Saturday, 26 September 2020


There was a fair bit of migration going on overhead at Bundle Head this morning, although it was almost impossible to pick most birds out against the clear blue skies. Redpolls were heard on at least half a dozen occasions and were joined by by regular movements of Linnet, Siskin, Meadow Pipit and Chaffinch, plus two Swallows. In the bushes was fairly typical late September fare - 17 Chiffchaffs, 10 Blackcaps, five Goldcrests, four Song Thrushes and single Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Uncommon waders on the Teign

An hour spent at Flow Point yesterday morning failed to show the Osprey which had been seen the previous afternoon, however reward came in the form of a Knot in with the Oystercatcher flock. Knot is scarce on the Teign, with only a few records in the last 20 or so years. A Bar-tailed Godwit, found by Kev on The Salty this morning is another less than annual bird on the Teign. On Friday Kev also found a White Stork flying over Teignmouth; likely one of the re-introduced birds from the Knepp Estate in West Sussex.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Bundle Head

Early morning visits to Bundle Head both yesterday and today in sunny conditions with a gentle northerly breeze revealed a few birds in the bushes and hedgerows. The highlights came today, with a Spotted Flycatcher in an ash tree briefly, and a Tree Pipit flushed from long grass. Around 15 Chiffchaffs were seen on both mornings, many of which were following a roving Long-tailed Tit flock. Other counts included one Willow Warbler, two Whitethroat and seven Blackcap. Very little passed overhead, however singles of Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail were recorded today with a trickle of Swallows.

Spotted Flycatcher
Bundle Head in morning sunshine with recent scrub clearance

Sunday, 23 August 2020


Totals from today's WeBS count included 60 Curlew, three Whimbrel, three Black-tailed Godwit, two Dunlin, one Snipe, 12 Greenshank, nine Common Sandpiper, 304 Oystercatcher, seven Turnstone, 30 Mute Swan, 29 Little Egret and c.18 Sandwich Tern.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Yellow-legged Gull?

Waders at Passage House this morning included three Greenshank, three Common Sandpipers and four Whimbrel, with a handful of Sandwich Terns, including a couple of juveniles, fishing down river.

This gull caught my eye when it took flight:

The dark wings, inner primaries, and pale white rump looked spot on for Yellow-legged Gull, however, when it landed, the notched tertials and speckling in greater coverts, as well as the rather 'soft' look suddenly left it looking like 'just' a Herring Gull. I'd be grateful for any opinions.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Med Gull influx

At least 23 Mediterranean Gulls - comprising five juveniles, a first-summer and 17+ second-summers and adults - were with the Black-headed Gull flock off Passage House on the falling tide this afternoon. This is probably a record for the Teign, and coincides with a record count this evening on the upper Exe Estuary at Topsham Rec where 62 have been counted. At the other end of the patch Kev recorded two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls on the Salty.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

Juvenile Meds and LRP

A juvenile Little Ringed Plover was a nice surprise to find at Passage House this morning, loosely associating with a group of six Dunlin. A Whimbrel and three Black-tailed Godwit also suggested the beginning of return wader passage.

As the tide rose, Mediterranean Gulls kept appearing in the Black-headed Gull flock, with a total of nine (3 ad., 2 2S, 3 1S and 3 juv.) eventually being seen.

A juvenile Water Rail also busily fed on the edge of the reedbed.

Dunlin and Little Ringed Plover
Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull and Little Egret
Black-tailed Godwits
Black-tailed Godwits

Monday, 6 July 2020

Juvenile Yellow-legged Gull

A classic juvenile Yellow-legged Gull at Passage House was the standout bird of this morning's WeBS count; it may be the first juvenile to be recorded in Devon this year. Three adult Mediterranean Gulls were roosting with c.200 Black-headed Gulls at Flow Point although no terns could be picked out. Other totals included 84 Canada Geese, 38 Mute Swans, 10 Little Egrets, 31 Curlew, 15 Oystercatchers and two Common Sandpipers. Plastic waterfowl included presumably the same Bar-headed Goose seen in April back at Passage House.

Yellow-legged Gull

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Late to the party

Arriving at Teignmouth at 9.30am, having seen a surprisingly good haul of seabirds up the coast at Dawlish Warren, I knew that the majority of passage would already have passed. Over the following 1.5 hours, six Balearic Shearwaters, six Arctic Skuas, one Fulmar, 10 'commic' terns, six Common Scoter and a Swift flew south, and a 2nd summer Mediterranean Gull showed close off the seafront.

Sunday, 7 June 2020


A typically quiet June count this morning produced 81 Canada Geese, 35 Mallards, 22 Mute Swans, 16 Little Egrets, 150 Herring Gulls, 53 Black-headed Gulls, two Great Black-backed Gulls, five Cormorants,10 Oystercatchers and a Ringed Plover. Shelducks appear to be having a mixed breeding season; there was just one chick alongside 14 adults at Flow Point, whereas at Passage House a single pair was accompanied by no fewer than 19 young! Typical clutch size is 8-10 although Shelducks are known to leave their offspring to be supervised by other parents.

A visit to Rackerhayes last Monday for the first time since pre-lockdown produced three Tufted Ducks, five Sand Martins, a Kingfisher, numerous Coots with chicks and a pair of Mute Swans with seven young.

Just before midnight a vocal Bar-tailed Godwit was flying over the Salty at Teignmouth, presumably a new arrival as not picked up on the count.