Plymouth Branch Outdoor Meeting at Slapton Ley – Friday 12th November 2021

A group of 26 members of Devon Birds met at 9am at Slapton Bridge in dry but cloudy and blustery conditions. 

We firstly checked the beach by the memorial car park as there have been regular sightings of Snow Bunting there over the last two weeks. Though one committee member had a sighting, the birds flew and only a few attendees were lucky to see them. We decided after some time awaiting a return of the birds to go back to the Ley and then to re-check the beach later on at the end of the meeting.

The group divided and, led by Plymouth Branch committee members, we followed the “Family trail” that skirts the perimeter of the Ley and affords good views of the water birds, stopping for prolonged watching at the Ireland Bay viewing platform, the quarry dell and the hide overlooking the Wet Woodland.

Upon our return to the beach area at 1.30pm we had excellent prolonged views of firstly one male Snow Bunting and then a female joined the male and again gave all superb views whilst they were feeding on weed and grass seeds.

In total we recorded 50 sightings and 2 ‘heard’ (Water Rail and Cetti’s Warbler) species listed below:

Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Grey Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Rock Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Stonechat, Cetti’s warbler, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Firecrest, Wren, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Jackdaw, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Snow Bunting.

Leader: John Lloyd