Saturday 26 October 2013

Autumn meets winter

This morning's fare provided the feeling that we are entering the transitional period between the two seasons. I started off with a brief seawatch from the yacht club at Teignmouth, where four Kittiwakes, 3 auk sp. and a Common Gull flew south in half an hour before the sun became too dazzling to continue. A look around the bowling green failed to produce the hoped-for Black Redstart, but returning to the seafront I relocated the Bonaparte's Gull again just north of the pier. It's now in full winter plumage, with a large dark spot just behind each eye.

After stopping for coffee during a heavy rain shower I visited the Luxton's Steps area just south of Bishopsteignton (of Short-toed Lark fame). There were plenty of small passerines about including around 50 Meadow Pipit, 21 Skylark, c.10 Redwing, a Grey Wagtail and a Redpoll heard overhead. Four Teal flew out from the marshy area adjacent to the railway, which also held a Reed Bunting and two squealing Water Rail. The best bird was a late Whinchat flitting about the tops of the vegetation.

On to Flow Point, where large numbers of Curlew and Oystercatcher were roosting up against the railway; I counted 105 and 390 respectively. Four Dunlin flew out across the water and two Common Sandpipers were on the Point briefly. It was good to see my first returning Red-breasted Merganser, and there were at least 14 Shag on the water, making a mockery of a comment I made in a previous posting about them being uncommon this side of the Shaldon Bridge. The only passerines of note here were 5 Linnet and a Rock Pipit.


  1. The Whinchat is only a week behind Dawlish Warren's latest ever which was back in 1980.

  2. I was a bit surprised to see it. Seawatched for an hour this afternoon, saw nothing!