Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Week That Spring Sprung

It doesn't really feel right mentioning spring when there's such a cold wind blowing outside - but clearly the birds think spring is here. It's always so exciting seeing the pioneers of the spring migration, heralding the end of winter (and this winter has been especially quiet one for birding here!).

A male White Wagtail on Bridge Marsh on Tuesday was the first summer migrant for me, although not a full species the adult males in spring always looks so striking and are a real treat to see.  Also on Tuesday (and on other days this week) up to three Med Gulls have been feeding with Black-headed Gulls on the field next to our house, a first-winter, second-summer and adult summer.

Didn't really see anything of note on Wednesday, except for a migrant Redwing that dropped in to the trees opposite our house. But Thursday was the main day for me, with an early morning look at Lower Bruckland Ponds showing my first three Sand Martins of 2015 feeding - welcome back chaps!  A wander along Seaton Beach and around the town showed a female-type Black Redstart which was presumably a passing migrant, and then my first Wheatear of the year, a stunning male too!

Wheatears winter in Africa, and during their migration pass through stunning locations such as the Sahara desert, Atlas mountain range and the gorgeous Mediterranean coast.  Sadly this one decided to make land fall in England, here...

Yes they are building houses on sand - but that's another matter!

It's just about viewable in this pic, not quite the rolling sand hills of the Sahara there!

Friday it was the tern of Sandwich Tern to be added to my 2015 list (not that I'm keeping one!) with one on the Estuary late morning.  It was a lovely smooth summer plumaged beast too, not a white-flecked winter plumage potential over wintering looking one.

And that's that.  Oh, except that I feel I should inform all of the Devon-departure of patch birder Gav. At the end of last week he upped sticks and moved to Dorset, although he has threatened a return if a decent gull shows up on the Axe.  All the best in your new home Gav and see you soon.


  1. I was out by the Wharfe at Bolton Abbey yesterday looking for sand martin. Didn't see any but great to know they're on their way!

  2. They certainly are! Even some Swallows been reported over the last few days as well...