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Close to Kennick Reservoir Dartmoor
Today while working near Kennick Reservoir, Dartmoor I spotted some Siskins c12, Redpolls (four) two Bramblings, Fieldfare (50+) and a few Blue and Great tits.
Exe Estuary cruise 3rd February
Another fantastic Stuart Line Cruise, where the highlights were an immature Great Northern Diver near Cockwood; the immature Spoonbill by the River Kenn outflow; over 20 Great Crested Grebes; 2 Egyptian Geese in Powderham Park; estimates of 500+ Avocets, 1500 Lapwing, 650 Golden Plover, 1000+ Black-tailed Godwits and 70 Knot; single Spotted Redshank and Ruff at Topsham; and an immature Marsh Harrier over Topsham Reedbed. The Brent Goose flocks must have totalled well over 1000 and included the leucistic bird and a Barnacle Goose. A pair of Grey Herons sat next to what appeared to be a nest in a willow beside Exeter Canal. A sandbank off Exton today had 3 Harbour (Common) Seals hauled out: yesterday’s adult and rufous youngster plus another slightly larger individual. There were also 2 Grey Seals near the Warren, one resting on a pontoon.
Devon Goosander Count
The third synchronised Devon Goosander roost count of the winter took place mainly at dawn on 28 January, with three sites counted at dusk on the 27th. Of the twenty-four sites covered, 16 held at least one roosting bird. The total of 169 (60 males) was almost identical to the that obtained in both January and December 2022, and included 50 on Dartmoor. The main sites were Lower Tamar Lake with 41, followed by Meeth (23), Avon Dam (22), Blackhill Quarry (21) , Venford (19) and Shobrooke (15). The total should be regarded as a (slight?) underestimate to allow for birds present in the county, but not roosting at one of the known sites on 27/28 January. Thanks to all who took part.
Old Torrington Road Barnstaple
The greenfinches were back again this afternoon, up to 40 gathered before suddenly flying off. Had 50+ lapwing fly over this morning heading for the river. 4 long tailed tits, a coal tit and a male blackcap were a change from the usual garden birds.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
On today’s walk: Great Crested & 3+ Little Grebes, 6+ Goosanders (1 drake), 44 Wigeon, Grey Plover, 19 Turnstones, Common Sandpiper, Firecrest, a pair of Bullfinches, Grey Wagtail & 7 Roe Deer.
Escot Park – Goosanders
This morning 5 Goosanders (2 drakes) on the lake, present to 1100am at least. Also Little Egret, Bullfinch and a singing Mistle Thrush.
Lower Tamar Lake
This morning at the lake.
3 Whooper Swans at (07:00), 3 Willow Tits, 2 Marsh Tits, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Nuthatch, 7 Coot,
3 Tawney Owls calling.
Ref: John’s note on the footpath, the car Park and path should be open this afternoon, but I haven’t heard anything official.
6 Fulmar seemingly colonising cliff face to the west of Tunnel Beaches.
Exminster Marshes quiet this morning – plenty of Wigeon and Lapwing plus a pair of nice Pintail and one Ruff.
Black Hole Marsh NR
On a recent, short visit to Black Hole Marsh NR near Seaton, I had brief views of a Water Rail in the ditch along the path to Tower Hide. Also, good numbers of Lapwings were moving about and one of the 3 Little Grebes is starting to get its summer plumage.
Fremington Pill and Braunton Burrows
This morning’s visit along Fremington Pill where a Curlew, some Redshanks, a couple of Black tailed Godwits, a few Teal and a Greenfinch were seen. Later in the afternoon at Braunton Burrows this Cormorant with a broken beak was spotted hanging out with a couple of farm ducks.
Lower Tamar Lake
Stopped by the Lower lake on my way back from Cornwall this afternoon. The path around the lake is closed for work on dangerous trees. This may have been put on here before by Rod, but I didn’t see it. Apparently people are removing the warning signs. Not sure how long this will be going on.
Teignmouth. Estuary by docks
The Hooded Crow was on the Shaldon side of the central bank of the river below Shaldon Bridge at high tide amongst numerous Carrion Crows. Good number of resting Oyster catchers ,2 Gbb gull, numerous Herring gulls ,dozen Shelduck. Plenty of territorial calls from Robins and Blackbirds on the Ness and cliff path.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
This afternoon: Great Crested & 3 Little Grebes, 6 Goosanders (2 drakes), 45 Wigeon, Red-crested Pochard (female), 19 Mandarin Ducks, Grey Plover, 30 Turnstones, 4 Snipe, 461 Dunlins & c25 Redwings.
Exe Estuary cruise 2nd February
Highlights from today’s Stuart Line Cruise: at least a dozen Great Crested Grebes; Kingfisher on a wreck near Powderham, where an there was an immature Spoonbill and several Grey Herons at their nests; many Pintail between Lympsone and the Clyst mouth; several hundred Avocets and Golden Plover and the wintering Spotted Redshank at Topsham; a leucistic bird among 400+ Brent Geese at Turf; and 33 Sanderlings near Dawlish Warren. Others saw a male Black Redstart on Exmouth marina rooftops. A Grey Seal was hauled out on the back of a boat near Cockwood and two Harbour (Common) Seals were hauled out on a sandbank near Lympstone Camp: one of them was clearly a (locally-bred?) youngster.
Red Kite Exe Valley nr Bickleigh
Single Red Kite crossing the A.396 at Chitterley just south of Bickleigh at 9.30 this morning.
Cornworthy – Eagle
White-tailed Eagle observed gliding east over Charlecombe Woods attended by all the local corvids
Berry Head & Broadsands
Berry Head: 12 noon, discovered a Yellow-browed Warbler in the bushes just behind the Coastguard Station and in scrub by the trig point
Broadsands: 3 Great Northern Divers, 25+ Common Scoter, 1 Black-necked Grebe. 2 Firecrests around car park, also 2 Chiffchaffs and 1 Siberian Chiffchaff in reedy ditch close to the K’ohana cafe.
From Polly Steps -the Hooded Crow (initially on The Salty, then on the Quay, then back to The Salty)
Marsh harrier female River Tavy
Taken from 1km away and cropped.