Sunday, 22 January 2023


A high tide well before sunrise on core count day didn't make for ideal counting conditions, and numbers of some species (larger waders in particular) were down this morning compared with what are expected for January, although there was a reasonable variety on show. Totals included 297 Oystercatchers, 24 Curlew, 23 Turnstones, 22 Avocets, c.50 Redshanks, three Greenshanks, 16 Dunlin, 10 Snipe, two Ringed Plovers, two Lapwings, one Common Sandpiper, 33 Shelducks, 17 Red-breasted Mergansers, eight Teal, four Mute Swans, 22 Little Egrets, two Grey Herons, two Great Crested Grebes, four Little Grebes, 12 Common Gulls, one Lesser Black-backed Gulls and one Kingfisher. A very brief look off Teignmouth seafront revealed four Razorbills and another Great Crested Grebe offshore with six Fulmars back on the cliffs at Holcombe.

Monday, 2 January 2023

New Year's Day

A 3.5hr morning walk taking in various Kingsteignton sites, plus a lunchtime scan from Teignmouth seafront, produced a healthy 71 species to start the year. Hackney Marshes provided a Firecrest, two Buzzards, a female Bullfinch and close views of a Water Rail. Three Kingfishers were present in the Passage House area, where 17 Avocets were feeding and a Chiffchaff called from the reeds. Rackerhayes was quieter than expected but did hold three Mandarins, 26 Tufted Ducks and various woodland species including Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Off Teignmouth, 6+ Great Northern Divers (with a probable Black-throated Diver reported), several Gannets, Razorbills and single Kittiwake and Fulmar. Twelve Turnstones were roosting on a boat off Polly Steps. 



Wednesday, 28 December 2022

Goosander, Green Sandpiper

 A low-tide visit to the Passage House area this afternoon produced a redhead Goosander (the 150th species of the year), three Greenshanks and 46 Dunlin. Goosanders are barely annual visitors to the estuary despite regularly occurring (and breeding) on the River Teign. A check of the flooded meadows at Teigngrace revealed this Green Sandpiper.

Tuesday, 13 December 2022


Totals from around the estuary across a bitterly cold weekend included 342 Oystercatchers, 87 Redshanks, four Greenshanks, 61 Dunlin, just 38 Curlew, 24 Turnstones, 10 Avocets, eight Ringed Plovers, three Knot, two Common Sandpipers, 27 Little Egrets, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 15 Mallards, 12 Shelducks, 10 Teal, seven Wigeon, eight Mute Swans, three Little Grebes and singles of Kingfisher, Lapwing and Snipe. The Knot, and increased Dunlin and Little Egret numbers, probably point to a slight influx from the freezing conditions.

Friday, 2 December 2022

Spot Red again

The Spotted Redshank was at Passage House on the dropping tide with 42 Redshank, 14 Curlew and 10 Oystercatcher. Also present three Red-breasted Merganser, two Kingfisher and a Common Sandpiper. 

At Decoy Lake another Kingfisher and eight Tufted Duck.

Monday, 28 November 2022

Black Red again

Teignmouth Port has traditionally been the most reliable place to find Black Redstart around the Teign, and on Sunday morning one duly obliged after a short search - possibly the same bird seen on the roof of the Jolly Sailor a couple of weeks ago. A quick scan off the seafront produced two Common Scoters, at least one Great Northern Diver and a very close Kittiwake foraging along the shore with Black-headed Gulls.

Black Redstart

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Marsh Tit

A first visit to Rackerhayes since the spring was rewarded with a Marsh Tit, seen and heard twice in scrub on the eastern side, along with two Chiffchaffs, three Bullfinches, 10+ Siskins and singles of Grey Wagtail, NuthatchGreen Woodpecker and Kingfisher. Waterfowl numbers were disappointing with just three Tufted Ducks and two Great Crested Grebes of note.

Monday, 14 November 2022

WeBS, Spotted Redshank, Black Redstart

A Spotted Redshank roosting with c.50 Redshanks at Flow Point was the highlight of Sunday morning's count; hopefully it'll remain on the estuary for the winter. Other totals included 320 Oystercatchers, 61 Curlew, 18 Turnstones, six Dunlin, four Ringed Plovers, 21 Mute Swans, nine Shelducks, eight Red-breasted Mergansers, six Teal, four Wigeon, three Little Grebes, 15 Cormorants, six Shags, two Common Gulls, one Lesser Black-backed Gull and one Kingfisher. A Black Redstart on the roof of the Jolly Sailor pub in Teignmouth (photos here) and on Saturday, a Dipper was singing on the River Lemon in Newton Abbot by the Albany Street bridge.

Sunday, 30 October 2022

Pom Skua

A lingering Pomarine Skua was the highlight of a seawatch from Teignmouth yacht club from 07:00 - 08:30 this morning. It briefly hassled a passing Gannet, one of 430 logged going south which included a good number of immature birds; reassuring to see after the year the species has had. The hoped-for Great Shearwater failed to materialise but a late Balearic Shearwater flew past along with one unidentified distant shearwater. Also noted were five Great Northern Divers (four south, one on the sea), two Mediterranean Gulls, two Red-breasted Mergansers, one Common Scoter, c.300 Kittiwakes and c.100 auks.

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Brambling, Redpoll, Firecrest

A terrific hour of vis mig from the top of Bundle Head yesterday morning, with an almost constant stream of passerines heading south from before sunrise. Goldfinches and Linnets dominated proceedings with 262 and 185 respectively; Redwing (138) and Meadow Pipit (136) were the other species to make three figures. A bit of quality was provided by eight Bullfinches, five Siskins, a Brambling and a Redpoll. Also noted were 49 Chaffinches, 22 Pied/White Wagtails, four Song Thrushes and two Swallows. Nearby a Firecrest was calling in The Ness.