Mid Devon Field Meet at Dawlish Warren

Continuous rain and floods on the road can be daunting at the best of times, offering little hope for the prospect of a bird filled morning amongst the dunes and heathland of Dawlish Warren for November’s Mid Devon fieldmeet.  Nevertheless, on Thursday 16th Nov, six members converged at the carpark close to the tunnel to park on the crown of the camber, the only area remaining free of deep standing water.  Good views of Rock Pipit, Sanderling and Turnstones.  A Great Skua passed offshore above the breakers.  Flocks of Goldfinches and Linnets punctuated the sky with Bullfinches among the brambles, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits in the grass and Teal in the open water amongst the reeds.  With Spoonbills in the distance, Curlew calling and a persistent Kestrel, the most notable event was the appearance of a Shorteared Owl that flew up when disturbed by the golf course maintenance truck, alighting on the gorse and offering 30 minutes of close viewing, always alert even when dozing, happily sharing the same spot with a Magpie before being roused by a golf cart for a flight across the sea to the shore in the far distance.