April 2006

There was a whiskered tern at Chew Valley Lake on 28th.

A trip to Dorset. At Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch we saw were about 7 whimbrel, some brent geese (apparently pale-bellieds were present), 2 wheatears, and some sandwich terns. We travelled on to Portand Bill a sea watch produced a black-throated diver, fulmar, gannets, 7 common scoter, a bonxie, kittiwake, guillemots, and at least one razorbill. Around the observatory we saw 2 redstart, 20+ wheatear, 4 whitethroat, many willow warblers and a few chiffchaff (where are all the chiffchaffs this year?), and 2 blackcaps. A peregrine flew overhead. At Ferrybridge there were 28 little terns. Finally we visted a site between Rodden and Abbotsbury to see a first summer Woodchat shrike.

Woodchat shrike

Kingfishers are nest building at South Finger, Slimbridge now, and give good views from the hides there. This is the female, with a red lower mandible. Two avocets flew into South Lake on the afternoon of the 18th.



Red kite, ring-necked ducks, female scaup, hobby, and common tern at Chew on 16th. The female greater scaup was close to the hide in Stratford Bay at Chew on 14th. The bottom photo shows the black 'nail' restricted to the end of the bill.



Tufted duck and shelduck were displaying outside the hide.

tufted duck


and a pike drifted in the shallow water. There was a male pied flycatcher at Blagdon Lake.


Canada geese in evening light - Backwell Lake.

Canade geese

There were some exciting birds in Devon in early April. There was an adult spoonbill at Bowling Green Marsh, Topsham.




Three ALPINE SWIFTS have been roosting in Seaton for over a week. They often feed over ponds near Colyford. Click on the picture below to see more.

Alpine swifts

Two mute swans make a heart shape with their necks at Catcott Heath.

mute swans

These ruddy ducks and the jackdaw were photographed at Chew.

ruddy ducks


The five Barrow black-necked grebes are now moulting into summer plumage. See more by clicking on the image below.They are now into their 4th month on the reservoir, and winter plumage shots can be found here. Photographs taken on April 1st. Willow warbler singing at Barrow, and first-winter little gull and 2 house martins at Chew.

black-necked grebes