Sunday, 17 October 2021

More vis mig

 Another hour watching migration over Bundle Head from 07:40 - 08:40 this morning. Going south: 139 Meadow Pipits, 102 Linnets, 63 alba Wagtails, 37 Goldfinches, 32 Siskins, 21 Chaffinches and 10 Greenfinches. Small flocks of Jackdaws and Woodpigeons were also on the move just inland but weren't counted. A Firecrest was heard briefly by the road.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Great White Egret, WeBS

 A busy autumn day started with an hour of vis mig at the top of Bundle Head from 07:30 - 08:30. Overall numbers were lower than last week but there was greater variety, with 29 Stock Doves probably the best count; also 66 Goldfinches, 42 Meadow Pipits, 35 Linnets, 19 alba Wagtails, 16 Chaffinches, 10 Greenfinches, five Skylarks, three Swallows, three Bullfinches, a Jay, a Grey Wagtail and a Great Spotted Woodpecker

The WeBS count from 08:00 until late morning produced 349 Oystercatchers, 78 Curlew, 28 Turnstones, 11 Ringed Plovers, 11 Redshanks, eight Dunlin, three Common Sandpipers, three Greenshanks, two Bar-tailed Godwits, 49 Little Egrets, 16 Cormorants, 88 Canada Geese, 37 Mute Swans, 20 Mallards, four Shelducks, two Kingfishers and a Wigeon. Gulls included single Mediterranean Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull.

At around 12:45 a Great White Egret was discovered in one of the channels south-east of Passage House (found by Paul Darlington; thanks for the text Mark Bailey); this is believed to be the first confirmed record for the Teign. It was still present from 5pm until dusk and gave excellent views at times, including side-by-side with some of the local Little Egrets.

Great White Egret by Laurie Allnatt

Turnstones by Alan Ford

Sunday, 3 October 2021

780 mph (Mipits per hour)

After yesterday's rain, today dawned bright and calm and the visible migration floodgates were well and truly opened over Bundle Head. Meadow Pipits dominated proceedings with a whopping 780 logged going south between 07:10 and 08:10, with a supporting cast of 165 Linnets, 112 Goldfinches, 94 Swallows/hirundine species, 12 alba Wagtails and a Grey Wagtail. The next few weeks should see Skylarks and Chaffinches begin to feature in overhead movements, along with (hopefully) a few scarcities such as Crossbill and Brambling, followed by some big movements of Woodpigeons in early November. 

Looking north from the highest point on Bundle Head, above Smugglers Cove.
The steep ground means that passerines often fly over at just above head height
when moving south in the autumn.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

Kittiwake passage, Arctic Skuas, Common Terns

Seawatching from Teignmouth yacht club from 07:15 - 08:45 this morning produced a heavy passage of 1050 Kittiwakes, with birds moving south at a rate of 100 every five minutes from 07:20 - 08:05 before tailing off. Just one Balearic Shearwater went through but eight Arctic Skuas was a good total, the majority of which were following the trail of Kittiwakes. Also two late Common Terns, an adult Mediterranean Gull, five Common Scoters, 200+ Gannets and 30+ auks.

Thursday, 30 September 2021

News from the East

A second winter Caspian Gull was on the Salty this evening, the third patch, and Salty, record and the first since 2018. Recent seawatching counts include six Balearic Shearwater, three Arctic Skua and 40 Kittiwake south past Teignmouth in 20 minutes mid evening on 27 Sep and on 29th, 11 Balearic Shearwater, an Arctic Skua, 80 Kittiwake in just half an hour mid afternoon. 

Other recent Teignmouth highlights include a Moorhen on 25 Sep and a Coot on 1 Sep, both calling overhead at night.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Little Stint, Spot Fly, WeBS

A productive morning started with a look around Bundle Head, which revealed singles of Spotted Flycatcher, Wheatear and Whitethroat, plus numerous Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. Overhead passage showed signs of getting going with three Grey Wagtails, c.30 each of Swallow and House Martin and a trickle of Meadow Pipits, Chaffinches and Goldfinches.

Onto the WeBS count, where the standout bird was a flighty Little Stint at Passage House, although the bizarre sighting of a Grey Squirrel swimming across from the spit as it became stranded by the rising tide also caught the attention. Other (bird) totals included 377 Oystercatchers, 68 Curlew, 15 Greenshanks, 10 Turnstones, six Dunlin, five Common Sandpipers, four Black-tailed Godwits, two Ringed Plovers, 30 Mallards, 21 Mute Swans, 24 Little Egrets, 16 Cormorants, a Kingfisher, a Whimbrel and a Wigeon

At least one Yellow Wagtail and a couple more Grey Wagtails were heard overhead while counting at Flow Point. 

Spotted Flycatcher

Little Stint

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Dolphins up close

A wildlife cruise of Labrador Bay with Devon Sea Safari this morning produced outstanding views of a pod of six Common Dolphins, which swam around and under the boat and followed in its wake for some time. Few seabirds were noted, with just a few Kittiwakes, Gannets and a Mediterranean Gull, and no terns which was surprising given the numbers around the Exe recently. Later on, a couple of Turnstones were roosting off Teignmouth back beach and just outside the patch, two Tree Pipits flew over Holcombe.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021


 A Wryneck was photographed in a Teignmouth garden today (photo here).

Very quiet on a breezy Bundle Head this morning, the best being two Grey Wagtails overhead and a Green Woodpecker.

Sunday, 22 August 2021


Last Sunday's count produced 215 Oystercatchers, 66 Curlew, 14 Greenshanks, five Whimbrels, three Dunlin, three Common Sandpipers, two Turnstones, 71 Mute Swans, 27 Canada Geese, 12 Mallards, 11 Cormorants, 30 Little Egrets, two Sandwich Terns, 600 Black-headed Gulls, 150 Herring Gulls, three Great Black-backed Gulls and a Kingfisher. A White Wagtail was also noted.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Hobby, butterflies

An afternoon stroll through Kingsteignton was enlivened by a Hobby chasing Swifts and House Martins over the centre of the town. 

There has been an increase in butterflies in the 'wilded' front garden recently, including Gatekeeper and Common Blue.