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Lesser and Greater Scaup ?
seen on temporary ake on Northam burrows about 12 noon today.
Thought to be lesser Scaup on the right and Greater Scaup on the left
Very flooded marshes this morning produced 4 different marsh harriers. Two males – one possibly 2/3cy and one less well marked. Two dark juvenile types – one of which was on Powderham. Also the barnacle goose.
Bowling Green Marsh
An hour’s viewing this afternoon produced 1 Pochard, 5+ Tufted, 10 Greylags, 20+ Gadwall, 100+ Pintail, 400+ Avocets, 40 Redshanks, 25 Lapwings, 8 Dunlin, and 1 each of Grey Plover, Snipe and Sparrowhawk.
Back in Exeter, two Blackcaps separately come to roost in the garden around four-thirty, giving what Collins gives as the “schreh” call, but to me is a harsher, dismissive “schneer” which I only hear at this time. The usual wintering Water Rails and Stonechats are in the Trews Weir flood channel.
Tarka path around the Pottington area
Yesterday lunchtime while walking along the Tarka path from Barnstaple to Ashford I spotted – dozens of Lapwing, Dunlin a few Black-tailed Godwit, two Grey Plover and numerous Redwing.
Ilfracombe Pier. Cheyne rocks. Cattle Egret on the rocks behind Lantern hill a first for me from Combe.
Iceland Gull, 1st winter off the outer harbour showed up as it was getting dark then flew off toward Haggington gull roost.
2 Red-throated and 2 Great Northern Divers one of which seems present most days now. 4 Purple Sandpipers and male Black Redstart behind the Landmark and on the Pier.
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
5 Lesser Scaup 3m 2f, 32 Goosander 9m 23f, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Marsh Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Tufted Duck 1m 1f, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Great Crested Grebe.
Upper Tamar Lake.
2 Willow Tit, 1 MarshTit.
Cholwichtown Pit, Dartmoor
Woodcock, female Goldeneye, 3 Marsh Tit, 2 Teal, 6 Tufted Duck and 5 Little Grebe.
As I crossed the field to the reserve this morning the Redshank flew about and landed on a puddle in the middle of the track! In the reserve, fewer Finches than of late, but a ringed Chiffchaff and lots of Long-tailed Tits were busy. Along the South side of the reserve a female Marsh Harrier flew out of the reserve, while along the East side a male Sparrowhawk flew in! The Grey Wagtail that has been around for a few days now was again over the SWW building. A large Thrush atop a tree resolved into a fine Mistle Thrush – a very rare visitor here. On the scrape later on, the Redshank and a Greenshank! 33 Species recorded.
Fremington to Barnstaple along Tarka Trail Tuesday 5th December
2 Glossy Ibis; Greenshank; Redshank; 2 Snipe; Little Egret;Cattle Egret; Great White Egret; Black-Tailed Godwit; possible Grey Plover; Teal; Curlew; Grey Heron and Redwing
Plym Estuary & Saltram
A Great Crested Grebe new in and the Great Northern Diver still around plus 2 drake Teal (1 on the duck pond). Also, 5 Little Grebes, 5+ Goosanders (3+ redheads & 2 drakes), 3 Jack Snipe, 16 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Turnstone, 6 Greenshanks, 2+ Green Woodpeckers, 25 Siskins & 4 Roe Deer.
Clennon Lakes – Paignton
Hume’s Warbler showing and calling regularly around mostly path side willows beside middle Lake.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning (07:15)
5 Lesser Scaup 3m 2f, 1f Tufted Duck, 26 Goosander 9m 17f, 2 Grey Heron.
The Skern high tide today
The highlight was the huge flock, estimated 2,000, of Golden Plover which got airborne a couple of times and gave amazing displays overhead. We found a resting flock of 45 Grey Plover and about 100 Dunlin were scouring the wet mud for food. 100’s of Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Wigeon and Brent Geese were seen, along with a few Pintail and 2 Turnstone. A few Greenshank and Redshank were spread across the bay, mainly on grassy areas. There were two sleeping ducks, bills tucked well under wings, on the large freshwater pool which I think were male Tufted, but they were a long way off.
Firecrest higher Brixham
Firecrest looking for food in my back garden higher Brixham .
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning,
5 Lesser Scaup 3m 2f, 33 Goosander 8m 25f (08:15), 2 Grey Heron, 3 Marsh Tit, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Wren, 2 Robin.
River Mole Valley
50 Herring Gull mostly juveniles and 15Pied Wagtails with the cattle feeding on stubble turnips.25 Meadow Pipits in the barley earsh. Best today was a mixed flock of Lesser Redpolls and Siskin in the orchard along with Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Bullfinch,Greenfinch , male Sparrowhawk, Treecreeper, 2 GSW,Goldcrest, Redwing feeding on holly berries and Fieldfare feasting on apples.Non avian included 4 Roe Deer and 4 Red Deer hinds.Tawny Owls
Ashford Strand & Pottington – North side of Taw Estuary
At Ashford Strand 3 sawbills again, 1m Goosander keeping a safe distance apart from a male Red breasted Merganser & female Goosander close together.
Cycled quickly along to Pottington area where there were 4 sawbills, 1m & 1f Goosander & 1 male Red breasted Merganser with a female Goosander.
On the Sea: 1 Velvet Scoter straight out from memorial car park – by itself. Further out 60 + Common Scoter (one wing flapped 2x with head up but too far out to see if it had any white in the wing – or not!), 3 Red-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver.
On the Ley: 2 Great White Egrets, 1 Little Egret, 3 Goldeneye (All females), 1 Pintail (drake – unusual at site), 3 Wigeon no sign of any Scaup sp. among the many Tufted Ducks at Torcross, middle Ley or Ireland Bay.
Beesands: Just 13 Tufted Ducks, 5 Mute Swans and 3 coot!
Yesterday (4th), 24 gannets fishing close in to Wembury Point, with 3 (possibly four) guillemots nearby. Also of note – 25 turnstone, 16 curl bunting, 25 skylark, and a raven.
5 cirl buntings in with 20ish house sparrows edge of northern car park.GN diver with large fish being mobbed by gulls,eventually submerged to finish its snack