Wednesday 21 September 2016

Osprey catches a fish

Wader counts from the high tide roost at Passage House included 14 Greenshank, six Bar-tailed Godwits, four Black-tailed Godwits, two Common Sandpipers and 81 Curlew.

At 14:25, all the gulls and waders flushed and a glance up revealed an Osprey overhead, seemingly having just flown in from the west. It circled around for a couple of minutes before diving down and catching a fish in the shallow water just off the bottom of Hackney Lane. It then flew off down estuary and up towards the hills to the north, presumably to find a quiet perch to enjoy its meal away from crows and gulls.

Sunday 18 September 2016


Nothing outstanding but a good variety present during this morning's count: 105 Curlew, five Bar-tailed Godwits, 14 Redshanks, three Greenshanks, 10 Dunlin, seven Ringed Plovers, four Common Sandpipers, three Turnstones, 43 Little Egrets, three Grey Herons, 20 Mute Swans, four Little Grebes and three Kingfishers (including one that flew over the road by McDonalds). The only notable absentee was the usual large flock of Oystercatchers with only seven noted at Flow Point; one wonders if they've been flushed one too many times by the recent Osprey and temporarily relocated.

Saturday 17 September 2016

Raptor fest

A rare five raptor day around the patch, with the Osprey in the dead tree at Netherton Point just before 09.00 this morning and Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Peregrine all recorded over Netherton Park cricket ground at various points this afternoon.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Osprey again

A juvenile Osprey was circling over the upper estuary from 09:20-09:30 this morning before landing out of sight in a tree near Netherton Point. At least five Whinchats remain on Newton Abbot Racecourse and a Tree Pipit flew over calling.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Whinchat flock

Finally, after regular checks over the past month, the first Whinchats were on the central railings of the racecourse. There was a minimum of 10 birds, with at least four Wheatear and five Stonechats. It was quite a sight scoping up the fence line with birds (including lots of Linnets) constantly flitting about and flying down to the ground to feed! A Clouded Yellow butterfly also flew across the meadow.

On the upper estuary, two Black-tailed Godwit and three Bar-tailed Godwit were among 71 Curlew, and elsewhere; three Common Sandpiper and three Greenshank. The only gull of interest was a juvenile Mediterranean Gull.

Friday 9 September 2016

Bonaparte's and Balearics

Three Balearic Shearwaters flew south in an hour during early afternoon, however there was very little else passing. The Bonaparte's Gull put in a brief appearance flying by with a Black-headed Gull, it's first of the autumn, and three weeks after it was first seen to return at Dawlish Warren. The Osprey was also reported again from the estuary.

Monday 5 September 2016

More nocturnal birding

At one o'clock this morning a Wood Sandpiper was calling over Teignmouth. Night migrants are the norm for this scarce patch bird. Earlier in the day the Oystercatcher and gulls were twice flushed from the Salcombe Dip area suggesting the Osprey was still present on the estuary.

Saturday 3 September 2016


The highlight from this morning was a juvenile Osprey that Will and I picked up circling over the lower estuary at 09:15 having sent the gulls and waders roosting at Flow Point into panic. It remained on view for about ten minutes, at one point flying up and performing an aborted dive right in front of us. It then gained height and flew off NW over farmland. This is possibly the same bird that Kev saw over Teignmouth yesterday.

A distant flock of c.20 small waders contained approximately half each of Dunlin and Ringed Plover, and a Turnstone and a Common Sandpiper were at Flow Point.