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31 October 2020

Walk along Dawlish Warren Beach

Went down to the Warren after the last couple days of bad weather and storms hoping to find something interesting washed up on the beach, especially hoping to find some "Mermaids Purses" which are Small Shark Egg cases.

Sadly none found as there was very little Sea Weed on the beach, probably the wrong wind direction.

One positive thing was as there was no sea weed there was almost no litter or fishing line or net to pick up as it tends to get stuck in it.

Plenty of shells, all a lot bigger than those found on the beaches at Dawlish and Coryton and also found a few Queen Scallops towards the River Exe Estuary as well as large numbers of Razor Shells. Also quite a few Mussels on the Groynes

Plenty of sand washed away and wont be long before it breaks into the Golf course as there doesn't seem to be any action being taken to stop it?

Few bits of metal being unearthed as the sand disappears. Also empty metal stone baskets that could do with being taken away.

Lots of humans on the beach, all happy being able to get out for some fresh air, also a A Level Geography field trip, used to love them!

A few birds about, mainly Gulls, Cormorant, Oystercatchers and a couple of Rock Pipits.



29 October 2020

Walk on the Beach

Went for a walk on Coryton Cove, all the Sea Weed has gone, washed back out to see leaving a clean beach.

Plenty of Shells to see, especially on the far side of the beach, on the tide line, Common and Dog Whelk, Common and Slipper Limpet, Common Cockle, Razor Shell, Oyster Shell, Mussel, Painted Top Shells, Thick Trough Shell and Tower Shells.

Really enjoyable time out on the beach



28 October 2020

Cattle Egrets

Got a call from David B to say the Flock of Cattle Egrets which now numbered 44 was close to Cockwood Steps.

So off I went and parked up and found them with some cattle in a field next to "Eastdon Farm", fairly spread out feeding around the cattle. As well as the Egrets there was also Oystercatchers and Curlew whos numbers increased as they flew in from the River Exe as the tide was rising.

Big thank you to Dave



25 October 2020

Avocets

Went to Exminster Marshes and walked up from the Turf Pub and got some great views of Avocets sat on the water. After a few counts I made it 57 birds.

Wasn't sure if they were stood on the river Bed or swimming, great to see them in a tight group making it easier to get a shot.



23 October 2020

Dawlish Warren Beach

Spent some time on the Beach at Dawlish Warren today, nice day to be out and got there as the tide had turned and took the opportunity to do a Beach Clean while I was there, should have taken a bigger bag!!

There was so much stuff coming in the tide, some of it looked like it had been out in the ocean for years.

Plenty of Bottles, Cans, food packaging but most of all was fishing wire and net. The funniest thing was a brush head?

I wasn't the only one picking up rubbish and all bags were quickly filled but still leaving stuff on the beach. Interesting conversation with a lady on the beach who was also picking up that yesterday there was hardly anything on the beach but today you could see it out on the water as well as on the beach.

Also plenty of great shells, Urchins and what looks like a Dog Fish. A few birds about best being a couple of Sanderling on the shoreline.

Lot of storm damage with the sand dunes taking another hit with the very high tides over the weekend, wont be long before the sea reaches the golf course!

Lots of humans about and most happy soles except one, Mr Lee Collins, never met anybody who moans so much!!



21 October 2020

Fallow Deer at Powderham

Its "Rutting" season and the Fallow Deer Stags look stunning at Powderham.

Some are quite light in colour but this impressive Stag was quite dark, not seen any fights yet but keeping my eye out.

Sadly can be dangerous watching them, not from the stags but the stupid car drivers, apart from the speed, not looking where they are going! Morons!!!



19 October 2020

Beach clean

As I have said before, I walk the Dawlish and Coryton Cove Beaches as much as I can and try to pick any rubbish up that I can.

The picture on the left is from Sunday, found on the tide line. The picture on the right is from today and could have filled up 2 co-op bags!

I concentrated on the fishing line and rope, there was a black net in a ball rapped up in some sea weed, looked like that filament type net, lethal!

Lots of the usual stuff, I think the most common piece of plastic was parts of white plastic drinking cups.



