Saturday 31 December 2016

End of year

Seawatching from Teignmouth yacht club from 12:40-13:40 failed to add anything new to the patch year list, which stands at 150 - the same as in 2015 but below the recent high of 158 in 2013. I was again unable to locate the Long-tailed Ducks but my Eider hot streak continued as seven birds - three males and four females - flew in from the north and landed on the sea at 13:30. Also noted during the hour four Great Northern Divers, nine Red-throated Divers (five on the sea, four in flight) and a Razorbill. At the same time four Cattle Egrets were seen at Teigngrace, with six reported there on the 29th.

A 2016 review will appear here at some point in January. Happy New Year!

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Eiders return

No sign of the Long-tailed Ducks during a very brief look from Teignmouth yacht club this afternoon, but it was good to see some Eiders offshore - a pair and a separate group of three - for the first time this month. Also two Red-throated Divers still.

Late news for Christmas Eve - four Cattle Egrets were still in the cattle/solar panel field at Teigngrace.

Monday 26 December 2016

Long-tailed Ducks

Flat calm conditions offshore merited an afternoon look off the yacht club. There was a lot of distant activity (Gannets, gulls & auks) but the two birds closest in took the attention - a couple of fem/imm Long-tailed Duck. They remained for at least an hour drifting slowly south and feeding regularly. Also offshore two Great Northern and two Red-throated Diver, but there was no sign of last week's Velvet Scoter or indeed any other seaduck.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Welcome back

The Bonaparte's Gull made a reappearance this morning feeding around the estuary mouth before roosting on the Salty with a single Black-headed Gull on the rising tide. It was last seen on the Exe two weeks ago and is the first sighting on the Teign since 9th September.


Poor visibility and disturbance hampered the WeBS effort this past weekend, with numbers of waders in particular thought to be under-estimated. Notebook totals included 340 Oystercatchers, 80 Curlew, 60 Redshanks, 37 Dunlin, 17 Lapwings, nine Ringed Plovers, four Common Sandpipers, three Bar-tailed Godwits, two Greenshanks, 119 Canada Geese, 47 Shelducks, 25 Red-breasted Mergansers, 19 Mute Swans, eight Teal, five Little Grebes and a Kingfisher.

Sunday 11 December 2016

Cattle Egrets

Seven Cattle Egret were still present this morning at Teigngrace after one was seen on Wednesday, with a further six were found on Friday. This morning in thick fog, they were initially in a field of cows near the solar farm on the Teigngrace road, but gradually made their way over to the fields north of Twelve Oaks Holiday Park. They were clearly wary of passers-by and would frequently hop from field to field. Also present were at least four Little Egret, a Firecrest by Twelve Oaks, with further Firecrest present with a Chiffchaff in Jetty Marsh.

Saturday 3 December 2016

Large Dunlin flock

A very large flock of 82 Dunlin was at Passage House this morning. Looking back through the WeBS records, this is the largest since 1991, but still insignificant compared to the 1000-1500 the estuary was getting during the 1970s. With being able to count the wintering flock of Dunlin on one hand over the last few winters, one wonders what's changed?

Other waders included three Bar-tailed Godwit, six Greenshank and two Common Sandpiper. The gulls included 80 Greater Black-backed Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 12 Common Gulls.