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A cruise up the dart on a rising tide today produced: 1 juvenile Iceland Gull (between Galmpton and Dittisham) 6 Mandarin Ducks, 3 Kingfishers, 20+ Curlew, 6 Redshank, 26 Little Egrets, 400+ Canada Geese(!) 8 Grey Seals and 1 Harbour Seal.
A lone Egyptian goose was on the slipway at 7am this morning. Also a grey wagtail.
Counts at Slapton Ley (Torcross) today included 290 Coot, four Great-crested Grebes, seven Gadwall and 31 Tufted Ducks. Also Cetti’s Warbler singing.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
On a rather grey morning: 2 Black-tailed Godwits new in, 3 Snipe, 11 Greenshanks, 29 Wigeon, female Red-crested Pochard, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Chiffchaffs, Grey wagtail & a Firecrest.
The glaucousgull is still making itself right at home among the resident gulls, geese and swans.
River Mole Valley
Two very vocal Tawny Owls in the orchard tonight where earlier 30 Fieldfare were feasting on apples with a preference for those still attached to the trees.Also 20 quarrelling Blackbirds ,2 GSWs and a Song Thrush.300 plus Finches in one of the bird mix fields feeding on fodder radish seeds….mainly Chaffinches with a few Linnets.Also 2 hunting female /juvenile Kestrels and unusually for here a striking male Stonechat perched on a kale stem.In an adjoining field 4 Mistle Thrushes and 16 Pied Wagtails along with 4 Buzzards attracted by myxomatosis infected rabbit carcasses.
First winter farmland bird count and not expecting much in such mild conditions but: 90 Cirl Bunting (4th highest count on record), 77 Yellowhammer, 550 Skylark, 40 Chaffinch, 40 Goldfinch & 6 Golden Plover. Also: male Ring Ouzel (very late), 92 Stock Dove generally moving west, Woodpigeon 40E, 8 Teal & Green Woodpecker.
A Yellow-browed Warbler at the west end of South Farm Road in sycamores above the bend in the road near South Farm Cottages. Showing well opposite the works entrance, until 1055hrs at least.
Stuartline Birding Cruise 8th November 2022
Another great day on the river for our visitors with plenty to see throughout. Highlights GWE Spot Redshank and a late Arctic Tern 300+ Golden Plover BT Godwits Oystercatchers DB Brent Geese abundant 2 Grey Seals 1 Egyptian Goose and Pintail at a distance 100+ Avocets around the Topsham and Clyst confluence are always great to see. Photo’s by Jo King
Hope Cove and Bolt Tail
9 Leach’s Petrels flying south out of Thurlestone Bay from Bolt Tail between 7.30 and 2 pm, single adult Arctic Skua and Pomarine Skua (with spoons), lots of Kittiwakes in the bay and moving through. Black Redstart one in garden at Hope Cove.
At the Plym Estuary & Saltram this afternoon, the Whimbrel lingering, 11 Greenshanks, 217 Redshanks, 51 Curlews, 4 redhead Goosanders, 27 Wigeon, Kingfisher, 100+ Jackdaws & a Sparrowhawk.
Two Common Sandpipers in the Cattewater.
Earlier, incredibly, a Leach’s Petrel over my garden in Mount Gould, going NE.
Roundham Head, Paignton & Ideford Common
A couple of short visits today. Roundham Head, Paignton lunchtime. 6 GND, 1 RTD, 5 Common Scotor (4 M, F) as well as plenty of Gannets.
Ideford Common pm 70+ Chaffinch & 1+ Brambling.
Leach’s Petrel – Muntbatten Bay
Spent an hour in the teeth of the gale on Mountbatten Breakwater, Plymouth Sound, with nothing other than a juv Kittiwake to show for it. Returned to the car park, where in the bay below were c.2dozen Black-headed Gulls and in their midst a single Leach’s Storm-petrel. (one of 20+ recorded in S.Devon today). Conditions were not great, so was pleased to obtain one recognisable photo.
Fremington Pill to Saltpill Duck Pond
The highlights of a late morning walk from Bickington, along Fremington Pill to Saltpill Duck Pond were 6 cattle egrets in the fields of North Down Farm, and another 3 flying over the top end of the Pill. On Fremington Pill were 2 glossy ibis, 2 greenshank, lots of redshank, 6 black-tailed godwit. On the duck pond were 5 shoveler, numerous teal and a couple of little grebe. On the Taw opposite was a mixed flock of about 200 lapwing and 100 golden plover.
3 Purple Sandpipers working the waters edge off Capstone
Cycled down the Tarka trail to Pottington earlier this morning & a single Cattle Egret amongst the herd of Cattle.
Ruff at Topsham
High winds, high drama on Stuartline Birdwatching cruise today with views of 2 Grey Seals 100+ Avocets, 300+ Golden Plover 200+ Black-tailed Godwits, 15+ Ringed Plover, 50+ Lapwing, Kingfisher, plenty of flighty Dunlin and a surprise Ruff found with Black tail Godwits while editing todays photos!!.
Berry Head seawatch
0700-1600: 2 Great Shearwaters (incredibly late, but Devon record counts have tumbled in October so a few lingering into November is perhaps not surprising); other Shearwaters were 3 Sooty, single Balearic and 18 Manx. Skuas included a smart pale juv Long-tailed (at 0825), also 15 Pomarine ((mostly juvs), 32 Arctics and 6 Bonxies (very rare this autumn). Also Great Northern Diver, Puffin , 25+ Fulmars, Med Gulls and a late Swallow.
Non-avian: 20+ Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, 2+ Common Dolphin, & 10 Harbour Porpoise.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
On this afternoon’s very high tide, at Blaxton Meradow: an adult Kittiwake looking ill / injured and unfortunately killed by a Carrion Crow; 3 Snipe, 10 Greenshanks, 127 Dunlins, 46 Curlews & a Kingfisher. Elsewhere, 2 Mandarin Ducks & 3 Shags.,
Glaucous gull remains on the quay. Was resting on the grass by the bridge with a flock of pigeons.