Friday, 17 March 2017


Delighted to finally see my first Wheatear of the year today, a lovely male in the fields south of Seaton Marshes just after midday.  A pretty average date for my first, but it feels late as they have been turning up along the south coast for a good week or so.  Sadly no pics as it remained distant, but this didn't limit the joy watching it gave me. Always such a turning point in the birding year.

This was my second PWC year tick of the day, thanks to a Greylag Goose that has spent the day in the valley.  March is by far our peak month for Greylags here, so it's another semi-expected but much appreciated early spring year tick...

Spot the odd one out!

Other bits and bobs from me today include 15 Sand Martins over Colyford Marsh, a second-summer Mediterranean Gull with 65+ Common Gulls on the Estuary at dusk and at least six Cattle Egrets again in the egret roost at Seaton Marshes. 

I did say I would post details here about the colour-ringed Avocet on Black Hole Marsh when I heard back from the BTO, and I have heard back. Sadly since its initial ringing as a chick on 23/6/16 at Greenabella Marsh, Graythorpe, Hartlepool, it's not been re-sighted. Well until it dropped in at Black Hole Marsh on Saturday morning!

Whilst on the subject of colour-rings, a Crane that was seen briefly on Colyford Marsh on 7/3/17 by good friend of mine Jean, looks like it was probably the same Crane that was at Titchfield Haven in Hampshire five days earlier.  Named 'Excalibird' I believe. Interesting name...


  1. Hi Steve, interesting comment re the Common Crane - presumably accounts for the Exminster record on the same day early pm ? One also flew over Bovington Camp at 10am the same morning

    1. Hi Mark, it was here at 11:40 but didn't stop long apparently. Could all be the same bird by the sounds of it.