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A brief visit to the patch.
Red-necked Grebe & Great crested Grebe seen near Laira Bridge on the rising tide this afternoon.
Muscovy Duck Near Sprey Point
Land off Stoney Lane, Landkey.
A visit to our field today to cut back some large clumps of brambles. Lots of birdsong. Many blue and great tits and a marsh tit on the feeder just as I left. Two tawny owls calling whilst I was there.
River Teign Hackney to Coombe cellars
25 Red-breasted Merganser, 18 Avocet and seven Little Grebes among more usual sightings such as Redshank, Greenshank and Curlew. Unusually, I have not noted any wintering Common Sandpiper after a small autumn passage this year.
Steps Bridge – Mardon Down
Along the river towards Fingle Bridge and then up through the woods to Wooston Castle were Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Crossbill (biggest flock 20+, probably 40+ in total), Redpoll (10+) and my first Mistle Thrush song of the year. In the old pastures and hedges near Wooston Farm was a 75+ Chaffinch flock. Checked for Brambling but no luck, just 5+ Yellowhammers. Also present, dozens of Redwings and Fieldfares.
3 Cormorants, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Goosander on the Otter this morning.
Distant Red Necked Grebe today beneath Laira Bridge, River Plym and lots of Dunlin on the mudflats.
13 Purple Sandpiper feeding on the seaward side along with a smaller number of Turnstones.
Along the seafront this morning the following were seen.
Great Northern diver 2, Guillemot 3, Razorbill 3, Purple Sandpiper, Med Gull, Turnstone 5 and all the other usual suspects.
5 Heron species from the Tarka trail….
On the r. Torridge at Westleigh 2
Spoonbills sifting their way along in the shallows . Little Egrets hunting for worms at Yelland plus many singles. 3 Grey Herons on farmland west of Saltpill pond . 2 Glossy Ibis preening near the sluice on Fremington pill .Finally on return cycle a Great Egret very close to the Tarka trail on Isley Marsh…..no Cattle Egrets today …6Lesser Black back gulls off Instow….
Great Northern Diver just off Marine Parade this morning.
Possibly an unusually high peak count of 55 Common Snipe at dusk/high tide today along the Pill, also 81 Redshank in their normal high tide roost
Late morning, a group of seven Great Northern Divers in shallow water at the base of The Ness. They were feeding quite well, shore crabs from what I could see.
Budleigh Salterton area
On the completed LORP this morning were three Avocets, my first here I think, and one each of Greenshank, Ringed Plover and Blackwit, plus double figures each of Redshank, Teal, Wigeon and Shelduck.
On and over the cliffs and sea from Brandy Head to the Otter mouth were 12+ Red-throated Divers, 15+ Auks, all those specifically i.d.’d being Razorbills, 4 Fulmars, 2 Common Scoters and 50+ Gannets.
Spoonbill, Exe Estuary (Starcross)
Spoonbill spotted from the train at Starcross station, feeding. Photo taken at 8.51am on 22nd January 2024. Second sighting in a few days, as also spotted nearer Dawlish Warren at approx 8.25am on 20th January 2024.
Exe Estuary cruise 23rd January
Another windy cruise today, with the highlights being Great Northern Diver off Shelley Beach; a female Goldeneye in Cockwood Corner; an immature Spoonbill feeding near the entrance to Cockwood Harbour (possibly the same bird later in the Clyst Estuary) and a group of five female Eiders in mid-channel, out on one of the sandbanks.
Between Turf and Topsham there were the usual large flocks of Black- and Bar-tailed Godwits, dozens of Shelduck, Grey and Golden Plovers, Knot and hundreds of Avocets and Dunlins feeding across the mudflats and by the river channel.
Lower Tamar Lake
To add to Rod’s numbers. I had 29 (19+ F, 10+ M) Goosander, M Goldeneye, along with the Tufted & Lesser Scaup reported.
Also on the 3 western side feeders 5+ Marsh Tit, 2+ Willow Tit, Nuthatch, 10+ Blue Tit, 6+ Great Tit, 5+ Coal Tit, 11+ Long-tailed Tit & 5+ Chaffinch.
Also 2 Bullfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker & a Goldcrest.
Rod I assume it was you who I met. Thanks for information.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
5 Lesser Scaup 3m 2f, 2 Willow Tit foraging, 7 Tufted Duck 6m 1f, 4 Cormorants, 3 Coot, 9 Goosander 6m 3f, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Grey Heron, 12 Mallard, 2 Coal Tit, 5 Chaffinch, 6 Blue Tit.
Under Cricklepit Bridge, Exeter
A small grebe, must be Great Crested, but in juvenile plumage with white chest and neck and striped head pattern swimming and diving close to Cricklepit Bridge and towards main road bridge over Exe this morning 10.00am
Newbridge near Bishops Tawton
Today in the field beside the A377 at Newbridge there was nothing to report at least for the first 5 minutes or so. However as I was getting ready to move on the Great White Egret flew in and landed about 20 metres from me.