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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Backwater Birding - Seaton, Devon (1 Viewer)

I was viewing from Beer Beach on the balcony where the beach huts are, most of the manxies were in groups of between 5 and 9 and quite distant, saw most of them between 16-45 and 17.30,guess they may come in range when they have got to navigate off Beer Head, and may not be so viewable off of Seaton....either that or i had my shearwater goggles on....
I'm still buzzing from the seawatch I started 17 hours ago!!!!!

A look at the river in my lunch break late afternoon produced a 1st-summer Med Gull (with a weak hood) and the Pale-bellied Brent. Forgot to mention at Colyford earler, walking down the track to the reserve, a juv Green Woodpecker 'fell' out of the tree infront of me and sat on the path looking at me...they are such lovely birds up close!

EDIT: Talking about counting Shearwaters, counting distant flocks can be a nightmare! You see them bank up, there's one, two, three....a little entry into the notebook "3 Manx", you follow them or a little while longer, and suddenly six bank up at once! To count a distant flock correctly you need to follow them for a good minute or so, they are always catching me out!!!!
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Bun - 55 Manxies! Ian and I had 6 between 4 and 5:10 from the shelter, did they start late on? Having said that I had 29 Manxies from the yacht club earlier in the same hour as Gav and Ian had 11 or 12 from the shelter, so it seems to depend somewhat on viewing location. Also I only saw 2 Sandwich Terns and Gav and Ian saw quite a few more I think?

Well spotted on the Stormie Bun! Everyone who's looked has seen one today except me! |:(|

Gav - notice that's 29 Manxies, not the 39 I told you earlier. Can you believe I added up 14 and 15 to 39!?? |:$|. Actually, don't answer that!!!

EDIT: Birds seen were: 29 Manx Shearwater, 2 Sandwich Tern, and 2 Auk sp. all west, and quite a few Gannet (I didn't count these as many were loitering).

Hooray - post #2500 and it wasn't posted by Waite - you owe me a pint of Branoc Andrew. Cheers

Hooray - post #2500 and it wasn't posted by Waite - you owe me a pint of Branoc Andrew
I'm waiting for #5,000 James!

Just been down to check the cows at Colyford, and I see a mega SIX Green Sandpipers (3 scrape, 3 wetpatch) - its really early for a count as high as this! Our first one last year wasn't til 28th June, and that was the only one for about a week!! I think waders have had an awful breeding season - still it is nice to see them, and good to seem them enjoying such superb habitat. Also a Hobby hawked about over Bridge Marsh.

Am really regretting not jumping on a boat this morning, bet I would have seen loads!
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After a text from Ian I went down to Colyford Common this morning to see the 6 Green Sandpipers too.

Just been up the Coly with the dog, he's relieved it's not windy anymore and he can have a proper walk. It's difficult to see much on the river at the moment due to rampant vegetation, saw most of usuals though.

The highlight was a Hobby hawking around over the Sand Martin colony at Ratshole Gate. It then rode a thermal and eventually got so high it vanished from view, probably the one you saw Steve.

Bad news is that the Sand Martin colony has been partially inundated, with the lower nest holes below the damp area left by the high water level from earlier flooding. Unfortunately the water level on the Coly rises incredibly fast in heavy rain! |:(|

I had a go at digiscoping at Colyford Common and got a shot of a Kestel that wasn't too bad.

It's gone rather dark, another storm on the way!!


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Happy 2500 posts!

You let me down Steve! I had a pint of Branoc on you bagging it.

James, bump into me sometime at The Bridge Inn or The Globe or The Well House or......... to collect your soapy pint!
Hi Forum,
Birds seen in the garden this evening 8 till 10pm, we were sat under the apple trees and a family of about 10 long tailed tits came and fed on our peanut feeders, also the juvenile great spot having a munch on the peanuts.
Then simon saw a lone male pied fly, it also flew towards the woodland at the back of the garden. How much better can it get.
Happy birding Simon + Sue.

I am hoping that someone can confirm the identities a dragonfly and damselfly seen in my garden yesterday.

First a Southern Hawker ? - almost invisible against a dying hedge

Second a Large Red Damselfly ?

I also saw my first Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the garden two days ago.

