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Cirl Buntings, Dawlish
Decent flocks of winter finches and larks in the fields behind/through Oakland park woods(overlooking Holcombe)
At least 50 Cirl Buntings,
20+ Sky lark.
20+ Meadow pipit
Smaller numbers of chaffinch , goldfinch and linnet
Not as many as Martin yesterday but 1Razorbill ,1Whimbrel, 1 Purple Sandpiper and Redwing around on the journey back towards Lynton.
Opened half a dozen nets this morning to see if the Redwings would be tempted. I ringed 6, which is quite good. 1 Song Thrush and a Blackbird too. Only 5 Greenfinch and one Chiffchaff. I saw the female Marsh Harrier over Sherpa early on, And then one appeared again a bit later, but this one had a white rump, and so was a Hen Harrier. Biird of the day!
Great Northern, Red-throated and the occasional Black-throated Diver are showing well most days along with Eiders and Common Scoters.
Todays cold weather brought a mixed flock of 30 Green and Golden Plovers to Capstone Hill.
A few Goosanders are now a regular sight at Slade resorvoirs.
Lots of Gulls this week inc Adult Yellow-Legged Gull, 18 Gbb Gulls mostly juvs, 50+ Black headed,good numbers of Common Gulls loafing on the rocks and plunge diving while heading up channel, with an unusual 6 Kittiwakes awaiting bait scraps thrown by Anglers.
Fantastic to watch Kingfishers in the inner Pier feeding on fairly large Sprats.
Best birds of late were a Pomarine and an unseasonal Arctic Skua attacking flocks of Kittiwakes.
A Great Egret headed up channel and on a sad note i saw a cloud of feathers which i believe was the Whimbrel being predated by a Tercel.
Ford Park Cemetery
A Brisk walk around FPC this morning saw Green & GS Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Greenfinch, Redwings & Fieldfare.
Late afternoon in the field at North Down Farm I was treated to 40+ lapwing, 4 golden plover (first time I’d seen either of these two in this location), 3 cattle egrets, a dozen fieldfare, 7 redwings, 1 song thrush, 100+ starlings. All of the species seemed quite happy to mix so I think there must have been food to be found due to the field sloping towards the south and having thawed a lot quicker than some other areas.
Unusual House Sparrow at Exwick
Not something I’ve seen before but one of our resident House Sparrows has an unusual amount of white in her wings.
Exe Estuary – Exton
2 Cirl Bunting in the field next to the station.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
On a very cold, frosty morning: Grey Plover, 6 Snipe, Common Sandpiper, 7 Greenshanks, 4 Turnstones, 6 Teal (4 drakes), 32+ Wigeon, Red-crested Pochard, Sparrowhawk & a Chiffchaff.
This morning 9 Eider & 3 fem Common Scoter still at Downend.
Also of note 8 Lapwing at Downend which is a sign of very cold conditions. On leaving noticed a change in wind direction & a rise in temperature by a degree or two. The Lapwing also detected this rise in temperature flying east back to Braunton marshes & the Taw Estuary.
Yesterday afternoon on Exminster Marshes:Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck, Coot,Moorhen, Snow goose with Canada Geese, Avocet, Redshank, Dunlin, Blackwits, Curlew, Sanderling, L. Egrets, Fieldfares, Kestrel, Greenfinches (50+), Buzzards and a Kestrel.
Exmouth Phear Park
Yesterday afternoon called in to see the very confiding Olive Backed Pipit.
Bowling Green Marsh
Yesterday morning at BGM: Wigeon, Shoveler, Shelduck, Pochard, Mallards, Teal, Gadwall, Greylag and Canada Geese, Blackwits, Avocets, Redshank, Greenshank, Lapwings, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Snipe, Curlew, Cormorants, Water Rail, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Kestrel.
Wrafton pond and local area.
En-Route back to my car I got these photos of a Bulfinch and Firecrest.
Wrafton pond and local area.
Today at around lunch time I popped down to Wrafton Pond where there were seven or eight Snipe on the far side of the pond and I was lucky enough to catch a quick climpse of a Water Rail. En-route back to my car I spotted two Firecrest, a family of Long-tail tits and a Female Bulfinch.
Olive-backed Pipit in Exmouth
The Olive-backed Pipit was still showing very well this afternoon near the main drive not far from the Bumble and Tee cafe. Also a flock of 15 Long-tailed Tits.
Short walk out to Cross banks this aft. Kingfisher hovering above the tidal channel at low tide due to the absence of a suitable perch.
Several birds appear to be suffering now from cold exposure.
This bird which I think may be an overwintering Whimbrel was resting in the weak sunshine on the salting only 10 metres from the public footpath.
Old Torrington Road, Barnstaple
Our blackbird population has gone from zero to well over a dozen in the last 4 weeks. My rear neighbour has a lawn covered in windfalls and this not only attracts the blackbirds but redwing and fieldfare as well. A flock of at least 6 greenfinches have been about as well along with a solitary lapwing which flew over this morning. Yesterday I watched a flock of nearly 100 lapwing fly SW over me whilst stood in Andrew Road.
Southdown Farm, Soar
Ab amazing morning on the heights capped by yet another UK record count of 186 Cirl Bunting but still only 57 Yellowhammer. The cold snap also brought in 257 Golden Plover, 132 Lapwing (3rd highest count for Soar), 5 Snipe, a disappointing 530 Skylark, 15 Meadow Pipit, 36 Song Thrush and 100 Goldfinch. Supplementary feeding well underway.