• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Backwater Birding - Seaton, Devon (2 Viewers)

Some mouth-watering birds and photos recently. Keep it up everyone! I am looking forward to the tustle which will ensue at this year's bird report picture choosing meeting!

For a little sport for those of us unable to get a foot in the birding bonanza this year with the ubiquitous wonder boy and his side-kick window-man, who would like to make a punt at the next rarity to be seen this year?

No need to be vagrant, just the next genuine noteworthy bird for the sleepy backwater. I'm going to ruminate on this for a couple of hours and get back to you...

Walking the undercliffs with the new Natural England bod this afternoon, so will keep my eyes peeled for a goodie. Graham Garden I reckon.

James
 
Ranger James said:
and his side-kick....
Oi!!!

That is very cruel....very.

A little autonomy, please!

Hardly novel, but here we go anyway - Marsh Harrier, Hoopoe, Black Tern, Pomarine Skua. All to fall in next fortnight.
 
Last edited:
This morning I've been visiting a land far, far away............

Well, Axe Cliff and the Undercliff actually but I did flush two of the mythical Grey Partridge in a field there, same two Gav saw? Or are they like buses!?

There were also stacks of Chiffs, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, several Stonechats, a female Redstart and best of all a Grasshopper Warbler.

James - my guess is Nightingale, got to be one in the Undercliff, must get down there one evening, (if you don't bag it this afternoon!) Also couldn't we guess the finder of the next rarity instead? That would be MUCH easier .....How about Steve Waite!?? ;)
 
Last edited:
I was lucky with the Egyptian Geese. Something disturbed them and both took off, but they circled and landed even nearer. Both geese were in the original image.

I was at the Lyme end of the Undercliff at Ware Cliff this morning where two pairs of Bullfinches were busy stripping the flowers from an oak tree; can't complain about lack of colour!

Roger
 

Attachments

  • M6_EOS_104024b.jpg
    M6_EOS_104024b.jpg
    37.8 KB · Views: 69
  • M7_EOS_105028.jpg
    M7_EOS_105028.jpg
    42.9 KB · Views: 71
  • M7_EOS_105008e.jpg
    M7_EOS_105008e.jpg
    49.5 KB · Views: 92
Hi all.

Beer Head rather quiet this morning (though Daddy Waite went up a little later a scored with 2 Redstarts - plus Karens makes 16 so far this spring I reckon!)

Nice point scorer waiting for me on Colyford Marsh - a Greylag Goose!!! Add to this the 2 Gypos and a small gathering of Canadas, I felt like I was at Slimbridge!!!

Spent ages sky watching - but nothing flew up our valley today...visibly anyway!!! On the river, 4 Whimbrel, 2 Bar-wits and a Ringed Plover. Lots of House Martins around today (Gav?) - over 30 north of Colyford Common.

Nice end to the day with Karen at Axmouth, a singing Lesser Whitethroat, my first this year.

Predictions James (good idea): Marsh Harrier, Wood Sandpiper and White Stork.
 
Not much time out today, but squeezed in a walk over Beer Head before work. Light WSW and a cloudless blue sky made for pretty scenery, but not for loitering migrants. A single Wheatear, 2 or 3 Swallows and a handful of Willow Warblers would have been about it, but for a nice fly-past. A noisy Pied Wagtail made me look round - it was mobbing a Cuckoo! It didn't hang around though, flying straight through from the west, out over the bay, then high towards Seaton. The first Cuckoo I've actually seen in over four years living here (and I've only heard two others!)
 
Thanks to the ringers at Borrow Pit for identifying the Whimbrels for me - a bird I have not seen before.

Made a hasty retreat from Colyton hide when I realised the tide was still coming in - had to leap across the water on the return.

There was a deer moving across the meadows - the image was taken from the Seaton hide.

Last picture taken at Lower Bruckland Ponds - could it be the Sedge Warbler?
 

Attachments

  • EOS_106019.JPG
    EOS_106019.JPG
    163.6 KB · Views: 83
  • EOS_106029.JPG
    EOS_106029.JPG
    146.8 KB · Views: 89
  • M8_EOS_106005.jpg
    M8_EOS_106005.jpg
    32.9 KB · Views: 103
Last edited:
Roger Boswell said:
Thanks to the ringers at Borrow Pit for identifying the Whimbrels for me - a bird I have not seen before.

Made a hasty retreat from Colyton hide when I realised the tide was still coming in - had to leap across the water on the return.

There was a deer moving across the meadows - the image was taken from the Seaton hide.

Last picture taken at Lower Bruckland Ponds - could it be the Sedge Warbler?
did you hear it call cos that would give it way. willow warbs and chiffs sound nothing like sedges! this is from last year at exminster.
 

Attachments

  • sedge.jpg
    sedge.jpg
    155.2 KB · Views: 96
Roger Boswell said:
Last picture taken at Lower Bruckland Ponds - could it be the Sedge Warbler?
Hello Roger - nice to see your pics, as always. The last one shows a warbler with rather plain upperparts, and a distinctly greenish tone (especially if you lighten the image a bit) - so it's a Willow or Chiff. From what's visible - strong supercilium, 'long' looking lores, what appears to be quite long primary projection, plus a pale foot (where it's not in shadow) - I would plump for Willow Warbler.
 
Gavin Haig said:
Hello Roger - nice to see your pics, as always. The last one shows a warbler with rather plain upperparts, and a distinctly greenish tone (especially if you lighten the image a bit) - so it's a Willow or Chiff. From what's visible - strong supercilium, 'long' looking lores, what appears to be quite long primary projection, plus a pale foot (where it's not in shadow) - I would plump for Willow Warbler.
2nded
 
Quite a good ringing session at the Borrow Pit this morning produced 18 birds in total with three new species ringed at this location: House Sparrow, Blackcap and Goldfinch.

