Friday, 5 March 2010

Devon At Its Best

What a stunning day! This morning was just beautiful, a hard frost, a slight chill in the air, no wind and a cloud-less sky with the sun shining bright.... certianly one of those 'lucky to be alive' days.

Had to go over to Exeter this morning, to carry out a monthly Cirl Bunting survey...which is a bit of a farce as I've never seen a single Cirl Bunting at the site in the two years I've been doing it! I went to Exeter via a quick drive along the Axe, the frost making the place look even more beautiful than it already looks...

Looking north from Coronation Corner

From the farm gate

So I headed off to Exeter, and arrived on site at 8am. At 8:01 I opened my car door, with Chris Moyles still blasting out of my car radio.....bloody hell.....Cirl Bunting!!! Literally in the bushes right above where I park my car was a stunning male Cirl Bunting singing its heart out!!!

WOW! This is the first Cirl Bunting I've seen for YEARS!

The third photo is a snapshot from a video clip, a longer clip than the one below. Sorry about the ending!!!

He stayed here singing for a few minutes before flying off and I didn't see him again.

Otherwise there was just the usual fare on show, though the frost just made me want to photograph everything I saw! So I did...


And I just had to snap these...

Ummm... I know up to four, that's a boy.... but what's thirteen???

Even the city of Exeter looked nice this morning...

At this distance it did anyway!!! :-)

Exeter Cathedral on full zoom from the same spot as the photo taken above...impressive!

I made a couple of small detours during the drive home to Seaton, the first one being a quick stop here...

I've not been here for a while!

I'm pleased to report three Dartford Warblers (two males and a female) just inside the entrance gate to the reserve on the left hand side. They were too intent on chasing each other around, and only sang from deep inside the gorse, so the best I got was this...

They were very camera shy and VERY quick!!!

After Aylesbeare I popped into Jacob's Ladder, Sidmouth. I could see at least five Purple Sandpipers, but they were very distant, sleeping on the right hand breakwater. The view towards Ladram Bay was STUNNING...

A view fit for a postcard!

And that sums up my VERY enjoyable morning. I reckon this afternoon may well produce our first Wheatear of the spring, be a good day to cross the channel today. Pity I'll be in work, but it's okay cuz I'll be smiling for quite a while after this morning....


  1. Great pics Steve! Let us know next time you're coming to the big city ;-)

  2. Thanks Tom! I will indeed mate, will be coming over soon for def :-)

  3. Great stuff. Aylesbeare Common is one of my favourite places down your way - must make the effort to visit this year whilst staying with the inlaws. I've also not seen Cirl Bunting for years. I used to go to Prawle every year, but I've also seen them just outside of Exminster - not since Jan 2000 though on the way back from the Sora at Stover.

  4. Hey Skev! Aylesbeare can be brilliant, it's great for drags and butts too, but sometimes it can be very bleak and very life-less up there!!! I reckon the best Cirl site around (in the winter anyway) is Broadsands carpark in Torbay, seed is put out for them. East of the River Exe though Cirls are very rare - which is why I was so extactic about mine yesterday!!!