North Devon coast

At Rillage Point and Widmouth Hill at first light and then at Trentishoe this afternoon, signs of passage all around, with noticeable movements of Meadow Pipits (e.g. flock of 40+ in coastal pasture at Trentishoe), together with small numbers of Pied Wagtails, Chaffinches, Linnets and Siskins, plus Black-headed, Common and Lesser Black-backed Gulls passing offshore. Most noticeable was an influx of Stonechats, with 20 in a short stretch of the coast path E of Trentishoe Down, in an area where there were none a few weeks ago. Everything is about two to three weeks earlier than normal. At Trentishoe at 16.45 heard a rushing of air through wings and looked up to see a flock of c.40 migrating Black-headed Gulls that had presumably used the tail winds to take a cross-country route over Devon and Exmoor before ''whiffling' down from c.500m to sea level in just a few seconds, then continuing N towards Wales, low over the Channel. An amazing sight and sound.

Posted February 23rd, 2019 at 7:15 pm by Tim Jones in Bird News