Mamhead, Cockwood, Exminster & Exeter

In the plantations around Mamhead were several groups of Crossbills, maybe 30 in total, including two singing males, one, most unusually, in a Beech tree, and the other incorporating a Great Tit-like tea-cher phrase which I have not heard before, plus many Siskins, but alas, for the second Winter running, no Redpolls.

In the farmland below a small flock of thrushes, maybe 10 Fieldfare and 20 Redwing, were perhaps the last of the Winter.

At Cockwood, the Slavonian Grebe was very close inshore, feeding in the outflow from the harbour. Inland were a minimum of 21 Cattle Egrets, half in the valley bottom and half with the cattle in the fields on the North side of the valley.

At Exminster, the bonus bird of the day was the Marsh Harrier, seen from the railway bridge flying high South.

Back in Exeter, the rookery in Southernhay now has at least 18 nests, the most yet I think. I have not noticed if they have joined the gulls in feeding on chips etc. from the pavement or opening rubbish bags. On Trews Weir, three pairs of graellssii LBB Gulls have arrived for the Summer (a pair of intermedius used to spend the Winter here, but not for five years or so), plus two pairs of GBB Gulls. If the latter start scavenging on the streets, Spotlight and the E & E will have an easy "seagull" story.  

Posted March 11th, 2020 at 10:39 pm by James Camden in Bird News