17 October 2020

Around the Exe

Spent a bit of time this week around the River Exe and surrounding areas, Darts Farm, Goosemoor, Bowling Green, The River Clyst Viewing Platform, Goat Walk, Topsham, Starcross, The Golf course, River Kenn and Outfall, Powderham Estate, Powderham Church, walk between Powderham and Turf, Exminster Marshes, Cockwood Harbour, Cockwood Steps and Dawlish Warren.

Defiantly a feel of autumn with the cold wind and the leaves of trees turning yellow and brown. With numbers of Ducks, Geese and Waders up making it an interesting time to be out and about.

Starcross golf course has now shut to humans for the winter leaving free for the birds with Geese, Gulls and Curlew already taking advantage.

Lots of Corvids about, especially around cultivated farm land with Carrion Crow, Rook and Jackdaw making the most of this. Around Powderham several fly over Raven, Magpies everywhere and a couple of Jays at Exminster Marshes were good to see, I can never seem to get a Jay to sit long enough for a picture which is a shame as they are such stunning birds!

Marsh Harrier at a distance on Exminster Marshes, couple of hunting Kestrels, several Buzzards, great to watch a Buzzard trying to fight off some Carrion Crows who were trying to pinch his worms on a field behind Powderham church.

A Peregrine sat on the Pylons looking for dinner completed the list of Raptors on view.

Water Birds a plenty as you would expect around this area, been lucky with Egrets seeing Great White, Cattle and Little Egrets.

The Great White I found on the River Kenn, an ever increasing numbers of Cattle Egret, a single on Exminster and 31 in a field at the back of Starcross that seemed to be using the Water Trough in the field. Little Egrets spread around everywhere; I remember when they were seen as rare!

Grey Heron, Moorhen, Coot, Mute Swan, Black Swan, Canada Geese, Brent Geese, Cormorant, Kingfisher, Herring, Black-headed and Great-black Backed Gulls all seen.

On the Duck front, plenty of Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Shelduck seen. Unfortunately the Hide is closed due to people not obeying the rules so it was very difficult to see what other ducks were on the reserve.

Good variety of Waders with numbers starting to creep up, Avocet, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Bar -tailed and Black-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Knott, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Common Sandpiper all seen.

Around the hedges and fields Woodpigeon, Collard and Stock Dove, Pheasant, Starling, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Robin, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Cettis Warbler, Wheatear, Rock and Meadow Pipit, Wren and Stonechat.

Seen plenty of humans and all seem happy enough, good to see everybody!



14 October 2020

Dartmoor

Had a brilliant if not frustrating time on Dartmoor today. Early start to do a round trip in the car, stopping off several places for a walk and look around.

Started at Haytor, then Emsworthy, through Widecombe and up over Dunstone Down. Through Dockwell and past East and West Shallowford. Past Cordon Down and Riddon Ridge, over Bellever Bridge and follow the road past Bellever Forest to Postbridge. Then up to the Warren Inn area on the B3212. A good look around the open Moor before coming back down and turning off to go to Soussons. Then on to Challacombe Farm before going to Headland Warren and on to Challacombe Cross, turning back to Widecombe. Off to Hound Tor, following the road to Manaton, Bickaford and the back of Yarner before leaving the Moor.

Although its been a long day it was worth it, going this way gave me views of many habitats such as open moor, woods, hedges, open fields, farms and buildings. Although it was a sunny day there was a far amount of wind especially in the morning.

On the look out for Winter Thrushes which I saw quite a few, but all distant and constantly on the move, which was the frustrating thing about the day.

I saw lots of Thrushes, Song, Mistle, Fieldfare and Redwing. All in small groups 4 or 5, no big flocks. Single Ring Ouzel with some Mistle Thrushes.

Enjoyed watching, especially Carrion Crows in the wind, they played in the wind and as they came up the fields they reminded me of Shearwaters with the speed and grace of flight which not something you could normally say about a Carrion Crow!

Saw plenty of Raven, Jackdaws, Rook and Magpies. The only Raptors I saw were Buzzards, but a lot of them, 4 at one point together soaring on the wind.

While sat watching some open Moor, 4 Snipe flew over, which were the only Waders I saw today. A walk around Soussons connected me with some Crossbills, again at the tops of trees, only saw 3 but heard many more as they were quite vocal. Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Stonechat, Skylark, Nuthatch, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Collard and Stock Doves, Wood Pigeon, House Sparrow, Starling and Bullfinch.

