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Friday 17th March 9.00am . Two Chiffchaffs around the garden, including one making an attempt to sing a few notes.
Spring! First Chiffchaff of the year in the garden
Bowling Green Marsh
Several sand martins over Bowling Green Marsh this afternoon.
Wrafton Pond and small scrape
Late afternoon visit to Wrafton Pond where I saw a male Pochard, four or five Gadwall, two Swans and a number of Little Grebes. Lots of Sand Martins and a Snipe. On the small scrape there were four Teal.
Lower Otter Restoration Project, Budleigh Salterton
Good views of the drake Garganey on the L.O.R.P. north of South Farm Road, Budleigh Salterton. Wigeon, Teal, Mallards, Shovelers and Mute Swans. c.15 mixed Swallows and Sand Martins and a lone Peregrine.
Braunton R Caen etc
After seeing the Garganey this afternoon – on the larger scrape then feeding in the puddles and grass with the Teal and Godwits, I walked South along the embankment footpath to see if any Hirundines might be at Sherpa Marsh. Counted at least 33 Sand Martins along with 50 or so Meadow Pipits and 20+ Reed Buntings. Also saw a drake Garganey flying around, but didn’t have time to return to the scrape to see if there was another. 1 Snipe, and 1 Lapwing. Unfortunately there were 2 enormous explosions from MB Chivenor which put most things to flight! They were quite near the first new Osprey platform…..
Swift in Okehampton
A lonely Swift just seen at 1700 flying low over Okehampton being mobbed by 4 Jackdaws, very low cloud at time of observation. Really early to see one.
Exminster Marshes at 1030am then flew rapidly south towards Powderham
Lower Otter Restoration Project (LORP), Budleigh Salterton
A 2nd Cal Year Glaucous Gull this morning just north of the Lime Kiln Car Park loafing with other gulls.
A different bird from the 13th March. See comparison here if interested: http://creamteabirding.blogspot.com/2023/03/another-glaucous-gull.html
Drake Garganey also still present north of South Farm Road.
Three Beaches.Long tailed duck
11am. One Long-tailed duck,7 common scoter, 2 duck eider, 1 each cirl bunting and linnet, plus fulmar distant off Roundham point.
Escot Park – Mandarins
A pair of Mandarin Ducks were on the main fishing lake at Escot Park this morning. My first record there since last April.
A drake Common Scoter off Cattewater this morning in front of Mount Batten Watersports Centre.
Skern 15/03/23 late morning Great Northern Diver
near pebble ridge at rivers’ mouth — also 2 Shags in main Taw/Torridge channel
3 Cormorants; about ~60 B Bellied Brents; 16 Shelduck; ~30 Widgeon; 1 Common (Mew) Gull; ~600 Golden Plover;
distant and possibly more:–3Ringed Plover; 5 Knot; 5 Grey Plover; ~~ 150 in 3 flocks coming and going.
Redshank and Herring Gulls and 6 Stonechat
A couple of predators at Seaton this morning.
Interesting pic from Rob. Does look like a Sparrowhawk. Brings to mind some very similar remains I found in a barn on the Marsh Road. They were Dunlin and Starling and must have been taken by the Barn Owl(s) that occupied the box in that barn. This was back in very cold winter a few years ago. I later found another set of remains in a nearby barn, which were all that was left of a juvenile Kestrel. I don’t think Peregrine would leave this much! The wing measurement I take when ringing birds is from the bend in the wing to the longest primary tip. Rob, can you try to get this and I’ll check the range for male Sparrowhawk?
Escot Park – Mistle Thrush
Yesterday on my usual circuit of Escot Park, with the dog, I came across a splendid Mistle Thrush mud-collecting to line its nest. Also seen were Little Egret and a light phase Buzzard.
- 2 Purple Sandpipers still working the rocks below Capstone Hill Fulmar seem to be settling in above Tunnels Beaches
Garden – Braunton
On the front lawn this morning.
Measuring 28 cms from primary tip to neck. Body & head taken by predator.
First impression of prey item possibly male Sparrowhawk? Predator Peregrine Falcon?
Suggestions or confirmation of identification of prey item welcome.
15,00 7 Sand Martin chasing insects above the pond.
Cattewater off Mount Batten.
First year Eider.