Sunday 25 January 2015

Diver triple bill

Half an hour from the yacht club revealed plenty of activity offshore the highlight being a single Black-throated Diver, along with four Great Northern and at least three Red-throated Diver, getting all three divers is a rare event on patch.  Also present five Common Scoter and 50+ auks, mostly Razorbill but also the first Guillemot of the year. 

Elsewhere in Teignmouth a female type Black Redstart was on the roof of the Thornhill Hotel on Maer Road with the male still in gardens near the rugby club.

Late news from the western end of the patch includes the continuing presence of the Scaup at Decoy with a Firecrest in the surrounding woodland last Friday. 

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Big Garden Birdwatch Recce

The tac tac of a Blackcap drew my attention to the garden over breakfast. At least three birds were again present chasing each other around neighbouring gardens. However the star bird kept out of the affray - a Black Redstart - this one a smart male, so a second bird in just four days and perhaps a returning individual. 

Monday 19 January 2015

A brief Passage of time

Twenty minutes on a rising tide at Passage House late afternoon showed two wintering Common Sandpiper, a Greenshank, 50+ Redshank, with five Oystercatcher and a couple of Lapwing and Curlew

Sunday 18 January 2015

Teignmouth Garden Birding

Saturday morning the resident male Blackcap was being particularly vocal, watching over the next half hour it was defending the Torbay Palm from two other Blackcap (male & female). It also chased off a surprise fem/imm Black Redstart on a couple of occasions, although ignored the Song Thrush feeding on the berries.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Stretching the boundaries

Yesterday a Purple Sandpiper was reported on Devon Birds between Sprey Point and Holcombe. It's chosen rocks are just outside the northern boundary of the recording area, and as it is a very rare bird on patch, hopefully it will venture south in the coming weeks. There was no sign however in a quick look from the yacht club this morning. Offshore there were 10-15 Gannet along with the usual Shag and Cormorant. Two or three Harbour Porpoise heading south close in were unexpected.

Elsewhere a Black Redstart was on the roofs of houses at the junction of Exeter and Gloucester Road. If you time the traffic lights you may be able to see it whilst queueing!

Sunday 11 January 2015

Early WeBS

Counts from the estuary on Wednesday morning included 414 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 71 Redshanks, 10 Greenshanks, 17 Lapwings, 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Dunlin, 1 Common Sandpiper and 10 Little Grebes. Duck numbers varied with 65 Teal and 36 Shelducks at Flow Point but I could only locate 4 Red-breasted Mergansers and 25 Mallards. Still no Goldeneyes or Avocets.

I did the WeBS early as I'm going to Australia next week on a work exchange for a couple of months, followed by a holiday in SE Asia, and won't be back until Easter. This and Laurie returning to his placement in Wales (link to blog on right) means Teign Birds will be quieter over the next couple of months, so apologies in advance for the lack of updates from us!

Monday 5 January 2015

Year ticking

An early morning walk around Hackney Marshes provided a number of year ticks including a Mistle Thrush, a Nuthatch, two Treecreepers and three Reed Buntings. A Water Rail gave excellent views in the wet woodland, nine Bullfinches was a good count and single Chiffchaff and Blackcap were noted in bushes by the car park. Nearby a pair of Stonechats were on the racecourse along with a flock of 35 Skylarks.

A look at the estuary off Coombe Cellars at low tide revealed 36 Common Gulls and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. Elsewhere around the patch three Fieldfares were with Redwings at the top of Hackney Lane and two Stock Doves flew from a field near Bishopsteignton.

Sunday 4 January 2015

Afternoon around patch

An hour at the Teignmouth Yacht Club showed at least seven Great Northern and a Red-throated Diver on the sea along with three distant diver sp, one of which was probably a Black-throat. Also offshore five Common Scoter and a pair of Wigeon.

A couple of quick stops further up patch revealed the Common Sandpiper at Passage House and the drake Scaup still at Decoy.

Thursday 1 January 2015

New Years Day

I didn't make the best of starts to the New Year, mainly because I was with my family, but also because I was lazy and didn't get up early. I managed a 15 minute seawatch off Teignmouth which got me Red-throated Diver and two Great Northern Divers on the sea. About 20 Kittiwakes passed south but sadly weren't accompanied by the Pomarine Skua seen off the Warren earlier in the day.

Next I went to Coombe Cellars and where there was a Kingfisher in front of the pub and a Kestrel hunting the reed bed.

I finished off with a walk around Decoy where I saw most of the common species plus the Scaup.

A calling Tawny Owl made it on to the day list with five minutes to spare to give a total of 46 species.

Great Northern Diver