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Sherpa Marsh, Braunton, The Skern
Walked from the reserve to Sherpa late morning, still no sign of a Common Sandpiper but near the reserve a large, pale-ish bird of prey flying away from me lifted up to reveal a white rump. Female type Hen Harrier. Turned to look at he other bird of prey over the reserve to see it was the female Marsh Harrier. Later went over to the Skern and confirmed that 2 Snow Buntings were indeed between the 7th and 8th Tees. Hard to find, but eventually saw them at the top of the pebble ridge under the low sand ‘cliffs’. Coming in on the rising tide were 2 great Northern Divers and later 4 Eider. Long time since I’ve seen an Eider in the estuary.
River Taw Heanton to Ashford
Common sandpiper again and opposite Heanton about 70 pintail
Afternoon visit coincided with low water. Much of the marshes still frozen. At least 2 goldcrest with chiffchaff in Station Road. At Turf 31 (and probably a few more) greenfinch. This seems to be a regular event in the late afternoon. Kingfisher in the estuary outside the lock gates. A single marsh harrier and a kestrel were active over the area near the lagoon. A small flock of fieldfare (about 6) was the first I have seen on the marsh this year. Two Cettis showed well on the canal bank.
This afternoon 60+ Golden Plover, 2 Shelduck on the TWL, Fieldfares and Redwings along the bridlepath.
Bowling Green Marsh & Topsham
Bowling Green/ Topsham highlights. Spoonbill Imm & Water Pipit on BGM. Along with 56+ Gadwall, 85 Wigeon, 22 Shoveler, 36 Pintail, 2F Pochard, 2 Tufted, 50+ Snipe& 60+ Lapwing. On estuary 400+ Blackwit, 150+ Avocet, 80 Golden Plover, 32+ Grey Plover, 3 TurnstoneAlso Spotted Redshank north of Topsham Quay, Marsh Harrier 2cy from Clyst VP, as were 4 RB Mergansers. 9 Reed Bunting & 2 Chiffchaff Goosemoor. 260+ Teal across whole site.
Topsham/Bowling Green Marsh area
12 Mediterranean Gulls at low tide today.
South Huish Marsh
My birder friends from Cambridge think this looks good for Scandinavian Rock Pipit. Thoughts!
Upper and Lower Tamar Lakes.
Upper Tamar Lakes.
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Pink Footed Goose.
- 1 Bullfinch. 3Chiffchaff,2 Goldcrest,large flock of Lapwing 4Heron and 8 Tufted Ducks.
- Lower Tamar Lakes.
- Over 20 Goosanders.
Taw Estuary, Home Farm Marsh
Yesterday afternoon (22nd January) looking across from Home Farm Marsh were 4 distant Spoonbill on the Chivenor end of the estuary. Then, after a short while, all 4 Spoonbill flew across to the Home Farm Marsh end giving wonderful close up views of them feeding in their classic ‘sideward sweeps’ action of their bills. Lovely to watch.
Braunton R Caen etc
The scrapes have thawed out so a few birds there, and most of the usual suspects in the reserve, so headed for a walk down to the lighting gantry. Still a scattering of Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 30 or so BH Gulls. Small flocks of Linnet and Chaffinch scouring the tideline, joined by a Meadow Pipit and a Stonechat. A few Lapwing drifting about and 3 or 4 Curlew too. Pleased to see 4 different Birds of Prey: the female Marsh Harrier perched in the reed-bed at Sherpa, a Buzzard around the reserve, Kestrel hovering by the barn at Crossbanks, and an adult male Sparrowhawk along the embankment opposite Marstage Farm.
Ashford Strand – Taw Estuary
The single Ruff was still present this morning foraging in the same location amongst 75 Dunlin.
Tamar estuary / Ernesettle
This morning around the estuary, 31 Avocet, 7 Great crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, Wigeon, Teal, 25+ Redwing, and a female Bullfinch. 13 Snipe on Ernesettle creek.
Clovelly Lake this morning.
6 Goosander 2m 4f, 3 Grey Heron, 1 Kestrel, 1 Tawny Owl calling, 6 Moorhen, 7 Collared Dove.
Exminster and Powderham Marshes yesterday
Mixed flocks of thrushes and buntings at Powderham, plus a bonus green woodpecker and snipe startled from the path.
Exminster very quiet, but barn owl seen briefly behind the Lion’s Rest estate.
Barnstaple to Ashford.
Upwards of 60 Brent Geese, 5 Blacktailed Godwits 2 Grey Plover.1 Kingfisher 2 Snipe,about 30 Dunlin,about 20 Lapwing,1 Bullfinch, 3 Common Sandpiper and small amounts of Longtailed Tits, Goldfinch and Redwing.
West Charleton Marsh & South Huish Marsh
West Charleton: 150 Golden Plover, 24 Dunlin, 12 Brent Geese, 3 Grey Plover, 10 Chiffchaff, 2 Firecrest.
South Huish: 6 Brent Geese, 50+ Snipe, 6 Water Pipit.
Yesterday afternoon on Cholwichtown Lake: Goldeneye f, 1, Teal 1, Tufted Ducks 8, Dabchicks 2, overfly of 2 Ravens
Lower Tamar Lake
Late for yesterday Lower Tamar Lake.
38 Goosander 10 m 28f (15:15), 1m Gadwall, 4 Wigeon 4m 2f, 8 Coot, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 7 Teal.
This morning at Lower Tamar Lake.
32 Goosander 8m 24f (12:00), 3 Shoveler 2m 1f, 1m Gadwall, 7 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 14 Tufted Duck 10m 4f, 1 Willow Tit, 4 Marsh Tit, 1 Grey Heron.
Snowbunting’s – Northam Burrows
Two Snowbunting’s seen near the 7th Tee this morning.