Wise Birding Holidays

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Water Pipits

I counted a minimum of 10 Water Pipits in the fields north of White Bridge this morning. They are feeding in the damp fields and are pretty tricky to find as they are not always by the wet areas and are often hidden in the long grass. The photo below was a bird that I  digiscoped whilst it was feeding on the scrapes south of White Bridge and seemed to be separate from the other flock. Hopefully that Buff-bellied Pipit will join them soon!😂
Water Pipit, beside the river Otter north of White Bride

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Water Pipits, Dippers and Blackcaps

Helen and I had old friends Nigel and Claire to stay this weekend and we all enjoyed a good day out on the patch  where highlights included Cirl Bunting, Water Pipit and a Starling murmuration of around 1,000 birds on the Otter Estuary. As well as 6 Blackcaps in the garden and of course plenty of Claire's home made chocolate cake!

Yesterday, there were at least 5 Water Pipits in the wet fields north of White Bridge and today there were a minimum of 7 birds and I am pretty sure there are at least 10 birds, the largest count I have seen on the Otter. A pair of Dipper were singing on the River Otter this morning too, just north of White Bridge and the furthest south I have seen them.  
I made a very simple sound recording using my iPhone - See below.
A digiscoped photo of one of at least 10 Water Pipits adjacent to the River Otter

Friday, 15 November 2019

Cattle Egret

I found this Cattle Egret today just south of East Budleigh village. I only found it because I was checking the Starling flock that was feeding in the same field! Amazing how common this species has become now and it wouldn't surprise if the number increases based on the number of birds in Devon at the moment.

Cattle Egret, East Budleigh

Cattle Egret, East Budleigh




Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Garden Ring-necked Parakeets

A surprise addition to the garden list today were two vocal Ring-necked Parakeets. The only other Parakeet I have seen in the Budleigh area was one on the Otter in October 2010. 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Short-eared Owl

Just one Short-eared Owl on Woodbury Common this evening.
Short-eared Owl, Woodbury Common

Friday, 8 November 2019

Short-eared Owls and Med Gulls

Great to see 2 Short-eared Owls hunting on the Commons at dusk this evening, just below Warren Car Park. One of my favourite birds!

On the 6th November on the Otter, there were two Mediterranean Gulls on the estuary, one of which was colour-ringed. Seems to be a Polish bird.

2nd Winter Med Gull

Adult Med Gull with Polish colour ring PNJ2

Monday, 4 November 2019

More Firecrest

Three different Firecrest today around the patch. One along the Otter, another along South Farm Road and the third in the small woodland at Jubilee Green on the West Cliffs.

Common Firecrest, Jubilee Green, Budleigh Salterton

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Garden Firecrest

Great to see a Firecrest in the front garden today. A new bird for the garden!
It takes the garden tally to 73 species, the last new species was Common Whitethroat in April 2018.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Med Gull and Hen Harrier

Yesterday afternoon a wander around the Otter and notable species included 1 ad Med Gull and 17 Curlew on the scrapes with numbers of Teal and Wigeon slowly increasing.
On the Commons, the male Hen Harrier again (first seen on Thursday 24th) hunting to the south of the Grenade Range.

Other notable birds on the patch in recent days:
Firecrest - 20th Oct (West Cliffs)
Merlin - 2 birds a male and a fem/imm 21st Oct (Woodbury)

Adult Mediterranean Gull - Otter Estuary

Adult Male Hen Harrier - Woodbury Common

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

St Martin's, Isles of Scilly 2019

Just returned from a great week on Scilly where the clear birding highlight was finding a Rose-breasted Grosbeak on St Martin's. What more could you ask for!? 

Rather than duplicate what I have done already, you can read my write-up of the find on these links: Rare Bird Alert and Birdguides or alternatively, simply enjoy the photos from our week below!

Lower Town Quay, St Martin's looking towards Round Island

Spotted Crake St Mary's

First year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, St Martin's

First year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, St Martin's

First year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, St Martin's - Fresh in and being mobbed by Meadow Pipits!

Pied Flycatcher, St Martin's

Spotted Flycatcher, St Martin's

St Martin's looking towards Great Bay

St Martin's looking towards the Eastern Isles

Little Bunting, St Martin's

Golden Plover and Snipe, St Martin's

Curlew, Whimbrel and Oystercatchers, St Martin's

Whinchat, St Martin's

Common Redstart, Porth Seal St Martin's
White Wagtail, St Martin's

Yellow Wagtail, St Martin's

Sanderling and Turnstone, St Martin's

The Scillonian passing the north end of St Mary's

1st Cal Year Merlin, St Martin's

1st Cal Year Merlin, St Martin's


First year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, St Martin's

St Martin's Lower Town
First year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, St Martin's

First year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, St Martin's

Rose-breasted Grosbeak Twitch

Me and the Mrs

The latest prices and treats from the Kavorna Bakery, St Mary's