Hardly anybody else about which made life easier if I wanted to stop on the road for a while, thoroughly enjoyable day!



12 October 2020

Dawlish Sea Front

Spent a little time around the Sea Front at Dawlish, you cant go on the Beach in front of the Train Station as they have started to do work here for the Sea Wall. But to the Right and Coryton Cove there is good access and very few people about today.

Plenty of Gulls especially Black-headed Gulls, but also Herring and Great-black Backed Gulls of all ages. The Break water also had several Turnstone but no Dunlin today. Cormorant fishing in front of the sea wall and plenty of Feral and Wood Pigeons about, Raven over head as well as Jackdaws, Carrion Crows and Magpie Present.

Best of all was at Coryton Cove, family group of Rock Pipits, 4 Juv plus 2 Adults was good to see, they have been nesting behind the toilets but not sure if they had an earlier brood?

Did a bit of a beech clean, I do belong to a local Beach Clean group and have a picker, Bag and gloves but didn't have them with me today, concentrated on picking up string, rope and things wildlife can get tangled up in and withing 15 minutes had quite a bit including a length of rope that had started to fall apart into several lethal bits.



12 October 2020

Around the Woods Again

Spent some time around various woods again this last weekend, Friday I visited Dawlish Warren to see if the Yellow Browed was still about, sadly it wasn't , but still saw some quality Birds around the wooded areas.

Also went on Dartmoor to Yarner and Soussons to see what was about as well as Holden and the wooded areas that are next to it such as Little Holden, Kenton Common and wooded areas that are next to roads going to Chudleigh and to the north of the Butterfly Walk.

Seen a few Crossbills but always flying over my head also Siskin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Great, Blue, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Chiffchaff, Cettis Warbler, Wren, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Collard Dove, Raven, Carrion Crow, Rook, Jackdaw and Magpie, Buzzard and Kestrel but still no Treecreeper seen.

Did see some Fallow Deer and they looked really dark almost Black, quite a few Grey Squirrels but no signs of any other Mammals other than the odd human!

The trees are starting to turn colour and their leaves are starting to drop, love this time of year!



08 October 2020

This last week

Not traveled very far this week keeping quite local, especially last weekend with the rough weather.

Some reports from around Devon showed very large numbers of House Martins trapped by the weather on the coast, Dawlish no exception with 2 to 500 birds around, especially over the brook and feeding over the Sea Weed on the beach at Coryton Cove, interestingly also along the railway track after a train had gone through, seen this before at Exminster with the Swifts after the Trains stirring up the flies which became a easy meal.

Plenty of Gulls on the beach with Black-headed, Herring and Great-black Backed all present, Turnstone and a couple of Dunlin seen close to the breakwater. Several Cormorant and a single Shag around the rocks with Rock Pipit, Wheatears also around the sea wall and beach huts.

Along the Brook apart from the House Martins there was a couple of Swallows, Grey Wagtails, Kingfisher further up close to Manor House. A friend Gary C got some great pics of a Dipper which I have never seen on the brook which was a great find. I also saw a Chiffchaff, plenty of House Sparrows, Starling, Blue and Great Tits, Feral pigeons and Collard Doves, not to mention all the Ducks,Gees and Swans on the Brook and grass areas.

Trip to Stover in Newton Abbot found Tufted, Pochard, Mallard, Mandarin, Mute Swan, Canada Geese and Great-crested Grebes , Coot and Moorhen on the water. Lots of smaller birds coming to food laid down by Photographers such as Nuthatch, Robin and Great Tits. Loads of humans about and all behaving themselves.

Bit of time sent around Exminster Marshes and the River Exe, I think Wader numbers are rising with Bar and Black-tailed Godwits, Knot, Dunlin, Red and Greenshank, Curlew all on show. Plenty of Gulls about especially around the fields were Farmers were cultivating the fields. Around the River Kenn and Exminster a few more Ducks about as well as Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, Buzzards and plenty of Crows of all descriptions.

Also notable was both Meadow and Rock Pipits just down from Turf by the wall as well as good numbers of Pied Wagtails, Goldfinch, Starling and House Sparrows. Plenty of Cormorants, Little Egrets and Grey Herons but no Cattle Egrets seen.

Seen plenty of humans about, good to see Patrick H and Dave B and chew the cud!



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