Monday, 17 June 2019

Gadwalls, Med Gull, WeBS

A better than average June survey today, undertaken during the evening for a change. A pair of Gadwalls that flew down the estuary and landed close to Flow Point was a surprise for mid-summer; somewhat more seasonal was a first-summer Mediterranean Gull in with about 30 Black-headed Gulls at Passage House. Curlew numbers have begun to increase with nine at Flow Point, surely failed breeders this early. Three pairs of Shelducks were seen with two, eight and 14 young, with a further ten adults noted at Flow Point. Other totals included 29 Oystercatchers, 15 Little Egrets, 27 Mute Swans, 51 Canada Geese and three Cormorants.

A brief look off Teignmouth seafront revealed little other than a close-in Grey Seal and a few distant Gannets.

Sunday, 19 May 2019


A Whimbrel and five Ringed Plovers between Flow Point and Salcombe Dip hinted at some ongoing wader passage on the estuary this morning. Other counts included 31 Oystercatchers, one Curlew, 24 Shelducks, 21 Mute Swans, 14 Little Egrets, two Grey Herons, three Shags, 50 Herring Gulls and one Black-headed Gull.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Reed Warbler influx

At least 10 Reed Warblers were scattered about Hackney Marshes this morning; several were foraging in scrub away from wetland areas, suggesting they were probable migrants rather than local breeders. Just one Sedge Warbler was noted with them. Overhead a Whimbrel flew north and small numbers of Swifts and House Martins were foraging over the racecourse.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Swifts but no hirundines

On the last evening of the month two Swifts were back in Kingsteignton, circling over the church, but still no sign of any House Martins around their usual haunts. Also in Kingsteignton but just outside the patch, three Crossbills flew north over Tarrs Avenue on Sunday.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Whimbrels and WeBS

A flock of nine Whimbrels on Flow Point yesterday morning was a good spring count on an otherwise quiet morning around the estuary. Other totals included 42 Oystercatchers, four Common Sandpipers, three Curlew, 19 Shelducks, 15 Mute Swans, 10 Mallards, two Teal, nine Little Egrets and two Sandwich Terns. On Friday Alan Ford counted 10 Turnstones still present on the quay at Teignmouth port.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Wheatears at last

After several fruitless checks of the racecourse over the past few weeks, today finally paid of with a couple of smart male Wheatears together on the northern side; also present were two Sand Martins and a Swallow. A probable Reed Warbler gave a burst of song on the other side of the railway but couldn't be confirmed in the brisk, cold easterly wind.

Friday, 12 April 2019


Bundle Head looked glorious in the sunshine on Thursday morning, though the clear skies meant a drop-off in the number of migrants, with just one Willow Warbler and a handful of territorial Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. A surprise came in the form of a Firecrest creeping around some ivy in a hedgerow, rare in spring here. A female Kestrel was hunting the rough grassland by the cliff edge.

Monday, 8 April 2019

Yellow Wagtail

Thick fog descended on Bundle Head soon after my arrival this morning, and the birding was unsurprisingly hard going. The bushes held four Willow Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs and 10 Blackcaps but not one of the male Redstarts that seem to be popping up at most other south coast locations. After an hour I was heading back to the car when a Yellow Wagtail came calling out of the mist and plonked down in the middle of Shaldon Golf Course for five minutes, before continuing its journey north.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019


Totals from Passage House to Salcombe Dip yesterday morning comprised 77 Oystercatchers, 33 Curlew, five Redshanks, three Greenshanks,16 Mute Swans, 39 Shelducks, 11 Red-breasted Mergansers, three Mallards, two Cormorants, two Shags, 12 Little Egrets, 205 Herring Gulls, six Black-headed Gulls and singles of Common Sandpiper and Great Crested Grebe.

On Sunday afternoon the first Osprey of the year was reported fishing between Shaldon Bridge and Coombe Cellars.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Sand Martins

It was heartening to see three Sand Martins over the fields at Teigngrace this morning, battling against the hail showers. Five Little Egrets, eight Mute Swans and 85 Canada Geese were also present. Hackney Marshes produced two singing Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap in sub-song and overhead a Buzzard so pale that it had me briefly dreaming of light-morph Booted Eagle. Lastly an Eider, a Razorbill, three Great Northern Divers and 15 Common Scoters were off Teignmouth yacht club around midday.

Yesterday two Sandwich Terns flew south past Teignmouth and on Friday Laurie had another Green Sandpiper at Teigngrace.