PS - Gavin, thanks for the Stock Dove confirmation


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Two out of two Roger, well done - both typical garden visitors. You've beaten me to Southern Hawker this year, I've not seen one yet!!!

Went down to Colyford Common this morning with Bun, shortly joined by Karen, and saw a grand total of zilch Green Sands!!!! The autumns first Common Sand came flying down the river, and a Lapwing, 13 Redshank and 37 Curlew made up the remainder of the wader list. A Gatekeeper was my first this year.

1. Two newer members to the backwater brigade, both well and truely onboard though, infact they steer the ship!! Ones a die-hard, all weather, nothing else matters, kids get your own breakfast, seawatcher, the other.....a great lover of Chinese food and wears wellies 365 days of the year!! ;) 2. A Comma at Colyford - nice!


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Ones a die-hard, all weather, nothing else matters, kids get your own breakfast, seawatcher, the other.....a great lover of Chinese food and wears wellies 365 days of the year!! ;)

Oh Steve!! It's not true!!!................................................

...... I've seen Bun wearing trainers once!!!!!
Decided when i looked out the window this morning and saw it raining to do a spot of garden birdwatching - all the usual stuff chaffinches, greenfinches, 3 goldfinch, 7 blackbird, blue tits, great tits, 2 coal tits, 1 song thrush, also nice were a family of Bullfinches 2 adults and 2 young, a chiffchaff and a new garden tick when a little egret flew over quite low heading east...also at one point had 8 grey squirrel,s on the lawn and feeders ( thinking of borrowing a Harris Hawk just to scare them!) Then this afternoon decided on putting on my much valued pair of Wellies and checking out Beer Quarry and the surrounding area saw 12 stock dove including young, 2 whitethroat, 2 G.S.woodpecker, 1 Green woodpecker, 2 blackcap, 7 linnets, 3 yellowhammer and 2 sparrowhawk ( m+f)...also 10 marbled whites, 4 ringlets, 2 small skipper and several Meadow Browns, also good numbers of flowering early purple and pyramidal orchids - i then went home for dinner and had Beef Wellington.
Two out of two Roger, well done - both typical garden visitors. You've beaten me to Southern Hawker this year, I've not seen one yet!!!

Thanks Steve

I think it may have just emerged - it was very reluctant to move. I got it to move onto a stick and placed it in a better position to photograph - but it then revved up and disappeared! Saw another one on the path between Seaton and Beer yesterday.

I have just come across a reference to a book 'Britain's Dragonflies' in the WildGuides series - is it as good as Britian's Orchids? if so I will have to get it.
I have just come across a reference to a book 'Britain's Dragonflies' in the WildGuides series - is it as good as Britian's Orchids? if so I will have to get it.

Roger - I really REALLY recommend this, the 'daddy' of all Dragonfly books - click here

Great news people, I've got a week off! Rare wader please!!!!
I think that's it for me today, mine and Kyms two years 'going out' anniversary today. But anyway, this is how Day 1 of my holiday went after dropping off my beloved in Axminster for her penultimate A-level exam.

Fancied a stare at the sea, 10:20 - 11:20 from Spot On Kiosk, and was surprised to see Storm Petrels!! All three of the Beer fishing boats were out, so I thought I'd crank up the zoom and look behind them! 'E282' only gave a brief glimpse of one, 'E515' was better with good views of up to 2 Stormies, but 'E249' was by far the best, with at least six Stormies whizzing around the boat, one or two even seeming to fly over the boat!! There could well have been more, many many more!!! Non-boat related birds included: 18 Gannets, 13 Manxies (E), 2 Kittiwakes, 6 Sandwich Terns and a Curlew in/off.

After this a look up the river produced zilch, but from the farm gate I could see 5 Black-tailed Godwits on Colyford Marsh, our first this autumn. So after lunch, this is where I went, Colyford Marsh.
The Blackwits were stll there and boy were they sexy beasts, looking fluoressent orange! On closer inspection they appear to be 2 males and 3 females. Also on the scrape singles of Common and Green Sandpiper and an amazing 18 Redshank, which included 4 juvs (presumably home grown ones?). Here are a few shots of the Godwits (through a very wet and misted up scope!) and one of a water and wader-filled Colyford scrape!!!


