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The usual suspects at Blaxton Meadow and the adjacent estuary and river this morning included 29 Shelduck, 36 Wigeon, 3 Goosander (a drake and 2 redheads), a Little Grebe, a Turnstone, 160 Dunlin, 13 Snipe, a Common Sandpiper, 207 Redshank and 10 Greenshank. Three Mandarin Ducks were on the Saltram duck pond and two Firecrests were also in the grounds.
Plymouth branch visit to Slapton Ley
A group of 18 members from Plymouth Branch met at Slapton Ley on Saturday 18th November and despite the weather warnings were amply rewarded with over 50 species during our time there from 09.30 to 14.00 a full list will be posted in events and news for our branch but the highlight included:-
- great views and prolonged sightings of Great White Egret
- several sightings of Firecrest,
- many sightings of Jay
- Great Crested and Little Grebe among the many Tufted Duck
- Snipe in flight
- Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in good numbers
- Great, Blue and Long Tailed Tit
- Pochard and Goldeneye
- Non-avian species of the day an Otter watched catching an eel
Should anyone wish to visit Slapton Ley please be aware of high water levels making parts of the footpath only accessible if wearing wellington boots as the water was ankle deep.
John Lloyd group leader for Plymouth Branch
Nice views of the female Surf Scoter feeding with 44 Common Scoters just offshore, roughly halfway along the southern side of Baggy Point at lunchtime today – in spite of blustery onshore winds, thick cloud & rubbish light. Would be easily overlooked had the flock been further out, especially as most of the scoters were diving frequently – not only when feeding but also when spooked regularly by low-flying gulls, some of which seemed to be behaving in an almost kleptoparasitic way, though we never actually saw any attempts to seize food, most of which seemed already to have been consumed by the time the ducks had surfaced from a feeding dive. Also 7 Turnstones on the rocks at the northern end of Croyde beach. The Surf Scoter is potentially the same individual as seen by Andy Jayne in the Landing Bay, Lundy, on 27th October.
Yesterday’s synchronised dawn count of Goosanders roosting on Dartmoor reservoirs and pits produced a total of 49 birds, including 16 males, three of which were still in moult. Site counts were 15 at Venford, 14 at Avon Dam, 8 at Fernworthy, 5 each at Burrator and Meldon and 2 at Cholwichtown, with none present at six other sites. Thanks to all who took part.
River Teign – Gidleigh Park to A382 (Dogmarsh Bridge)
2 female Goosander (separate), 2 or 3 Mandarin (not sure I’ve seen them here before), 2 Kingfisher, 1 GS Woodpecker
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
3f Goosander, 4 Willow Tit, 4 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Coal Tit, 16 Blue Tit, 2 Nuthatch, 11 Chaffinch, 9 Great Tit, 1 Fieldfare, 1 Jay, 1 Marsh Tit, 3 Coot, 1 Grey Heron.
Yesterday around Fernworthy area I saw up to 20 Crossbills, two Nuthatch and four Marsh tits.
Black Redstart…Woodford estate Plympton
- Black Redstart has been hanging around back gardens
- 15+16 Nov..
- Woodford Estate Plympton
3,000 Woodpigeons flew west between 08:00 and 09:15 this morning.
A bright and sunny start to the day with Paul Kemp. Rewarded by 2 Short-eared Owls from viewing platform both quartering marsh an sat on posts. Two Marsh Harriers, a 1cy, and what we believe to be a 2cy male, based upon underwing pattern.
400+ Teal, 34 Pintail (12 on estuary), 60+ Wigeon, 22 Shoveler, Little Grebe on lagoon, 21 Coot.
170+ Lapwing, 100+ Curlew, 1 Barwit, 1 Snipe on marsh. Also 2 Water Rail, 1 Cattle Egret, 160+ Starling, 4+ Skylark, 6+ Meadow Pipit, 16 Redwing, Goldcrest, make Stonechat.
From Turf, 940+ Blackwit, 38+ Knot, 36+ Grey Plover, 140+ Golden Plover, 17 Barwit, 400+ Dunlin, 159 Avocet, 5 Red-reacted Merganser, 300+ Brent Geese & Adult Mediterranean Gull.
Walked out in much more pleasant conditions this morning. The female Surf Scoter still present, very close in mid-way to the point along with now 40 Common Scoters.
This afternoon Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpeckers, Crossbills, Siskins, Bullfinches and Goldcrests.
Bowling Green Marsh
Avocets, Black tailed Godwits, Curlew, Snipe, Greenshank, Redshank, Dunlin, Shoveler, Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, a solitary Pochard, Buzzards and Redwings.
Found a reserve alive with Finches this morning. Lots of Gold and Chaffinch, at last a number of Greenfinch, but the highlight was the number of Siskins – some singles but mostly in groups and feeding with the other Finches too. Kestrel also in attendance.
Saltpill Duck Pond
Shoveler (Male and Female)
Braunton Burrows & Croyde Bay to Baggy Point
A single Merlin at the north end of Braunton Burrows early this morning. Now 21 Common Scoters & the single Surf Scoter still present between Baggy Pond & Baggy Point.
Roundham Head, Paignton
Three Great Northern Divers off headland, one in breeding plumage. Otherwise 5/6 Kittiwakes & 15+ Gannet.
Velator quay down to White House
Took a walk down to White House from velator quay this morning it was heading towards low tide saw several shelduck, curlew, odd green shank, plenty of red shank knocking about , small groups of ringed plover, and quite a few lapwings, I saw several small groups and one of probably 70-80 birds, I wonder if we will see them in the same numbers as last year? Also 1 grey heron, several little egret, a kingfisher near the toll house. Several juvenile cormorant.
Soar inc.Southdown Farm
First winter farmland bird count of the season with good numbers this early in the winter: 780 Skylark, 94 Yellowhammer & 72 Cirl Bunting. Also: 3 Red-legged Partridge, Snipe, 1650 Woodpigeon (690E, 660W, 300 grounded), 203 Stock Dove – most moving west, 18 Meadow Pipit, 49 Jackdaw (45E 4W), 240 Starling, 110 House Sparrow, 60 Chaffinch, 30 Goldfinch & 250 Linnet.
Short Eared Owl quartering field above Head c. 9am. this morning.