders of a knot at Chard res, only the second record for the site. Very rare to see inland at any time, it is a particularly good record for Chard res LNR and a good find by Dave. The bird had gone by Saturday morning:

Knot: Dave Helliar
Knot: Dave Helliar

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Around Beer Head...

Beer Head has been quite busy with migrants recently and on Monday Dave Helliar noted 30+ yellow wagtails, small flocks of meadow pipits, 2 wheatear, 5 whinchat and a couple of spotted flycatchers. There were a few other things of interest too:

Whinchat: D. Helliar
Whinchat and Wheatear: D. Helliar
Common lizard, Beer Head: D. Helliar
Jersey Tiger: D. Helliar
Hummingbird Hawkmoth: D. Helliar
Volucella zonaria - a true monster at 20mm in length!
D. Helliar

Monday, 2 September 2013


I had a nice surprise today when Dave phoned to say a possible wryneck had been seen in a private garden at Chaffcombe and the couple concerned wanted someone to come and verify it. Luckily I'm in a position to down tools and dash off if required so I grabbed my gear and jumped in the car without hesitation. On arrival I was greeted by the owner of the garden, Mr David Bracher, who advised that the bird had last been seen about half-an-hour before. Photos were produced on the gentleman's pc and it was indeed a wryneck. I then noticed a short turfed paddock close to the house and went to have a look, just in case. And there it was, sunning itself in the grass. I just had time to race back, grab my video gear and get a few shots of it before it disappeared into the hedge, not to be seen again for another 5 hours. Photos to follow...

Wryneck: D. Helliar
Wryneck: A. Grinter

Wryneck: R. Harris
Wryneck: R. Harris
Wryneck: R. Harris
...and a bit more video: