Monday, 27 April 2020

Seaton Wetlands

I consider myself extremely lucky that my daily exercise walk more often than not includes a lap of Seaton Wetlands (Black Hole Marsh, Stafford Marsh and Colyford Common). Living just a three minute walk from the entrance of Black Hole Marsh has never been more appreciated.

Although the aim of this post is summarise some of my highlights from the last couple of weeks, more than ever I am getting so much enjoyment from seeing the commonest species...

Male Reed Bunting

Sedge Warbler - there's at least five singing males on the reserve from what I have observed

Blackcap - good numbers present

Whilst I'm in the bushes and reeds, Reed Warblers are singing in excellent numbers. I counted 11 singing males on 18th April but more have arrived since.  The 18th was a good morning for warbler arrivals, being the only cloudy and damp morning that we've had so far this month (was the same morning I had a Willow Warbler singing from my back garden).  As well as the Reed Warbler count, I noted a singing Lesser Whitethroat (which is still with us today), a Common Whitethroat and four Willow Warblers. Wheatears have been really sparse on the marshes this spring with just the occasional one or two noted, I think they are all heading for higher ground thanks to the sun we've enjoyed.

Wading bird passage has been ticking over, no big arrivals but often something different most days.  Dunlin numbers have been varying between one and seven birds, and two Ringed Plovers keep popping up every now and then - whether they've been the same two all along who knows!?  A lone Knot on Black Hole on 24th was one a pair that had been hanging around a few days, there was a nice but distant summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit on 17th, and Whimbrel have been trickling through for about ten days now.  I have already posted a photo of the two Avocets that Phil found yesterday, but today Phil discovered this rather lovely, and fairly late male Little Ringed Plover...

Typical LRP pose

Can't beat a spring LRP


I know it seems most of my recent posts have included an Osprey - but I'm afraid this one does too!  I was treated to the most amazing views of one hovering right above my head on 17th, before it flew off west over town.  It virtually looked down into my eyes - have been really spoilt rotten for this species this spring.

My recent visits have also shown that we still have at least two black rabbits with us.  For some reason they seem to sporadically appear down here, ever since I have been birding here at least...

Spot the difference!

Bit of a cutey really!

Back at home, the Lesser Whitethroat mentioned above was singing from a green just down the road from my place as I walked back from the marshes today.  I scooped Harry up, legged it home and could hear it from my back garden - taking my lockdown house list up to 82.  The Grasshopper Warbler still reeling well tonight.

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