Saturday 29 November 2014

Decoy Lake

I only had time for a brief look at Decoy Lake this morning, where the male Scaup remains but more unexpected was a party of 5 Teal, the first time I've seen this species on the lake. Also 30 Tufted Ducks and singles of Great Crested Grebe, Kingfisher and Chiffchaff present.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Black Redstart(s)

A couple of Black Redstart have been around Mere Lane in Teignmouth for a week or so but none from the usual location of the Rugby Club until today. Not the hoped for returning male but a fem/imm type was on boats at Polly Steps before flying over the railway to the playing fields.

Out on the Salty Shelduck, Mute Swan and Red-breasted Merganser have returned to this section of the estuary for the winter with 220+ Oystercatcher and half a dozen Curlew present on the rising tide.

Brent Goose numbers double!

It's too early to tell if they'll spend the winter here, but for now the Teign officially has a flock of Brent Geese - two birds were foraging on the saltmarsh at Flow Point at midday, unperturbed by nearby fishermen. Also on the marsh were a Kingfisher, two Common Sandpipers and two Rock Pipits, whilst a scan of the estuary revealed 24 Red-breasted Mergansers in a single flock near the Shaldon bridge.

Earlier on a visit to Decoy Lake produced the usual male Scaup, a Kingfisher, 31 Tufted Ducks and a Great Crested Grebe. Good numbers of Redwings were on the move overhead, with several large flocks totalling c.500 along with my first Fieldfares of the autumn. Afterwards I had a look at the floods at Teigngrace, where a first-winter Mediterranean Gull was in amongst the masses of Black-headed Gulls and 28 Little Egrets was an impressive sight in a single field; two Teal and a Curlew were also noted there.

Monday 10 November 2014

WeBS totals

A lone Brent Goose at Flow Point was the best bird of this morning's WeBS, only the second patch record of the year following three at Teignmouth way back on New Year's Day.

Other counts included 327 Oystercatchers, 94 Curlew, 43 Redshanks, 6 Black-tailed Godwits, 15 Red-breasted Mergansers (good to see them back), 3 Common Sandpipers, 2 Little Grebes and singles of Great Crested Grebe, Snipe and Kingfisher.

Late news for yesterday: the male Scaup remains at Decoy Lake, now sporting its usual bottle-green head plumage, and a Black Redstart was reported from Teignmouth.

Saturday 8 November 2014

Not bad for November

The recent spell of decent seawatching continued this morning with an impressive 19 Pomarine Skuas heading south past Teignmouth yacht club between 08:10 and 09:50. This included a superb light adult close in at 09:25 closely followed by a group of six dark birds at 09:33. Also noted were 2 Great Skuas, 5 skua sp, 2 Little Gulls, 430+ Kittiwakes, 4 Great Northern Divers and 11 Common Scoters.

As I was leaving I bumped into Robin who was just setting up and he had a further 18 Pomarine Skuas up until 11:45 along with 1 Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skuas, 3 Great Northern Divers and 2 Common Scoters.

Monday 3 November 2014


Seawatching from Teignmouth yacht club from 07:00-08:00 this morning produced at least 6 Pomarine Skuas heading south, associating with small flocks of Kittiwakes. They were too far out to be aged (all were dark and presumed juveniles) but close enough for their bulky shape and broad 'arms' to be evident. Also noted were four very distant skua sp. and an adult winter plumage Mediterranean Gull.

Sunday 2 November 2014

More sofa seawatching

Saturday - With increasing winds a quick look offshore from Teignmouth late afternoon saw 50+ Kittiwake sat on the sea and a probable Pomarine Skua heading south.

Sunday - Another lazy late afternoon look at the sea saw at least two Pomarine Skua chasing Kittiwake offshore with three others too distant to nail but probably also Poms. Another welcome house tick especially as it takes the total to a nice round number  - 100.

Elsewhere a Firecrest was at the Ness, a Kestrel was hunting Shaldon beach and 14 Turnstone and eight Ringed Plover were on the Salty.