[Simon Thurgood Images] [Simon Thurgood Images]


01 December 2023

Lannacombe Beach

Today, whilst in the South Hams I spent some time on Lannacombe beach which as you can see was covered in a large dump of Kelp. It looked like a mixture of Cuvie and Furbelows from the "Holdfasts".

I had a very succesfull search for egg cases and almost certain to have missed lots underneath the mountain of weed.

Lannacombe Beach is South facing and a great beach for Beachcombing!

Best result here was the 12 Nursehound Catshark which was the first time I have found them here after many years of searching on this beach.

Other results were as follows 24 Thornback Ray, 2 Undulate Ray, 2 Small-eyed Ray, 1 Spotted Ray and 1 Blone Ray.

All results to the Shark Trust

01 December 2023

Beesands and Slapton Leys

Day off and not raining so with camera and my trusty Flask of tea off I went to South Devon. Beautiful sunny day which would plague me to be honest, because of the low Sun I had issues driving and trying to take pictures, can you believe it!!

First stop was Beesands which has always been good for Ducks but the ley was empty with just a few Mute Swans, Gulls sat in the middle, couple of Tufted and a single Gadwall, so didn't stay long here.

Off to Slapton, this was a different situation with large numbers of birds on the water, unfortunately the low sun was right in line with my Bins and Camera Lens, did manage to pick out Widgeon, Mallard Tufted, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Great-crested and Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Cormorant, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed, Herring, Great and Lesser-black Backed Gulls, Grey heron and Little Egret. Iam sure there were lots more I missed on the water.

On the Hedgerows and of both Beesands and Slapton, not forgetting the Quarry at Slapton was full of birds with the best being a couple of very mobile Firecrest, also seen Goldcrest, Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon and Buzzard.

So a good day.

20 November 2023

River Exe

Managed to fit in a few visits to the river Exe between Cockwood steps and Turf hotel, sadly not long enough but enough to get a feel for what is going on.

Great to see all the Geese, Brent and Canada in large numbers, single Greylag and Domestic farm geese mixed in, reports of Barnacle goose as well but sadly not seen by me.

Also sadly not seen by me was the Short eared Owl but Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel all seen.

Waders in plentiful supply with Avocet, Curlew, Godwits, Grey and Golden Plover, Oystercatchers, Red and Greenshanks, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Lapwing all seen.

Other water birds seen were Mute Swans, Grey Heron, Cattle and Little Egrets, Cormorants, Moorhen, Coot, Shelducks, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Widgeon, Kingfisher, Great-black Backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls.

Starling, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Wren, Robin, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Pied Wagtail, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon and Pheasant.

Lots of humans about and plenty with cameras, great to see Dave B!

12 November 2023

Out and About

With the exception of spending some time at Brixham Harbour my last couple of weeks has been spending time, the odd hour here and there in between rain showers, seeing family and working.

Spent time around the River Exe, Aylesbere, Seaton Wetlands, Exminster Marshes and Dartmoor.

Some places like Exminster and Seaton Wetlands were difficult to walk around because of flooding, but Yarner and Aylesbere were great and lots seen. Winter Thrushes on Dartmoor are starting to build up and Ducks, Geese and other water birds are also starting to build in numbers. Sea birds with the storms have been putting on a show close to the shore and with the storms the Beaches have been great for finds so defiantly a lot to see if you want to put the effort in!

As the weather is getting colder the trees are dropping their leaves and there is a taste of winter in the air. Not done as much photography as I would have liked but it's still been great to get out and use my car as a hide during the rain!

07 November 2023

Brixham Harbour

On a unsual day off and its not raining, I spent a couple of hours around Brixham Harbour.

As normal its quite busy around the fish market, not only humans but Gulls, Turnstones and Shags. The Turnstones so tame running up to my feet!

Around the harbour there was a Great northern Diver which also seemed quite tame.It was in winter plumage, although it was by itself, it is common to see several in the harbour.

Also around the harbour and marina there was plenty of Seals just lazing around. The numbers seem to be increaseing and its great to see these Mamals up close and personal.

At the end of the breakwater there was several Purple Sandpipers asleep with some Turnstones. Over the years this has always been a great spot to see them.

A very enjoyable couple of hours spent here.

