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Plym Estuary & Saltram Monday 2nd January
An excellent count of 48+ Snipe on the afternoon’s high tide at Blaxton Meadow. Also, Grey Plover, 7 Greenshanks, 8 Turnstones, Teal (drake), Little Grebe, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Bullfinch, 2 Grey Wagtails, Green Woodpecker & c20 Redwings.
Exminster & Powderham Corner
Exminster Marsh – 2 Marsh Harrier (3cy M & Prob Ad F), 1000+ Golden Plover, 800+ Lapwing, 350+ Wigeon, 180+ Teal, 36+ Shoveler, 9 Pintail, 45+ Curlew, Ruff, 3 Kestrel, 3 Snipe, 11 Greylag, 50+ Brent Geese best of 2 hours on Exminster Marsh this morning.
Powderham Church to Turf bike ride in afternoon. Tide high. 340+ DB Brent Geese, 45 Pintail, 6 GC Grebe, pr RB Mergansers, Kingfisher, 1000+ BH Gull, 40+ Common Gull, 2 Stonechat were best of it.
Firstly though, Sue Bruce (plus her daughter and son-in-law) were at the Skern yesterday, and Mark id’d the sum plum Godwit as Bar-tailed! Anyone else seen it more closely? Or a photo?
Ringing today produced a good start to the year with 48 birds ringed. 21 of which were Greenfinch, plus one of Chris Dee’s. 5 Great Tit, 6 LT Tit, 6 Redwing 2 Song Thrush, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Blue Tit one each of Goldcrest and GSW. Retraps included Chiffchaff and Kingfisher. The local Buzzard was taking an interest in the nets!! Went down the Toll Rd later, missed the Little Owl despite perfect conditions, but saw the female Black Redstart. Thanks to Grahame Preston for the heads up.
The Skern additional to Colins report….
Adding to the abundance of birds seen and reported by Colin we have to add a highlight….in fact my 1st for 30 years…a MERLIN stooping constantly on a skylark over the large freshwater scrape at the end of the tip road. Didn’t see the result as it was lost to sight. Also seen was this gull….not sure, but possibly a Common Gull? Thanks to the scoper in the blue coat for pointing it out to me.
Eds – yes, Common Gull.
Kayak trip Torbay today:
4 Great Northern Divers
1 Long-tailed Duck
1 Purple Sandpiper (Brixham)
25 Common Scoter (all female)
plus 6 Porpoise off Berry Head
Watching from Headland: 1 Black-necked Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 16+ Great Northern Divers, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Velvet Scoter, 32 Common Scoter, 2 Shelduck, 1 Brent Goose1, Grey Plover.
The Skern at high tide
Mid-afternoon on the high tide at The Skern the male black redstart was busy patrolling the boulders just past the entrance bridge. There were many brent geese, oystercatchers, wigeon, 500+ dunlin, dozens of grey plover, a few golden plover, ringed plover, turnstones, redshank, shelduck, 6 pintail, and the summer plumaged black-tailed godwit (noted yesterday by Jon Turner) was tucked in with a large group of curlews.
Aylesbeare Common, Colyford Common & Mudbanks, Exmouth
Firecrest, Goldcrest, Jay, Treecreeper, GS Woodpecker.
Isabelline Wheatear, Rock Pipit.
Goldeneye (pair), Sandwich Tern, female Scaup.
The female/immature Black Redstart was still present this aft & after spending some time actively foraging in the winter sunshine it decided to fly underneath this parked vehicle.
3 great northern divers and a distant flock of scoters seen from the cliff overlooking Broadsands.
Southdown Farm, Soar
First farmland bird count of 2023 turned up 6 Snipe, 460 Skylark (would expect c.1000 by now), 9 Meadow Pipit, Sparrowhawk, 80 Goldfinch, just 19 Yellowhammer & 150 Cirl Bunting.
Non-avian: 18 Sika Deer & 11 Roe Deer.
Cholwichtown Pit, Dartmoor
Goldeneye (f) and redhead Goosander on pit this PM. What3Words for pit: ///stockpile.bombshell.dished
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
43 Goosander 10m – 33f (07:50), 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Marsh Tit, c100 Lapwing, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Buzzards.
Upper Tamar Lake.
c400 Lapwing, c150 Golden Plover, 13 Tufted Duck 10m 3f, 1 Snipe, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Meadow Pipet, 2 Grey Heron, 4 Cormorant, c300 Canada Geese, c200 Black-headed Gulls.
Bowling Green Marsh, for yesterday
A good high tide at BGM yesterday with pochard and spoonbil present alongside the usual waders (inc dunlin, greenshank amd bar tailed godwit) and wildfowl (including flyover brent geese).
Today at high tide 4 Spoonbills and a Kingfisher. Also kids riding round reserve late afternoon on noisy dirt bikes. Not sure if this should be reported somewhere?
Velator Quay to Horsey Island
Common Sandpiper flew upriver on high tide. Female/immature Black Redstart halfway along by small slipway at red sign. 3 Grey Plovers near Crow Point end and Water Rail calling in roadside ditch there.
Around the Teign Estuary
Highlights were, from the point, at least 6 Great Northern Divers, Gannets and a probable Black Throated Diver. Passage House, circa 16 Avocets, 4 Little Grebes, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 male Red Breasted Merganser and a Common Gull amongst the many gulls.
Still getting Nuthatches on my feeders in the garden, a good start to the year. An earlyish dog walk added GSW and LT Tit. Little Grebe and Snipe as already mentioned on Wrafton Pond. Little Egret out on the scrape. Meadow Pipit and P Wagtail on the way across to the reserve, where 35+ Redwing, plenty of Green and Gold Finch plus a brace of Bullfinch. Marsh Harrier over Sherpa. Goldcrest and Treecreeper also present. Over at the Skern, the smart male Black Redstart still, along with a host of waders, including a stunning summer plumage Black-tailed Godwit. Pintail, Wigeon, Shelduck and Teal all present and plenty of Brent Geese. 2 Great Northern Divers offshore and then a Great-crested Grebe Finished at Fremington Creek, where the Spotted Redshank was at the top end with Green and Redshank. So this is where all the Godwits go when they aren’t on Wrafton Scrape.. Later the 2 Glossy Ibis were by the pill then flew up to the roost to join 3 Cattle Egret. A good day out with 66 species seen plus 2 heard. (Cetti’s and Wren). Happy and Birdy New Year to all.
Powderham Park – Exminster
A GN Diver was off the Kenn outfall, 3 Egyptian Geese were very vocal in the Park, 75 Barwits (but, for once, no Pintail) were off Powderham Corner, and, on Exminster Marsh, 2 Peregrines and 2 Marsh Harriers were spooking the many hundreds each of Lapwing, Golden Plover, Dunlin and Starlings.
Back in Exeter, a Blackcap “tacking” its way to roost made 70 spp. for the day.
Velator quay to White House
From velator quay marsh harrier in the read beds, kingfisher down by cross flats , lots of flocks of lapwing out above and round horsey island, further down towards White House stonechat and sparrow hawk, also greater spotted woodpecker