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River Otter, Tipton St John
Morning walk with the dogs. 4 Goosanders (1 drake), Dipper, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Kingfisher and 2 Goldcrest
Plym Estuary & Saltram
On the high tide this morning: Great Northern Diver, 2 Goosanders (1 drake), 54 Wigeon, 3 drake Teal, 33 Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Greenshanks, 16 Oystercatchers, 19 Turnstones, Raven, Sparrowhawk & 2 Firecrests.
Cholwichtown Pit, Dartmoor
Female Goldeneye still on the pit.
Brixham and Berry Head
Kayak trip Brixham and Berry Head today:
15 Purple Sandpiper at Breakwater
4 Great Northern Divers
1 Red-throated Diver
plus 40 Common Dolphins (3 pods)
and 8+ Harbour Porpoise
Fremington Pill this morning
Starting at Pill Head, Fremington, with the tide 90 minutes after high:
Spotted Redshank and a female Kingfisher, numerous teal, mallard and common Redshank. 3 Curlew, 5 Snipe, 2 Greenshank, 2 Bar Tailed Godwit, 2 Little Egret, 2 Dunlin, 1 Grey Plover. Another Kingfisher seen at the quay on the River Taw.
Two male blackcaps feeding on fat balls in my garden in Brixham.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
Back on the patch today on the low (falling) tide: Great Northern Diver, 3 Jack Snipe. 24+ Snipe, 25 Turnstones, c380 Dunlins, 2 Common Sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwit, 59 Wigeon, 7 Goosanders (4 drakes), Red-breasted Merganser (1st-w drake), 4 Little Grebes, 2+ Green Woodpeckers, Stonechat, Grey Wagtail & 6 Roe Deer.
Wembury Beach 1:00 pm
At least one Purple Sandpiper at the beach, still feeding on the seaweed, at the same location given by Stuart Green. The birds were very flighty due to the number of walkers using the coast path. Firecrest and male Blackcap along Church Road just below the lower junction with Southland Park Road.
5 Lesser Scaup 3m 2f, 1m Tufted Duck, 3 Willow Tit, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Marsh Tit, 29 Teal, c20 Snipe, 3 Cormorants.
2 Willow Tit, 2 Marsh Tit .
Exminster Marsh and estuary from Turf
A high tide visit this morning, in cold clear conditions. 4+ Marsh Harriers (1cy, 2cy F/poss Ad F, 2cy M with pale/grey underwing inner primaries & an advanced 2 cy/3 cy male with grey inner primaries on both upper & lower wing).
450+ Teal, 300+ Wigeon & 3 Shoveler on semi frozen marsh. 58 Pintail on estuary. Little Grebe on lagoon. Only 5 Coot on canal.
700+ Golden Plover, 240+ Lapwing, 15 Blackwit, 16 Curlew, 20+ Dunlin, 3 Redshank, a Ruff, a Snipe and a Turnstone on the marsh. 500+ Blackwit, 36 Barwit, 320 Avocet, 300+ Dunlin, single Grey Plover on estuary, joined by Golden Plover. Also 100+ Brent Geese & a Great Crested Grebe. Tide still dropping.
Otherwise Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, 12+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Stonechat, 10+ Redwing, 2 Fieldfare best of the rest.
A very cold and early start this morning paid off with 2 Purple Sandpipers found feeding amongst c.30 Turnstones on a big mass of seaweed along the beach below the horse field. 3 Knot were also roosting amongst the Oystercatchers on the rocks nearby but on my return walk there was no sign of any of them.
An adult Mediterranean Gull, 2 Chiffchaff, a male Blackcap, 5 Stock Dove (including 2 flying out to sea), a Grey Wagtail and 2 Roe Deer also of note.
Soar inc.Southdown Farm
Farmland Bird Count: Skylark 1030, Yellowhammer 136, Cirl Bunting 140. Also: Golden Plover 70, Snipe, Kestrel, Red-legged Partridge 3, Stock Dove 24, Meadow Pipit 17, Song Thrush 10, House Sparrow 120, Goldfinch 40, Linnet 40.
Winter G N Diver off river mouth,close in going east.
A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the ditch between the two car parks this morning with 2-3 Chiffchaffs and a Firecrest. at least 8 Cirl Buntings on seed in the 2nd car park.
Wednesday 29th: 1 Slavonian Grebe (perhaps a new one as the individual on 20th November was only present for a day) also 1 Black-throat Diver, 4 Red-throated Divers, 6 Great Northern Divers, 9 Great Crested Grebes and 7 Common Scoter.
Tuesday 28th: 1 1st w Black Guillemot, 4 Velvet Scoter, 4 Common Scoter, 2 Great Northern Divers, 1 Red-throated Diver.
Black Redstart , a female competing for insects with the resident Piad Wagtail on the roof of the Royal Hotel , watched from Bideford station….
on the Southcott valley a Green and Common Sandpiper with 17 Teal and a Kingfisher on Northgate pond , all viewed from the road bridge on Manteo way . Another Common Sandpiper and a Snipe where the stream enters the Torridge at Ethelwynne brown close….
A Little grebe and 50 Lapwings from the iron bridge……
Spitchwick Common: 6m 3f Mandarin, pr Goosander, c.50 Redwing & a Jay
1 Cormorant further downstream & 3 or 4 Dippers
Holne Bridge: female Goosander & 1 Grey Wagtail
Ashford Strand & Taw Estuary, Pottington
Some very interesting bird behaviour on the north side of the Taw Estuary this aft which I have never seen before. At Ashford Strand there were 3 Sawbills, one male Goosander which was some distance from a male Red breasted Merganser & a female Goosander close together acting as though they were a pair. Even more unusual was this behaviour was repeated by 3 more Sawbills when I got down to Pottington & they were not the same 3 birds that were Ashford Strand. Another male Red breasted Merganser at Pottington which had paired with a female Goosander chased away a male Goosander! Maybe these 2 male Red breasted Mergansers think they are bonding with female Red breasted Mergansers, perhaps they cannot see the difference? What do you think.
Stover & Haldon Hill
Lunchtime visit to visit. Good selection of ducks. 14+ Tufted, 12 Shoveler, 6 Wigeon, male Teal and male Pochard. Otherwise 6 Mandarin, 95+ Coot, 25+ Moorhen, 2 Great Crested Grebe & a Little Grebe.
Around the lake 2 Marsh Tits & 50+ Siskin were the best.
At Haldon at bird feeders, 60+ Chaffinch & 10+ Siskin the best of numerous birds.
Dawlish Warren – Dawlish
A multi-stop walk along the seawall this morning produced 4+ G-n and 3+ R-t Divers, 3+ Guillemots, 2 Common Scoters and 30+ G-c Grebes. Bonus was a school of Dolphins heading SW, max. 8 seen at any one time, so probably 16+ in all.
Late afternoon today, 4 Common Scoter, 3 Gannet, a Shag and a Red Throated Diver