North Devon

Started today at Fremington Pill where 5 Glossy Ibis were present down past the sluice. Several Greenshank and the Spotted Redshank in amongst the hordes of Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank. However our visit was not for these goodies but a very credible report of Jack Snipe at Saltpill duck Pond. Well we looked (with very precise directions) for quite a while but not even a Snipe, but just before we left (about 11.am.) 3 Ibis were in the field to the west of the pond. When we got back to the Pill, no Ibis at all so the three were most likely part of that group. Not sure how this ties in with Phil's sighting earlier.. So we went off west and crossed the border onto Cornwall! At Tamar lakes we saw 3 Egyptian Geese and 3 Tundra Bean Geese, but they were in Cornwall, as were the Willow Tits around the edge of the Upper lake. But the Marsh Tits were in Devon by the Lower lake. We counted 32 Goosander there too. On to Bursdon Moor (properly back in Devon now) started slowly with a female Sparrowhaawk heading West with the wind. A few minutes later a smart Barn Owl headed East. A bit later still we added a female Hen Harrier and 2 Merlins - one of which flew at breakneck speed from the lowest part of the moor up the long slope to the west eventually rising up to take a small bird in the air! To complete the set, a female Peregrine also flew through. We then returned to Fremington to collect my car and watched in the gathering gloom as a dozen+ Egrets came in to roost = nearly all Cattle Egrets. Biggest surprise though was a 'Roding' Woodcock which flew past below the skyline so we only heard it!

Posted January 14th at 7:26 pm by Jon Turner in Bird News