NB: The following is reproduced by kind permission of Axe Estuary Birds. Full credit goes to the team that produces the newsletter (see the bottom of the post for specific details). Photographs are credited throughout the text although we are working to preserve the original layout wherever possible in the future.
Axe Estuary Birds No 154 April 15th 2011
Karen Woolley was out in all weathers and spotted this Grey Plover on the Estuary on 3rd April, and an Iceland Gull on the same day at the southernmost end of Seaton Marshes.
Visitors to the Seaton Caravan Park have reported a Tawny Owl landing on the roof of their caravan before flying down towards the reserve, and wonderful sightings of a Cuckoo over Aylesbeare Common on the 11th.
Steve Waite writes “On Black Hole Marsh, a Little Ringed Plover (found by Ian Mc earlier in the day) showed on a spit from the hide. The only other summer migrants we noted were 20 Sand Martins and a Swallow. From Colyford Common hide, a Redhead Goosander on the river was a bit of a surprise – we couldn’t enjoy it for long though as it soon swam up river and out of sight.”
John and Jan Johnson think they might have seen an Ortolan Bunting at Seaton Marshes on April 10th. Did anyone else see it?
Sue Smith’s camera has been in action again, and she took these two pictures of Blackcaps at Seaton Marshes. There were also lots of Linnets on the cycle path.
At Colyford Common on Monday there was a Cetti’s Warbler singing close to the hide – worth a mention as they seem to have been scarce after the hard winter.
Bob Lugg writes “I’ve just looked out of the window and was surprised to see “my” pair of Robins feeding at least two youngsters who were hopping about on the patio beneath the feeders. Has anybody else reported seeing youngsters in their gardens I wonder?”
And Moira Anderson says “Went with the family to black Hole Marsh and the new Field Centre Hide today (April 3rd ) and saw first a few Sand Martins, then a few Swallows followed by dozens and dozens appearing in the sky from the coast -? just arrived late afternoon. Saw 3 female Wheatears too amongst other things seen. The granddaughters, 7 and 5 have now got the hang of binoculars and telescopes and love to see the birds. A man and about 10 year old son came in with cameras and it was lovely to see he also was learning his birds through photography. So it’s great to see the area being used by young and old.”
Sue and Simon Wakely have three next boxes occupied in their garden, and here is a lovely picture of one of the occupants, complete with nesting material.
News from The Reserves
The Events Guide for 2011 is now available and is full of events for all the family throughout the year. The popular Birds for Beginners/ Meet the Birds session take on a new look with sessions every Thursday from 10.00 am to 12.00 Noon, mainly at Black Hole Marsh, but with four at Seaton Marshes in September and October. Other events include Birds from the Tram, Bluebell Day at Holyford Woods, Bushcraft, Bird Ringing and lots more. Please ring EDDC Country Side, 01395 517557 or 0781 4477 422 for your copy of this very complete and beautifully produced guide guide, and you will also be reminded of the events in this newsletter.
Ringing The session on the 9th resulted in 14 birds caught including Dunnock (1), Greenfinch 2, Blackbird (1), Blackcap 4, Blue Tit (1), Wren 2 (1), Robin (1), Goldfinch 1, Song Thrush 1.
Next weekend commencing at 1530hrs on Friday 15th and finishing 1300hrs on Sunday is the first of our weekend sessions. On Saturday and Sunday these start at 0600hrs to take advantage of the early movement of birds, hopefully many migrants. They will finish around noon. The Saturday is also a public demonstration day.
Neil Croton writes “The group really appreciates getting colour sightings of birds on the estuary.
All our birds ( AERG ) have been ringed on the right with yellow red yellow and 3 colour rings on the left to identify individual birds.”
Please send details of any sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Marjorie Waters sent this, which she got from a friend who was holidaying in Rwanda. “And we met the Nightjars. The same ones who come here: At night, they like to sit in the dust in the middle of the dirt tracks in Akagera Game Park. Sadly this does make them very vulnerable to fast moving 4×4’s setting off to do a night safari. We were camping on our own, and drove slowly, so we had lots of time to observe them in the car headlights.”
Travis Davison found this Bee-fly in his conservatory in Colyford. I have only seen one before. They look more like a bee than a fly, which may be why they
are so called, but the larvae eat honey and nectar. Photo David Walters.
Apologies to John Stentiford for getting his name wrong in the last news letter. He tells me he has several species of bird nesting in his garden, including Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Dunnock. It would be interesting to hear what other readers have in their garden.
Moths and Butterflies
Steve Waite is setting his traps again, and sends this; “Before I write about my two moth catches, butterflies are out in force now. Over the last few days I’ve seen my first Comma, Brimstone and Orange-tips, as well as plenty of these – Small Tortoiseshell.
Ok, it’s time to clean up the moths! Last Friday night (1st April) I caught 30 moths of 11 species. No new species for this year, but several new for the year:
1 V-Pug, 1 Streamer, 2 Oak Beauty, 1 Dotted Border, 1 Early Thorn,
16 Common Quaker, 1 Twin-spotted Quaker, 2 Small Quaker, 2 Hebrew
Character, 2 Clouded Drab, 1 Early Grey.”
Saturday April 16 Bird Ringing Field Studies Base, BHM from 8 a.m. Bacon Butties and Tea and Coffee
Tuesday April 19 Mammals of the Field Studies Base, BHM. Drop in anytime between 10 a.m. and
Marshes 4 p.m.
Saturday April 30 Bluebell Day Holyford Woods – all day. Free parking at Colyton Grammar School, and
a free shuttle bus from 9.30 a.m. until 4.30 p.m. Refreshments and craft
For more information on any of the above events ring Countryside Service on 01395 517557
This twice-monthly email newsletter is freely available to anyone who would like it, as is a periodic one about the activities of the East Devon Local Group of the Devon Wildlife Trust. Just send me an email with Axe Estuary Birds and/or East Devon DWT in the subject line. Also, for those without a computer, I will send a copy by post if you would like to send me some stamps.
Thanks to those who keep me informed. Please continue to tell me of any unusual, interesting or amusing sightings, and what is about locally, and send any photos you would like to share.
Mike and David. (and many others!) email@example.com. tel. 01297 552616 Mobile 0779 1541 744.