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South Brent Winter Thrushes
Although not as many as over the previous three days the numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing remains impressive at South Brent, one of my holly trees as expected has been stripped bare of berries.
It was only a matter of time before the numbers attracted birds of prey but I did not expect to see a high soaring Goshawk, my third sighting here this year.
Eds – photo appears to show a Sparrowhawk, not a Goshawk.
Northam Burrows Snow Buntings
Two Snow Buntings feeding near the 8th green.
Harleston by Slapton
120 Fieldfare & 20 Redwing in the valley today.
Eleven members of DB (East Devon Branch) attended this morning’s field walk around the fields of the reserve and were quickly rewarded with numbers of Ring Ouzel (c20) and Fieldfare (c100). Redwings were only present in single numbers. Other birds present included a pair of Reed Bunting, Chiffchaff, Sparrow Hawk, Kestrel and Raven. The meeting ended at 11.30 when rain moved in, and the birds dispersed south. See also DB Facebook page.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
During a walk this morning (low tide): c55 Fieldfares west, 5 Redwings, 2 Firecrests, c20 Siskins, Grey Wagtail, Sparrowhawk, 8 Wigeon, drake Teal, 3 redhead Goosanders, Common Sandpiper, 2 Little Grebes & a 1st cy Mediterranean Gull.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
3 Goosander 1m 2 f (first this winter), 1 Great White Egret, 2 Mute Swan, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Coot.
This morning along Fremington Pill where there were a lot of Redshank and Teal. There were also two Glossy Ibis, a couple of Little Egrets, a Curlew, a couple of Black-tailed Godwit, a single Bar-tailed Godwit, a Ruff, a couple of Greenshank and the usual gulls and Mallard.
Soar Mill Valley & Southdown Farm
A good thrush day with 4 Ring Ouzel, 335 Fieldfare (238E & 97W), 10 Redwing, 31 Blackbird, 3 Mistle Thrush flying east & 2 Song Thrush. Also: Snipe, Merlin, 380 Skylark, 140 Meadow Pipit, 7 Teal, 65 Robin, 2 Cetti'[s Warbler, 38 Jackdaw (34W 4E), 540 Starling (122W, 18E & 400 grounded), 100 Linnet, m20 Chaffinch, 36 Goldfinch & 5 Bullfinch.
Walked the public footpath through the livery fields lots of pied wagtails meadow pipit and goldfinches around the fields and a couple couple of wheatear feeding on a dung pile…the horse fields do seem to attract alot of birds
Between the rain: 6 Ring Ouzels, Whinchat, Firecrest, 11 Chiffchaffs, 13 Goldcrests, Cetti’s Warbler, 260+ Fieldfares over + c50 grounded, 26 Redwings, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Bullfinches, Lapwing, 4 Swallows, Pintail, 7 Teal & 21 Stock Doves..
One of yesterday’s Fieldfares in the Dockwell area had a very conspicuous white head. Attached photo at distance and in poor light doesn’t really do it justice, but the contrast with normal birds is apparent. Can’t recall seeing a Fieldfare with a white head before, but there’s a photo of one on p11 in Norman’s (1994) book, The Fieldfare.
Ring Ouzel ~40 but so much movement could have been slightly more/less. Lots of Fieldfare too. Firecrest and a Black Redstart on the Dam. Rowan berry crop is dismal, Holly & Hawthorn ok, so can’t image thrushes will stay long.
Two Firecrest in Newnham Meadows Local Nature Reserve this morning.
East Devon Field Walk Programme
For members planning to attend the field walk on Monday please note that there are minor errors given in the Programme and that the venue is Emsworthy Mire Reserve. Please rendezvous at the small car park at map ref: SX748761. Thank you.
69 Black-tailed Godwits and at least 8 Knot out on the scrape. Ringing in the reserve netted 3 Chiffchaff – one a trouser-filling 11.7 grams! ready to go I think. 1 Redwing, and a few Finches and Tits.
Mardon Down & the Torquay Reservoirs
Can’t match the total thrush numbers seen on Thursday by another observer (to whom thanks are due for the tip-off), but today on Mardon were at least three Ring Ousels. All were very flighty, so exact number uncertain, but also very vocal, with a call half-way between those of Blackbird and Fieldfare. Also present were 250+ Fieldfares and 150+ Redwings, the biggest flock in the grass on the East side, where DNPA have recently cleared the Bracken (to whom further thanks are due), plus Mistle Thrush, Yellowhammer, Stonechat and two flyover Crossbills.
Went on to the reservoirs hoping for Goosander. None on the upper lake, just six Tufted and five Teal, but on the lower were seventeen (four adult m. and thirteen redheads), initially roosting and preening on the bank, but swimming out when the heaviest rain came. A time- or weather-related movement?, The rain must knock insects off the trees, so do the fish become more active? Don’t know.
On the way down to Bovey, a newly-ploughed field held 80+ Stock Doves and 30+ Skylarks.
As well as several hundred Fieldfares on the edge of the moor around Dockwell this morning, together with five Ring Ouzels, there were also at least 100 Fieldfares in South Brent village late pm, many feeding on berries in front gardens at Brakefield. Also, smaller numbers of Redwings. Aren’t such incursions into gardens more often associated with cold weather?
Great White Egret
Good view of Great White Egret alone on field between Ventiford Basin and River Teign. Seen on ground and in flight. Took off towards Stover . 3.15 pm 22 October
Harleston by Slapton
250+ Fieldfares around and over the hamlet.
A good day for thrushes with 14 Ring Ouzels in Starehole Valley, the best day count for several years, 440 Fieldfares (290W 100E & 50 grounded) and Redwings 11W. Also: 156 Starlings (125W 31E), Jackdaw 16W, Firecrest, 9 Chiffchaff, 40 Goldfinch & Water Rail.