Wednesday 20 January 2016


There were four Shovelers on Decoy Lake this afternoon; one male and three females. Tufted Duck numbers were down to eight with no sign of the Scaup, Wigeon or Teal, however the Gadwall was still present along with a Muscovy Duck.

Eight Mistle Thrush were feeding on the football field and 15+ Redwings and a Siskin flew over.

Saturday 16 January 2016

Water Pipit and WeBS

David Cawthraw and I had good views of a Water Pipit at Flow Point this morning (photo here), alongside a couple of Rock Pipits for comparison. Attempts to do the WeBS were hampered by a paraglider flushing all the waders, resulting in a sub-par count of 277 Oystercatchers, but there was still a decent variety on show with totals including 12 Little Grebes, a Great Crested Grebe, 18 Red-breasted Mergansers, 48 Shelducks, 16 Little Egrets, two Grey Herons, two Kingfishers, 91 Curlew, 14 Lapwings, six Ringed Plovers, eight Turnstones, five Common Sandpipers, 64 Redshanks and a Greenshank.

The Bonaparte's Gull was again reported along Teignmouth seafront this afternoon.

Friday 15 January 2016


A visit to Hackney Marshes produced two Kingfishers, a few flyover Siskins, two Water Rail, and best of all, three Lesser Redpolls feeding on willowherb on the eastern side of the reserve. It was such a privilege to watch these beautiful little birds for a sustained period at just two metres range. Here are some photos...

Monday 11 January 2016

A trip to the West End

Two quick stops early morning showed a Common Sandpiper and the feral Greylag Goose (with the two hybrids) at Passage House on a very high tide, whilst over at Decoy the drake Scaup and Gadwall had been joined by a drake Wigeon with two Kingfisher also on the lake.

Sunday 10 January 2016

Belated Bonaparte's

The wintering Bonaparte's Gull made its first appearance of the year inside the patch boundary on Tuesday when it showed along Teignmouth seafront. In other late news I saw a female Black Redstart last Sunday on a rooftop at the nearby docks.

Passage House at low tide this lunchtime produced four male Red-breasted Mergansers fishing in the channels, 21 Snipe in the saltmarsh and 14 Lapwings on the mudflats.

At Decoy, a Firecrest was again present in the woods, and the Scaup remains on the lake with 18 Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Teal and Kingfisher. (Laurie)

Four Great Northern Diver reported off Sprey Point this afternoon, yesterday one was inside the estuary at Teignmouth with 30+ Kittiwake south in 15 minutes late afternoon.

Saturday 2 January 2016

Hackney Marshes

A walk round a particularly soggy Hackney Marshes this morning produced six Goldcrests, eight Reed Buntings, a Grey Wagtail and a Treecreeper, with an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull on the adjacent racecourse. This was followed by a check of some stubble fields on the southern side of the estuary where 10+ Cirl Buntings, three Stock Doves and a flock of 150 Linnets were noted.

The two Avocets were again at Passage House late morning.

At Teignmouth, a female Black Redstart was on the roofs of houses at the bottom of Dawlish Road and eight Great Northern Divers were on the sea, a few of which were close into the Yatcht Club. (Laurie)

Friday 1 January 2016

Sooty Shearwater

A good start to the year with 73 species recorded on patch. After a cloudy but dry start heavy rain moved in by 10:00 and lasted until 13:30, by which time the wind was strong to gale force SE. Bird of the day was the Sooty Shearwater that bombed its way north distantly past Teignmouth at 14:00, fifteen minutes after Laurie and I had settled into a seawatch that also produced 14+ Great Northern Divers (6+ on the sea and 8+ in flight), 150+ Kittiwakes, 40+ Fulmars, two Common Scoters, three Guillemots, a Razorbill, 10+ auks and numerous Gannets by 15:45.

Earlier in the day Decoy Country Park provided the hoped-for year ticks with the male Scaup, Gadwall and Teal all still present and a decent selection of passerines in the woods including Marsh Tit, NuthatchTreecreeper and a vocal Firecrest. Passage House was also productive with two Avocets bobbing about on the water alongside the usual selection of waders and gulls. Nearby Newton Abbot Racecourse held a pair of Stonechats.