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Tarka Trail from Anchorwood
From Anchorwood along the Tarka Trail, on the high tide, it started off quietly with 20+ curlew and a couple of little egrets in the fields and a dozen redshanks along the edge of the Taw. By the time we got to the salt marshes, opposite the sewage works, there were about 1000 lapwing, several hundred Canada geese, later joined by 100+ brent geese, dozens of shelduck. Apart from the Canada geese the rest seemed to take turns swirling up, maybe to check if any sandbanks were emerging. On the return many oystercatchers and redshank and a single grey plover made the most of the falling tide.
A large flock of Finches joining in the mobbing activity of a noisy Blackbird this morning. Mostly Green, but Chaffinch, Goldfinch and a couple of smart male Bullfinches too. I’m guessing Tawny Owl was the subject, but it remained unseen. A Little Egret on the scrape with about 30 Godwits which flew off as I arrived. Later on one of the female Marsh Harriers flew over the reserve and on over the reed-bed, suddenly swooping in but came up a minute or so later empty clawed!. A sweep over the remaining reed-bed showed the other female Marsh Harrier too.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
On a blustery, showery morning: Grey Plover, 7 Snipe, 8 Greenshanks, c350 Dunlins, 2 Common Sandpipers, 57 Wigeon, 5 Goosanders (2 drakes), 2 drake Red-breasted Mergansers, female Teal, 1+ Little Grebe, ad-w Mediterranean Gull, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker & c25 Redwings.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail 25th Dec: repost
Reposting possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail images from Seaton Wetlands 25th Dec as I forgot to reduce file size
A stunning adult Great Skua flew south in the channel between The Lead Stone and The Orestone at 10.06 – the most striking I have seen. This was followed south at 11.37 by an impressive adult light morph Pomarine Skua.
Elsewhere, 2 Eiders (an immature male and an immature/female) were around the Leadstone for a time.
Also in the vicinity were 25 Great Northern Divers, at least 12 Purple Sandpipers, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Common Scoters (4 females and 1 male), 24+ Common Gulls, 189 Gannets, 81 Kittiwakes and 53 Fulmars.
Eastern Yellow Wagtail 25th Dec
Belated post but some photos of the possible Eastern Yellow Wagtail found on Christmas day by John Gale. Bird called twice when it flew off, although unfortunately we missed getting a sound recording so can’t confirm the identification as it stands.
Lake for Lower Tamar Lake
Late for Lower Tamar Lake yesterday.
41 Goosander 10m 31f. 6 Willow Tit, 5 Marsh Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 6 Coot, 10 Tufted Duck, 4 Teal, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 1f Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Yesterday Morning from Broadsands: On sea: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Velvet Scoter, 24 Common Scoter, 4 Great Northern Divers and 3 Great Crested Grebes.
In 2nd car park: 8 Cirl Buntings, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Brambling, 16 Chaffinch. Around Marsh 1 Firecrest.
Paignton: 2 Eider, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Great Northern Diver and 2 Great Crested Grebes.
Reply to Colin
I took a photo of the BTG the other day. It’s on the far left edge of a small group (the last bird on that side) that were feeding on the far bank just upstream from the boats. I’ve included two photos – one of the group and a cropped image.
Firecrest, Goldcrest, Song Thrush, 4 Bullfinches among the many garden birds this morning. 9/10 Long-tailed Tits frequently visiting the feeders. Several Blackcaps 6/7 on peanut fat and lurking in the berried shrubs with 1 feeding on the sunflower hearts today.
colour ringed black-tailed godwit
Many thanks to Rob, Jon and Martin for the information on the colour ringed black-tailed godwit – it proves what a great website this is! Let’s hope it hangs around long enough for someone to get a good photo.
A female Hen Harrier was seen at 10.00am on December 26, flying over the side of Haytor Down, 400m east of the minor road / small car park , not far from the Templar Way
Plym Estuary & Saltram
A 1st cy Iceland Gull dropped onto Blaxton Meadow this morning where it stayed for a few minutes then drifted downriver (first here for 8 years). Also, 2 Mediterranean Gulls (ad-w & 2nd cy), 25 Common Gulls, 54 Wigeon, 2 Goosanders (1 drake), drake Red-breasted Merganser, Grey Plover, 9 Snipe, c12 Turnstones & 8 Greenshanks.
Finally, a Polish-ringed adult Black-headed Gull T242.
Colour ringed Black-tailed Godwit
Colin:- just heard back from ‘Barry’ in Cork. This bird was ringed in Cork Harbour & is the first of the Cork -ringed birds to be seen in Devon
am:- Still 3 f Common Scoter at Downend but no sign of any Eider.
Exeter canal Goldeneye
Goldeneye (juvenile) on the canal between Double Locks and bridge 10.30 this morning.
Yesterday morning over the Down: 30+ Golden Plover, 3 Ravens and a solitary Ringed Plover on the Tungsten West Lake. Redwing, Fieldfares a Green Woodpecker and a solitary hen Bullfinch along the bridlepath.
Seaton Wetlands 26 December
Some of the 500+ Lapwings at Seaton on Boxing Day.
Seaton Wetlands 26 December
The very confiding Isabelline Wheatear was still drawing the Boxing Day crowds. A bigger spectacle was the Lapwing flock of 500. Arrived just in time to miss a flyby White-tailed Eagle and Great Egret.
Marine Parade, Paignton ~ up to 40 Turnstone and a Great Northern Diver.
Paignton harbour two Seal and another Great Northern Diver.
Broadsands ~ Plenty of Cirl’s at the back of the far car park and another Great Northern Diver, one Great Crested Grebe, the “Scoter flock” contained 33 birds which included a Velvet Scoter and the female Long Tailed Duck.
Brixham another Great Northern Diver.
Back home at South Brent ~ Several Tawny owls calling before first light, Heron fly over, Kestrel and Green Woodpecker.