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.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021


Totals from Sunday morning included 70 Mute Swans, 60 Canada Geese, 14 Mallards, 53 Little Egrets, 108 Oystercatchers, 37 Curlew, 11 Greenshanks, five Turnstones, three Whimbrels, three Common Sandpipers, two Sandwich Terns, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a Common Gull and a Moorhen

Turnstone (Alan Ford)

Monday, 5 July 2021

Returning waders, swan-fest

A nice selection of waders at Passage House on Sunday evening confirmed that return passage is well underway, with two adult Little Ringed Plovers, five Common Sandpipers, four Greenshanks, three Redshanks, 47 Curlew and a Whimbrel noted. The annual summer buildup of Mute Swans is reaching its peak with an impressive 71 recorded; based on WeBS data this appears to be the highest estuary count since 1983/84.

Monday, 14 June 2021

WeBS, Osprey

On the estuary yesterday morning were 10 Curlew, eight Oystercatchers, 68 Canada Geese, 55 Mute Swans, 25 Shelducks, eight Mallards, six Little Egrets, 11 Cormorants and one Shag. Later an Osprey flew east over Kingsteignton at 5.50pm; sightings are unusual in June, and are perhaps linked to wandering birds from the Rutland and/or Poole Harbour translocated populations.

Monday, 31 May 2021

WeBS, LRP, Red Kite

The highlight of a delayed WeBS count yesterday morning was a Little Ringed Plover on the spit at Passage House, although three Great Crested Grebes off Flow Point was perhaps more unexpected for the time of year. Other totals included 13 Oystercatchers, seven Cormorants, four Sandwich Terns, 45 Mute Swans, 42 Canada Geese, 36 Shelducks (plus seven young with one pair), 10 Mallards and a/the Bar-headed Goose.

Today a Red Kite flew north over Kingsteignton just after 10:00.

Thursday, 20 May 2021

Arctic Skua

During a two hour seawatch this morning between 09:30 and 11:30, a pale-morph Arctic Skua flew south along with 110+ Manx Shearwater, c.20 Kittiwake, c.20 Fulmar, 200+ Guillemots and three Common Scoter. Three Great Northern Diver (including two in summer-plumage) were on the sea a fair way out, and four others flew south.

Kev reported a flock of 12 Sanderling and five Dunlin on The Salty on Monday after a heavy rain shower. Also a first summer Mediterranean Gull there today with 725 Herring Gull


Saturday, 8 May 2021

Great Skua, Whinchats

Quantity over quality was the order of this morning's seawatch (07:05 - 08:45). Guillemots were a major feature with numerous small groups and occasional parties of up to 20 loafing on the sea and flying south, with 200+ recorded in total. Kittiwakes (c.100) were also on the move, joined by smaller numbers of Gannets (including two very close in) and a handful of Fulmars. Also noted were a Great Skua (flew north then lingered off Holcombe), a Common Scoter, two Manx Shearwaters, three Dunlin, nine Swallows and three Swifts.

News filtering through from social media indicated that there was an arrival of passerine migrants elsewhere along the South Devon coast, and Laurie suggested that the racecourse might hold something interesting. This proved to be a great shout as a pair of cracking male Whinchats were discovered early afternoon along the southern side by the footpath. Also present were four Whimbrels foraging near the grandstand.




Wednesday, 5 May 2021


A short seawatch on Monday between 13:30 and 15:00 was quiet, with five Sandwich Terns, 22 Fulmars, one Curlew and approximately 80-90 Manx Shearwaters, many of which kept streaming back north in the direction of the wind.

Friday, 30 April 2021


One of two Whimbrels present just before high tide at Passage House this morning. The other flew up from dense vegetation and both birds then flew down the estuary, calling loudly. Also four Dunlin and two Common Sandpipers on the spit.

Whitethroat back on territory at Bundle Head yesterday

Wednesday, 28 April 2021


A long overdue first Wheatear of the spring was on the racecourse this morning along with a singing Sedge Warbler. Another Sedge Warbler was at Hackney Marshes, where at least five Reed Warblers were back on territory.