Book cover for Birds of the Lower Axe Valley

Local naturalist and wildlife author, Michael Tyler, will be signing copies of his latest book at the Reedbase, Seaton Wetlands, from 11am – 1pm on Friday 16th December.

As well as meeting Michael, visitors will be able to join free guided walks - one at 11am and one at 12 noon from the Reedbase. Ranger James will take people for a short amble, visiting bird hides to view winter visitors. Hundreds of birds flock to Seaton Wetlands in the winter to feed and rest before heading back to their breeding grounds in the spring.

Produced in partnership with East Devon District Council (EDDC), Michael’s latest book covers the birds of the Lower Axe Valley, including at award-winning Seaton Wetlands.  The book covers a geological area extending from Branscombe to the undercliff, north along the river valley to the Dorset/Somerset border. It is a relatively small area but the book reveals how surprisingly packed with birdlife it is.

Cllr Geoff Jung, EDDC’s portfolio holder for coast, country and environment, said:

We’ve known for many years how good the development of Seaton Wetlands has been for birds in the Axe valley and how important that valley is as a site for birds and birdwatching - but to now have this thoroughly-researched volume to prove this, is hugely gratifying. I am pleased that Mike has brought his expertise to focus on this in his book and it will be an important reference for future conservation work for years to come.

Michael Tyler, author of the book, said:

After ringing and studying birds on the Wetlands since 2002 and during the major developments during the last twenty years, it has been a pleasure to put ‘pen to paper’. The phenomenal increase in the number of birds and species made researching and writing the book most enjoyable.  I hope the book will be of interest to local people and birdwatchers who are proud of the local environment and its birdlife, as well as, the historical ornithological information going back more than two centuries.

Of all the books written about birds recorded in Devon, this is the first for the Lower Axe Valley. With better public access on the west side of the Axe Estuary from Seaton Road and the cemetery car park, birdwatching has increased in popularity and more species have been sighted for the first time. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded and referred to in the book. The status of each species is listed, together with colour photographs and migration details of birds ringed or recovered in the area.

After careful research of nineteenth century literature, the author gleaned considerable information on the status of the local birdlife especially along the River Axe and hinterland, which had not been published including personal observations of ornithologists present during the early twentieth century. References have also been made to the latest Devon Atlas 2007-2013 as well as other nesting data.

The hardback book is £15 can be purchased from the author who lives in Kilmington and the Lookout at Seaton Wetlands during office hours.

Michael Tyler has written several books and articles on natural history, including: “The Birds of Devon” a complete avifauna of Devon; and award winning “British Oaks - A Concise Guide”.