Saturday 6 September 2014

Wader variety

An hour's birding mid-morning revealed an impressive minimum of 8 Whinchats on the racecourse, alongside 2 Wheatears and scores of Linnets and Swallows. Most birds were alongside the central track that bisects the racecourse and showed well from the cycle path. Nearby at Hackney Marshes three Water Rails and two Kingfishers gave close views in the main channel from the bridge.

Whinchats, Newton Abbot Racecourse

I spent the latter part of the afternoon doing the WeBS count, and trialled a new, extended survey route that involved working my way eastwards along the northern side of the estuary before travelling back westwards along the southern side, stopping at Passage House, Flow Point, Polly Steps, Arch Brook, Passage House again (from Hackney Lane) and finally Town Quay Bridge. On World Shorebird Day it was probably the best day of the year so far for Teign waders with eleven species recorded and a welcome increase in numbers for some species. Totals were 373 Oystercatchers, 92 Curlew, 12 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plovers, 15 Greenshanks (all at Passage House), 3 Redshanks, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits (singles at Passage House and Flow Point), 7 Turnstones, 3 Common Sandpipers and a Whimbrel. Other counts included 54 Little Egrets with the majority roosting in trees at Passage House and 3 Little Grebes in the channels.

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