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After a large fall of migrant Thrushes reported all over the country I thought a quick look at the superb Langham Bottom might provide a sighting of a Ring Ouzel or two.

Alas, it was very quiet out there and the berry situation is really quite bad. Most of the black berries have well and truly gone over and the hawthorne bushes are without berries this year. 

Langham Bottom looking down to the pumping station

I saw about 5 species of birds during my 1 hour walk around this picturesque natural 'bowl'. Magpie, Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat and a single Blackbird was the only thrush I saw. Very disappointing.

female Kestrel taken at Langham Bottom


FEZ MARK II is still coming to the garden for food and taking seed from my hand and the garden feeder is getting much busier these days. 

Fez II is still alive and kicking despite a lot of shooting going on in the meadows down the valley

I see Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits as well as Goldfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Wood Pigeon and Pheasant.

Great Tit

Blue Tit

We found this dead Common Shrew on the garden footpath just after Dawn had cut the lawn!!


We ad visitors for the weekend, two of our grandchildren came down with Dawn's daughter Amy. We went to Weymouth on Saturday 22nd and walked around the edge of Radipole Lake and then along the beach for an hour or two. the Kids got soaked as they made mud pies in the sand.

Ava and Florrie, my new birding recruits

Birds on Radipole included: Tufted Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal and Shelduck. We heard Cetti's Warbler and saw Great Egret, Grey Heron, Mute Swans, Coots and Moorhens. A few Meds Gulls joined a host of Bl;ack-headed Gulls in the main car park.

On Monday 24th Florrie and I went to Hall Wall on the Somerset levels whilst Dawn took my wallet to Street shopping centre.

We spent 3 hours walking the main the track and then we walked across to the Avalon Hide. From the Tor Hide we watched many of the common ducks and Common Snipe. Florrie spotted a Marsh Harrier and took a liking to white Egrets that she had found in er bird book, so we looked for them.

Grey Heron taken by Florrie, my 8 year old grand-daughter

From VP2 (viewing point No.2) we searched for a Spotted Redshank and as it was the only wader on the scrape we found it easily. We did go on to see more Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwits and lots of Lapwings.

this bird was distant, so just a record shot of the Spotted Redshank.

We had been on the reserve for nearly two hours when the first Egret appeared!! Couldn't beleive how scarce they were, perhaps it was the high water levels that put them off. Anyway, we had great views of Great Egret and little views of Little Egret! (not good grammer there).

Great Egret taken by Florrie

Florrie at Viewing Point 2 looking at the Spotted Redshank

not so good photo of Common Snipe, one of Florrie's first pictures

I was surprised how Florrie's interest was maintained for 3 hours (she is just 8 years old) but she was keen to see everything and she was able to take photographs through the scope using my phone.


Dawn and I had a lovely day down at Topsham and took one of favourite walks from Dart's Farm (clyst St George) into Topsham visiting Bowling Green Marsh and The Goat Walk along the River Exe.

It was low tide when we got there and we saw very little around Dart's Farm and the River Clyst as we walked towards Topsham. From the hide at Bowling Green Marsh (without Telescope) we lsited quite a few species: six of the 7 common duck species: Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and Tufted Duck as well as Pintail, Shelduck and lots of Canada Geese. Wader species included: Greenshank., Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, a single Avocet, Common Snipe and a couple of Curlews.

the view from the hide at Bowling Green Marsh

The Goat Walk, Topsham. At low tide

From Goat Walk we viewed the huge expanse of mud-flats and saw hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits, with dozens of Ringed Plover and Dunlin, with Curlews, Shelduck and hundreds of gulls. We didn't see anymore Avocets (they must have been feeding further down the estuary). 

Black-tailed Godwit on the mud at Goat Walk - taken by Dawn

We ate a superb lunch in a local pub and then walked back to Dart's Farm. My birding time this morning came at a price!!! I now had to suffer a trip to IKEA with my wallet!! We ad already visited a furntiure shop in Topsham where dining chairs that Dawn liked were priced at £399 each.........ouch!! I was glas to get out there unscathed.

a craoet of Cyclamen in the woods next to Gaot Walk - taken by Dawn

looking down River at Topsham at low tide. - Taken by Dawn

IKEA sounded a much better option so I willingly went there and bought some chairs at £70 each, phew!! I don't which is worse....the garden centre or IKEA both now have thousands of my hard earned pounds!

Recent Local Walks around Stoford and Barwick

the tress along the lane outside our flats are looking very colourful right now.

Barwick House and gardens - I saw Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Mallards and not much else on the lake adjacent to the house