Friday, 28 March 2014

First Wheatear

Today was my first day back for the Easter holidays, so I thought I'd make the most of it by going to Teignmouth to look for migrants in Eastcliff Park and the fields above it. Here's a view from the top of the cliff...

The Ness with Bundle Head above it in the middle of the photo, with Hopes Nose over to the left.
After seeing just five Chiffchaffs and two Blackcaps on my way up through the park, I felt a little disappointed as I reached the top field. Until...

The patch's first Wheatear popped up on a fence!
It allowed me to approach pretty close and I managed to get some good photos...

This area seems like it could be really good for migrants. Plenty of good habitat with thick hedgerows and lots of fences. If only the grass was a bit shorter though.

I searched the area for a good two hours but couldn't turn up anything better.

When I got back down to the bottom, I had a two hour seawatch from about 12:00 - 14:00. The strong onshore winds meant the sea was pretty choppy, but I managed to pick out three Red-throated Divers on the sea with a further three flying by. Two Common Scoters flew north, two Fulmars flew north and south, a Sandwich Tern was fishing distantly offshore, and two Great Northern Divers flew in high from the north, one of which landed on the sea off The Ness. Also, two or three Harbour Porpoises swam south.

A quick check of the racecourse on my way back didn't reveal anything interesting.

Mark Bailey reports a Dipper on the River Lemon near Albany Street in Newton Abbot which has been there for a while.

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