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Me again!!!! With a howling NW wind, I thought I'd give the sea another look!!!! Watched from the Spot On Kiosk 18:20 - 19:00. The sea was pretty flat so when 2 distant Manxies bombed west I felt happy that at least something would go into the notebook, but then in fluttered a Storm Petrel!!! It was a close one too, white rump easily visible as it slowly pranced along westwards. In the remaining half hour of the seawatch I noted another 5 Manxies, 2 Sandwich Terns, a Curlew in/off and a dozen or so Gannets.

After this a look up the river revealed the 5 Blackwits were still on Colyford Marsh, with 23 Redshank on the river.

EDIT: Looking back on my photos, they're Icelandic Blackwits aren't they!???
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Hi All, Whitford report today, first thing this morning a Hobby carrying its latest victim, fairly sure its nested in woodland behind our garden, as we have seen it several times heading in this direction. Green woodpecker in the garden most of the day, trying to get a picture but it is proving difficult. Two Juvenile great spots on two seperate peanut feeders. Also male and female seen. Four mistle thrush, 5 Jays, 3 Stock Doves, Garden Warbler.
Happy Birding S + S.
After Steve’s seawatching success of yesterday I was determined to see a Storm Petrel or two today. A brisk north-westerly was obviously ‘just the job’.

So after the school run it was off to the yacht club car park, on the way however I stopped at the Farm Gate and could see some waders, so out came the scope, they were Redshank and there were 22 of them today, also on the river were the drake Shoveler and an adult Water Rail (my very belated first of the year). I couldn’t see any Blackwits, but Nick said he’d seen some from Coronation Corner earlier.

So ………..on to the seawatching, I began at 9:45 and within the first ten minutes had seen 3 Balearic Shearwaters, passing by reasonably close all together. I could see plenty of Shearwaters passing distantly so I prepared myself for some serious eye strain and got stuck in, most were to distant to identify as Manx or Balearic.

Totals were from 9:45 – 11:45:

Gannet 42W/3E, Curlew 3, Common Scoter 1/6 (plus one male on sea), Black-headed Gull 53 (including 1 juvenile), Balearic Shearwater 3, Manx Shearwater 37, Shearwater sp. 358.

There were probably many more Shearwaters than counted, as they were coming too 'thick and fast' to count accurately, especially the distant ones.

I again failed miserably to spot a Stormie, and was gripped to hear Ian had seen two following a boat at 10:15. Whilst I was watching!!! :eek!: I think the boat was a long way west of me, near Beer Head? I was looking southeast. I’ll check all boats in sight in future!!

I was now even more determined than ever to see a Stormie today.|=@| (I know........pathetic!).

I had another quick watch at lunchtime whilst ‘walking the dog’ (he did get a proper walk later at Trinity Hill), the Shearwater passage had stopped dead however.

Totals were 13:10 – 14:10:

Gannet 4W/1E, Curlew 1, Black-headed Gull 10, Commic Tern 1.

Stopped at the Farm Gate again on my way back and saw a couple of Peregrine Falcons overhead, one of which made a spectacular plunge down to Axe Marsh into a small flock of Wood Pigeon. It came past almost directly overhead, like a bullet. Brilliant Stuff!

Whilst dog walking at Trinity Hill later I tried to photograph a Buzzard. My camera is not the best at flight shots, neither am I, but here it is anyway……………….. A crappy shot of a very tatty Buzzard!!

I'm going to get some jobs done tommorrow so I doubt I'll be doing any more seawatching then! ;)


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Evening all,
Here's the report from the garden today.
• Female and juvenile Green Woodpeckers were again seen.
• A Hobby was seen circling his usual woodland territory.
• A Garden Warbler made an appearance again tonight.
• And the Rookery Roost was once again swarming with birds, the attached photo only showing a small number of the several hundred-strong flock.
• Attached also is another photo of one of our Great-Spotted Woodpeckers (of which we have seen at least two different ones).

The garden has been so busy with this remarkably wintery June we haven't really had the time to head elsewhere.
We've been taking in the numerous recent seawatch reports on here, keep them up. :t:

Happy Birding,
Simon & Sue Wakely.


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