Monday 21 April 2014

Brief Sanderling and many Wheatears

With the forecast for showers and a south-easterly breeze Laurie and I decided to give seawatching from Teignmouth a try this morning. It proved just about worth it, with the year's first Manx Shearwater heading south and 7 Common Scoters flying north along with single figure counts of auks, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Fulmars and Sandwich Terns. It became apparent after an hour that things weren't going to improve so we moved on to Flow Point, where the flock of migrant Whimbrel had increased to 9 and a Willow Warbler sang nearby. No sign of yesterday's Little Ringed Plover however.

We then had a look at Passage House from the car park, where a group of 5 Great Crested Grebes was slightly unseasonal and 4 Common Sandpipers foraged along the spit. Seemingly out of nowhere a Sanderling flew in and landed on the spit for a matter of seconds, before flying off down the estuary and out of sight. We parted ways shortly after but Laurie counted 16 Wheatears on the racecourse on his walk home, a very good count suggesting a decent overnight fall.

Whimbrel at Flow Point

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