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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
Plym Estuary & Saltram
Seventy-one species seen on my New Year’s Day count including: 4 Lesser Redpolls, 3 Firecrests, Treecreeper, 2 Grey Wagtails, Chiffchaff, 3 Stonechats (2 males), Siskin, Green & Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Sparrowhawk, 2 Kingfishers, adult Kittiwake, 2 3rd cy Mediterranean Gulls, Grey Plover, 43 Snipe (showing well on Blaxton Meadow), 7 Greenshanks, Common Sandpiper, 429 Dunlins, 6 Turnstones, 27+ Wigeon, female Red-crested Pochard & 3 Goosanders (1 drake). Also, 5 Roe Deer.
Chivenor to Wrafton Pond
Many thanks to Andy Leat for pointing out the two Snipe that were on the small pond adjacent to the Scrape. A Marsh Harrier made an appearance over the reed bed. Very little on the pond other than a few gulls, a couple of Snipe and a Little Grebe. One Coal Tit in the adjacent trees.
Heanton Court to Chivenor
Happy New year to everybody. This morning on my walk from Heanton Court to Wrafton Pond I spotted on the section between H.C to Chivenor one Greenshank, some Oystercatacher and three Redshank on the muddy bank near the boats. Further on just beyond the tunnel there were a small number of Blackbirds, a Robin, six House Sparrows and a Song Thrush.
Fremington Pill on today’s high tide – 100+ black-tailed godwit, dozens of redshank, 3 greenshank, 2 curlew, one little grebe, plenty of teal, 2 shelduck. No sign of glossy ibis or the spotted redshank. At the Quay there was a gathering of oystercatchers, black-headed and herring gulls, one little egret and one grey plover. In the Penhill fields there were pied wagtails and meadow pipits, with 30+ redwing in the trees. On the return along the Pill there was one grey wagtail and finally 20+ snipe in small groups the reeds in front of the bungalows.
On bird feeders in garden at Netherton, Farway 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (1m and 1f), 2 Nuthatch, 2 Marsh Tit, about 8 Greenfinch, 10-12 Goldfinch, Great Tits, 10+ of both Blue Tit and Long-tailed Tit, at least 2m and 2f Siskin and more than 10 Chaffinch on ground with Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Robins and Collared Doves.
At high tide this morning, a 1st-winter Little Gull was seen in flight. Also present were two Common Gulls and an adult Kittiwake.
Tamar estuary / Ernesettle
On this morning’s high tide, 2 Great Crested Grebe, small flocks of Wigeon and Teal, a 1st winter Common gull, 1 Kingfisher, 2 Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk overhead. 97 Snipe on Ernesettle creek.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
25 Goosander 10m 15f, 16 Tufted Duck, 6 Coot, c200 Lapwing, 2 Grey Heron, 8 Fieldfare, 2 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Bullfinch.
Brixton, opposite Rogers garage
Approx 22 Cattle Egrets in field with cows.
A Grey Phalarope spent about 5 minutes on the slick south of The Point from 12.10.
Earlier at 10.45, a probable E S Petrel flew south towards the Orestone.
Around and/or flying past the headland were 32 Great Northern Divers and at least 2 Red-throated Divers. Amongst a large group of GNDs in Hope Cove, one bird uttered a short phrase of its evocative call.
6 Grey Seals and a Harbour Porpoise were also seen.
Happy New Year to you all!
Viewing from Cockwood steps this afternoon I was surprised to see a Sandwich tern fly by. Also a kingfisher, 6 red-breasted mergansers and 3 great-crested grebes although the rain and wind made for difficult viewing conditions.
Good birding in 2023
A good mix of wintering seabirds this morning: 14 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-throated Diver, 1 Black-necked Grebe, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Velvet & 30+ Common Scoter. Also 7 Cirl Buntings and 1 Firecrest.
Today while the rain eased-off for a short time I popped out to Fremington Pill. There was very little bird life to be found just a few Redshank, Redwing, a couple of Teal, a Carrion Crow and a single Great Spotted Woodpecker in a tree on the far bank near the Bungalows.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
46 Goosander 9m – 37f (07:47), 1 Little Egret, 6 Coot, 1 Grey Heron.
North side of Taw Estuary
pm:- From the Tarka trail a single Ruff still at Pottington, a single Common Sandpiper at Barnstaple & a Med Gull on a sand bank.