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Male Goosander in the middle of lunch on the River Dart! Redhead also nearby.
Exminster Marshes 30/01/23
Two ‘cream-crown’ Marsh Harriers (difficult to sex, but at least one looks more male sized), Great White Egret, Firecrest by canal. 20+ years ago this winter combination would be amazing, not so now, how our birdlife is changing!
North side of Taw Estuary
10 Goosanders (4m + 6f) on the north side of the Taw Estuary this morning spotted from the Tarka trail between the Tarka Inn & Barnstaple.
Also c 2200 Golden Plover.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
A good gathering of 57 Wigeon on Blaxton Meadow (joint best count this winter). Also, 2 drake Red-breasted Mergansers, 6 Goosanders (3 drakes), female Red-crested Pochard, Little Grebe, Grey Plover, 22 Snipe, 6 Greenshanks, 447 Dunlins, 24 Turnstones, Green Woodpecker, Kingfisher (female), Firecrest, Siskin, Grey Wagtail & 3 Roe Deer.
Bowling Green Marsh & Topsham
Nice surprise, this morning, when a Great White Egret showed itself for 10 mins before heading off north but no sign of the Water Pipit. Meanwhile, nearby, I caught up with the regular Spotted Redshank on the estuary opposite the museum.
Torbay Boat Trip out of Brixham
A 3 hour boat trip out to Berry Head then returning around Torbay on Kelly’s Hero with Dave Saunders, delivered the following: 2 Eider, Slavonian Grebe, GC Grebe, 2 Common Scoter, 2 GN Divers, Red-throated Diver, Peregrine, 4 Purple Sandpipers, several Razorbills and hundreds of Guillemots already taking spaces on the ledges at Berry Head and the Orestone. Adult Med Gull in the harbour and at least 6 Grey Seals on the pontoons. 10 Grey Herons. Usual gulls and 25 Gannets. A very enjoyable trip with good company.
Greenfinches Old Torrington Road Barnstaple
Over 30 Greenfinches sat in the top of a copper beech in my rear neighbour’s garden 5 minutes ago.
Bowling Green Marsh
Water pipit still present but being elusive amongst the rushes in the small pool to the right of the hide. Ruff on the mud opposite the hide along with a couple of dunlin, 4 pochard on the water, and plenty of regulars.
Goosanders Stover CP
Group of around eight Goosander at Stover, 0900 this morning. 3f 5m.
Taw & Torridge February indoor meeting
Notice of the February Indoor meeting of the Taw & Torridge Branch.
Pleased this morning to find the first 2 Eiders of the year for the site, with a female and an immature male present. Both birds present up to at least 12.15pm between the Orestone and the Lead Stone.
Elsewhere, there were 4 Great Northern Divers, 4 Purple Sandpipers, 4 Common Scoters, male Blackcap and a Chiffchaff. A Kingfisher was seen by other birders.
A Harbour Porpoise and a Grey Seal were also seen. Nice to hear a couple of Song Thrushes in song across the site.
2 female Marsh Harriers overhead early on, 1 Kestrel on top of a pylon, around the marsh: 15 Pintail, 5 Tufted duck, 47 Golden Plover, 500+ Dunlin, Wigeon, Teal, 1 Common Sandpiper, 25 Avocet & 15 Brent Geese over, 35 Redwing, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest in the scrub near the car park, 1 Cetti’s warbler low down in the reeds at the back of Lions rest.
At northam burrows overlooking skerne.
Hillsford Bridge to Watersmeet.
1 pair of Bullfinches.2 Treecreepers, 2 Dipper, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Grey Wagtail and 6 Longtailed Tits.
Plym Estuary & Saltram
Nothing new in, this morning, but a good selection nevertheless: at least 1 Firecrest, 3 Bullfinches (2 males), Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, 6 Goosanders (4 drakes), 2 Red-breasted Mergansers (2 drakes), Great Crested & 3 Little Grebes, 52 Wigeon, Grey Plover, 9 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpipers, Turnstone, 8 Greenshanks & 9 Roe Deer.
Lower Tamar Lake
Lower Tamar Lake this morning.
3 Whooper Swans, they flew out at 07:10, 41 Goosander 9m 32f, 4 Willow Tit, 1 Grey Heron, 7 Coot, 2 Nuthatch, 2m Wigeon, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Bullfinch.
Two great white egret Viewed from Stafford’s rail bridge 07.45.
Six little egret, five little grebe, thirteen teal, twelve mallard and two dipper all viewed from the rail bridge.
Lesser Whitethroat still present in garden in Halsdon Avenue Exmouth having been present since early December.
Pair of crossbills feeding in treetop on footpath going into woods from car park
Loads of Coots. Not so many duck as I was expecting, given the recent cold weather. Plenty of Tufted Duck, several Wigeon, a few Mallards and Teal, 1 Pochard. 2 Goldeneye (1m, 1f) at the northern end of the Lower Ley. Several Great Crested Grebes. Nothing on the sea apart from half a dozen Shags and a couple of Cormorants. 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls were almost the only gulls on the beach.