Monday, 19 August 2013

STOP PRESS!!! Black Hole Marsh Sinks Under The Weight Of Wading Birds

Black Hole Marsh just gets better and better and better!

For some reason today most the wading birds have been feeding between the Island hide and platform, offering excellent views. Early this morning this area was also heaving with Black-headed Gulls, 24 Little Egrets, four Grey Herons and lots of Mallards and Teal. There must be some seriously good food on offer in this corner of the marsh at the moment!!

I've been there twice today, at dawn and again mid afternoon.  This morning with the exception of an increase in Teal numbers (58), it looked pretty much as it has done recently with singles of Wood Sand and Ruff. This afternoon though four juvenile Little Ringed Plovers have joined the mass of birds, these were showing exceptionally well and I'm sure will be well 'papped' later...

Four gorgeous juv Little Ringed Plovers

Green Sand on the left, Wood Sand on the right
The Wood Sand again, but with the Ruff in the background

The only wader I saw in the earlier visit but not the second was an interesting Ringed Plover. It was a juv, but slightly smaller (although doesn't look like that in the photos!) and notable darker than the others - so I guess a Tundra?  And no sadly it wasn't a Semi-palmated Plover.  Here's a couple of pics of it taken in VERY different lights...

Before sunrise!

In bright sun light

No sign of the Cuckoo today, but I saw it on both Thursday and Friday last week. On Thursday I watched it eating caterpillars on an island from the Tower hide for about half an hour, it was always distant though. On Friday it was much closer sat on the wires right in front of the Island hide. Sadly the sun was almost right behind it though!

Still the best Cuckoo photos I've ever taken on patch!

And to complete today's post, some Odonata excitement!  Just before my second visit to Black Hole Marsh I went to Seaton Marshes. Here I found seven male and one female Small Red-eyed Damselfly - my first away from Lower Bruckland Pond (Devon's first ever site for this species).  As usual, the only reason I saw/noticed the female was because... was attached to a male!


  1. Thanks Tom! It's gotta be the best place in the county right now to look at common and scarce wading birds. We just need a nice rarity - it will happen but hopefully sooner rather than later.

  2. It is amazing how much better BHM has got in the last month. Whether its the water levels, the salinity or just the nice summer, something has definitely changed for the better!