Friday, April 6, 2012

Devon again

With Purple Heron and Little Bunting about, was tempted back down to Devon again. First stop Budleigh Salterton. Eventually found white bridge after realising that it was the name of the bridge and not the colour! It was all in vain anyway as the Heron was proving very elusive. It had been seen once briefly in over 3 hours and there were plenty of people looking, so gave it 20 minutes before deciding there will be other easier Purple Herons.
On the way south stopped off at Yarner Wood. The pond by the car park held a couple of pairs of Mandarin, looks like there could be more on the way.

Also this very smart Wood Duck which later made it onto the pagers for some reason

Male Pied Fly already holding territory and inspecting nest boxes. Apparently the first one in this year was 2nd April. There was also a female about.

Stopped off in the middle of Dartmoor somewhere for some lunch and were soon checked out by the local Meadow Pipit

Next stop Slapton. Always looks like there could be something interesting at this place. There had been a pair of Garganey for the past few days but apparently hadnt been seen today. Not surprising given the amount of holidaymakers about.

Took a walk alongside the lake and almost immediately heard a Garganey calling, which seemed a bit odd for the time of day. The calls continued and eventually the drake appeared from behind the reeds. It then kept flying around whilst still calling, presumably it was missing its mate

Although the Little Bunting hadnt been seen for 8 hours since appearing in the morning, I had noticed that it was appearing regularly early mornings so thought I would go and have a look at the end of the day. Got there about 18.15 and immediately heard it calling. Then met two blokes who had been watching it for the past 20 minutes. It was still a bit elusive but hung around till dusk. I wont mention who the Langton Matravers birder was that drove down there arriving at 9.00 missing it by 30 mins then leaving at 17.00 hrs, 30 mins before it re-appeared. I told you I would publish this before May Steve!

Stopped overnight near the London Borough of Salcombe. Couldnt actually get into the village as the roads were blocked with Porsche Cayennes and the like.

It was a bit of an amble back north with nothing outstanding to go for. Had a look in at Berry Head, again for that Alpine Swift which should be turning up somewhere by now. Did see this Porpoise though. And another seal

Lighthouse Lite. You cant really see the scale here, but it is dinky

Magpie actually a year tick (photographic) for those that may have forgot!

Got really lucky again when the next 'very elusive' bird popped into view. This bird had been apparently working the ditches all day but only bits of it were seen. Again a late afternoon visit paid off as it came out to have a preen

Great Spot in garden next day. List up to 180 now.