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Bowling Green Marsh and Goat Walk
A morning visit, as tide began to drop. On the marsh Great White Egret and two Imm Spoonbill. 220+ Wigeon, 33+ Shoveler, 24+ Teal, 16 Gadwall, 4 Tufted & 3F Pochard. [The Pochard, Gadwall & 90+ Wigeon flew in whilst there. Maybe from Exminster lagoon.]
Wader numbers low on marsh, but from Goat Walk as tide dropped were 1200+ Dunlin, 700+ Blackwit, 46 Barwit, 670+ Golden Plover, 85+ Curlew, 85+ Redshank, 80+ Avocet, 10 Grey Plover, 18 Knot, and a single Turnstone.
Otherwise only 1 Common Gull, a Kingfisher on the marsh, singing Song Thrush and a single Snipe.
Suspected Little Gull flying west to east off Capstone Hill ( definite charcoal grey /black underwing with black wedges at trailing edge); Purple Sandpiper, Rock Pipit and Oystercatcher also present
1 mile West of Starcross on A380
60/70 Cattle Egrets.
Late post for yesterday – 2 migrant Buzzards circling the airfield before gaining height and moving off, first of the season!
8.02am A pair of redwings in the apple tree – a first recorded sighting in my garden.
Mid-afternoon at Fremington Pill the spotted redshank and a greenshank, kept together near the top of the Pill, and further down were 5 snipe – 2 hiding in the grass, and 3 trying to hide among the mooring ropes on the mud. 3 glossy ibis were spooked by a dog, so they kept flying around until they finally settled near the sluice gate. Lots of teal and redshank and an oystercatcher and curlew also present.
From Fremington Quay there was a pair of goosanders way over the other side.
Bradiford Reserve – Pottington & from Tarka trail
1 Kestrel hovering over Bradiford Reserve.
Over 400 Brent Geese foraging on Penhill Marsh but disturbed by dog walkers. Landed on several hundred metres of exposed sand bank adjacent to Penhill Marsh where I was able to count them through the scope.
6 Siskin in the Alders alongside the Tarka trail by the Tarka Inn.
6 Rock pipits on power wires.
Goldcrest in hedge near wildlife pond.
Late post for yesterday: 1 Firecrest, late afternoon.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
4 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Coal Tit, 3 Robin, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Grey Heron, 5 Coot, 2m Blackbird, 9 Mallard.
In a break in the rain and hail this afternoon, I walked the dog around Lord’s Meadow Play area in Northam and a Chiffchaff was flitting around the hedge bordering the field. An early migrant?
3 Glossy Ibis
1 Spotted Redshank
Taw Valley , S of Bishops Tawton. 21st February
Great White Egret still on Taw floodplain Near Newbridge with 3 smaller Egrets on Wednesday pm.
A39 at SS289222
On the way back from the Taw Torridge Branch meeting at the above Grid Reference there were 45+ Lesser Black-backed Gull feeding in a field with many Herring Gull and a few Common Gull.
Interestingly, if you check this reference point on Google Maps UK, the street view also shows a couple of fields with a great many Gulls present.
Bowling Green Marsh
Bowling Green Marsh from the Hide: Spoonbills 2, Great White Egret 1, Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Curlew, Blackwits, Snipe, Gadwall, Pintail, Shoveler, Tufted Ducks, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Canada and Greylag Geese and overfly of Brent Geese, LBBG, Cormorant, Stock Dove, Kingfisher.
Exe Estuary cruise 21st February
Today the Eiders were just off the end of Dawlish Warren: 5-6 out on a sandbank and two diving nearby. A few Greenshanks Looking over the railway into Powderham Park, 2 Egyptian Geese were among the Fallow Deer with dozens of Shelduck. As usual, there were many Brent Geese, Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshanks and Dunlin, plus c25 Knot and a few Grey Plovers. At Topsahm we watched a drake Merganser dealing with a small flatfish, which it spent some time trying to eat. Back at Bull Hill sandbank there were 3 of the Eiders (2 females, 1 immature drake).
Ilfracombe Pier cont
Sandwich Tern at the harbour.
A lot of sub adult Herring gulls 150+ have arrived this week mostly at the storm drain and this afternoon attending a staggering 7+ Bottlenose Dolphins that were feeding from Flat Rock to Beacon point for a considerable time, a Bull Grey seal may have moved them on. The first migrating flocks of Lesser bb gulls heading up channel and 9 on the Supermarket roof. A constant movement of Common Gulls down channel, a handful of Divers and Common Scoters a fair way out. Unusual lack of Gannets today and 3 Purple Sandpiper.
Exe Estuary cruise 20th February
A very pleasant Stuart Line cruise with nice light to see the birds. The highlights were a Great Northern Diver off Dawlish Warren and about 40 Egrets, most likely Cattle but possibly also some Little, feeding with cattle in a hillside field near Powderham; a small group (8?) of confirmed Cattle Egrets were perched on one of the wrecks near Powderham. Signs of winter coming to an early end were evident, with only 3 Great Crested Grebes and 11 Red-breasted Mergansers; there seemed to be fewer Avocets and only a handful of Bar-tailed Godwits, but still hundreds of Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwits and about 500 Golden Plover that landed near Turf. Other notables: Grey Herons at their nests behind Starcross Yacht Club, 5 Greenshanks, 100+ Common Gulls, a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Harbour Seal, and about a dozen Sanderlings along the edges of the sandbanks.
Only a record shot, due to their distance and being directly into the sun.
Nice to see three Glossy Ibis’s together in one group.