Friday, 1 January 2016

Sooty Shearwater

A good start to the year with 73 species recorded on patch. After a cloudy but dry start heavy rain moved in by 10:00 and lasted until 13:30, by which time the wind was strong to gale force SE. Bird of the day was the Sooty Shearwater that bombed its way north distantly past Teignmouth at 14:00, fifteen minutes after Laurie and I had settled into a seawatch that also produced 14+ Great Northern Divers (6+ on the sea and 8+ in flight), 150+ Kittiwakes, 40+ Fulmars, two Common Scoters, three Guillemots, a Razorbill, 10+ auks and numerous Gannets by 15:45.

Earlier in the day Decoy Country Park provided the hoped-for year ticks with the male Scaup, Gadwall and Teal all still present and a decent selection of passerines in the woods including Marsh Tit, NuthatchTreecreeper and a vocal Firecrest. Passage House was also productive with two Avocets bobbing about on the water alongside the usual selection of waders and gulls. Nearby Newton Abbot Racecourse held a pair of Stonechats.

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