24 April 2016

Devon weekend highlights: 23rd - 24th April

Rachel and I spent the weekend visiting our good friends Jaffa and Helen in Budleigh Salterton in south-east Devon. Walked the coast path through the Otter Estuary, across White Bridge and eastwards around Otterton Point on Saturday, and on Sunday we walked northwards along the River Otter from Otterton Mill. No sign of the European Otters on Saturday evening that have been showing very well along the River Otter near Otterton Mill over the last month, and very little in terms of bird migration noted over the weekend either, but a few records made it into the notebook.

23rd: 1m Northern Wheatear (Otterton Point), 1H Common Sandpiper (River Otter at Otterton Mill), 1-2 Kingfisher (River Otter), 1 Cetti's Warbler (showed well by White Bridge - take note Staines Moor birds), and 2 Barn Swallow (White Bridge). Also, 1f Black Oil Beetle Meloe proscarabaeus found on Otterton Point and 1 Stoat Mustela erminea seen briefly from the car near Otterton (at the junction of Frogmore Road and Fore Street).

24th: 3 House Martin, 6 Sand Martin and 3 Barn Swallow (all near Otterton), and 1m Black Oil Beetle Meloe proscarabaeus and 2 Bloody-noded Beetle Timarcha tenebricosa along footpath beside the River Otter just north of Otterton.

Female Black Oil Beetle Meloe proscarabaeus, Otterton Point, 23 April 2016

Male Black Oil Beetle Meloe proscarabaeus, River Otter near Otterton, 24 April 2016

Bloody-nosed Beetle Timarcha tenebricosa, River Otter just north of Otterton, 24 April 2014

All photos and the (shakey) video above taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Good guides to oil beetle identification can be found on John Walter's website and also from Buglife. Take part in the Buglife survey here.

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