Monday, 20 April 2009

3rd-17th April. South Devon

View from the cottage (Slapton Ley just visible on left)

Two weeks welcome break in South Devon, missing all those new arrivals in Kent, but great location picking up a few species rare to Kent. I stayed in Torcross overlooking Start Bay and Slapton Ley and didn't wander more than 10 miles.

Birds (highlights): Cirl Buntings, Cattle Egrets (x4 Kingsbridge Estuary), Chiffchaffs, Common Buzzards, Cuckoo, Peregrines, Ravens, Grasshopper, Reed and Willow Warblers, Tree and Rock Pipits, Wheater (only 1 in 2 weeks!), Razorbills, Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Sandwich Terns, Scaup, Common Scoter, Swallows, Sand Martins, House Martins, Kittiwakes. Dipped on Iceland Gull, Penduline Tit (I turned up at Paignton the day after it left having been there for 3 months!) and Arctic Skua (seen by my wife pirating the Terns just off the beach).

One of many Cirl Buntings holding territory at East Prawle.

Butterflies: Painted Lady, Small Copper (very early?), Small White, Orange Tip, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Holly Blue.

First (and only) Wheatear of the year.

Others: Common seals, Bottle-nosed dolphins (pod of 10 close into Start Point), Adder, Lesser-horseshoe and Pipistrelle Bats (in the grounds of the cottage).

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