24 October 2023

River Exe

In between the showers had a good day around the River Exe visiting, Cockwood Steps, Harbour, Starcross Golf course, River Kenn Outflow, Powderham estate, Church and surrounding fields, the River Exe and Clyst around Topsham and Bowling Green Marsh.

Great to see the Avocets back at Bowling Green as well as a couple of Spoonbills, another surprise was to see a Great White Egret just up from the Kenn Outflow with some Little Egrets and a Cormorant chasing fish on the incoming tide.

Plenty of Ducks with Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Widgeon, Pintail and Shelduck. Waders included Oystercatcher, Curlew, Avocet, Godwits, Redshank, Greenshank and Dunlin. Other long legged birds include Grey Heron.

Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Black-headed, Herring, Lesser and Greater-black Backed Gulls, Little Grebe, Moorhen and Coot are the rest of the water based Birds.

Around the fields and hedges Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Stonechat, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Raven, Rook, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon and Stockdove.

Met lots of great humans but sadly one arrogant twat with a scope!

21 October 2023


This last week have managed to spend the odd hour or two on Dartmoor, as normal for me it's been raining on my free time so very few pictures have been taken.

But this week with the change in the weather has brought more birds to the area, it's been quite enjoyable sat in my car with a flask of Tea and my Bins picking up stuff, I've seen some quite large flocks of Chaffinch, mostly around the base of beach Trees feeding on the nuts, also some small flocks of Starling, Goldfinch and Linnet.

Corvids have increased especially Rook, Ravens displaying in the wind has been fun to watch, several Jays, Magpies, Carrion Crow and Jackdaws around the Moor.

Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Great and Long-tailed Tits, Grey and Pied Wagtails, several Bullfinch, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Wood Pigeon, Collard and Stock Doves all seen.

A couple of Ring Ouzels seen in the mist at Emsworthy this morning, also a couple of Fieldfare and Redwing seen at various places on the moor, good numbers of Blackbirds and singles of Song and Mistle Thrushes.

Noticeable numbers of Raptors with several Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzards and a single Goshawk.

Even though the weather was crap I've had a good week.

12 October 2023


Visited Dartmoor a few times this last week or two looking for any Winter Migrants but none seen, looked at Emsworthy for Ringed Ouzel which had been reported but none seen by myself.

Also a visit to Yarner, the feeders are out for the winter but just a few of the regulars, Trees full of leaves still, so you can hear them but not many seen.

Around Dartmoor itself was empty of birds, normally plenty of Corvids but very few, the odd flock of Chaffinch and Goldfinch, the odd Buzzard but that was it, all the Summer Migrants are gone and the Winter ones have not arrived.

The forecast looks cold so hopefully we will see the Redwing and other Winter Thrushes.

06 October 2023


Slowly getting over Covid and having the need to travel a bit went up to Somerset for the day with no other purpose than to see what's about.

Early start with first stop Greylake, plenty to hear in the reed beds with Water Rail and Cettis Warblers calling all over the place. Also large numbers of insects in the morning sun with Migrant Hawkers sat on the reeds with plenty of Darters buzzing around, Social Wasps, Hornets and Hoverfly's in good numbers with Flies everywhere. On arrival at the hide was a big disappointment with no views as the reeds have been allowed to grow, talking to a local, he said he thought that was the plan of "Natural England" to allow the place to go back to a huge reedbed, depressing!

Well on to Cattcot Lows but again disappointment as they were working on the access road no access to the hide, so not going well at the moment!

So stopped off at the Avalon Centre for a Bacon Bap and very nice too I went to Ham Wall and had a good walk around, saw plenty of distant Marsh Harriers, Great and Little Egrets but not much else, normally a good place to see Ducks but very few, some excuses made by others, but to me, the area of open water has decreased a lot and the reedbeds allowed to grow, saw a few Gadwall, Mallard, Widgeon, Teal and Shoveler, disappointing!

Did see plenty of Butterflies and other insects as well as Grass Snakes and Lizards in the stone cages by one of the bridges enjoying the sun.

Did have a good day even though I didn't see many birds, plenty of humans about all in good humour and it wasn't raining!

28 September 2023

Covid again

Hi all, not been about for a while hence nothing on the Blog. Yet again down with Covid, probably because the type of job I do with Social Care, iam better now and hopefully out with the camera soon.

Take care out there!

© Simon Thurgood 2023
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