Thursday 29 October 2015

Cattle Egrets

After a report of a Cattle Egret at Teigngrace at 12:30, I got down at around mid afternoon to find Mark Bailey watching two Cattle Egrets! They were in the fields west of the Exeter Road and north of the Teigngrace junction with two Little Egrets, a small flock of gulls and a herd of cows. At times they were fairly mobile, taking off and flying around before landing back down again. At one point, one of the birds attempted to land on the back of a cow right in front of me and gave great close views. They were still present at 15:30 at least.

Monday 26 October 2015

Bonaparte's Gull returns

Apologies for the late posting - Bob and Mark Bailey had the Bonaparte's Gull on the spit off Passage House on Friday afternoon. It was seen earlier in the day off Dawlish Warren. There was no sign of it however at Passage House leading up to high tide on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

WeBS count

Totals from around the estuary on Friday morning included 439 Oystercatchers, 94 Curlew, eight Ringed Plovers, 33 Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers, three Lapwings, 15 Teal, seven Little Grebes, 26 Cormorants, 27 Little Egrets and six Rock Pipits.

In Shaldon two Firecrests were still in the holm oaks at The Ness.

Sunday 11 October 2015

Yellow-browed Warbler

I birded The Ness in Shaldon for an hour this morning and was chuffed to find a Yellow-browed Warbler flitting amongst the sycamores on the south side. There has been a large influx of this species into the country in recent weeks so its appearance perhaps wasn't entirely unexpected but still a very good bird for the patch. It was still present this afternoon but instead frequented the trees to the west of the new scout hut and was much more elusive. At least three Firecrests, 15+ Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff were also in the area.

Sunday 4 October 2015


An eclipse male Shoveler visited Decoy this morning, where it associated with the Mallards before swimming over the far side of the lake and wasn't seen subsequently. Also present the male Scaup, two flighty and vocal Kingfishers and three Swallows. No sign of the Pintails today.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Pintails on Decoy

I paid a late afternoon visit to Decoy today and on my initial scan with binoculars picked out a duck on the far side that looked like a Pintail. I quickly set the scope up and sure enough it was one. Quite a rarity for the lake and a patch first for me. I walked around to the other side to get a bit closer, and while watching it, a second Pintail which must have been hiding at the edge of the lake swam into the field of view!

Near the slipway, the male Scaup had returned for another winter and 12 Tufted Ducks were scattered around the lake - there were six on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Will found a Firecrest at The Ness, Shaldon. This is seemingly becoming a very reliable place to see this species at this time of year.