Tuesday 11 June 2024

East Devon and West Sussex (01-11 June)

Saturday 01 June. Megan and I drove to Budleigh Salterton where we'd booked a cottage. We saw 5 adult Mediteranean Gulls over the A27 at Tangmere and then another 7 by Langstone Harbour. We stopped at Charmouth and walked east along the coast and back for an hour or so seeing Raven, 5 House Martins and a pair of Stonechats

Sunday 02 June. We walked along the South West Coast Path to a very busy Exmouth and returned on the bus. Two Swifts, Fulmar, Buzzard, 2 Swallows and 8 House Martins seen.

pale Buzzard along the South West Coast Path
west along the South West Coast Path to Exmouth
looking east to Budleigh Salterton

Monday 03 June. We walked around the estuary at Budleigh Salterton before visiting Exeter by bus (the changes in Exmouth there and back not being as seamless as we'd expected). Nothing in Exeter, 10 Shelduck, 2 Swifts, Shag, 2 Swallows, 2 House MartinsMeadow Pipit and Greenfinch at Budleigh Salterton.

Budleigh Salterton beach
Megan at Exeter Cathedral
back at Budleigh Salterton beach

Tuesday 04 JuneWe walked along the South West Coast Path to Sidmouth and returned on the bus. I'd hoped to see Cirl Bunting on this section of the coast but none were obvious. Best seen were Red-legged Partridge, a colour-ringed Great Black-backed Gull, Fulmar, Shag, 4 Stonechats and a Brown Hare.

looking back at Budleigh Salterton 
first distant views of Sidmouth
approaching Ladram Bay, Sidmouth a bit clearer
Peak Hill
South Devon coast barely imaginable on the far horizon
dropping down into Sidmouth
colour-ringed Great Black-backed Gull on the beach at Sidmouth. It was ringed as a chick on Skokholm in June 2020, was seen there April-September 2023 and on the nearby Gann Estuary in October 2023. This is the first time it has been reported away from Pembroke

Wednesday 05 June. We drove back to home and late afternoon I went to Mile Oak where the Cirl Bunting appeared soon after I arrived, having been missing for almost six hours! 

Cirl Bunting at Mile Oak, my first in Sussex since March 1978!

Thursday 06 June. My Steepdown Corn Bunting survey produced 44 birds (33 singing males), about on par with 2014.Also seen were 2 Grey Partridges, 3 Stock Doves, Swift, Kestrel, 23 Skylarks, 15 Whitethroats, 5 Stonechats, Meadow Pipit and 8 each of Linnet and Goldfinch.

Corn Buntings around Steepdown

Stonechat at Steepdown
Whitethroat at Steepdown

Friday 07 June. Two male Teal in the Houseboat Channel and a Swift over Middle Road.

Sunday 09 June. Mile Oak-Perching Hill-Truleigh Hill-Thundersbarrow circuit: 17 Swifts, 3 Red Kites, 3 Buzzards, 2 Ravens, 12 Skylarks, 4 Swallows, 7 Whitethroats, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, 12 Corn Buntings2 male Yellowhammers and the male Cirl Bunting. Nice to see Ian B & Gary H at the latter.

Cirl Bunting still at Mile Oak

Corn Bunting on Edburton Hill

Bee Orchid by the South Downs Way

Monday 10 June. Adur with Megan: Oystercatcher, 6 Little Egrets, Skylark and Whitethroat.

Tuesday 11 June. Dacres Gardens-Monarch's Way-Thundersbarrow-Happy Valley: Grey Partridge heard, groups of Swifts totalling 108 N, 2 Stock Doves, a big juvenile female Sparrowhawk, 3 Buzzards, a Hobby catching a large high flying insect (dragonfly?), 400+ Rooks, 26 Skylarks, 10 Whitethroats, 9 Swallows, Meadow Pipit heard, 11 Linnets and 14 Corn Buntings.

Monarch's Way at Beeding Hill

Swift over the Monarch's Way
Corn Buntings along the Monarch's Way

Corn Bunting at Mossy Bottom

Peacock near Southwick Hill

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