The full tally was

Chaffinch 3 (1 retrap)
Blackbird 1 (retrap)
Blue Tit 1
House Sparrow 5
Cetti's Warbler 1 (retrap)
Blackcap 1
Great Tit 1
Greenfinch 1
Chiffchaff 1
Song Thrush 1 (retrap)
Willow Warbler 1
Goldfinch 1

Some photos attached (I'm sure Steve will be awarding bonus bonanza points if anyone can identify the other ringers involved from these photos!).

It was good to meet you Roger (I was the guy wearing the hat). Always happy to help a fellow birder - there were a total of 6 Whimbrel in the field just north of the borrow pit.
 

Attachments

  • Blackcap2.JPG
    Blackcap2.JPG
    146.4 KB · Views: 71
  • Blackcap3.JPG
    Blackcap3.JPG
    159.7 KB · Views: 63
  • Blackcap4.JPG
    Blackcap4.JPG
    148.4 KB · Views: 66
  • Chiffchaff1.JPG
    Chiffchaff1.JPG
    110.5 KB · Views: 72
  • Goldfinch.JPG
    Goldfinch.JPG
    112.5 KB · Views: 74
Last edited:
Nice piccies Doug. I'd guess at, Neil with the clack cap, Mike T with the Goldie, and Fraser with the chiffy - but I thought he was on holiday. How did I do with the fingertip ID?

My prediction for the next biggie for the patch is... RR swallow, surely long overdue? Although the smart money is on another gull species as this is obviously the year of the gull. Laugher on Fraser's wet patch I reckon - how's that for specific. Now, where did I put my string...

james
 
Last edited:
Ranger James said:
How did I do with the fingertip ID?
Rubbish, all but Goldfinch me!!!!

Seawatch this morning was quiet, a Whimbrel flew in then west and a Red-throated Diver was sat close in, before taking to the air and flying south, there were also a few Gannets and Kits passing....but miles out!!!

Other birds this morning include 5 Dunlin and a Sedge Warbler at Colyford Marsh, a Sedge Warbler at Lower Bruckland and millions of Willow Warblers at Trinity Hill!!!
 
Gav, Well done on Cuckoo, at last another local birder has spotted this Giant Swift. Mr and Mrs Egyptian Goose on Coly common tonight. Fingers Crossed.
 
Bonanza Points Strategy for Dummies

It struck me just the other day that if I were the competitive type (if...) there could be one or two strategic gambits that I might employ to increase my chances of racking up those all-important Bonanza Points (if I viewed them in that light, of course, which I don't).

For example:

Seawatching
If the wind is from the W, most passing birds tend to fly into it, meaning that positioning yourself towards the eastern end of the patch is going to mean that the birds will pass your vantage point first. In the event of another player seawatching further W you will be able to say "I saw it first - the points are MINE". If you found yourself in the unhappy position of sharing the shelter with other players, simply sit on the left and point your scope as far to the E as you can see. If you cannot get the left hand seat, just irritate everybody by pointing your scope to the E anyway. Conversely, if the wind has any E in it, chances are that the birds will be flying E, so seawatching from Branscombe would be a good ruse.

Early migrants
Still several of these to go. Carefully check which are the most overdue, and therefore about to arrive any second, and visit their most likely haunt - early in the morning.​

Anyway, there you have a couple of the tactics which a competitive Bonanza player might find useful. I'm off to a wedding later, so hopefully the biggies won't arrive today.

Managed to pop out early this morning, and got a seawatching fix at Branscombe. Due to the wind having some E in it everything was heading E, though there wasn't much to see - 5 Sandwich Terns, 4 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Scoter and a Razorbill. However, I was just zooming in on a swimming auk (a Guillemot, as it turned out) when a very nice flock of duck went by - 22 Eider (9 drakes). Biggest Eider flock (by 13) that I've seen off the patch. I was just congratulating myself on 3 well deserved points when I realised they'd flown WEST, and therefore would have been visible off Seaton first. When the palpitations eased I remembered that I am not concerned by such issues. At all.

Reed Warbler is overdue and, entirely coincidentally, my next port of call was the very spot where the first of the year might reasonably turn up - Colyford Common. A Wheatear was out on the marsh, but little else. I walked to the viewing platform. Lesser Whitethroat rattling away. Nice. What looked suspiciously like a Tree Pipit was flitting about in the bushes just to the N, but I couldn't clinch it. But what's that singing? Well, well - a Reed Warbler. With all the reed available in the valley it was surprising to hear it singing from a Blackthorn thicket. I walked over and had nice views too. Would it be presumptuous to add another 5 points to my tally, Steve? As if I cared...... |=)|
 
Evening folks, went up Beer Head this morning 8.00-10, quite a quiet couple of hours saw 6 willows, 2 chiffs, 4 wheatear, 3 blackcap and a whitethroat singing and showing well, 5 swallow, and 3 house martin, 2 pairs of stonechat and 2 peregrine.....then went to seaton marshes also pretty quiet, 3 wheatear, 1 singing cetti's and a common sandpiper the only noteworthy birds....Then i must confess i returned home and loafed around in the garden for the rest of the day!! but did see 5 Buzzards up at one point and heard a few blackcap's singing.
 
Hi All, Bun stop Loafing about, YOU need the points. Sorry All, We should of mentoined Second pic of Mating Egyptian Geese, Also taken on April IIth. Steve they where on bridge marsh tonight.
 
Warning! This thread is more than 12 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top