Friday, 9 February 2018

My Axe Photo Archives

For the first time in about three years I fired up my old external hard drive this evening. It was great to see some of the bird photos on there, in fact there were some I completely forgotten I'd taken!  All my photos back then were snapped with my good old Nikon Coolpix 4500 (which still works!) through my old Kowa telescope (which no longer works).

All the photos pre-date the birth of this blog, so most haven't been posted up here. Well let's change that. I invite you to re-live Axe history with me...

1w male Surf Scoter Beer, Jan '07
And again

This is one of the four Surf Scoters that have occurred on patch, found off Beer by Gav in Dec '06.  I'd forgotten just how drake-like it became, when it first turned up it was a proper juv-looking thing with only a hint of colour on the bill.

White-fronted Geese Colyford Marsh, Feb '06

This flock of White-fronted Geese that peaked at 15 birds in Feb '06 stayed with us for about a week. Being a goose-nut they were an incredible sight, will be surprised if we get a flock of this size ever again.

Night Heron Seaton Marshes, March '06
And again

Phil found this bird, and was part of the best spring that the patch has ever witnessed. Which also included three of these...

Alpine Swift Seaton, April '06

The three Alpine Swifts drew quite a crowd, as they spent the days feeding over Lower Bruckland Ponds, before returning to roost in Seaton every evening. James Mc found these beauts, with at least one of them staying around for two weeks. Spring '06 wasn't over yet though...

White Stork Seaton Marshes, April '06

Phil and James Mc found this bird, and I'll never forget the sight of it cruising over Seaton Fire Station dwarfing the masses of panicking Herring Gulls, before it dropped in on Seaton Marshes.

1s Bonaparte's Gull Axe Estuary, April '07
And again (left bird)

Somewhat surprisingly, this remains the only record of Bonarparte's Gull for the Axe Estuary. It was here for only one day, but showed for some time meaning most got to see it.

2w Ring-billed Gull Axe Estuary, Feb '07

This was so exciting for me, my first Ring-billed Gull on the Axe. This was a really small bird actually, most Ring-bills are obviously larger than Common Gulls - this one was smaller!

Leach's Petrel Seaton Marshes, Dec '06

This Leach's Petrel sadly died in care the following day. The bird had been rescued from a cat (from a house over a mile inland!).

Stone Curlew Seaton Marshes, April '07

There's been one more Stone Curlew on the Axe since this bird, amazingly in exactly the same place! Seeing this photo reminds me of two things, the shock of finding it, and the fact Karen Woolley and Ian Mc were both birding down in the Underhooken below Beer Head when they got the text. That's a lot of steps...

Temminck's Stint Colyford Marsh, Sep '07

This was the first Temminck's Stint for the Axe, found by Kev (Bun). It stayed with us for several weeks, and in that time never left Colyford Scrape!  Who'd have though our first Temminck's would be an autumn bird - spring records are far more frequent in the UK. Amazingly our second Temminck's was also an autumn bird (well more early winter really!) with our third being a more typical spring bird.

Audouin's Gull Seaton Marshes, August '07

Well I have nothing to stay about this one. Simply incredible. Just wished I managed some better photos!

Egyptian Geese Bridge Marsh, April '06

Sorry for lowering the tone, but these Egyptian Geese pleased Devon year-listers for many years! When there was just one left it became rather tame, feeding on bread with the Mallards down by the lower Axe Bridge...

Egyptian Goose - the last one standing!

Isn't it amazing how photos can bring memories back to life, memories that you'd think were buried so deep they'd be out of reach. This blog post has been a real joy to construct, I hope you've enjoyed it too.


  1. What a great post Steve! Thoroughly enjoyed that trip down Memory Lane :) Spring 2006... Hard to believe that was 12 years ago!

    1. Isn't it just. And basically, every spring since has been pants...

  2. Funnily enough that Stone Curlew photo makes me remember those steps too!!

  3. Like the pics Steve. Those 4500 were great little cameras & fantastic for macro work. Bit slow to startup and that tiny rear screen leaves something to be desired compared to modern stuff, but so much good about them. I bought a slide copier which fits mine & I still use!