Meadow Brown - mating pair
Grass Veneer Sp.
Sunday 4th September and we had a walk along the coastpath at Thurlestone on a overcast and breezey but warm day. The maintenance work at South Huish Marsh has been completed and the pools were nicely filled from the recent rain but they were also totally waderless. It was also good to see the footpath has been moved and no longer weaves around the hedge of the grassy field where the cliff collapsed a few years ago and now provides a much more easier and scenic path for walkers.
The field by the car park overlooking the marsh held the most interest with 2 wheatears and around 10 yellow wagtails feeding with pied/alba wagtails, linnets, starlings and meadow pipits. The yellow wagtails were very nervous and flighty and difficult to keep track off as they regularly flew around and disappeared amongst the tufty grass but I reckon there were at least 10 birds with 3 seen on the ground and 3 in the air at one point. A whitethroat, a chiffchaff, stonechats and a whinchat were also seen feeding along the barbed wire fence of a sheltered field edge.
Yellow Wagtail with Starlings - record shot
Yellow Wagtail - record shot
Whinchat - record shot
I headed off to the viewing platform to look for the osprey but the only bird on show at the high tide was a wheatear on the garden wall of Riversmeet House. I carried on to the Goatwalk and a brief scan found the osprey low over the water near Turf Locks, it vigourously shook itself in mid air before gaining height as it carried off a large fish it had just caught and which I had just missed seeing. It continued to gain height as it arched around before dropping down into trees at Turf and out of sight.
Black Tailed Godwits off The Goatwalk
After a spot of lunch in Topsham I headed down to the recreation ground to look for yellow legged gulls with a juvenile having been seen there the previous day but I was out of luck (see www.2birdtheory.blogspot.co.uk for some great photos). While torturing myself scanning through variously aged herring, great black backed, lesser black backed and black headed gulls I found a winter plumaged Mediterranean gull, a kingfisher, a cormorant catching small eels, 2 flyover yellow wagtails and a common sandpiper preening on the pebbley shore. It was soon time to head off home on the train but it had been another Exe-cellent day out at Topsham and another 4 sandpiper day.
Mediterranean Gull with Black Headed Gulls
Gulls at Topsham Rec.
That night I had the moth box out in the backyard again and in the morning I had a large ranunculus at last along with over 40 large yellow underwings, a copper underwing, a male four spotted footman and a willow beauty amongst others. Lots of wasps again but this time I didn't get stung!
Four Spotted Footman - male